Thursday, May 04, 2006

And this wouldn't work in Iraq because...?

Now, why couldn't we have tried doing this with Iraq?

In New Problem for Palestinians, Banks Reject Transfers - New York Times


The Bard said...

Actually, I suspect there is a pretty good reason, although I cannot be 100% sure.

The Palestinians (and Hamas) have no independent source of wealth and no economy. They depend entirely on outside aid for money and outside sources to process their money.

Saddam did have an independent source of money. Oil. He had enough money, and enough oil to sell (UN emabrgo notwithstanding) that he did not need banks and outside sources to process his transactions. He had enough that someone would buy on the black market, and plenty of someones (like France and Russia) did.

Now, the embargo on raw materials may have worked much better than anyone, of any political party, thought it did. Hence Saddam's lack of WMD and weak military. But to borrow an analogy, suggesting that what might work with Hamas's government could have worked on Saddam is like comparing, well, apples and cucumbers.

Monica said...

To be honest, there was less cynicism than question in the original post, because I don't actually know if it would have worked in Iraq. So I really was asking. :-)

It just made me think (yet again) that there were more things that could have been done to try to choke him out of existence rather than blow him out of existence, you know? Maybe it would have still come to war, but more options could have/should have been tried.

The Bard said...

The comments are just my own analysis, but I think they are valid.

Maybe there was more we could have done to smoke him out short of war, but maybe the truth is that our "smoke out" attempts were working better than we thought. We (not just the Bush crowd, but commentators of all stripes) assumed that Saddam still had the stuff or could get it soon. Maybe he could, or he did and hit it well (Syria), but I find the arguements that even though he was able to build palaces and murder thousands of his own people, our embargos and no-fly zones really did prevent him from doing anything else plausible (Conspiracy theory and "Bush lied" arguements, on the other hand, are nonsense).