Jonah Goldberg receives (and republishes) email from some real morons:
1. The toppling of a regime that was a constant threat to its neighbors and, potentially at least, to us.
2. Removing the Iraqi threat allowed us to move our troops out of Saudi Arabia. The US presence in the Kingdom was the #1 motivator for Bin Ladenism, and the long term benefits this will have after Iraq are hard to calculate but will no doubt be significant.
3. Worst possible case scenario, we retreat to Kurdistan. No matter what happens in Greater Iraq, the liberation of the Kurds and the implantation of a nascent democracy there is a genuine success.
4. Also in the worst case scenario, we retreat not only to Kurdistan, but also to Kuwait. The virtual military encirclement of Iran will remain, and that is important. An encircled Iran, even with a nuke, is a far different scenario than the opposite.
Toppling a regime that was a potential threat to its neighbors and to the USA is an accomplishment if and only if it’s not replaced with a more threatening situation like, say, pervasive chaos.
The other points all seem to involve misunderstanding the pre-war status quo. Kurdistan enjoyed de facto autonomy from Baath Iraq before the war. Our troops could have been moved out of Saudi Arabia and into Kuwait and Kurdistan before the war. Iran was “encircled” before the war. And what does encircling Iran accomplish, anyway? This seems like the kind of thing someone who’s been playing too much Diplomacy would care about.