Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Are we winning again?

I finally thought of an analogy for the war in Iraq that expresses one of my points of view about it.

Let's say you headed a corporation and you wanted to make a new line of trucks. And you said it would cost 20 million to launch the new line, and you fired someone who was a real gloomy Gus for saying it might cost as much as 80 million.

And let's say that, after screwing it up over and over, and taking much, much longer than even your worst case estimates, and spending over 800 million dollars - that's right, ten times the amount you said was unthinkably gloomy - you finally had some trucks that seemed to be working okay, for now, at least.

Would you say you had "succeeded"?

There's a bit of a trick here, because you certainly "succeeded" in the sense of "successfully getting some trucks that work to market".

But you wouldn't call it a success! You wouldn't chalk one up in the "win" column for yourself! You'd consider it an extraordinary failure.

Of course, this isn't about trucks, and making money, and stuff like that. This is about war. You know, killing people, and destroying property and making other people's lives hell.

"The surge succeeded" and "we're winning in Iraq!" and all that crap that's being said? You wouldn't buy it if it was a new line of trucks that didn't look that hot. Why would you buy it when it's literally a matter of life and death?

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