Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Was putting Muqtada al Sadr in control of Basra worth $600 billion?

5 years later:
"The successes we are seeing in Iraq are undeniable, yet some in Washington still call for retreat." - George W. Bush - explaining why Iraq "was worth it"

"Thirty years from now, when historians look back, where are they going to come out? If at the end of the day the U.S. screwed things up for four years and then in the end left Iraq a better place than they found it under Saddam, it may have still been worth it." - Iraq war advocate Ken Pollack

It is a great American myth, voiced by John Kerry last year, that the nation goes to war only when there is no question about the necessity of going to war. There's always a question. Even if the Iraqi insurgency disappeared tomorrow, George Ibrahim al Washington became president of Iraq and every liter of Saddam Hussein's onetime stockpile of chemical and biological weapons suddenly appeared in the desert, historians would still spend the next century debating whether the war was "worth it." - Robert Kagan (2005), arguing that not going in would have been even worse.

War is an expensive thing, but not the most expensive of things. A man unwilling to pay any price for the well-being of others is a sad creature indeed. - Tim Kane (2006) of the Heritage Foundation arguing "that the active American security umbrella enhances investment."

"If you look back on those five years it has been a difficult, challenging but nonetheless successful endeavor ... and it has been well worth the effort" - Dick Cheney, describing the phenomenal success that is Iraq
I'm not entirely sure which successes George Bush is talking about, but the number of times I've heard the the phrase "Iraq was worth it" going unchallenged is absurd. Bush and Cheney talk about fighting an enemy that didn't exist 5 years ago. People like Kagan, Pollack and Kane talk about a hypothetical Iraqi utopia, while the current standard of success is having fewer than 20 dead Iraqis a day.
Was redirecting American forces worth losing Osama bin Laden in the hills of Tora Bora?

Was crippling our military worth ethnically cleansing Baghdad?

Was chasing non-existent threats worth establishing Abu Ghraib?

Was defeating Iran's biggest rival worth putting ourselves in a 100-year quagmire?
Those of us against this war can rattle these questions off the top of our heads. But I've yet to see a pro-war advocate explain just what was worth it?

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