August 22, 2002

JIM DUNNIGAN HAS A COLUMN on the reasons, good and bad, why people fear invading Iraq. Here’s my favorite from among the “bad” reasons:

There are also unspoken reasons why Iraq’s neighbors, and the rest of the world, oppose an invasion. Removing Saddam by military force scares the other leaders of the Arab world because it might (and probably would) work. If such an operation also managed to install a functioning democracy (not a sure thing) it would show the citizens of other Arab states that there is one sure fire way to get rid of the local tyrants and install democracy. Such a development is also anathema to Islamic militants, who want to replace Arab dictators with “Islamic Republics” (run by the clergy.) Most Arabs don’t want this, and the militants know it. Europeans are against the invasion because, if it works, it brings back ugly memories of European colonialism that was supposed to benefit the victims, but didn’t. There’s also some fear that past secret deals with Saddam will come to light. Finally, Europeans hate it when America does something Europeans either didn’t think of, lacked the will to try or the gumption to make it work.

Read the whole thing.

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