Still Unjustified - Radley Balko on the war: Was I Wrong?
Some of you have emailed to ask if I'll now admit I was wrong about the war with Iraq... My opposition to this war never rested on whether or not we could win it. It rested on whether or not it was necessary.

And, so far, I see nothing but validation for my point of view.
It's real nice for the Iraqi people that they are, at least for the time being, free. That's definitely a plus from the liberal western POV. We'll see if they can "win the peace", meaning, if they can establish a stable political system which maintains liberty and justice. I am dubious on this point.

Where we have lost is in setting the precedent of America the aggressor. This will promote the spread of RWMDs (real weapons of mass destruction, aka nuclear weapons). Our motives in attacking are irrelevant from this POV. The only thing that matters is the world's impression of how America can be deterred. It is now quite clear that you don't do that with a conventional mid-20th century army.

If the Iraqis fall back into rank despotism, then I will regard the war as almost completely wrong. We will have achieved practically nothing worthwhile that we could not have achieved unilaterally by ending the sanctions and waiting for Saddam to die of old age.

If the Iraqis do manage to build a political system worth having, but nukes continue to proliferate as looks likely, then I will regard the result as a mixed bag. If, also, by some miracle there is no more nuclear proliferation and on the strength of its military position the USA manages to negotiate the nuclear genie back into its bottle - then, and only then, will I admit that I was completely wrong about the war.

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