Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dictator Removal Scorecard

Dictator                                                     Cost to US of Removal (in billions)


Saddam Hussein                                                        $799
Taliban                                                                           466


Ben Ali                                                                              <1
Hosni Mubarak                                                                 2
Muammar Qaddafi                                                          1


  1. Yes but Iraq is a democracy, Afghanistan is getting there and those other countries aren't. In fact, those other countries are filled with al Qaeda.

  2. Does that mean you would support massive increases in US government spending to help move Libya, Egypt and Tunisia toward democracy? If you think it was worth over a trillion dollars to try to move Iraq and Afghanistan toward democracy, then you should be pushing for more effort on our part to make that happen in other countries.

  3. I'd say Obama should get an "A+" for the list you provide. In 2008, not many would have predicted this President would be celebrated by some progressives and the majority of the right for a stellar war programs.

    But there is little political upside here for the President. The 30 million people out of work and those of us losing income, paying higher prices for medical insurance, paying 80% more at the pump, paying more for food and watching retirement savings dwindle are not focusing on the middle east right now. Like Steve Jobs, we see a President who is unfriendly to business, cozy with wall street and headed for a one term Presidency.

  4. Shows who is THE strong Commander in Chief! The one that doesn't send our troops to slaughter, but gets the "target"....anyway! As the GOP thanks the British and French...but NOT the US military or the President. They are a disgrace to this nation...once again! Congrats to President Obama for his leadership, and our military for getting Qaddafi ~just announced he is bringing them home from Bush's war of lies in Iraq.

  5. You're right, Kevin, that people probably won't give Obama much credit for this, because they have more pressing concerns. People now begrudge spending anything on Libya or Egypt, even though years ago we were willing to spend hundreds of billions of borrowed money on Iraq. And that is a real shame because a relatively small investment in these countries could pay off for us big time.

  6. You and I agree, Joe. This is not a time to look away from Egypt or Libya. Infact, the Presdent's toughest decisions on foreign affairs are ahead of him in these areas and his success or failure will not be fully known until well after the elections of 2012.

    Under better circumstances here at home Obama would get a big boost from his military kill rate of specific targets. But most of what he will get now is the cry for him to look inward here at home. That is a legitimate sentiment.

    As far as Anonymous's comments; this isn't about cheerleading. It's about doing the right thing here at home and abroad. Besides, if polled, I suspect that more of the GOP would would be very pleased with Obama's military campaigns than would the Democrates. Your arguement is fallacious.

  7. A little more:

    It is true Obama annouced that our troops would be coming home from Iraq by Jan 1, 2012 it was not his decision that made it so. It was George W. Bush's decision along with Iraq.

    In one of his final acts in office in December 2008 President Bush signed a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the Iraqi government that set the clock ticking on ending the war. The SOFA required that all U.S. forces be gone from Iraq by January 1, 2012.

    So for any Republicans who want to boo Obama for leaving Iraq -- don't. And to any Democrats who want to give credit to Obama for winning Iraq -- don't.

    Things to consider:

    1) history will probably say we never should have gone to Iraq

    2) once there our military did a great job despite criticism

    3) it's open to discussion and time will tell if our going to Iraq, however misguided, helped plant seeds of the Arab Spring that are still germinating.

    It is a different middle east today. National politics has broken out all over the area. I think history will give Bush and Obama both some credit for that.

    History will also remember that the surge won the Iraq war. Obama opposed the surge with all his muster. In opposition of the surge Hillary Clinton called General Pataeus a liar. Harry Reid said "the secretary of state, the secretary of defense and the president know this war is lost". Joe Biden got in on the anti-surge rhetoric saying the war was lost and Iraq should be broiken into three countries.

    Like the Wall Street debacle we still face it's more complicated then cheerleading.

  8. We have ZERO strategic interest in Egypt or Libya. Zero. Afghanistan (which I was for) we DID (and still do) have a strategic interest in. Iraq (which I was against) we did not have a strategic interest in as long as Saddam was a bulwark against Iran. That being said, you can't simply say: Obama got these dictators killed on the cheap it was a success story as you usually get what you pay for.

    The Coptic Christians getting slaughtered in Egypt would disagree with you.

  9. Joe, I have a feeling..all things being equal...that if the Bush administration would have accomplished all that the Obama administration has accomplished regarding foreign policy and war, you would be finding ways to explain how wonderful he is despite the high unemployment and dysfunctional economy he left. The blinder are firmly in place bud.

  10. Thanks for your comment Dee, but I really don't understand the point you are making. My chart was simply designed to show that it cost the United States hundreds of times more to remove the heads of government of Iraq and Afghanistan than it did to remove the heads of government of Libya, Tunisia and Egypt.

    Those facts are indisputable. Everyone is entitled to draw their own conclusions.