What If It Works?

Much appreciated readers of this space brought valid questions to the table subsequent to “Out of the Box History”.  Persistent questions focused on the cost of the war as a potential precipitant for Ferguson’s theory.  The problem is that since the wars did not overload the system; the point of catastrophic crisis had not been reached.  It may have pushed the potential toward the red line but the catastrophe did not happen therefore war costs were not, cannot be a tipping point. 

The answer to the “was it worth it question?” was, at the time, “too soon to tell” but the question, fairly raised, demands a better answer.  The answer cannot be phrased as an empirical.  To simply say; “we would not have spent”, however many billions can not answer the empirical either.  The answer can only be another set of questions for serious people to consider.  History, well told, will be a history not only of the eventual outcomes but of the initial motivating circumstance.

What if a reasonably stable representative government evolves in Iraq?  What if the impact of a functional democratic system succeeding in the middle of cadre of raging dictators and totalitarian regimes?  What if the balance of power in the region returns Iraq to a position as a counterweight against Iran?   What if the balance of power is impacted a democracy instead of being dominated by dictatorships?

What of the Islamist’s view that Islam and democracies are contradictory systems and as such Sharia must prevail.  What if it works in Iraq and that argument is shown to be a realistic fallacy on the ground?  What might that save us?

How important to have motivated a reason for a movement in support of a moderated view of Islam?  What might that save us in the long run?  What if Middle Eastern populations look to Iraq and say “why not us?”  Small movements exist in support of democratic reform throughout the Middle East; small, fledgling but also courageous and growing. (See Robin Wright’s “Dreams and Shadows”) 

What if Saddam remained in power?  While WMD was not discovered inspectors were, at the least, confident of his ability to reconstitute his programs based on what was discovered.  What might that have cost?  Would we have been replacing today’s cost for tomorrows’?  Where would we have looked for a moderating influence on Saddam’s Iraq; involved in two recent regional wars and a proven threat to its neighbors?   

What of Oil?  There is some credence to the “we fought the war for oil” point of view.  That view, however, should be expanded to its one dimensional limits; because vast portions of the international economy are supported by oil.  It might be more accurate to say we “fought the war for short term economic stability”.  While a one dimensional view is non-applicable it would at least be a bit more accurate of one. 

We face a logical disconnect.  One the one hand we have limited domestic production of energy for years.  We have done so for a variety of reasons some valid some mere ideological crusades.  But the fact is we have limited domestic production, by doing so we increase the value of oversees oil.  When we increase the value of oil reserves outside of our control and yet continue to rely on those reserves we are forced to protect the viability of those reserves in our own self interest.  Conflict over oil is a potentially self perpetuating cycle; we and others have made it so.

If you accept history’s lesson that repression is eventually overthrown what manner of catastrophic tumult might be in store for the Middle East and when?  

A large number of “what if” questions can be posed from a variety of points of view but the real “what if”, related to Iraq is; “What if it works”?

  • JD

    I like the conversation of what if but the cost is not a “what if”. The truth is about a trillion dollars have been spent on the Afghan and Iraq wars. Which is only about a fourth of the 4.3 trillion dollar deficit occured under bush’s term another half has been the increased cost on the “war on terror” programs.

    Again, if we are to assume that presidents are responsable for thier deficits (which I don’t completely agree with) what more of a F*ed up move is it to walk us to “the edge” then hand the ball to someone else to deal with.

    I don’t know why it is so hard for to say Republicans have are just as guilty as spending us into the hole. Even Ron Paul admits this and one of the reasons why I follow him.

    All this said, we are not even close to going backrupt. We were in way worse shape as far as deficit goes in the past.

  • landreaux

    Not a problem at all, Republicans WERE guily! Maybe they have learned their lesson maybe not. We will of course watch closly to see who learns what lessons.

  • JD

    I guess the “wait and see” side of things can be applied to stimulas packages and other spending. There really is never a 100% way to know for sure unless we could turn back time and do the opposite so we can gauge the results.

    Nothing is without conreversy.

  • The war was not the tipping point, but it is “damage done.” The accumulation of atherosclerosis of coronary arteries is not the tripping point of a heart attack, but it is damage done. Just waiting for the slightest bit of sludge to swim by and get stuck in that crowded artery and shut the whole heart down for good.

    As JD said, slowly handing the baton off to your running mate slows that new runner down. Losing the race may not be the fault of the individual but it does have an affect on the whole team.

    Playing the blame game does not change the result, lessons learned and a new game blame helps prevent the reinsurance.

    Discovering what causes a heart attack is one thing, following the treatment and prevention plans is another. So perhaps we have learned what sends us to the tipping point, lets take our anti hypertensives and prevent the heart attack that is the downfall of our country.

  • Time for work, boy am I tired.

  • “I guess the “wait and see” side of things can be applied to stimulas packages and other spending.”

    Actually, we know for a fact the “stimulus” didn’t create anywhere near the amount of jobs the President promised. Therefore, we know what was promised did not, in fact, work at all.

    We also know unemployment continued to rise well past the point of where the President said it would stop. I guess that also means we know what didn’t work.

    Actually, JD, some things are pretty cut and dry when it comes to deciding if they were successful or not.

    Spending nearly a trillion dollars for 10% unemployment does not count as successful in my book. Especially when it was promised that due to the stimulus package, unemployment would not go above 8%. Something we all knew was a lie.

    Also, social security is bankrupting the country and will be insolvent in 2015 according to President Obama. Might be an issue there, perhaps. Of course, if the President has stated it, I can’t report it as fact until it is proven as evidenced by his “stimulus” bill shortcomings.

  • Bill Hedges

    We don’t have to wait & see.

    JD used Carl Rove to call early VICTORY for Barack Hussein Obama.

    “JD Nov 4th, 2008 at 11:09 am
    Rove Calls the Election — for Obama
    The Architect sees a 338-200 Obama electoral vote victory over McCain.
    Check out his state-by-state breakdown” CARL ROVE IS SUCH A EXCELLENT SOURCE !!! WELL DONE JD !!!
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    SO SOURCES CAN BE GOOD INDICATORS BY JD’S PAST STANDARDS IF UP TO CARL ROVE….
    …………………………………………………..
    Except for sanitariums, graveyards, and obamaland polls are not kind to obama’s agenda and Democrats. Many Democrat Congress members coincidentally have decided to retire. He-he. Will miss Harry Reid and Chris Dodds. What a though if Nancy Pelosi is not Speaker next year !

    “Health Care Law “
    “56% Support Repeal of Health Care Law”

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/march_2010/health_care_law

    “Tea Partiers Fight Obama’s Culture of Dependence”

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_michael_barone/tea_partiers_fight_obama_s_culture_of_dependence

    “57% Have More Trust In Those In Congress Who Voted Against Bailouts”

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/april_2010/57_have_more_trust_in_those_in_congress_who_voted_against_bailouts

    “What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls”

    “Seventy-four percent (74%) of voters correctly identify Republicans as the political party some have labeled the Party of No. Despite, or perhaps because of, this high level of awareness, Republicans have built a solid lead over Democrats on the Generic Congressional Ballot. “

    “Speaking of unhappiness with the president’s agenda, 24% of voters now consider themselves a part of the Tea Party movement. That’s an eight-point increase over the past month, a period in which congressional Democrats most notably passed their national health care plan. Another 10% say they are not a part of the movement but have close friends or family members who are.”

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/weekly_updates/what_they_told_us_reviewing_last_week_s_key_polls

  • I dont know what I would do without Pelosi, surely I shall parish. Thank god for simple people and their simple pleasures. I’ll drink to that.

  • Ann Coulter Email I got this morning

    The Great Struggle for
    Western Civilization

    America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It
    Dear Fellow Conservative:

    Have you been paying attention?

    Someday soon, you might wake up to the call to prayer from a Muslim muezzin. (By golly that is much worse than waking up to the local Christian Church Bell! That sucker is hardly loud enough to wake me from a drunken stupor!) Millions of Europeans already do. If you think this can’t happen, think again. This is why you need Human Events, America’s conservative newsweekly.

    Human Events is the place I call my editorial “home.” It’s true. For the past 12 years, in fact, I’ve not only been a regular contributor to Human Events, I’ve also been a key voice in their weekly editorial meetings.

    I think you know what that is. No excuses. No compromises. No prisoners. Lots of spunk — and punch. And laughs.

    That’s why I don’t just write for Human Events — I devour it every week, from cover to cover.

    And so will you, I’m convinced — if you’ll just give it a try, by taking advantage of this specially-discounted Charter Subscriber offer, which includes a FREE hardcover copy of Mark Steyn’s New York Times bestseller, America Alone.

    Click here to learn more. Meantime, I’ll be waiting for you… at “home.”

    Your friend,
    Ann Coulter
    Ann Coulter

    P.S. You know who else loved Human Events? My hero Ronald Reagan — the greatest president since George Washington. In fact, he called it his “favorite newspaper.” Find out why — by giving it a try, at zero risk. And you get a FREE book, too!

    Gosh I love that Ann Coulter!

  • Another Email titled “Dick Morris has a plan to take back Congress in November”

    “Drowning: Out of Control Government Debt Threatens to Bankrupt America

    Social Security, the world’s biggest Ponzi scheme, has no money and no way of meeting its obligations.

    Medicare’s dire future makes Social Security look like peanuts.

    And Medicaid, the largest of our “autopilot” entitlement programs, will serve only to drive us deeper into debt.

    Now, President Obama has enacted his signature legislation–ObamaCare–which will take over one-sixth of our economy.

    Washington’s out-of-control spending and debt growth will bankrupt America–and our elected (and unelected) officials in the congressional majority and the White House are working to only make things worse.

    But there is a way out.

    We detail this vital issue and the solutions in the April issue of Townhall Magazine.

    One of the tactics for addressing our burgeoning government is the busting of government monopolies. Web sites like Craigslist show us how this is done.

    Also, did you ever wonder who’s really got the power in Washington and is helping to grow the power of our government? One of the major players is the National Education Association, whose money and power dwarfs even that of the SEIU and ACORN. Too bad they’re not as focused on educating our kids as they are in increasing their own power.

    Plus: We have an exclusive report on an American hero and patriot who thwarted a terrorist attack on the 2008 GOP convention. You probably haven’t heard his story since the would-be attackers were domestic, progressive leftists, not al Qaeda operatives.

    And, now that we’ve joined forces with Hot Air, Ed Morrissey and Allahpundit are writing a regular feature for the magazine every month that is sure to raise the ire of everyone on the Left.

    It’s not too late to order your copy of the April 2010 issue. Subscribe today, and we’ll give you a free book of your choice.

    ***

    In his cover story, “Drowning in Debt,” Heritage budget expert Brian Riedl explains why the massive growth of government and out-of-control entitlement spending threatens to bury America.

    President Obama swept into office promising to make tough choices. Perhaps the toughest choices are needed in the federal budget, where historic budget deficits, combined with surging Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid entitlement costs, threaten to hand the next generation the greatest debt burden in history–resulting in painful tax increases, slower economic growth and lower lifetime incomes.

    Yet rather than fulfill his pledge to dig America out of this budgetary hole, the president has dug the hole deeper with unaffordable “stimulus” spending and a budget proposal that increases spending and taxes even further. The result: an unsustainable federal budget trajectory that threatens the future of the U.S. economy. …

    This is a conversation America must have. With spending and deficits soaring, kicking the can down the road is no longer an option. Muddling through with gimmicks and band-aid solutions isn’t realistic either.

    The United States is about to dump the largest pile of debt in history onto the next generation. The federal government is about to grow to European levels–and bring our tax levels with it. It is time for President Obama and Congress to finally confront this challenge.

    ***

    Here’s an American hero you’ve likely never heard of.

    Brandon Darby learned something from Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela. Once a hard-core radical who sided with progressive revolutionaries, Darby prevented a left-wing terrorist attack on the 2008 GOP convention. Now, this America-loving patriot is the target of the domestic extremists he once called “friends.”

    From Matthew Vadum’s exclusive report, “Radical Awakening: From America Hater to Hero”:

    Did you know that a courageous former radical helped to avert a planned left-wing terrorist attack at the 2008 Republican National Convention that might have killed who knows how many Americans?

    Neither did I until recently.

    That’s because if you disrupt a terrorist attack on Americans by Islamic fundamentalists as Northwest Flight 253 passenger Jasper Schuringa did on Christmas Day, you’re a hero; however, if you take the initiative to undermine a terrorist attack on Americans by supposedly well-intentioned left-wing fundamentalists, you might as well be a terrorist yourself.

    Brandon Darby, who in recent years also refused leftists’ invitations to get involved in Venezuelan communist subversion here in America and in anti-Israeli terrorism in Palestine, learned this unpalatable truth the hard way.

    After years of in-your-face protests, confrontational tactics and working with America-haters, Darby eventually experienced a political epiphany. He rejected the radical Left and its culture of political violence. He came to realize that America, for all its faults, wasn’t such a bad place after all.

    “I felt I had a duty to atone after badmouthing my country for so many years,” Darby told me in an interview. “I love my country.”

    But Darby didn’t always love his country.

    ***

    Townhall’s own Meredith Jessup takes an in-depth look at the National Education Association and its priorities in “Everything but Education.” The NEA has long been focused on money and power instead of teaching kids–this report exposes the union for who they are.

    ***

    On Easter, billions of Christians around the world celebrated the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but too many believers are prevented from freely worshipping and are targets of their own governments and fellow citizens. Doug Bandow details a new study that reveals the world’s worst persecutors of Christians and why we should care.

    ***

    Tired of the federal government’s intrusion into your life? Web sites like Craigslist are undermining the government’s command and control over our lives. And they are answering a fundamental question of our time: How can we constrain Big Government? Dan Mitchell offers some answers and lays out the fundamentals of small-government conservatism.

    Politicians all around the world are unhappy with the Internet, largely because it is difficult to regulate, control and tax. Governments such as China impose rigid controls on Web content, but disdain for the Internet is not limited to totalitarian regimes. State and local politicians commonly fret that they are losing tax revenue because of online sales. They have even convinced some members of Congress to introduce legislation creating a sales tax cartel which would violate our privacy by requiring the creation of a huge database for all out-of-state Internet purchases.

    But this is not just an issue for goods that cross state lines. The political class is also increasingly skeptical about Web sites like Craigslist. This network of online communities may be the creation of a single company, but it is operationally very decentralized. Economists like the endeavor because it reduces search costs and improves the efficiency of the price system, but its laissez-faire structure also is ideal for people who are not overly happy with the plethora of government rules that govern our lives. As one writer noted, it is “a periscope into the underground economy. … There’s no sales tax on Craigslist. No regulation. No enforcement.”

    Needless to say, this irks the political class. But what exactly is it about Craigslist, and the Internet more broadly, that rubs politicians the wrong way?

    ***

    Ed Morrissey and Allahpundit debate how Obama will work with a Republican House majority if the GOP wins in November.

  • Kendale,

    You read Ann Coulter? I’m thrilled! 🙂

  • Nate,

    “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” – Vito Coleone? not sure who said that. I know Tupac quoted it once.

    I do like to read Human events, I’m on their email list along with other conservative mailing lists. I can’t say I am a fan of Ann Coulter though. She’s a bit over the top, then again so is Bill Maher on the other end of the spectrum. So I guess you can say I like them both for “shock value.”

  • Bill Hedges

    Kendale

    I am sure the $500 billion + stolen from our social programs for health care will help S/S, medicare, etc. Less is more ???

    Adding all those people to medicaid will help States. In Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. world.

    Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. is a problem solver. I understand Kendale, Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. wishes upon a star. Dreams do come true.

    Alas, closing down government several times caught Bill Clinton’s attention and he signed Newt’s balanced budgets. Bill even took idea as his own. Whose knows what new ideas the next Congress will anoint upon Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.

  • JD

    The DNC reports $14.7 million* cash on hand to RNC’s $11.4 million.

    DSCC reports $17 million cash on hand to NRSC’s $15 million.

    The DCCC has $26 million cash on hand to NRCC’s $10 million.

    Not that money matters but should be interesting.

  • Bill,

    Your comment meant absolutely nothing to me. Thank you.

  • Bill Hedges

    Ah, but did you read it ???

  • Bill,

    Twice, just to see if I could possibly find anything worthwhile in it. Alas, I couldn’t find one useful bit of information in it.

  • ašhadu ?an laa il?ha illa (A)ll?h, wa ?ašhadu ?anna Mu?ammada(n) ras?lo (A)ll?h

  • Ashadu ‘an laa ilaha illa Allah, wa ashadu anna Muhammadan rasulo Allah

    Allahu Akbar Mr. Obama!

  • Bill Hedges

    We are just ranting now. Perhaps later you’ll get back to politics. But then maybe looking out for Boss may make that impossible for you. Don’t want you losing your job again. Pay check better for your family than unemployment check. Big refund does not make up for full time j o b…

  • Gasping in the Billy Wonderland.

  • Bill Hedges

    I REMEMBER BUSH WANTED REFORM TO HOPEFULLY STOP RECESSION, BUT BY A ALL DEMOCRAT VOTE IT FAILED…

    “Goldman Donations to Obama Campaign Totaled Nearly $1 Million”
    April 20, 2010

    “Goldman Sachs and its employees and family members gave $5.9 million to candidates in the 2007-2008 election cycle, according to the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics. Three-quarters of that went to Democrats, the non- partisan group said..”

    “Obama and Democrats in Congress are proposing the most sweeping financial regulation since the Great Depression.”

    “The personal push by the president, who plans to deliver a speech on the subject on April 22 at the Cooper Union in New York, comes as Goldman reported its net income almost doubled in the first quarter.”

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-04-20/goldman-donations-to-obama-campaign-totaled-nearly-1-million.html

  • JD

    Bill do you have a link to prove your point?

  • Talk about government control. A woman is banned from drinking in any public place serving alcohol in open containers in all of England and Whales.

    I guess if we don’t get Obama out of office soon we will not only have solcialized medicine like England but they will even start taking over our personal lives like this huh?

    MEET Laura Hall – the first person banned from buying or drinking alcohol anywhere in England and Wales.

    The 20-year-old has been issued with an order barring her from entering any pub, club, off-licence or bar for the next two years.

    Hall is also banned from buying alcohol at any other establishment or shop, carrying it in an unsealed container or drinking it in a public place.

    Police applied to magistrates after Hall was convicted of breaching an Anti-Social Behaviour Order – known as an Asbo – imposed for unspecified incidents.

    She was convicted of a series of public order offences and flouted bans from pubs and clubs through a local scheme in her home town of Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.

    Her ban comes as a study found that female binge-drinking had almost doubled in the past decade in the UK.

    Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.
    Related Coverage

    * Cancer cluster: ‘Probably chance’

    * On-the-spot pub ban for thugs Perth Now, 4 days ago
    * Teen given lifelong pub ban Herald Sun, 24 Mar 2010
    * Cops want Australia Day grog ban Daily Telegraph, 13 Jan 2010
    * Fun police kneejerk to spoil NYE Daily Telegraph, 27 Dec 2009
    * Barnett to name and shame teens The Australian, 1 Dec 2009

    End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.

    According to government statistics, the number of women involved in alcohol-related crime rose 30 per cent between 2005 and 2007.

    Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court was told Hall faced a £2500 ($4127) fine if she breaks the conditions of the order.

    “There have been some drinking ban orders issued already but this is the first to be issued on a nationwide basis,” Sergeant David Roberts said.

    “It bans Laura from drinking or buying alcohol in any licensed premises across England and Wales. This will protect the public from Laura’s behaviour.”

    Officers applied for the order rather than another Asbo because Hall would be at risk of prison if she breached it again.

    “We want to rehabilitate her rather than send her to jail,” Sgt Roberts said.

    Under the terms of the order, Hall must attend an approved alcohol misuse course.

    Since their introduction in September, police and local authorities can ask magistrates to impose the orders on anyone responsible for alcohol-fuelled crime or anti-social behaviour to stop them drinking or entering licensed premises.

    They cannot be issued to anyone with mental health problems or alcoholics.

    But Institute of Alcohol Studies spokeswoman Rachel Seabrook said: “I think most of the disorder problems we see around alcohol reflect a lack of police enforcement powers and policing laws.

    “I am not opposed in principle but I do have doubts about whether it’s a realistic thing to enforce. How can a police officer in Wales know whether this women has been banned if she turns up in his town?”

  • Bill Hedges
  • TheGreatZ

    It doesn’t look like its working. Iraq under Saddam was brutal but it was secular. Now it has Islam as its official state religion and enforces sharia law. In fact Iraq is executing homosexuals!

    http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2009/04/iraq_to_execute_more_than_one.php

    That should be good enough reason for us to withdraw.

    In Afghanistan women’s rights are still abysmally poor.
    http://www.afghan-web.com/woman/

    The US government is supporting Islamic theocracies in Iraq and Afghanistan and its time for us to pull out.

  • TheGreatZ

    The edit thing isn’t cooperating. The site I gave for Afghanistan is a bad example since it doesn’t talk much about what the government is doing against women’s rights.

    Still here’s some more examples of the regimes we are supporting:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Afghanistan
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Afghanistan#Women.27s_rights

  • Wow he even uses links!. Welcome to the family “TheGreatZ”

    JD, I guess we have a 3 on 3 now! lol