Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Cost-Benefit and Short-sightedness

The Institute for Analysis of Global Security says:

including the loss in stock market wealth -- the market's own estimate arising from expectations of lower corporate profits and higher discount rates for economic volatility -- the price tag [of 9/11] approaches $2 trillion.
Back in March 2006, the price tag of the Iraq War was predicted to reach $1 trillion or more.

Let's set aside the fact we're talking "trillions" with a "t" here and do a cost-benefit analysis. If we get attacked it costs us two bucks. To attack them costs maybe a buck twenty. Based on that extremely simplified conclusion, we should just nuke them (at a cost of 1 cent) and be done with it. Obviously the big differentiating factor in the analysis is the loss of life.

Should we unleash nuclear weapons on a Third World country because it's cheaper than getting troops killed? Should we send more of our soldiers to get killed over there rather than innocents die here? At least the soldiers were volunteers. Thankfully, I will never be in a position to make that call.

I think Sen. Kennedy's proposal reflects the sentiment: "This guy has already f----d up HUGE, are we going to let him f--k up MORE?".

The proposal is a little short-sighted in that it begs the question: "For which decisions does the President not have ask Congress for permission?" It's kind of like Brutus and Cassius, and the rest of the conspirators who didn't like Caesar and his influence, decided to gut-check his power (rather than assassinate him). But they don't take into account that they too can be gut-checked when they get power.

Related to this, Republicans were just assuming they would be in the majority eternally and never have to worry about having to filibuster something they didn't like.

As far as a surge, I think that word is just for PR purposes. It's meant to give the illusion that something is changing. Even McCain has said he would only support a "surge" if it was sustained and lasting. I personally believe that is not the definition of a surge; it's an escalation.

President Bush would rather stay away from the word "escalation" because it's too closely associated with the Vietnam War. While our troops are in Iraq trying to help they freely admit they are also targets. We're basically giving them more targets.

The Taliban is making a comeback and we're sending more troops to Iraq not Afghanistan, where that guy is...what's his's on the tip of my tongue...

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