Date registered: Dec 2006
Vehicle: 2013 VW Golf Sportwagen TDI, 2011 Mazda 2, 2000 E320 4Matic Wagon (retired),1994 C280 (retired)
Location: Toronto, Canada
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The truth is McBear and Jayhawk are both correct, but they're both arguing two separate things here.
Jay, you're largely correct when you are assessing the current situation in Iraq, what it will take to stabilize the situation, and the risks that will be borne if stability is not brought back. But you're ignoring the fact that it was the US invasion that destabilized Iraq in the first place, if for no other reason that there was no effective plan for occupying Iraq after the invasion. Security is the foundation of nation-building, and the complete lack of security created the monstrous clusterfuck we're now witness to.
Bear, you're right. AQ wasn't operating in Iraq before the invasion. There wasn't sectarian violence. There was electricity, water, a reasonably working economy and public services such as education and health care. The country was being kept together by a brutal dictator who was not only willing, but relished the opportunity to use force and fear as catalysts for control. But it worked.
Colin Powell had it right when he told GWB "if you break Iraq, you own Iraq". It was the best advice Bush got, and he didn't pay it enough heed.