Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
November 24, 2008
WAR: The Wages of War

Eric Posner looks at the humanitarian benefits and costs of the Iraq War.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:15 PM | War 2007-14 | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

If these facts are correct, I agree with his conclusion: If sanctions were the alternative to war then war made the Iraqis better off as of today.

But I assume since you posted this Crank, you agree with his final point: "As to whether it was in the American interest to confer these benefits on the Iraqis at vast expense, and virtually no gain, in security or otherwise, to itself – well, that is an entirely different question."

This war consumed all focus of the country for about five years; that's five years while all of our problems got worse and worse. That's five years (and counting) of paying billions every month to keep this going. To see that someone benefitted is heartening, but does not make it worthwhile.

Posted by: Patrick at November 26, 2008 7:37 AM

The only way to evaluate whether it was all worth it is to consider the alternative. Containment was expensive, ineffectual, and an irritant with allies in the region, and Saddam was actively bribing our so-called allies in Europe and Russia to undermine the sanctions; the status quo was unsustainable. And that's before you get to the real heart of the question, which is how you go about pursuing an active anti-terror strategy, deterring state sponsorship of terrorism and changing the dynamics in the region without getting rid of Saddam. Or, for that matter, how U.S. treaty obligations get taken seriously when we won't enforce flagrant violations of a cease-fire.

Posted by: Crank at November 26, 2008 11:10 AM
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