21 October 2011

What Have We Learned?

Qaddafi is toast. bin Laden is toast. Saddam is toast. What have we learned?

The editors of Today's Question on the Minnesota Public Radio News website point out
Some critics of the U.S.-led war in Iraq are pointing out that regime change in Libya was accomplished at lower cost and with no loss of American lives.
Then they ask us
Does a comparison of Iraq and Libya offer any valid lessons for U.S. policy?
There are valid lessons aplenty! But I am doubtful we learned them.

As of 5 minutes ago, US elective wars have cost US taxpayers $1,266,570,700,000 over the past decade. Killing bad guys serves to feed the insatiable beast that Gen. Colin Powell fittingly dubbed The Terror Industrial Complex, but provides dubious value to US taxpayers.

It is near impossible to assess how much the US has spent in Libya because of black ops and other unreported covert forays and NATO sorties.

Two questions voters should be asking:
  1. Is the US commitment to Libya over after removing Qaddafi? (By comparison, removing Saddam did little to slow budget-busting nation-building in Iraq); and
  2. Should the US be involved in elective, extra-curricular regime changing and nation building in the first place?
Here's a quote from Abbie Hoffman to consider:
I believe in compulsory cannibalism. If people were forced to eat what they killed, there would be no more wars.

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