If I may make so bold as to answer that, I think that it's true that winners generally don't get penalized for winning. However, I think that what is being discussed is the way in which the losers are being penalized.
In wars, a lot of things can happen to the losing side, anywhere from simple return to status quo ante, if the losing side didn't lose too badly, all the way to nearly complete conquest and annihilation (think Carthage).
Keep in mind, though, being conquered is not always a negative thing for the conquered people. There might have even been sympathetic rebellions during the war. Certainly, the population might view the new rulers as at least neutral or even in a positive light.
On the flip side, certain penalties are more apt than others to cause the population on the losing side to resent the victors. After WWI, the Allies, led by a very vindictive French government, imposed very high reparations payments on Germany, limited it's military and stationed troops in parts of Germany that bordered France. The reparations were a problem for the Germans since their government was shaken up seriously by the end of the war and loss of the Imperial Government (and the Kaiser), as well as being a battlefield for the emerging socialists and the reactionary war veterans. Most importantly the economy of the country was hurt by the war and being the loser, as well as the payments made it more difficult to rebuild. Further, I believe the reparations payments were demanded in hard currency or from foreign currency reserves, decreasing the value of the mark and adding to the huge post-war inflation. By the time the Great Depression hit the world, Germany was in very serious trouble and the Germans were looking to take their problems out on people and get some hope for the future. Enter one Adolf Hitler who did just that.
Mostly, though, many Germans simply resented the Treaty of Versailles because it was vindictive and belittling. And really, it was vindictive and belittling. It was also stupid. Germany is/was a great nation and had been a Great Power. As it showed, it could be again as well.
Iraq is sort of the same. The problem with Iraq isn't it's people, the problem is the government. Or perhaps I should say that the problem is Saddam Hussein's control of the government. When the war ended in 1991, the sanctions were imposed, but the sanctions didn't touch Saddam Hussein. Saddam might not be able to take on the US with his army, but he's an absolute terror for normal Iraqis who oppose him. The war didn't change that. Saddam already ruled by fear and without the consent of the governed, so why would starving his people have affected him? He just clamped down a little tighter, and most importantly, blaned the sanctions for the people's plight.
The sad thing is that Saddam is partly right. Without the sanctions, the Iraqi people would really be materially better off. The sanctions, though few put it this way, directly targeted the Iraqi people in order to get them to overthrow Saddam. The problem is that Saddam can't be pressured easily. It's easier to blame the sanctions than to face a firing squad or a torture cell.
We should have known all of this. Saddam Hussein is the problem, not the people. You don't do surgery with a large blunt object, you do it with a scalpel. The sanctions are a very large, blunt object meant to make the people so miserable that they blame Saddam. The problem is that they know it's Saddam, but they can't do anything about him. The Iraqis think we should have the common sense to realize this too. So who gets resented when the sanctions hurt the common people? Saddam, yes, but the rest of the world gets an equal part of it.
Edited by Certifiably Cait, 07 August 2012 - 11:23 PM.