Monday, March 24, 2008

More than 4,000

The media has been making a big deal this week about how the American military casualty count in Iraq has reached the grim milestone of 4,000 dead.

But that's not the only measurement of the horror of this war. Consider:

- The tens of thousands - or is it hundreds of thousands? - of dead Iraqis.
- Over 170 dead American contractors.
- Over 29,000 wounded American soldiers.
- Hundreds of dead soldiers and contractors from Britain and other coalition countries.
- Five million Iraqi refugees.
- $500 billion spent so far, with trillions more still to come.
- Torture. Eroded civil liberties. Increased anti-American sentiment abroad. Etc., etc., etc.

The 3,271 American soldiers killed so far in combat in Iraq are more than the number of combat deaths in the Mexican-American War, the War of 1812, all of the various Indian wars and the Spanish-American War.

Given all this, I can't for the life of me understand how people like Kevin Williamson can call themselves libertarians, and then say nutty things like this to explain why they are opposing Obama:

"Wars end. Entitlement programs do not."

And this:

"Unfortunately, libertarians are famously susceptible to this sort of temptation [to elevate the war issue], e.g. Murray Rothbard's counterproductive embrace of the anti-Vietnam war moonbats of his day, or Ron Paul's fevered courting of the hate-America Left."

Apart from the fact that dead people don't come back after "wars end," Williamson ignores the fact that, under a John McCain or Hillary Clinton presidency, wars aren't going to be ending at all.

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