Monday, May 01, 2006


So how would the country, and the world, be different today if John Kerry had tipped Ohio the other way in 2004 and won the election? What would be the state of things in Iraq? In New Orleans? In Iran? In Venezuela? What would be the price of gasoline? Would the immigrant population be out in the streets today?

While we're finding shapes in the clouds, what kind of catbird seat would Saddam Hussein be in today if he had been left in power, with Iran playing its game and the price of oil what it is and another three years to chip away at the sanctions regime?

UPDATE: Interesting to note that Victor Davis Hanson is speculating down the same path-not-taken:

No one pauses to suggest what the region would now look like with Saddam reaping windfall oil profits, 15 years of no-fly zones, ongoing corruption in Oil-for-Food, the bad effects of the U.N. embargo, Libya's weapons program, and an unfettered Dr. Khan. If a newly provocative Russia is willing to sell missiles to Iran's crazy Ahmadinej(ih)ad, imagine what its current attitude would be to its old client Saddam.

Or perhaps, as in the 1980s when over a million perished, our realists, who seem fond of such good old days of order and stability, could once again encourage an unleashed Saddam, with Uday and Qusay at his side, to be played against Iran for a (nuclear) round two. How sad that those who once fallaciously argued that the fascist Saddam was the proper counterweight to the fascist Iran now ignore that the genuine corrective is a democratic and humane Iraq.