For the greenies and bleeding hearts (as if they would actually care) I would point out that Saddam’s destruction of the Marsh Arabs’ habitat and his genocidal campaign against them would now be complete. Human Rights Watch reported :

systematic bombardment of villages, widespread arbitrary arrests, torture, “disappearances,” summary executions, and forced displacement have reduced the Marsh Arabs from more than 250,000 to as few as 40,000.

Large-scale government drainage projects have virtually wiped out the Marsh Arab economy and, along with severe repression, forced the displacement of at least 100,000 of the Marsh Arabs inside Iraq. More than 40,000 others fled as refugees to Iran. “The Marsh Arabs have suffered some of the worst repression in a highly repressive political system,” said Joe Stork, Washington director of the Middle East and North Africa Division of Human Rights Watch. “In the event of war, there is reason to fear that the marshes area will again be a battleground, with devastating consequences for those who remain.”

Post Bush’s invasion, we find that:

New satellite imagery shows a rapid increase in water and vegetation cover in just the past three years, with the marshes rebounding to about 37 percent of the area they covered in 1970, up from about 10 percent in 2002, the United Nations Environment Program said in a report describing a multimillion dollar restoration project funded by Japan.

It is a safe bet that the NYT and WPO would underplay such a recovery, if they even bothered to report on it.

That’s small beer on geo-poltical scales, so let’s dig a bit deeper.

How about WMD? Iran has been working on nuclear weapons ever since Jimmy Carter lost to Ronald Reagan. Iraq had been too, until Israel took action. Saddam knew that Iran was developing nuclear weapons. Would he feel safe without his own nuclear weapons? Unlikely. Israel and Iran both had cause to take revenge on Saddam. So he had to have had his own nuclear weapons program going on, despite UN inspections and sanctions. He had 500 tons of yellowcake (good for 20 bombs) and was looking for more. Contrary to his NYT op-ed, Joe Wilson reported to the CIA that Iraq was interested in buying more “goods” from Niger. Saddam was also on record as saying that his biggest mistake in invading Kuwait was doing it before he had nuclear weapons. My personal view is that Saddam out-sourced his nuclear weapons program to Libya. Even if he hadn’t, the chances that some of that yellowcake had been refined to weapons grade material is high. He had the incentive, the money and the experitise (internally or via the A. Q. Khan network). So, sometime this decade Saddam would have hit critical mass and become a nuclear power. So would Iran. Today, we only have to worry about one rogue regime getting nuclear weapons instead of three.

Moreover, we are now in a much better position to monitor and defend against Iran’s efforts in becoming latter-day Nazis with Nukes.

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