Thursday, September 13, 2007

A small price?

It sounds like the punch-line of a very old and bad joke.

Question: How can GOP House leader John Boehner consider the deaths of 3768 men and women in the United States military in Iraq a small price to have paid?
Answer: Someone other than John Boehner is doing the paying.

An excerpt from an interview yesterday with CNN's Wolf Blitzer and GOP House leader John Boehner.

BLITZER: How much longer will U.S. taxpayers have to shell out $2 billion a week or $3 billion a week as some now are suggesting the cost is going to endure? The loss in blood, the Americans who are killed every month, how much longer do you think this commitment, this military commitment is going to require?

BOEHNER: I think General Petraeus outlined it pretty clearly. We’re making success. We need to firm up those successes. We need to continue our effort here because, Wolf, long term, the investment that we’re making today will be a small price if we’re able to stop al Qaeda here, if we’re able to stabilize the Middle East, it’s not only going to be a small price for the near future, but think about the future for our kids and their kids.


matt moran said...

I don't accept the idea that fighting and dying in a war is never worthwhile. It depends on the perceived potential benefits of the war. We have a saying in the fire service: "We will risk a lot to save a lot. We will risk little to save little. We will risk nothing to save nothing." If you apply that to fighting a war, you have to ask "What are we saving?"

If killing and dying in Iraq would actually "stop al Qaeda" and/or "stabilize the Middle East" the way Boehner seems to believe, then killing and dying might be "a small price". (I'm going to assume here that "stabilize" means "brings peace, freedom & prosperity to the region".)

However, I have serious doubts that the war in Iraq has (or ever had) any chance of achieving those goals. The Bush Administration sold the American people a false hope when we got into this war, and to continue the war with the same false hope is foolish. We should be risking nothing to save nothing. It doesn't seem to me that there is anything left to save.

Dave Barrett said...

The idea of whether fighting and dying in war is never worthwhile might be an interesting idea to debate and perhaps we can debate it some time. That is not what this blog entry was about.

The argument that although the cost of the War in Iraq was and is extremely high that cost is nonetheless worth paying is undoubtedly a more defensible position than what John Boehner actually said, but, of course, that also is beside the point.

What John Boehner actually said was that the price paid was small. That price of the War in Iraq can only be small for those who are not paying it.

matt moran said...

Forgive me for reading too much into your post. I interpreted "a small price to pay" to mean "a price worth paying given the benefits". It is, I believe, a fairly common idiom. And after reading the excerpt again, I still believe that was Boehner's intent.

Based on my interpretation of what you were objecting to, I made some (apparently incorrect) assumptions about your position and reacted to that. Sorry.