General Article Syria is not Iraq (but at least the Iraq War had a clear objective)

Topic Selected: War and Conflict
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A decade ago, I was sure that going to war in Iraq was the right thing to do. I persisted in that belief for a long time too, well beyond the point at which most supporters of the decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power had recanted their past enthusiasm.

The link between 9/11 and Iraq was quite apparent. Not because (despite what some mistaken people insisted) Saddam had any involvement in the atrocity but because removing tyrants and dictators seemed the best way of spreading the pacifying forces of commerce and democracy that might, in time, render Islamist extremism and terrorism obsolete.

Why Iraq? Because it was there and because it could be done. Besides, there was unfinished business. Not just from 1991 but from 1998 and Operation Desert Fox as well. And, also, because it seemed obvious that sanctions were not working, that the sanctions regime would collapse and that Saddam would soon, if nothing was done, escape the ‘box’ in which he was said to be confined. And who...

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