CIA Needs a History Lesson on Iraq
William Goldcamp, diplomatic historian and former intelligence analyst, writing in the Washington Times (Jan. 2, 2004):
Any good historian must be frustrated at both the coverage and analysis of the situation in Iraq and the war on terror in general. For its part, the intelligence community has turned its back on history as the foundation of long-term and short-term analysis and embraced political science. Because of this trend, its vision is narrow and blurred.
If reports are accurate, a new study done by the CIA concludes the Iraqis are growing increasingly impatient with the occupation and that the coalition's failure to stop terrorism in the so-called Sunni triangle has convinced those in Iraq who oppose the coalition that they can win. A political scientist might draw such conclusions from the available evidence, but a historian never would.
For those conclusions to be valid, the Iraqis would have to be moronic masochists. For more than 30 years, Saddam lived off the blood of his countrymen. Indeed, the trademarks of his regime were mass murder, torture and rape rooms.
The coalition has uncovered mass graves of 300,000 slain men, women and children. Saddam engaged in three disastrous wars. He spent lavishly on himself and his cronies and allowed the country's infrastructure to cascade into ruin. Only the beneficiaries of that hateful regime would willingly acquiesce in its continuation.
It is possible some Iraqis of good will are tired of the occupation. But they're really concerned about whether we, their liberators, have the stomach to help them secure their liberty or whether, if we leave too soon, we will deliver them back to the devil with whom they're painfully familiar.
A new University of Chicago study challenges the left's and the religious pacifists' naive contention that containing Saddam's ambitions would have obviated the need to go to war.
The study concluded containment would have cost $380 billion, as opposed to $200 billion to drive Saddam from power and rebuild Iraq. It also estimated Saddam would have continued to brutalize his people and would have murdered as many as 200,000 more Iraqis.
The study appears to assume Saddam could have been contained at that cost. This may be overly optimistic. Past efforts to contain Saddam had been ineffective. If we had left Saddam in power again, we would have sent a clear signal to everyone in the neighborhood and to our enemies far and near that we lacked the courage to stand up to his evil and theirs.
comments powered by Disqus