Saturday, November 14, 2009

With apologies to Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers

(I came across this while reading Tom Ricks' Fiasco.)

"Containment was a very costly strategy," [Paul] Wolfowitz said years later. "It cost us billions of dollars--estimates are around $30 billion."

Current estimated cost of the Iraq war: $699bn

I mean REALLY!

"It cost us American lives. We lost American lives in the Khobar Towers"--a huge 1996 bombing in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 service members and wounded 372 others.


Since the war with Iraq began, we've lost 4,362 service members.

I mean REALLY!

"In some ways the price is much higher than that. The real price was giving Osama bin Laden his principle talking point. If you go back and read his notorious fatwa from 1998, where he called for the first time for killing Americans, his big complaint is that we have American troops on the holy soil of Saudi Arabia and that we're bombing Iraq. That was his big recruiting device, his big claim against us."


So clearly, the answer is to increase troop numbers exponentially and actually invade Iraq. Surely that won't give bin Laden any recruiting material. How many new terrorists did we create out of the family members of the untold hundreds of thousands of Iraqis that have died in the violence since our invasion?


That whole thing could have been read as a damning indictment of further involvement in the Middle East. Unfortunately, it was written by one of the foremost (if not THE foremost) advocate for regime change in the Bush administration. I don't know what to say. Except...


(For those of you who don't know who Amy Poeller and Seth Myers are: here.)

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