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July 29, 2015


Martin Adamson

And the nastiest of all these US-backed autocrats, the ones most loathed by the western leftists, were Syngman Rhee of South Korea, Chiang Kai-Shek in Taiwan and the Shah of Iran. Don't look so bad in retrospect, do they?


>But Bush decided that Saddam was a tyrant too far: that holding one's nose while shaking hands with a man of Saddam's blood-drenched record was no longer an option, despite the fact that the US had previously supported Saddam in the war against Iran. There were limits as to the kind of people the US would deal with.

And he then initiated a war which killed half a million people :/

Mick H

Um....no. Nowhere near half a million. And those that were killed were overwhelmingly murdered by the various sectarian groups.

Of course we could have left well alone, as we did with Syria. That worked out well, didn't it?


It's funny how a sizeable chunk of the Left is appalled whenever the West supports some dictator in a Third World country but is no less appalled if the West overthrows such a dictator. It's almost as if they loath the West whatever it does.


>Um....no. Nowhere near half a million.


>That worked out well, didn't it?

The situation in syria is different, trying to draw the conclusion that the intervention in iraq was right because of the current situation in sryia is poor doesnt hold logical weight.

Mick H

Well - sigh - OK, you've found a site which claims half a million. That's way over the usual figures quoted - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Iraq_War

The Iraq Body Count currently shows 219,000 violent deaths - https://www.iraqbodycount.org/ - but that's including current casualties, victims of ISIS etc..So any casualty now is still counted as a casualty of the war, even though the Americans have long gone, and most deaths now are an overspill from the chaos in Syria.

Your figure includes deaths due to degradation of infrastructure - "Cardiovascular conditions accounted for about half (47%) of nonviolent deaths". I mean, you believe that's a reasonable assessment if you want. To me it seems like someone - as with the discredited Lancet figures of 600,000 - just wants the figures to look as bad as possible.

The point with Syria wasn't to suggest that the Iraq war was "right". My point was that the alternative to the overthrow of Saddam wasn't some happy zero fatalities scenario where everyone lived happily ever after, as so many seem to believe. However Saddam went, it was, alas, always going to be bloody.

Yes, Syria is different, but the comparison is still instructive. Two Baathist dictatorships. One overthrown by the West, the other still struggling to stay in power, with no (or minimal) Western intervention. The latter, whichever way you look at it, has proved by far the more disastrous both in terms of direct casualties and suffering, and in terms of the effects on the region generally.

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