Why no celebrations


I was reading this article and was stuck by this line:

In 1991, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died after prematurely celebrating what they believed was their liberation from Saddam after the Gulf War. Some even pulled down a few pictures of Saddam then – only to be killed by Iraqi forces.

If we don’t immediately see parades in our honor that doesn’t mean the people aren’t happy we’ve liberated them. Last time we did it we left, and Saddam killed thousands. He watches the news. Someone records them, so they can look for people later. We can’t expect Iraqis to trust us, when we left them worse off last time.

On a related anti-war note that I’ve heard in the past:

How do we know Saddam has WMD? We’ve got the receipts.

If that were true, then we have a responsibility to go and clean up the mess. I don’t think it really is true (ie. I don’t think we sold him chemical or biological weapons). But we did support Saddam when he was fighting a country that had taken our diplomats prisoner and kept them for over a year. That may mean we have more responsibility to make sure we clean up any problems that caused.