It is clearer every day that Iraq under Saddam was becoming a failed state as well as a rogue state. The immiseration and humiliation of its people, the looting and degradation of the economy and society, the resort to jihadist rhetoric and measures by the Baath Party and the opening given to clerical demagogues were all even worse than we thought. If this vindicates anybody, it vindicates those who urged a swifter and earlier international rescue expedition. Those who would have left Iraq to rot were only postponing an evil day that would have become steadily more ghastly and costly. Chalabi had been saying this for six years by the time I met him in 1998: Those who now say that the whole mess is his fault are panicking and scapegoating, as well as attributing superhuman powers to one individual. Of course, if he was that good, and that powerful, one might even want to bet on him all over again.
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