No Way to Know What Iraq Would Look Like Without Sanctions

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Jackson Diehl, in his Oct. 4 commentary, "The Coming Failure on Iran," stated: "More than a decade of punishment, including regular airstrikes, had no positive impact on Saddam Hussein's Iraq."

The airstrikes were frequent or sporadic, not regular, and the real problem with this statement is that Mr. Diehl does not know what the situation would have been without the sanctions. When we invaded Iraq in 2003, we and most of the rest of the world expected that we would find weapons of mass destruction, either chemical or biological, and progress toward nuclear weapons. We did not. We were surprised that we did not. The head of the CIA thought it would be a "slam-dunk."

Could our sanctions have had anything to do with this outcome?

BRUCE HERBERT

McLean


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