Advancing a Free Society

Overthrowing Saddam Hussein Was Worth the Price

Friday, November 11, 2011

The war in Iraq has been costly, though most of the cost was avoidable. Taking sovereign power in Iraq to convert it into the first genuine Arab democracy was unnecessary and unwise. We must avoid making the cost of securing our future against potentially ruinous dangers unaffordable.

But the war was worth the cost, for one reason above all: It freed the world of a dangerous, determined, and irrational leader who had the means and inclination to continue inflicting massive destruction and suffering on the Iraqi people, neighboring states, and the international community.

Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz supported the invasion after reciting the litany of Saddam's many crimes, in Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, and elsewhere. He wrote: "No other dictator matches his record of war, oppression, use of weapons of mass destruction, and continuing contemptuous violation of international law, as set out by unanimous actions of the UN Security Council."

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(photo credit: Haddy Bello)