A.J. Delgado offers counseling to Iraq war dead-enders:
IDS sufferers’ second favorite argument is: “Well, the world is better off without a bad guy like Saddam, so it wasn’t a mistake.” OK, except this is completely inaccurate. The world is not better off without Saddam. Why? Because for all his faults, Saddam Hussein presided over a stable Iraq, served as a buffer to (a now more powerful) Iran and was no religious fanatic. When we invaded and removed him, we created a power vacuum in the country, a vacuum then filled by brutal ISIS.
The hawkish argument that “the world is better off” because of the Iraq war isn’t just obviously false, but it’s the sort of desperate ends-justify-the means claim that only ideologues and propagandists find compelling. If we take Iraq war dead-enders at their word that they think the world is better off, this just confirms that they have no understanding of the consequences of the war they supported. More than decade of conflict in Iraq has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, injured countless more, displaced millions, driven millions more into exile, and has brought about the complete ruination of an entire country. The war empowered sectarians and jihadists, and exposed the country’s religious minorities to an unending nightmare of persecution. Only a fanatic could look at the devastation wrought by the Iraq war and its aftermath and conclude that the world is better place because of it.