THE DEBATE about Iraq has moved past the question of whether it was a mistake (everybody knows it was) to the more depressing question of whether it is possible to avert total disaster. Every self-respecting foreign policy analyst has his own plan for Iraq. The trouble is that these tracts are inevitably unconvincing, except when they argue why all the other plans would fail. It's all terribly grim.It would probably help us in Iraq if we were to deal with Iran. Doesn't the Shah of Iran have an heir?
So allow me to propose the unthinkable: Maybe, just maybe, our best option is to restore Saddam Hussein to power . . .
Restoring the expectation of order in Iraq will take some kind of large-scale psychological shock. The Iraqi elections were expected to offer that shock, but they didn't. The return of Saddam Hussein — a man every Iraqi knows, and whom many of them fear — would do the trick.
The disadvantages of reinstalling Hussein are obvious, but consider some of the upside. He would not allow the country to be dominated by Iran, which is the United States' major regional enemy, a sponsor of terrorism and an instigator of warfare between Lebanon and Israel. Hussein was extremely difficult to deal with before the war, in large part because he apparently believed that he could defeat any U.S. invasion if it came to that. Now he knows he can't. And he'd probably be amenable because his alternative is death by hanging.
I know why restoring a brutal tyrant to power is a bad idea. Somebody explain to me why it's worse than all the others.
Monday, November 27, 2006
I don't think Chait means this. This is the sort of annoying goofiness one often sees in Daily Kos diaries. Wouldn't it be cool to illustrate how bad everything is in Iraq by proposing to bring back Saddam? Just think: if we had killed Saddam instead of taking him alive, we wouldn't have to read this: