Tuesday, March 18, 2008

5 year and What Have We Achieved?

In light of tomorrow's 5th Anniversary of the Iraq War, Fred Kaplan asks What the War has Actually Achieved. He asks to imagine Bush saying this 5 years ago, when asking for war authorization from the Senate and American people;
We're about to go to war against Saddam Hussein. Victory on the battlefield will be swift and fairly clean. But then 100,000 U.S. troops will have to occupy Iraq for about 10 years. On average, nearly 1,000 of them will be killed and another 10,000 injured in each of the first 5 years. We'll spend at least $1 trillion on the war and occupation, and possibly trillions more. Toppling Saddam will finish off a ghastly tyranny, but it will also uncork age-old sectarian tensions. More than 100,000 Iraqis will die, a few million will be displaced, and the best we can hope for will be a loosely federated Islamic republic that isn't completely in Iran's pocket. Finally, it will turn out that Saddam had neither weapons of mass destruction nor ties to the planners of 9/11. Our intervention and occupation will serve as the rallying cry for a new crop of terrorists.


Dale said...

try that same exercise with the 'war' on poverty

FDR here, we're going to collect over 1 trillion dollars from the richest Americans over the next 50-60 years and redistribute that amount among the poorest, however, in 2008, the poverty rate in the US will be just the same as it is now...oh, and we'll have destroyed the minority urban family by making them dependant upon goverment help

what an exercise in futility, designed only to gin up resentment and anger and hopelessness...what am I supposed to do? about either situation?

if we'd only knew now what would happen....good grief, who couldn't say that???

DJ Word said...

thanks for stopping by... and thanks for the red herring. I am sure it is tasty.

However, your herring which was an attempt to move from the argument at hand proves the argument.

It has take 60 years to cost us $1 trillion as a nation. We are 1/2 way there in 5 years of the Iraq War (by conservative estimates). in fact at the present pace, the failed war on poverty will cost another trillion dollars in 50 years and the Iraq War will cost 3-5 times that much in the same amount of time, with many more deaths in america and iraq.

thanks for making the point even better than I could!

without learning the lessons of the past, we can never move forward. we will just repeat those same mistakes over and over. As a Christian I understand that in my own life.

Dale said...

well, I wasn't meaning to draw you off track, my red herring example was not meant to draw attention only to the financial cost (or the human cost), I was merely trying to point out that in any case, and in every situation, you can look back and wonder

kristi said...

I do agree that we can look back and find fault in anything. I do think that it is good to do that though. To look back and see what are the good accomplishments and the bad. Those things we expected and the unintended consequences.

I think it is good to do that with FDR and the American people of 1930s trying to deal with the aftermath of a depression in the best way they could, in all of its successes and many failures.

What fascinates me about Iraq is how it went so bad so quickly, even for many of its supporters.

What you may not know is that I am not a typical liberal. I have a very nuanced view on the New Deal, Welfare, War, Capitalism, etc. I am about as moderate as you can get- a little right on some subjects and a bit left on others while in the middle on many more.

I am the kind of guy never satisfied unless people are working across the aisle. I am one of those sick puppies that likes checks and balances, balance of power, Dems in charge of 1 branch while Reps are in charge of the other. I like filibusters and the complexities of the constitution which makes change happen slowly. I am that weird.

I like Barack Obama and John McCain. I dislike Hillary Clinton and George Bush. I like William F. Buckley and Robert Kennedy. I dislike Amy Goodman and Rush Limbaugh.

I am America (and so can you)


kristi said...

that last comment was from Rick (me). I am accidentally on my wife's account and lazy.

Dale said...

"To look back and see what are the good accomplishments and the bad. Those things we expected and the unintended consequences."

Many, many people have pointed out the bad when it comes to Iraq, but noone wants to point out the good accomplishments...and the bigger goals may not be accomplished for another 10 years. I saw GWB speak last week, he made a compelling case for our actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

What you may not know about me is that I'm not a typcial conservative. I'm very cognizant when it comes to the environment. I recycle, I have no commute, I let the power company remote control my thermostat to save power in the summer...etc. I believe the earth warms and cools, and it's all to do with the sun and nothing to do with humans.

I too greatly appreciate our govt. structure, the checks and balances, etc. and think that our govt. and country is, on balance, the best in the world. I think the fed govt. is too powerful at this point in time and would like to see some of its power ceded to the states.

I think the mainstream media (NBC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, NYT, TIME etc ad nausem) are left leaning. I think Fox News is right leaning.

I like GWB and I like SOS Rice. I tolerate John McCain but will vote for him before any Dem. because I believe that party trumps person.

I don't like the Clintons, I'm scared of Obama, but would be less scared if the GOP had control of one chamber of congress. I'm scared to death of socialized medicine.

I like Thomas Sowell and Natl Review. I listen to Rush every day.

I hate labor unions, especially the teacher's union and I hate, I mean HATE the Fairness Doctrine.

I'm also staunchly opposed to manned space flight...seriously.

I used to have a blog but abandonded it, which is probably why I went on and on about myself...

Thanks for your perspective, it keeps me thinking

kristi said...

hey this is actually kristi--no problem posting as me, just don't tell anyone and then i look way smarter. ;)

Mike Murrow said...

Rick there is a new book out I heard about on CSPAN, I think it is titled something like "the true cost of the war" or something like that. It takes into account the economic cost of TBI, and other things that we will be paying for for generations that are not accounted for by the GAO. Anyway, sorry I can't think of the title. But I thought you would be interested.

Hey Dale, see you at Cades wedding.

You may both return to your ideological fight.