How Much Is Hussein's Departure Worth?
by Harry Browne
May 27, 2004
Despite all that's gone wrong with "Operation Iraqi Freedom" (such as the lack of freedom for Iraqis), we still hear over and over that "the world is a better place with Saddam Hussein gone."
Is it really?
Everything in life has a price — even getting rid of Saddam Hussein. Any goal or result must be compared with the price to be paid — in order to determine whether the goal is, or was, worth it. No goal can be said to be worth any price.
In the case of Hussein, the price involves the tens of billions of dollars of our tax money that have been lavished on the task of driving one man from power — and on cleaning up the mess that operation caused.
Name your Price
But, even more important, the price comes in the number of human lives that are snuffed out.
So we must ask ourselves:
How many human lives are a proper price to pay for the removal of Saddam Hussein?
Would you say removing Hussein would be worth it if a million people — Americans and Iraqis — had to die to achieve it?
If the answer is no, let's try a lower price. How about 100,000?
If that's too many, how about 10,000 lives being snuffed out to remove one man from power?
The Relevant Question
Let's make is simpler. Rather than throwing numbers around, let's ask just one question:
Would removing Hussein be worth it if the cost were just one human life — but that life was yours?
Would you be willing to die to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq?
If the answer is no, then anything you have to say about the world being a better place now — about collateral damage — about the glory of soldiers sacrificing their lives for their country — is meaningless. You're not willing to pay the price. You're like so many people who believe various government programs are wonderful — provided someone else pays for them.
Everyone who has died so far in Iraq had a life that meant as much to him as your life means to you. But now that life is gone, done, finished, nevermore.
By supporting the war in Iraq, you have supported the idea that it's okay to kill people — other people.
But until you're willing to volunteer to be one of those killed, your words don't carry any weight.