Even Dick Cheney agrees: taking down Saddam’s government was a stupid idea.
(via The Agonist)
Q. Do you think the US or UN forces should have moved into Baghdad?
Q. Why not?
A. Because if we’d gone to Baghdad we would have been all alone. There wouldn’t have been anyone else with us. It would have been a US occupation of Iraq. None of the Arab forces that were willing to fight with us in Kuwait were willing to invade Iraq.
Once you got to Iraq and took it over, took down Saddam Hussein’s government, then what are you going to put in its place? That’s a very volatile part of the world and if you take down the central government of Iraq you can easily see pieces of Iraq fly off. Part of it the Syrians would like to have to the west. Part of eastern Iraq the Iranians would like to claim—fought over it for eight years. In the north you have the Kurds. And if the Kurds spin loose and join with the Kurds in Turkey then you’ve threatened the territorial integrity of Turkey. It’s a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq.
The other thing was casualties. Everyone was impressed with the fact that we were able do our job with as few casualties as we had. But for the hundred and forty-six Americans killed in action and for their families it wasn’t a cheap war.
And the question for the President in terms of whether or not we went on to Baghdad and took additional casualties in an effort to get Saddam Hussein was ‘How many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth?’ And our judgment was ‘not very many’ and I think we got it right.