In my last post, I wrote a bit about my changing views on foreign policy prior to the invasion of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 2003. Here I want to explain why I supported that invasion, ultimately with an idea to explaining why I now believe I was mistaken to do so.
September 11 made clear that substantial portions of the Middle East presented a danger to the United States and its people. What actions could we take to address that danger?
If the United States could help to establish a relatively free nation in Iraq – one that provided basic freedoms and some kind of democracy – that would not only be good for Iraq, but would help to establish a model for other nations in the region – one that might lead towards greater freedom in the area and greater safety for the United States.
While the concern about WMDs struck me as being plausible, that was never my main reason for supporting the invasion. Instead, it was establishing a more free nation in Iraq. Yes, this was a form of nation-building. But if done right, it would create enormous benefits. I don’t believe this invasion violated the rights of the Iraq people, who after all were being tyrannized by the dictator Saddam.