So many times, after you point out the military clusterfuck that is Operation Iraqi Liberation (or "OIL"), the knee-jerk reaction from East Wankerville is something like, "Oh, yeah? So maybe you think they were better off under Saddam, huh? Huh?" What an inspiring slogan: "The United States occupation -- still better than Saddam."
But inspired by an excerpt from Matthew Good over here:
In March of this year the United Nations reported that more than a quarter of Iraq’s children were chronically undernourished. The malnutrition rate in kids under five has almost doubled since the invasion, reaching 8% by the end of 2004.
I think it's time to actually think the previously unthinkable -- maybe the Iraqis really were better off under Saddam. It's not hard to come up with at least a few examples:
- They still had reliable electricity and water service.
- They still had numerous buildings that were actually standing.
- Women still had some rights.
- They weren't being blown up by suicide bombers or shot by Coalition forces on a regular basis.
- The Iraqis still, at least theoretically, controlled their own country.
P.S.: And how long do you think it will be before the first accusation of, "Oh, man, did you read that CC is a big admirer of Saddam Hussein?" Give it time -- you know it's coming.
SNARK-FREE CLARIFICATION: Let me rephrase the above to make my point a little more carefully.
I'm not saying that the Iraqis were clearly better off under Saddam. I'm suggesting that one can no longer arrogantly dismiss criticism of Operation Chimpy Clusterfuck by saying, "Well, at least they're better off than they were under Hussein."
Maybe they really are -- given the current living conditions, it's kind of hard to tell. It's just that that knee-jerk response is no longer the "slam dunk" argument winner it used to be, is it?