The cost of the war

David Leonhardt has a nice piece in the New York Times on the opportunity cost of the trillion dollar Iraq war. Leonhardt does a good job of getting the concept across without actually using the economic jargon. Coincidentally, I have a piece in tomorrow’s (Thursday’s) Fin, making the same point, not for the first time, along with a reference to the work Kahneman and Renshon on psychological biases to hawkishness.

59 thoughts on “The cost of the war

  1. “Dave Surls, let’s pretend for a moment that you are 100% accurate about Iraq having had weapons of mass destruction.”

    No need to pretend. The Iraqis did have WMD, and all the governments of the world knew it. There was, in fact, an “intergovernmental consensus” that the Iraqis had WMD, and when John Quiggin says otherwise…he’s not speaking the truth.

  2. Dave Surls expects perfection. Saddam’s report missed some ordnance. So what?

    Is Dave Surls as fanatical about the missing palettes of billions of dollars in greenbacks shovelled into Iraq by the CPA? This was money stolen by the US from the Iraqi people.

    These stolen billions must be added to the cost of the the war because they have impoverished the Iraqi people, corrupted civil life in Iraq, and doubtless have been funnelled in various ways into terrorist activity.

    Don’t bother answering Dave unless you can cite a url to your earlier comments on this serious topic.

  3. Please, Katz, you’re spoiling the fun. Don’t confuse the issue with facts. Let’s encourage Dave to tell us more about the wonderful world he lives in. It certainly sounds cheerier than the one we live in, with all those doomsayers like the National Intelligence Estimates bringing us down.

    Let’s hear more about the lemonade fountain and the big rock candy mountain where the Iraqis gather those sweets and flowers with which they daily shower the handful of remaining US troops just after the democracy parade down Haifa Street.

  4. Umm, Rog, like Dave, you’ve obviously been in on another planet for quite a few years now. This report on bogus intelligence only confirms what has been public knowledge since shortly after the invasion. But don’t let me drag you back from Fantasyland – it’s obviously more congenial than the mess Bush has created.

  5. JQ, it would appear that the NIE have now gained your respect. A senate committee into the original NIE report on WMD found that Bush & Co did not pressure the NIE to form pro war conclusions and that any errors were of management.

  6. Earth to Rog – no one cares any more. Iraq is a catastrophe, everyone knows it, and semantic exercises of the kind you are offering here are not worth refuting or engaging with.

  7. Sure, Iraq is a catastrophe for the Baathists, and for terrorists like Abu Abbas and for their supporters in the west.

    But, hey leftys, you can’t win ’em all.

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