HITLER AND SADDAM | 2003-05-31

An African economist I knew was often faced with proposals to build little inefficient railroads. Some of those railroads got built despite his opposition. Those who had wanted the railroads built would then ask my friend whether he thought those railroads should now be destroyed.

No, he said, with all the money already sunk into them, it would be better to keep them than to tear them up. People would then say that he was wrong to oppose building those railroads in the first place.

Any logical person can see why this conclusion was wrong.

Once something is built, you are no longer dealing with the question of whether or not to build it.

Today those who supported the war in Iraq are saying, "Would you like to have Saddam back?"

The question of whether or not one wants Saddam back is not the same as the question of whether we should have gone to war in Iraq. The fact that Saddam was a horrible man was not the reason we went to war.

There is a lot to be learned from decent people who opposed the Iraq War. There is a lot to learn from decent people who opposed America's entry into World War II. This does not mean that we want Hitler back.

But just because you don't want Hitler back doesn't mean that there was not nothing wrong with the way we got into World War II.