The UnAustralian

Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Reflection on Iraq

I've decided to take a few minutes and look back on Iraq, and how my position has (or hasn't) changed.

I opposed the war because I didn't trust the Bush administration to do a good job on the reconstruction. Their performance in Afghanistan was piss poor. I never thought much of the WMD issue (mostly because I didn't believe that the types of WMD that Saddam could conceivable have were particularly scary), however, I did expect that by now they would have found some aging stockpiles. I also underestimated the death rate. I thought that it was possible for the coalition to keep their numbers of deaths under 100 - that turned out to be badly wrong. I didn't know what to expect from the Iraqi death rate, but I don't find the numbers (low 10's of thousands) to be particularly surprising. The effectiveness of the resistance also came as a surprise (and this may kill plans for an invasion of more populated and less brutalised Iran). Despite this, the reconstruction efforts are proceeding better than what I expected - there is however, considerable room for improvement.

So was the war a good idea?

In terms of the war against terror or ridding the world of WMD's; No (and it may well have had a negative effect).

In terms of improving the situation of the Iraqi people; probably yes (the probably refers to the possibility of Iraqi falling into anarchy or theocracy after the coalition withdraws).
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