Monday, March 20, 2006

Opinion survey -- Reason on Line

As the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq approaches, Reason asked a wide range of libertarian, conservative, and freedom-minded journalists and academics to assess the war, the occupation, and how their views have or have not changed.

This summary is worth a look. Results are all over the place.
This one, by Tim Cavanaugh, Reason's web editor, scares the hell out of me but I can't think of any compelling arguments against it except, as he says, it might offend our sense of decency. A sense of decency, it seems, is no longer on the list of desireable qualities to be called civilized.

Let the Shiite Crescent bloom: We've already spent thousands of lives and half a trillion dollars inadvertently nurturing it, so we might at least get the incremental benefit of having a deadly rival to the Salafists who are even more determined than the Shiites to destroy our civilization. (Just so, we should have let the Iranians finish kicking Saddam's ass in the 1980s.) That means accepting the current Mullahfied Iraqi government and leaving it to brutalize the Sunnis at will. This might offend our sense of decency, but if we stay in the country, the same historical forces that drove the British, the Turks, and all other visitors to back the Sunnis over the Shiites will drive us down the same road.

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