Because we don’t want all those people to die. From Gabriel Schoenfeld’s wonderful new Commentary blog, “Connecting the Dots”:
Don’t build a dam on a gypsum foundation. Gypsum dissolves when it comes into contact with water. Nonetheless, that’s exactly what the all-wise, all-powerful Saddam Hussein did in the early 1980’s. The WaPo reports that “the largest dam in Iraq is in serious danger of an imminent collapse that could unleash a trillion-gallon wave of water.” The lives of 500,000 people down-river in Mosul and parts of Baghdad are now at risk. The cost of repairs: between $1 billion and $10 billion.
The path not taken –leaving Saddam in place– will never be known but is usefully imagined when dealing with the war against the war. One aspect of that path we now can suspect would be a tidal wave washing away hundreds of thousands of innocents.
Or would one of Saddam’s brave counselors have advised him that his dam was dissolving?