Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Cost of Iraq

Don't get me wrong. I give the benefit of the doubt to GWB's decision to take out Saddam and put in place something better. To my mind, it was a close call, but I'll defer to the President.

Having said that, there were a few embarrassingly STUPID remarks made by many who supported this adventure wholeheartedly. Rest assured, you won't hear them during the President's speech this morning.

“The United States is committed to helping Iraq recover from the conflict, but Iraq will not require sustained aid.” –OMB Director Mitch Daniels, quote in the Washington Post on April 21, 2003.

“Well, the Office of Management and Budget, has come up come up with a number that’s something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that would be the U.S. burden, and how much would be other countries, is an open question. –Donald Rumsfeld, January 19, 2003.

Now that we're at $500++Bn spent, looks like Rummy was off by a tad, no? He wasn't the only one:

“We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” –Paul Wolfowitz, March 27, 2003

“I expect we will get a lot of mitigation [from other countries re: the cost of rebuilding Iraq], but it will be easier after the fact than before the fact. –Paul Wolfowitz, March 27, 2003.

“There are other differences that suggest that peacekeeping requirements in Iraq might be much lower than historical experience in the Balkans suggests.” –Wolfowitz, February 27, 2003

HT: The Agitator

Agitator also makes the point that an occupation force may be very long-lived in Iraq, using Germany and Korea as examples.

I think that is short-sighted and irrelevant. So long as terrorism is centered in and sponsored by Arab states, a US military presence close by is prudent, if expensive. And (for the economically illiterate) it is also in our national interest to protect the world's largest known reserves of petroleum, which happen to be sitting under a very unstable shiekhdom called Saudi Arabia.

No comments: