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Sticker Shock and Awe
February 3, 2006 9:59 AM   Subscribe

Then: Q - Mr. Secretary, on Iraq, how much money do you think the Department of Defense would need to pay for a war with Iraq? Rumsfeld - 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. And now: The estimated cost to US taxpayers of the Iraq war to date is $250 billion and rising, or $100,000 per minute. Total cost of the Bush doctrine of spreading "democracy" since September 11th -- half a trillion dollars, or nearly the cost of the 13 years of the Vietnam War, adjusted for inflation. What else could we have done with that kind of money? Also see here.
posted by digaman (112 comments total)

 
So, what, we could have bought some leevees or something? Or funded a nationwide transition to alternative fuels? That's socialism.
posted by orthogonality at 10:15 AM on February 3, 2006


Bad news about the war keeps seeping out and with, each new revelation, I think "This could be thing that brings it all down." But it doesn't. The whole sick parade keeps lurching forward.

Reading this gave me the same thought: if nothing else, surely the simple cost of the war (not to mention Rummy's idiotic misunderestimates) will bring it all down. But it won't.

What's it going to take?
posted by 327.ca at 10:17 AM on February 3, 2006


This also doesn't address the staggering national debt we've run up, since we had to borrow the money to go to war.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:18 AM on February 3, 2006


From the list of what else the money could have been spent on:

$11 billion to buy Afghanistan's opium crop

If you cut it right, you could get $100 billion for it on the street. Even more savings!
posted by salmacis at 10:18 AM on February 3, 2006


This number may not exist anywhere, but I wonder how much of that is going directly to Halliburton?
posted by bhance at 10:19 AM on February 3, 2006


It sure is nice that George replaced his coke habit with an addiction to Middle Eastern oil.
posted by fenriq at 10:19 AM on February 3, 2006


GOP ♥ Nation-Building.
posted by three blind mice at 10:22 AM on February 3, 2006


Usually when I give estimates I include a clause that says "accurate to within 500%". Rummy could learn a lesson here. I've officially run out of room in my notebook devoted to the "truthiness" of the Bush Administration.
posted by quadog at 10:22 AM on February 3, 2006


What else could we have done with that kind of money?


a few nights ago, a truly anti-American (ie, unlike MeFi liberals here and liberals in general, a massive Bush fan given the damage he is doing to America) dinner companion of mine was pointing out, with considerable glee, all the free health care and free education that Americans could have had. it's Halliburton et al. booty now, never to come back.

with considerable sadness, I had to recognize that she was right. if Americans haven't managed to get a health care system when Clinton's surplus was still there, it's safe to assume that they never will now, because the war will be long. I just don't understand why Americans manage to be so blasé about it -- all those wasted hundreds of billions.
posted by matteo at 10:26 AM on February 3, 2006


What comes after outrage fatigue?
posted by shoepal at 10:27 AM on February 3, 2006


bankruptcy?
posted by matteo at 10:28 AM on February 3, 2006


What's it going to take?

Something ordinary people can relate to. Something people can't ignore. Katrina hurt Bush in ways that have yet to become visible, but even then, mostly it was just one state that was affected. People are pretty damn uncaring about what happens to other people at the moment because they're mostly worried about keeping themselves afloat, and they're badly educated to the point that they don't even know what most of the scandals really mean. Clinton getting a blow job, however, they know what that means. Nixon sponsored a burglary, that they can understand. Lying about the cause of the war, even it costs $250B and thousands of American lives, doesn't matter to many Americans so long as they can still tell themselves that the U.S. is the "good guy" in this conflict, and most Americans continue to believe that because the evidence against it tends to not be convincing to them on a personal level.

Abu Gharib hurt a bit, but the administration moved to block the release of additional pictures, and ultimately it's "criminals" who were being punished. Abu Gharib didn't kill the administration directly for the same reason few people campaign for prison reform: they're bad people, so they think, so they deserve the awful conditions. That kind of apathy is a difficult nut to crack, and is a great character flaw of the American people.

But it IS still important that these stories come to light, and it IS important that we continue to be indignant about them, because even average people will eventually realize it's not just partisan bickering, it honestly is a long-term, systemic problem. We yell now not so much to get rid of Bush, (he won't even get impeached while the Republicans are in control of Congress), but to make sure Bush will never happen again.
posted by JHarris at 10:32 AM on February 3, 2006


What comes after outrage fatigue?

I think what comes after outrage fatigue is the decline and eventual demise of a once great nation.

Americans are driving their country off a cliff -- and they just don't give a damn.
posted by teece at 10:32 AM on February 3, 2006


"What's it going to take?"

Bush, along with O'Rielly and others, has built a wall between liberals and conservatives in this country. This divide allows people to completely avoid any attempt at reconciling. Our debates over all national issues have turned into a slap fight between moonbat liberals and batshit insane conservatives. The moderates can only look on in horror.

The question about what it will take ignores the reality on the ground - Our leaders and our pundits prefer the slap fight.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:34 AM on February 3, 2006


Something ordinary people can relate to.

blowjobs, then.
posted by matteo at 10:34 AM on February 3, 2006


We (the U.S.) couldn't have done anything with that money, because we never had it to begin with.
posted by JekPorkins at 10:36 AM on February 3, 2006


Has anyone seen a breakdown of the money we owe other countries?
posted by Mr_Zero at 10:36 AM on February 3, 2006


Something ordinary people can relate to.

At least men ain't gettin married.
posted by Mr_Zero at 10:37 AM on February 3, 2006


IAMNAE, but I don't think bankruptcy is an option.

And Matteo, I believe the appropriate term is beejers.
posted by shoepal at 10:37 AM on February 3, 2006


The moderates can only look on in horror.

war is binary -- attack or don't attack, stay or pull out. I'm sick of this "moderates" wishy-washy stuff, it's a time of war, make up your mind, the choice is clear. if anything, it's the anti-war people who can only look in the mirror. most Democrats in DC toe the GOP line -- some shamelessly (Joe-mentum!), others more weaselly.
posted by matteo at 10:37 AM on February 3, 2006


A) News that comes out about America: torture, expense, casualties, lies, corruption, indefinite imprisonment without charges, illegal spying on a scale that makes Watergate look like nothing.

B) News that is broadcast into homes in Red states: Democrats cowardly, noble troops, evil brown people out to get you, Republicans working hard to save you.

C) Red staters know the truth about the war: Noble white war heros such as GWB are fighting hard to save them from evil brown people that want to destroy our freedom.

Why would they believe any differently? GWB could beat kittens to death with a hammer, that still wouldn't change B) and therefore C) wouldn't change. You want to effect change? You don't need any more A), that's way strong enough to get any party booted out of office. You have to work on B). Buy a television station.
posted by jellicle at 10:50 AM on February 3, 2006


And Matteo, I believe the appropriate term is beejers.

What happened to "plo chops?"
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:51 AM on February 3, 2006


Buy a television station.

Yup. The Republican ability to control the news cycle would make even Goebbels jealous.

It is the number one problem facing opponents of Bush -- their viewpoint simply is not heard, outside of a scarce few internet echo chambers.

Sadly, I don't think most opponents of the current Republican train wreck have the slightest fuckin' clue that this is the case.
posted by teece at 10:55 AM on February 3, 2006


The issue raised by the CfAP article (what else we could have done with the money) would make a devastating question to Pres. Bush ("Don't you think the $240 B would have been better spent . . . ") - not that it ever could or would be asked.
posted by Eyebeams at 10:55 AM on February 3, 2006


We (the U.S.) couldn't have done anything with that money, because we never had it to begin with.

We had a huge surplus rolling around in the coffers before the current regime came to power. We could have devoted that to things that would actually make the average person's life better.
posted by bshort at 11:01 AM on February 3, 2006


And now --

Bush to seek $120 billion more for war:
"President George W. Bush soon will ask Congress for another $120 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan....That's enough to buy General Motors Corp. 33 times or Google almost four times, at current stock prices.

The vast majority of the money is for Iraq, where expenses are about $4.5 billion a month, according to administration officials. The U.S. campaign in Afghanistan is costing about $800 million a month.

Joel Kaplan, deputy director of the White House budget office, said Thursday that Bush would seek a quick $70 billion plus another $50 billion as part of the proposed fiscal 2007 federal budget that will go to Congress on Monday.

The Associated Press, citing Pentagon officials and documents, reported Thursday that the 2007 budget request will include $439.3 billion for the Defense Department, a nearly 5% increase over this year. That doesn't include the war requests."
posted by ericb at 11:04 AM on February 3, 2006


"Couldn't we, Mr. President, have spent that money on domestic programs? on home nation-building? on education? or maybe even on a massive international PR campaign in our favor? or on other preventative-method responses to terror? or on revamping healthcare? or on developing new-energy technologies?"

The state of the union made me sick. Suddenly he's acknowledging that we're addicted to oil. . .? Way too little, but never to late I guess.
posted by punkbitch at 11:07 AM on February 3, 2006


War is funded by taxes, which are extracted with the threat of force.

War is "socialist," and so are war supporters.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:09 AM on February 3, 2006


The issue raised by the CfAP article (what else we could have done with the money) would make a devastating question to Pres. Bush ("Don't you think the $240 B would have been better spent . . . ")

I disagree. The implication of such a question is that helping Iraqis isn't worth that much. That helping them should be done only if it isn't hard on us. That we are selfish and would rather have our money spent on our own policy preferences than helping those people "over there."

How much money is too much money to spend on helping Iraqis? Or people in Darfur? Or in Serbia? How much money are we spending on AIDS in Africa? Can't we find alternative use for all of our foreign aide? We could have paid for levees if we hadn't given aide to the people who suffered from the tsunami (or funded the NEA). To act as if there was a choice--spend money on iraq or build levees--is absurd.

The response that would be forthcoming is that we shouldn't care the cost. The right thing is the right thing regardless of the cost.

The economy is growing. The deficit is going down. The Iraqi war is a one-time cost that will be paid for. If you are concerned about deficit, you should be more concerned about social security reform. Compared to that, the Iraqi war cost is inconsequential.

Out of all the reasons to oppose the war, the cost is the most insipid and provincial reason. And all you are really saying is that you disagree with it so you think the money being spent is wrong. But the core issue is your basic disagreement. Trying to bolster your opposition by saying the cost should have mattered is not only weak, but insulting to the Iraqis who need and are benefiting from the aide and an anathema to the charitable spirit of this Country.
posted by dios at 11:10 AM on February 3, 2006


The right thing is the right thing regardless of the cost.

To bad it was not the right thing.
posted by Mr_Zero at 11:14 AM on February 3, 2006


I disagree. The implication of such a question is that helping Iraqis isn't worth that much.

That's just an atttempt to reframe the war. The US is there because the administration sold the idea that Saddam had WMDs. It was never about "helping the Iraqis", except as a recent excuse by those who bet on WMDs.
posted by 327.ca at 11:15 AM on February 3, 2006


Out of all the reasons to oppose the war, the cost is the most insipid and provincial reason.

So there is absolutely no cost that is too high? What if we spent enough to completely destroy the United States?

There is such a number as "too much", you must admit.

The real question is: have we already spent that much?

The economy is growing. The deficit is going down. The Iraqi war is a one-time cost that will be paid for. If you are concerned about deficit, you should be more concerned about social security reform. Compared to that, the Iraqi war cost is inconsequential.

Bull shit. You really, honestly believe the costs of the Iraq war will be paid back to taxpayers?
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:15 AM on February 3, 2006


What Mr_Zero said.
posted by 327.ca at 11:16 AM on February 3, 2006


don't take the bait
posted by matteo at 11:17 AM on February 3, 2006


The economy is growing. The deficit is going down.

What country do you live in dios?!?
posted by rollbiz at 11:23 AM on February 3, 2006


dios, every single American has now paid around $1700 to "help the Iraqis," with no end in sight. And there's that little detail that we've made the day to day living conditions worse, not better...

But it is extremely dishonest to try and reframe the war that way. Don't rewrite history -- I was there, a few short years ago. We went to war to stop a brutal tyrant with WMD who threatened America. Helping Iraqis was most certainly NOT the reason.

You don't get to rewrite history.

And I don't know about you personally, but Bush's supporters in general were the ones yelling about America not being in the business of "helping people" with our military.

So really, give us a break with the crap, will you?

And your statements about the economy: do not quit your day job. Leave the economics to the economists. The American economy is on very unstable footing, and the growth we've experienced recently is actually benefiting only a very small set of people. And the debt that Bush has accumulated to pay for his war on taxes and his war on non-existant WMD is really putting the US monetary situation in precarious shape.

If we stay on our current course, the US gov't and the US economy are on track for meltdown, Argentina-style.
posted by teece at 11:25 AM on February 3, 2006


What comes after outrage fatigue?

Just saying fuck over and over again?
posted by OmieWise at 11:25 AM on February 3, 2006


Budget office projects U.S. deficit to hit $477 billion.

"Bush and administration officials have said their budget will propose cutting the deficit to half of this year's level by 2009.

Bush has so far revealed no details of how he would achieve that."


Yeah. No shit.
posted by you just lost the game at 11:27 AM on February 3, 2006


The deficit is going down. I think you are holding the chart upside down.


posted by Mr_Zero at 11:29 AM on February 3, 2006


To bad it was not the right thing.
posted by Mr_Zero at 1:14 PM CST on February 3


That's a fine position to take. But to try to bolster that decision by saying it was wrong and it cost too much is to conflate disparate ideas. If it was the right thing to do, the cost is irrelevant. So to use the cost as an indication it was the wrong decision is feckless.
posted by dios at 11:30 AM on February 3, 2006


dios writes: The response that would be forthcoming is that we shouldn't care the cost. The right thing is the right thing regardless of the cost.

This is patently untrue, although a nice idea for someone who supports the war to raise at a time like this. Everything is subject to cost/benefit analysis, most certainly our national security should be.

Would you be willing to bankrupt America in order to "help Iraqis" install a distressingly Islamicist government in place of Sadaam? If not, if you aren't willing to actually destroy America in order to help the Iraqis, then your proposition simply means that your cost/benefit ratio has not yet been tilted in favor of a sane foreign policy.
posted by OmieWise at 11:31 AM on February 3, 2006


> The deficit is going down.

I think you are holding the chart upside down.


Well, I may very well be wrong on that, and I'll defer to you on that. I just remember some discussion about cutting the deficiet in half in the next 3 years, which, in my mind, is an indication that it is going down.
posted by dios at 11:33 AM on February 3, 2006


"The business plan for the war was roughly as successful as the military plan," Mitch Daniels said in an interview last week before he left the administration after two years as budget director. "The projections look pretty darn good."

Those projections offer a window into the administration's prewar expectations. What kept war costs down:

  • The administration budgeted for the military buildup and 30 days of heavy fighting and bombing, followed by several months of skirmishes. Officials say the war lasted 26 days, from the launching of the first missiles March 19 until mid-April, when Iraqi political and religious leaders met with U.S. officials on forming an interim government.

  • Fewer expensive high-tech weapons were fired. For example, as many as 200 anti-missile Patriots were expected to be fired, but less than 25 were used. Each Patriot costs $2.3 million.

  • Planners had earmarked $489 million to put out as many as 500 oil well fires that Iraqis might ignite. Fewer than 10 wells were set ablaze, which cost about $5 million to extinguish the fires and repair damage.

  • Planners budgeted $593 million to care for as many as 2 million refugees, a problem avoided when urban combat was less extensive than expected. The refugee count was less than 100,000. In addition, $200 million was earmarked for emergency food supplies for Iraqis, but no major shortages occurred.

  • Troops are staying longer. The plan called for shipping more than 400,000 troops and equipment to the region and returning most of them within six months, at a round-trip cost of $30 billion. Now, at least 160,000 troops are staying in Iraq indefinitely, which means the cost of bringing them home can be deferred.

  • Short conflict, less ammo kept war cost down (USA Today, 6/12/2003)
    posted by edverb at 11:33 AM on February 3, 2006


    The right thing is the right thing regardless of the cost.

    I'm saving this line for when I try to convince my wife it's time for a new TV.
    posted by schoolgirl report at 11:35 AM on February 3, 2006


    But to try to bolster that decision by saying it was wrong and it cost too much is to conflate disparate ideas.

    Yeah, how could something be wrong and cost too much? That's just crazy.
    posted by designbot at 11:36 AM on February 3, 2006


    Well, I may very well be wrong on that...

    And I'm saving that line for the next time Dios hijacks a thread!
    posted by schoolgirl report at 11:36 AM on February 3, 2006


    "Beyond the Euphrates began for us the land of mirage and danger, the sands where one helplessly sank, and the roads which ended in nothing. The slightest reversal would have resulted in a jolt to our prestige giving rise to all kinds of catastrophe; the problem was not only to conquer but to conquer again and again, perpetually; our forces would be drained off in the attempt."

    Emperor Hadrian AD 117-138
    posted by halekon at 11:37 AM on February 3, 2006


    Officials say the war lasted 26 days…

    Phew, I'm sure glad that's over with!
    posted by designbot at 11:38 AM on February 3, 2006


    Ah, no surprise, dios goes for the old "feckless and disparate conflation" routine.
    posted by 327.ca at 11:38 AM on February 3, 2006


    dios, once again, you are saying that no matter the cost, even if the cost was sufficient to destroy America's economy, killing people, the Iraq war would be justified. If that is truly your contention (and I doubt it is, you'll back off it somehow) then you are a fanatic.

    I just remember some discussion about cutting the deficiet in half in the next 3 years, which, in my mind, is an indication that it is going down.

    Bald, unfounded assertions tend to backfire like that. Also, do you know what "cutting the deficit" means? It means we'll be hemorrhaging money at a slower rate. The debt (which must be payed back eventually, barring bankruptcy) will continue to grow.

    The Iraq war could not possibly pay for itself, even if we weren't being robbed by both American and Iraqi contractors.
    posted by sonofsamiam at 11:39 AM on February 3, 2006


    Would you be willing to bankrupt America in order to "help Iraqis"?

    Well, if you could guarentee me at the outset that such a decision would destroy America, I would agree not to do it. To that extent, I agree with your point.

    That isn't the universe that we are playing, though. The economy is certainly capable of affording the costs incurred in this even at their large numbers. We have a 11.75 trillion dollars GDP. The costs of this war are over the last 3 years. It can survive this. I don't know where the "bankrupt" point is, but I'm quite certain that we aren't anywhere near it if our stock market is where it is at, the economy is growing, and the FED is considering raising interest rates to slow the economy down.
    posted by dios at 11:39 AM on February 3, 2006


    The deficit is going down.
    Bush Has Overseen Massive Deficits
    Bush said: “Keeping America competitive requires us to be good stewards of tax dollars.”

    FACT– BUSH HAS PRESIDED OVER SUSTAINED, RECORD DEFICITS: In his 2002 State of the Union address, Bush promised that “our budget will run a deficit that will be small and short-term.” Bush has not kept his promise. The 2005 U.S. budget deficit was $319 billion, the “third-largest ever.” Goldman Sachs predicts $5 trillion in deficits over the next 10 years and Federal Chairman Alan Greenspan argued last April that “the federal budget is on an unsustainable path. … Unless that trend is reversed, at some point these deficits would cause the economy to stagnate or worse.” [Bush, 2002 State of the Union; Fox News, 1/25/06; Center for American Progress, State of the Economy, 1/26/06; Alan Greenspan, 4/21/05]

    FACT — BUSH TAX CUTS WOULD WORSEN THE DEFICIT: The President’s tax cuts would only “expand the deficit over the next five years,” despite his promises to the contrary. [Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, Press Myths]
    posted by ericb at 11:40 AM on February 3, 2006


    The debt (which must be payed back eventually, barring bankruptcy) will continue to grow.

    I used the word deficit for a reason.
    posted by dios at 11:40 AM on February 3, 2006


    I just remember some discussion about cutting the deficiet in half in the next 3 years, which, in my mind, is an indication that it is going down.

    You should know by now that what the government says and what actually happens are generally not the same. For instance earlier this week.

    "One day after President Bush vowed to reduce America's dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said that the president didn't mean it literally."

    We used to have to wait a month or two before we found out the Presidents statements were lies. Now it's the next time you look at the news.
    posted by Mr_Zero at 11:43 AM on February 3, 2006


    dios, funny you mention about the war being the "right thing" and a "one-time cost" and all the other stuff. I just read this assessement from a senior Army officer who is in Iraq right now. But I assume you know better:

    Murtha's proposal basically allows us to pull out with a force that is still strong enough to swiftly restructure ourselves for other conflicts. Unfortunately, it pretty much leaves a big chunk of the Iraqi people in the lurch, especially the secular Sunnis. I honestly have no idea how to avoid that. At this point I don't know how the hell we keep the Iraqi sectarians from dividing the country between them. Two years ago we still had a chance, if we rolled in with the right resources. Twelve months ago, even, there was still a window of opportunity. But now? I haven't the faintest idea what's going to turn this place into a stable, multi-ethnic democracy, and neither does anyone else.

    So we can keep on bleeding here, or maybe we can roll in big and clamp this place down again. But we'd have to roll in so big that we can completely lock everything down over and above the protests of the Iraqi government which is ostensibly sovereign. And that require a lot more troops and material than we have right now, not to mention the chutzpa to admit we were on the wrong track all along.

    Of course, we could also have the chutzpa to admit we were wrong all along and get out with a huge apology and a hell of a lot of cash by way of recompensation, but honestly, I don't think that's going to do a lot of good either. The sectarians are so deeply entrenched here now that nothing is going to uproot them.


    So, dios, you're right -- there are even better reasons to object to the war than its cost -- such as that we lied our way into it, then took the wrong approach, and by obdurately refusing to listen to criticism or acknowledge reality, we helped create the conditions there for a civil war that will further decimate the country, while bankrupting our credibility and showing the entire radical Muslim world that our great and powerful armed forces can be slaughtered and maimed wholesale by a bunch of farmers with homebrewed bombs. That's stretching the definition of "right thing" pretty far.
    posted by digaman at 11:44 AM on February 3, 2006


    Look, I'm making a very simplistic point. So stop with the pathetic attempts to beat me over the head with strawmen and put words in my mouth.

    At the time the decision is made to go into Iraq--not this retrospective bullshit--the decision was right if the war cost 50 billion or 250 billion or 1 trillion. That it lasts longer is the reason why the costs increase.

    The thing is, no one knows for sure at the time the decision to go into Iraq how long or how much it will cost. Faced with that uncertainty, one has to make the decision based on what one percieves is the right thing to do. One can't choose to not do the right thing for fear it might cost too much in the long run.
    posted by dios at 11:44 AM on February 3, 2006


    dios, as I said, just because your cost/benefit ration hasn't tilted doesn't make it illegitimate for others to have had their's tilt. Your reasoning is specious if you suggest that simply because this war has not yet bankrupted the US that it's not ok to consider cost. The fact is, if you see an economic endpoint that makes the right thing not the right choice, then that's enough, and you have to allow other people the same luxury. You can debate them on where they place the endpoint, but you cannot, in conscience, dismiss them as somehow morally bankrupt for having one.
    posted by OmieWise at 11:45 AM on February 3, 2006


    The Era of Massive Deficits Is Just Beginning
    [On January 26, 2006], the Congressional Budget Office issued its ten-year budget outlook. According to their report, the 2006 federal budget deficit will be at least $337 billion, and deficits from 2006-15 will total $1.2 trillion. If we continue with President Bush’s economic policies the actual deficits will be much, much higher.

    First, the CBO numbers exclude tens of billions of dollars in expected spending for Iraq and Katrina. Second, the long-term figures assume President Bush’s tax cuts, which overwhelming benefited the wealthy, will expire at the end of the decade. [more].
    The CBO report is here.
    posted by ericb at 11:45 AM on February 3, 2006


    The right thing is the right thing regardless of the cost.

    When you're a fundamentalist, there is no gray area.
    posted by If I Had An Anus at 11:46 AM on February 3, 2006


    Digaman, you may want to hang on to something when you pull your boot out of dios' ass. I would want you to fall down and hurt yourself.
    posted by Mr_Zero at 11:47 AM on February 3, 2006


    I don't know where the "bankrupt" point is, but I'm quite certain that we aren't anywhere near it if our stock market is where it is at, the economy is growing, and the FED is considering raising interest rates to slow the economy down.

    LOL, "the Fed" isn't an acronym. Your other economic points are on a similar footing.

    One can't choose to not do the right thing for fear it might cost too much in the long run.

    Actually, if one has any goddam sense, one can. Particularly if by "long run" you mean "a few years." The "right thing" is not always what you think is right.
    posted by sonofsamiam at 11:47 AM on February 3, 2006


    So, dios, you're right -- there are even better reasons to object to the war than its cost -- such as that we lied our way into it, then took the wrong approach, and by obdurately refusing to listen to criticism or acknowledge reality, we helped create the conditions there for a civil war that will further decimate the country, while bankrupting our credibility and showing the entire radical Muslim world that our great and powerful armed forces can be slaughtered and maimed wholesale by a bunch of farmers with homebrewed bombs. That's stretching the definition of "right thing" pretty far.
    posted by digaman at 1:44 PM CST on February 3


    I don't object to any of that. Those are valid reasons. Had you presented those when the decision was being made, they would have been legitmate concerns. "This could end up costing a lot of money" is, in my opinion, not a legitimate concern as it shows a very provincial and selfish attitude.
    posted by dios at 11:47 AM on February 3, 2006


    dios, as I said, just because your cost/benefit ration hasn't tilted doesn't make it illegitimate for others to have had their's tilt. Your reasoning is specious if you suggest that simply because this war has not yet bankrupted the US that it's not ok to consider cost.
    posted by OmieWise at 1:45 PM CST on February 3


    Omie, there are two different issues here. 1. Whether the cost should have effected our decision ab initio, and 2. Whether the costs should effect our strategy right now. I am not addressing the second point. I am addressing the first. You cannot judge the propriety of the decision at the time it was made based on the costs we now know. At the time the decision was made, the only issue is whether it was the right thing to do. These costs couldn't/shouldn't figure into the decision at the time, nor in our retrospective analysis of the decision at the time.
    posted by dios at 11:51 AM on February 3, 2006


    Um, this
    If it was the right thing to do, the cost is irrelevant. So to use the cost as an indication it was the wrong decision is feckless.

    Is complete nonsense, dios. It's the right thing to do to help every disadvantaged human in the world -- there are billions of them that don't live in Iraq, but do live in conditions much worse than what the Iraqis dealt with.

    We could, literally, take every single penny Americans earn to try and right the world's wrongs. It's the right thing to do.

    Everything has to be weighed against the cost. Considering the war was not the right thing to do --again, using reality as the gauge, not your fantasy metric of "helping Iraqis." The actual purpose of the Iraq war was was disarming Saddam of his WDMs -- he had none. The war was a failure.

    In that light, the cost is extremely illuminating -- we've spent half a trillion on a failure of a war, for crying out loud. (And even if the goal actually was a stable, democratic Iraq, as liars on the Bush administration tried to claim after the fact, we're probably going to fail at that, too).

    What's feckless is considering that the cost of our actions is irrelevant. Give me a break. I'd love it if we could free the Chinese of their dipshit government -- but it is most certainly not worth the insanely high cost, in terms of both money and lives.

    I'd love it if we could make Iraq a better place, rid of Saddam -- but is the price we've paid, in lives and treasure, worth it? And are we even getting any closer to that state? No.

    But if the half a trillion we spent was instead spent feeding starving people of the world and giving them access to clean water, it would have done a whole lot more good. But I doubt you'd be here defending a half trillion dollars in good samaritan spending if that was the case.
    posted by teece at 11:51 AM on February 3, 2006


    [...] Those are valid reasons. Had you presented those when the decision was being made, they would have been legitmate concerns.

    And, of course, many sensible people and nations presented exactly those concerns when the decision was being made.
    posted by 327.ca at 11:51 AM on February 3, 2006


    dios, that assumes that 1) there was adequate planning and assessment of how much it would cost; 2) the US population was given the truth about the reasons for going to war; 3) there was a reasonable expectation of success within the timeframe and costs advanced. Barring any one of those three radically changes your equation.

    Frankly, the cost and time estimates given by the administration were always part of the equation that ended up with the invasion being the right thing. This was distressingly clear by the administration's assiduous efforts to silence and discredit anyone who suggested that the offered estimates were off. If the moral calculus had be somehow pure, we would have heard the admin saying, "Yes, even if the war costs that much, and even if it takes more troops, it's still worth it." Instead we heard mouthpiece after mouthpiece suggest that higher estimates were somehow divisive and morally tainted and not patriotic enough.
    posted by OmieWise at 11:52 AM on February 3, 2006


    dios, if you and your ilk had listened to anyone else during the lead-up to the Iraqi invasion, you would have known that going into Iraq the way you did was both wrong and too costly.
    posted by you just lost the game at 11:53 AM on February 3, 2006


    Nah dios, you're just flailing around, and you know it. Many of the things that have happened in Iraq were foreseen by both the "moonbat liberals" who one keeps hearing about and by the professional soldiers that Bush and Rumsfeld booted out or marginalized from the non-debate that preceded the war. "Retrospective bullshit" my ass. This war was bullshit from the start, and many people knew it and said it. You may not have heard them underneath the ceaseless drumbeat on Fox News, but you weren't listening.
    posted by digaman at 11:53 AM on February 3, 2006


    1. Whether the cost should have effected our decision ab initio, and 2. Whether the costs should effect our strategy right now. I am not addressing the second point. I am addressing the first.

    Isn't point 2 a little more relevant right now?
    posted by designbot at 11:56 AM on February 3, 2006


    “What's it going to take?”

    A mojo that walks.

    /....I don’t think that’s Sheehan btw

    “the cost is the most insipid and provincial reason” - dios

    It’s also the most conservative reason.

    The only sticking point I had before the war in Iraq was the cost. Everything I knew (not an unconsiderable amount) told me that Saddam did not have WMDs, but I gave the administration the benefit of the doubt.

    Then we had this song and dance about how we’d be greeted with flowers, etc. Again - I thought I knew better, but it had been a few years so, ok, maybe things had changed.

    And then we had the “Mission accomplished” thing. Ok, well it came in on time and under budget. Wow. Well done.

    But then we had an “insurgency,” and all my earlier thoughts on the cost in lives and dollars came back. Holding Iraq is an entirely different proposition than destablizing it’s government.

    So I feel I was sold a bill of goods. If they had come to the American people and said “Well, we’re going to have to invade and hold Iraq and it’s going to cost what some of our military experts are saying it is going to cost” I would have been able to make a reasonable decision as to whether to support the war or not as a citizen.

    This seemed more like a bait and switch.

    But that’s an old saw: “It’s not the money, it’s the money.”

    I’m for the ideological spread of democracy. I’m willing to spend money - and have been willing to put my life on the line - to do that. But without true data I can’t make a rational decision about my own life. The government cannot, and should not ever, make that decision for me.

    That’s one of the most central conservative principles. I give liberals ass loads of shit for letting the government contribute to candy ass causes. If I want to give to charity, I’ll write my own check and chose my own charity.
    Remember welfare reform? All that? (I didn’t buy the welfare queen b.s. but I do think there should be some reciprocity for relief - the form of that is debatable of course)

    Furthermore without accurate data I can’t make a prediction as to my own future financial picture.

    If I’m at the gym and someone says they will hand me a 25lb plate and it’s a 100lb plate, I’m going to drop it because I’m not ready for the weight - whether I would accept the load or not.

    Same thing here. Doesn’t matter if I’m doing better, the economy is doing well, etc. If I’m not ready to shoulder it, it doesn’t matter how much I support it or not. I’m going to drop it.

    I understand your position dios, but the government shouldn’t have the right to lie, take the money and run to war.
    Hell, I bitched at Clinton for the same crap in Kosovo (the numbers given by Clinton on the genocide were b.s., the war wasn’t fully sanctioned, etc.) and I supported getting Sloba Milosovic out of there.
    posted by Smedleyman at 11:56 AM on February 3, 2006


    Had you presented those when the decision was being made, they would have been legitmate concerns.

    Yes, had you presented the fact that we were being lied to back when we were being lied to, that might've made a difference.

    And by "a lot of money", let's be clear: we are literally talking enough to ruin the US. The shape of the economy over the next couple years is not clear at ALL.

    These costs couldn't/shouldn't figure into the decision at the time, nor in our retrospective analysis of the decision at the time.

    "Economic damage" is human damage. Fucking with the markets by printing buckets of money harms real people. Maybe we don't all have to deal with people who live on 5.85 an hour. It must help some of us to sleep at night. The rising price of vegetables, the rising price of gas, these things HURT.

    You are willing to sacrifice lives in your own country for your own personal causes.
    posted by sonofsamiam at 11:59 AM on February 3, 2006


    This administration has used seven (7!) different excuses for going to war in Iraq.

    Bush wanted his pet war, he did whatever he had to do to get it and now he's realized that his little pet war is out of his control. But he's not wrong. Nope. That would be like admitterating failization or something.

    Top military advisors said going to war in Iraq was a mistake, they were removed. Intelligence was manipulated, lies were created and the wool was pulled over the nation's (some might try to say, the world's) eyes. Well the wool is gone now and we all know it was lies and bullshit.

    And that is just fucking wrong.

    As matteo said earlier, Don't take the [dios'] bait.
    posted by fenriq at 12:00 PM on February 3, 2006


    One can't choose to not do the right thing for fear it might cost too much in the long run.

    I didn't realize dios was such a fervent supporter of unviersal health care.
    posted by Hildegarde at 12:03 PM on February 3, 2006


    Dios, do you or do you not support a tax increase to cover the cost of the war?
    posted by designbot at 12:03 PM on February 3, 2006


    I understand your position dios, but the government shouldn’t have the right to lie, take the money and run to war.

    Look, I understand this position fine. And I already conceded that I don't have any objection to it. That isn't what I am talking about, though.

    I'm not defending everything about the war or Bush or trying to say people were wrong about their predictions or any of that.

    People are looking to argue everything in the world with me and beat me up with strawmen, but look again at the specific comment I was addressing:

    The issue raised by the CfAP article (what else we could have done with the money) would make a devastating question to Pres. Bush ("Don't you think the $240 B would have been better spent . . . ")

    The comment I was referring to was a suggestion that the particular question would be illuminating about Bush's decision as if at the time of the war, the question was whether we should spend 240 billion on this or on something else

    (I'd like to say thank you to OmieWise for being respectful in his tone and engaging in a good faith dialogue with me. Would that the rest of the insulting people in this thread would behave in a similar manner.)
    posted by dios at 12:04 PM on February 3, 2006


    “When you're a fundamentalist, there is no gray area.” -posted by If I Had An Anus

    When you’re a Jet your’re a Jet all the way

    /derail sorry
    I’ll also note that only the "moonbat liberals" (Noam Chomsky, et.al) and folks on the right were opposed to the war in Kosovo. I didn’t think it was important to our security, but I thought Slobo was dangerous enough to warrent being iced.
    (And might I add the silence on the use of DP and target choices, etc. from the (mid)left was deafening - compared to Iraq)
    posted by Smedleyman at 12:08 PM on February 3, 2006


    You know, I'd die of a shock if one day I opened up a thread and people actually engaged each other in a respectful manner and didn't assume bad faith on the opinion of others who disagree. If people would address what the person said instead of trying to beat them over the head with some unrelated fact. If people actually displayed disagreement in a respectful manner instead of acting as if someone who said something they disagreed with was evil incarnate.

    I'd be utterly shocked to see people actually engage each other in a good faith dialogue like OmieWise has been doing.
    posted by dios at 12:09 PM on February 3, 2006


    “The comment I was referring to was a suggestion that the particular question would be illuminating about Bush's decision as if at the time of the war, the question was whether we should spend 240 billion on this or on something else.”

    Ah, so you’re countering that the initial premise is wrong. Ok. I see that.
    Hindsight is 20/20.
    Got it.
    My mistake for misunderstanding your gist.
    posted by Smedleyman at 12:11 PM on February 3, 2006


    People are looking to argue everything in the world with me and beat me up with strawmen, but look again at the specific comment I was addressing:

    Yes, it's all about you, bravely trying to make that one lonely point. If you didn't make facially incorrect assertions you can't back up, you wouldn't get called on it, and that's all there is to it.

    (And might I add the silence on the use of DP and target choices, etc. from the (mid)left was deafening - compared to Iraq)

    Very true. Principles OR party politics, people!
    posted by sonofsamiam at 12:12 PM on February 3, 2006


    /derail
    “I'd be utterly shocked to see people actually engage each other in a good faith dialogue”

    Ever respond to the apology in the Sheehan arrest?

    Not to make a thread jump, and I’m not calling you out or anything. I respectfully only wish to illustrate that any failings anyone else may have, you may be seen to have as well.
    This is “seems”, not reality. I’m not at all questioning your motives or character. Just how it looks on the pages in general.
    People have flaws. You do. I do. Others do.

    And not that you don’t have a valid point, people do tend to wolfpack you a bit, something I’ve pointed out while trying to avoid being tiresome.

    But I think sonofsamiam has a point about your ancillary assertions and I think those can be addressed and have been - here - without much abuse. Or rather, with the common rough and tumble Mefi style that is given to nearly anyone who’s points are challenged.

    I disagree with some of your points, but once I understood your initial argument disputing those became moot.

    I don’t know what to tell you. I like hearing from you. Hope that helps.
    posted by Smedleyman at 12:24 PM on February 3, 2006


    I'm curious how you would delimit the universe of "right things" to which your premise might apply, Dios. Because if its limitless, there are far too many scenarios that can envision might be used as counter-examples.
    posted by schoolgirl report at 12:26 PM on February 3, 2006


    And I'd echo Smedleyman. It'd be awful dull around without a full-on Dios-fueld rager from time to time.
    posted by schoolgirl report at 12:27 PM on February 3, 2006


    At the time the decision is made to go into Iraq--not this retrospective bullshit--the decision was right if the war cost 50 billion or 250 billion or 1 trillion. That it lasts longer is the reason why the costs increase.

    If it makes you feel better, I'm sure the president agrees with you. But, as omiewise points out, most of us like to make our own cost-benefit analyses, and it helps to have realistic assessments of possible outcomes, both good and bad. Not to mention an honest, fact-based justification for the proposed action, e.g., attacking another country.

    At the time the decision was made to go into Iraq, your "good thing" -- sharing the magic beans of democracy with Iraqis -- was barely on the board. It was all WMDs, mushroom clouds, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11. So, deliberately or not, there's been a bait-and-switch. Since your "good thing" was such a minor part of the decision-making, we couldn't -- and didn't -- decide how much we value that goal, how much we're willing to pay for it. If you're arguing that this decision was made, that's just retrospective bullshit.
    posted by vetiver at 12:28 PM on February 3, 2006


    Wow, I leave for a few hours and this thread jumps 50 posts. All because of... wait for it... dios. So incredibly predictable. Honestly, why do you even bother? Every time he comments, half a dozen folks glob onto whatever vitriolic shit he spews, quote him and then grill him on it. It's no longer about the FPP, it's about how retarded dios is. Then he employs his standard pattern of up and leaving the thread, never to return. Get it over with and grease him, he's not worth your damn time - even in derision.

    It'd be awful dull around without a full-on Dios-fueld rager from time to time.

    If that's the standard for excitement around here I'd rather be comatose.
    posted by prostyle at 12:48 PM on February 3, 2006


    BTW, we did NOT have a surplus in the Clinton years. That was all bullshit voodoo economics. They were stealing from Social Security ... taking their real money, and giving them IOUs instead.

    If you look at the debt records, our national debt went up every year under Clinton, even in years we had a 'surplus'.

    I despise Bush, but don't put Clinton on a pedestal. He was still slimy as hell, and did a lot of damage to this country.
    posted by Malor at 1:00 PM on February 3, 2006


    Smedleyman: as per Kosovo, the "mid-left" (US Democrats? the liberal media?) may have been silent, but the left I know was in the streets, protesting the bombing of cities and civillian infrastructure.
    posted by bonefish at 1:01 PM on February 3, 2006


    “US Democrats? the liberal media”

    Yeah, for the most part.
    The left you know may be in the streets protesting now, but that doesn’t seem to get much play either.
    And many of the guys on the right who were questioning why we went to Kosovo and shouting ‘Wag the Dog’ are silent about Iraq now. Or doing the same “aw, well, y’know...” side stepping and apologizing over the administrations b.s.

    Don’t know if I’d call the media ‘liberal’. In form perhaps. Seems to me it’s mostly a corporate state with only profit in mind. I think Reagan might not have rescinded the laws governing the media if he’d seen this coming. But that’s debatable. He was also “on time and sober.”
    posted by Smedleyman at 1:09 PM on February 3, 2006


    over at the Harper's Index:

    "Number of U.S. soldiers who have posted photographs of dead Iraqis or Afghans on Nowthatsfuckedup.com: 32

    Cost of the access to the site’s pornography that each soldier was given in exchange: $20"
    posted by punkbitch at 1:16 PM on February 3, 2006


    sorry. Harper's Index
    posted by punkbitch at 1:17 PM on February 3, 2006


    The only violence that can be justified is in self defense. So, yes, when one is doing the unprovoked attacking there is going to be lots of equivocation, obfuscation, rationalization, baiting and switching, lying, etc to make it seem legit. Sometimes you end up in funnyland, where we must burn the village to save it and all that.
    posted by bonefish at 1:23 PM on February 3, 2006


    The only violence that can be justified is in self defense.

    Now that's a statement out of funnyland! Not only does it entirely depend upon how you define "self-defense," but if you define it too narrowly you end up a morally correct monster, and if too broadly, well, a morally correct monster.
    posted by OmieWise at 1:28 PM on February 3, 2006


    BTW, we did NOT have a surplus in the Clinton years. That was all bullshit voodoo economics. They were stealing from Social Security ... taking their real money, and giving them IOUs instead.

    Yeah, you know that those "IOUs" are Treasury Bonds, right? Treasury bonds are the safest investment in the world and aren't just scraps of paper.

    Also, I don't think you really understand how Social Security works. Yes, it produces a surplus. Yes, the Federal government uses that money for things other than Social Security. But that doesn't mean we were running a deficit.
    posted by bshort at 1:34 PM on February 3, 2006


    Every time he comments, half a dozen folks glob onto whatever vitriolic shit he spews, quote him and then grill him on it. It's no longer about the FPP, it's about how retarded dios is. Then he employs his standard pattern of up and leaving the thread, never to return. Get it over with and grease him, he's not worth your damn time - even in derision.

    I don't know, in this thread he addressed points that a lot of people raised. Clearly that didn't change his mind, something that I for one, wish that I could do, but he did engage.
    posted by OmieWise at 1:34 PM on February 3, 2006


    Malor: The reasons I dislike Bush are the EXACT reasons I dislike Clinton, but Bush is an even more flagrant thief!

    It has been how many years and I still can't understand why other conservatives don't see this.
    posted by sonofsamiam at 1:44 PM on February 3, 2006


    it entirely depend(s) upon how you define "self-defense"

    Well, that's the point. The narrower definition may hurt yourself, but the broader definition hurts others. You can tell mom "he hit me first," but if he didn't, well, you lied to mom. To go around hitting others unprovoked, you either admit to being a bully or lie to justify your actions.

    A famous mythical character suggested a way out of the conondrum of defending oneself against violence with violence: just turn the other cheek. Too radical for me!
    posted by bonefish at 1:45 PM on February 3, 2006


    (I'd like to say thank you to OmieWise for being respectful in his tone and engaging in a good faith dialogue with me. Would that the rest of the insulting people in this thread would behave in a similar manner.)
    posted by dios at 12:04 PM PST on February 3 [!]


    Start engaging in honest debate and people will respect you alot more. Keep playing devil's advocate or whatever you call it and people like me will keep calling you Intellectually Dishonest for the Sake of Argument Dios.

    You get what you ask for but only if your actions back it up.
    posted by fenriq at 2:34 PM on February 3, 2006


    fenriq, I don't think you understand how unfair that comment is (nor do I suspect you care).

    But you decide that I am being disingenuous.
    You decide that I am playing devil's advocate.
    Then you decide that I should be treated in a disrespectful manner based on your judgment of whether I believe my arguments.

    Respectfully, that ridiculously unfair. Who are you to judge whether I am being disingenuous? Can you not concede that I am being completely honest with my response to that particular comment above? Instead, of being taken as an honest response, people jump all over it and start acting as if I am saying all manner of things except the one thing I did in fact say. And the intent of it all is to try to shut me up and shout down an opinion---or cast the shouting down as a deserved treatment based on some perceived defect in form.

    This is just ideological fascism that says "X" is the only respectable opinion, so anything that is "not X" must be because the person is evil or just being disingenuous. As such, anyone with opinion "not X" should be treated in a pathetic manner. And that is why this place is rightly called an echo chamber. Anyone who disrupts the level of agreement gets treated as if they are simply intentionally being disruptive instead of respecting the fact that people have differing opinions. I suspect that at least half the people in the country would find some agreement with what I say, but somehow to you people, it is an impossibility that someone reasonably that opinion. That is ideological fascism. But that isn't enough. You take it further and treat people with disgust.

    You have no idea how many e-mails I get from people expressing their gratitude at my willingess to express my opinion given the torrent of bad faith in which ---people who note how they don't bother to speak up because they don't want the same treatment.

    As I said OmieWise shows perfectly how you have a proper dialogue---if a person is actually interested in a dialogue and a conversation of ideas. You treat the person's argument in good faith instead of making up your mind and incorrectly beating someone over the head with your mistaken value judgment.

    I know that this kind of comment is better served in MetaTalk. But I figured this thread is sufficiently crapped out because of the drooling hordes who refuse to engage in a good faith dialogue.

    I'm heading home for the weekend. So feel free to start trying to drag stuff from other threads, suggest I deserve it, question my motives, and insult me more---anything other than address the substance of my comments--it would be par for the course, here.
    posted by dios at 2:55 PM on February 3, 2006


    (Sorry for the rant. I just can't believe the extent people will go to in order to justify the treatment I get. So many excuses are made in a pathetic attempt to create some grounds for treating me worse than everyone else here. And then when I call people on it, they start accusing me of having a persecution complex. Until mathowie actually does something about it, nothing will stop---and he appears unwilling to do so. Thus, I was compelled to comment based on how people didn't even bother to read or understand the point I was making and instead decided to jump all over me with the typical derangement. I know I shouldn't waste my time expecting people to change).
    posted by dios at 2:59 PM on February 3, 2006


    *sheds single tear*
    posted by sonofsamiam at 3:08 PM on February 3, 2006


    Poor little dios. You make grand statements and then when people call you on them you retreat to this little defensive position that is (barely) defensible and play the victim.

    And you wonder why people think you're a troll?
    posted by bshort at 3:34 PM on February 3, 2006


    dios writes "I'm heading home for the weekend. So feel free to start trying to drag stuff from other threads, suggest I deserve it, question my motives, and insult me more---anything other than address the substance of my comments--it would be par for the course, here."

    We wouldn't do that dios.

    We'll just waterboard you.

    For the good of the nation.
    posted by orthogonality at 3:35 PM on February 3, 2006


    What comes after outrage fatigue?

    assassination fantasy.
    posted by quonsar at 3:48 PM on February 3, 2006


    At the time the decision was made, the only issue is whether it was the right thing to do. These costs couldn't/shouldn't figure into the decision at the time, nor in our retrospective analysis of the decision at the time.

    I'm sorry, you can't act like this as a grown-up. The costs--and those aren't just made up of dollars and cents, you know--must be taken into account before any intelligent executive decision can be made. If it's IBM, if it's the U.S. government, if it's Joe Smith. When you trade common sense with idealism, however misguided (and it was a'plenty), you get these kinds of costly lessons.

    I'd agree with you that these post-analysis what-if's are fruitless I-Told-You-So-isms in not-very-subtle disguise. Thing is, even if this whole war had worked out like a charm, I'd still be pissed off that in the way it was handled. You just don't do some of this shit without giving two shits about the consequences, when those consequences involve people's lives or people's pocketbooks. Sorry. I hope this country gets over it's infatuation with irresponsibility, and quick. It's not just the assholes who don't give a shit. It's the responsibility of all of us to call them out for it.
    posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:02 PM on February 3, 2006


    dios, your words would carry alot more weight if you hadn't gone well out of your way to discredit yourself.
    posted by fenriq at 5:43 PM on February 3, 2006


    Would a bunch of disgruntled pro-dios lurkers qualify as as army of god?

    Honestly dios, if you'd had the courage and good grace to at least admit you were way wrong in the Sheehan thread, people would think more highly of you.
    posted by bardic at 7:28 PM on February 3, 2006


    "Bush and administration officials have said their budget will propose cutting the deficit to half of this year's level by 2009.

    Bush has so far revealed no details of how he would achieve that."


    More military spending and tax cuts for the wealthy, of course! It really doesn't make any economic sense but then you guys are ruled by people who seem to honestly think that if you close your eyes and wish for/believe in something *really hard* it's bound to happen.
    posted by clevershark at 8:34 PM on February 3, 2006


    dios writes "So many excuses are made in a pathetic attempt to create some grounds for treating me worse than everyone else here. And then when I call people on it, they start accusing me of having a persecution complex."

    Yep, no persecution complex there at all...
    posted by clevershark at 8:36 PM on February 3, 2006


    At the time the decision is made to go into Iraq--not this retrospective bullshit--the decision was right if the war cost 50 billion or 250 billion or 1 trillion. That it lasts longer is the reason why the costs increase.

    The retrospective bullshit is all in your court. Every freakin' one of us in this community knows full well that every explanation given to the public as reason for war was absolutely false. It was all lies, and unless you live in a cave, you must be fully aware of this fact.

    Nice bit of trolling, Dios.

    I hope that the MeFi community figures out that they need to treat you as they do ParisParamus: don't take the bait.
    posted by five fresh fish at 7:36 AM on February 4, 2006


    that was supposed to be posted last night, but MeFi was incommunicado.

    anything other than address the substance of my comments

    Here's what I see as the substance of your initial comments: no price is too high to pay for installing democracy in Iraq.

    Here is my address of that substance: bullshit.

    IMO the cost of this war (and the asinine economic policies of this government) has put the USA in grave economic danger. That cost is much too high.

    IMO it appears there has been a cost of nearly a quarter-million lives due to this war. That cost is much too high.

    IMO this war has been a devisive war that threatens the very political and social stability of the USA. Half the country hates the other half at this point. That cost is much too high.

    IMO this war has destroyed respect and trust in the USA wrt international politics. That cost is much too high, especially in a time when your economy is threatened.

    IMO "no price is too high" is an inutterably stupid statement to have made. And, yet, there you made it.

    I don't think you are a stupid person.

    Then there's the other part of your claim: that this war is about installing democracy in Iraq.

    IMO, you can not force a democracy on a people. They have to want it bad enough to fight for it themselves.

    Secondly, not one aspect of this war was for the reasons stated by your administration at the time. Back in the day their stated reasons were solely to do with WMDs; this "for the democracy of it all!" claim is only one of a sequence of debunked post-invasion excuses.

    And finally, the facts have been laid bare: the real reasons for this war were determined in secret by Bush, Blair, and the extremist cabal that lurks in the halls of the White House, months and years before the opportunity to invade was made convenient.

    The MeFi community has thoroughly debunked the lies of this administration time and time again, right from the first rumblings of revenge for 9/11. Only an exceedingly stupid person could have missed the debunking and debate.

    I don't think you are a stupid person.

    So tell me, Dios: if I do not think you are a stupid person, and yet find that you are making extraordinarily stupid and inflammatory comments... well, gosh, Dios, what conclusions about your motives do you think I am going to draw?

    Hint: five letters, begins with T, has a couple of Ls in it.
    posted by five fresh fish at 8:01 AM on February 4, 2006


    troll? :-)

    When Clinton lied, nobody died.

    This war has been very successful, just look at Halliburton's stock!
    Bremer turned Iraq into the perfect free market people!
    posted by nofundy at 8:46 AM on February 4, 2006


    It's Tortilla, huh? Oh wait, five letters...
    posted by Balisong at 9:23 AM on February 4, 2006


    Yet another Dios thread. I've figured that turkey out though. He does what he does here in the stupid hope he'll be noticed by Bushco and be offered a nice cushy job. Maybe he thinks this will get him the boy/girl of his dreams, delivered all trussed up in fancy black leather restraints.

    But his motive is pure and simple: his own personal gain. He's just another whore. Truth and America don't matter, only Dios matters, to Dios.
    posted by Goofyy at 6:02 AM on February 5, 2006


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