Picky, picky, picky!

Salam, the Blogger from Baghdad, seems unenthusiastic about being shocked and awed into liberation. (He’s also annoyed about not having been liberated ten years ago; he’s jealous of the Kurds.)

No real surprise here, to anyone who hasn’t forgotten Machiavelli’s warning (Discourses, II, 31) about taking advice from exiles. “Such is their extreme desire to return to their homes that they naturally believe many things that are not true, and add many others on purpose.” Remember, it isn’t the Iraqi National Council that’s going to get bombed; it’s the folks back home.

Sorry, Salam, this isn’t about your safety, it’s about ours. But I hope reading your post will remove the rosy tint from certain warbloggers’ lenses.

What we’re about to do isn’t going to be pretty, and it’s not going to win us friends among the people we do it to. If it’s necessary, let’s go ahead get it over with. But let’s not fool ourselves into thinking we’re doing something nice for the Iraqis.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com