A reader writes:
"As for my later comments about opponents of the Iraq war being "objectively pro-Saddam," that seems to me to be indisputable. If they'd had their way, he'd still be in power."
Oh, great. I guess those of us opposed to war with North Korea are "objectively pro-Kim Jong Il." Does that include you?
For someone I consider to be pretty smart, this is an incredibly simplistic, stupid and dangerous viewpoint. I opposed the Iraq war, and I'm no more objectively pro-Saddam than you are objectively pro-thousands of Iraqis and Americans killed and injured (I'll be happy to list some of the other fallout from this war if you'd like).
There are pros and cons to most things. Believe it or not, for most of us who opposed the Iraq war, we thought the costs would outweigh the benefits, never mind not trusting the Bushies.
Well, objectively (and it's Orwell's original usage), I am pro-Kim Jong-Il, and if he didn't have the capacity to take out Seoul, I'd be far less sanguine about it. Yes, there are costs and benefits to all actions. One of the costs of inaction with respect to Iraq would be Saddam still in power, his psychopathic sons waiting for accession, continued starvation and immiseration of thousands, more money being sent to bribed UN officials, and merely a delayed (and thereby ultimately more virulent) spiral into the kind of civil, sectarian chaos we are now witnessing. Look: I got a lot wrong. But I am still glad that monster is in jail.