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Morning Bell: Liberal Incoherence on Iraq
Posted By Conn Carroll On April 7, 2008 @ 9:25 am In Ongoing Priorities | Comments Disabled
The more things change, the more they stay the same. The last time Gen. Davis Petraeus testified  MoveOn.org tried to discredit the war effort by taking out a full-page ad  in the New York Times labeling Petraeus “General Betray Us” that claimed he was lying about the levels of violence in Iraq. Seven months later it is now clear who had a better grasp on reality : From June 2007 through February 2008, deaths from ethno-sectarian violence in Baghdad have fallen approximately 90%. American casualties have also fallen sharply, down by 70%.
Undaunted by the ongoing success of the surge, anti-war groups have shifted focus from facts on the ground to made up numbers in the future. This time, MoveOn.org is trotting out economist Joseph Stiglitz , who has a new book claiming the Iraq war has cost American taxpayers $3 trillion. But Stiglitz readily admits that number is extremely fuzzy — off by as much as $2 trillion. He admitted  to Bloomberg News: “We were trying to make Americans understand how expensive this war was so we didn’t want to quibble about a dime here or a dime there.” Also unpublicized by MoveOn, Stiglitz pegs the cost of the war in Afghanistan at $1.95 trillion . Does this mean the war in Afghanistan is also worth losing? The liberal anti-war activists don’t say.
Meanwhile, one of Sen. Barack Obama’s foreign policy campaign advisers has written a paper recommending as many as 80,000 U.S. troops stay in Iraq through 2010 . This comes on top of former Obama adivser Samantha Power telling BBC News  that Obama would “not rely on some plan that he’s crafted as a presidential candidate or a U.S. Senator.” And yet Obama’s website  still promises the American people: “Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months.”
The American people deserve a real debate about the costs and benefits of the policy options in Iraq. Not wildly speculative cost estimates admittedly off by trillions of dollars or campaign promises that senior advisers know to be wildly unrealistic.
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URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2008/04/07/morning-bell-liberal-incoherence-on-iraq/
URLs in this post:
 last time Gen. Davis Petraeus testified: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/05/world/middleeast/05petraeus.html
 full-page ad: http://flickr.com/photos/robbluey/1356857350/
 reality: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120752308688293493.html?mod=opinion_main_commentaries
 MoveOn.org is trotting out economist Joseph Stiglitz: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/02/26/politics/politico/thecrypt/main3879546.shtml
 admitted: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=acXcm.yk56Ko&refer=home
 cost of the war in Afghanistan at $1.95 trillion: http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0310/p16s01-wmgn.htm
 80,000 U.S. troops stay in Iraq through 2010: http://www.nysun.com/news/national/obama-adviser-calls-troops-stay-iraq-through-2010
 telling BBC News: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfgate/day?blogid=14&year=2008&month=03&day=07
 website: http://www.barackobama.com/issues/iraq/
 get out of the way: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/general_business/48_say_best_thing_government_can_do_for_economy_is_get_out_of_the_way
 slow growth: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/06/AR2008040602385.html?hpid=topnews
 soft earmarks: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/07/washington/07earmarks.html?adxnnl=1&ref=todayspaper&adxnnlx=1207562710-VeN3cuavMjquh3n9RwziOQ
 may cost more than it saves: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/07/business/07medicare.html?ref=todayspaper
 fights between tree lovers and solar panel users: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/07/science/earth/07redwood.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper&oref=login
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