not so fast
On the eve of Bush commencing his long-desired hostilities, we're only now starting to get more information about the costs of the war. For starters, there's the report that the White House has effectively doubled its earlier estimate of the funding necessary--without factoring in occupation or reconstruction. And MSNBC reports that "President Bush [vowed] that the United States would stay in Iraq as long as necessary in a reconstruction effort he likened to the campaign to rebuild Europe and Japan after World War II."
(For those of you keeping score, that's a massive long-term
quagmire commitment of arms, soldiers and money in a region that may view us as occupiers rather than liberators.) But let's see what Joshua Marshall has to say:
I think proponents of the root-and-branch approach miss an important part of why Germany and Japan worked. It's called World War II. One of the reasons the Germans and the Japanese stood still for what we accomplished in their countries is that we had just spent a couple years thoroughly bludgeoning their countries. Day and night bombing against major population centers, the disruption of the economies, the very real threat that if it wasn't us it'd be the Russians taking over, etc.
By 1945, we had pretty much destroyed the Germans' and Japanese' will to fight. And they were pleasantly surprised when they discovered how relatively benign our rule was. The same set of circumstances won't apply to Iraq. And that should be a cause of real concern.