Towards A Good Samaritan World

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


A grim portrayal of Iraq today at

With 1,300 dead Iraqis— and counting — since the bombing of the Golden Dome last week, Iraq remains poised at the precipice of destruction. It's anyone's guess as to whether the crisis will revert to its previous state of mere insurgency and grinding daily violence, or plunge into a multi-sided religious civil war. If the latter, a thousand more dead Iraqis each week — or more— might be a routine occurrence. Either way, however, one thing is clear. Already dead is the Bush administration's hope for a neat drawdown of U.S. forces in Iraq as Election 2006 approaches. Voters who go to the polls in the United States in November will be staring directly into the face of the catastrophe of the Bush-Cheney Iraq policy...

It's a Mad Max world. It's rule by mob, by militia, by gangs and warlords and renegade mosque leaders. The Independent , the British daily, says that as many as 1,000 Iraqis are being tortured to death or executed, largely by Shiite militia forces and rogue police, army and Interior Ministry units...

As sad as this is, would you rather live in this Iraq, or under Saddam Hussein's regim. For me, it's a no-brainer: Give me liberty or give me death. A life living a lie, a 1984-like existence where you have to pay homage to a mass murderer and the ruin of your country if you don't want your family to be killed, is not worth living. Saddam killed so many people that I still think the war, on net, has saved human lives. But even if, in the end, it doesn't, to die in an Iraqi civil war is, from my point of view, which I think is shared by many Iraqis, 100 times better than to live under Saddam Hussein.

The independence of British India led to Partition, a grotesque spectacle in which millions of Muslims and Hindus were killed as a formerly integrated British Raj was ripped in two (India and Pakistan). Nonetheless, Indian independence is not generally regarded as a tragic mistake (though Partition really should engender more retrospective sympathy for imperialists like Churchill who wanted to hang on for a while). And the British Raj was very humane compared to Saddam Hussein's Iraq. If bloody partition is Iraq's future, that's still better than a continuation of Saddam Hussein's rule by any rational standard that I can think of off the top of my head.


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