Pay now or pay later
Posted by aogWednesday, 10 September 2003 at 21:41 TrackBack Ping URL

Oliver Willis illustrates in a post and a comment — “Who gives a crap about how we feel about the UN? I want their money” — one of the silly memes that’s going around, that we it was realistic to enlist more of the second and third rate powers to offset the costs of the Gulf War.

The most basic objection is that these “allies”, such as France or the Saudi Entity, would have cooperated in any case. One might also note that the UN is a parasite on the US and is not going to be a source of money. Just look at how the “oil for food” program worked out. That’s the kind of financing we can expect from the UN. Why Willis thinks it’s fine to have France loot the Iraqis of their oil but objects to even the hint of the US doing so is incomprehensible to me.

But on a more strategic level, Willis claims that’s were $55 billion short because we didn’t get other nations to kick in. One notes that in exchange for this money, we didn’t finish the war, we left hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to die in horrible ways and had to go in again 11 years later. What did all of that cost? More than $55 billion. The primary reason we didn’t take out the Ba’ath in 1991 was because of the concerns of our “allies”. That reticence is what they bought with their money. This means that Willis is arguing that not taking out the Ba’ath in 1991 was not a bad idea and worth the extra cash. I, personally, don’t favor selling out our national security for what is at this level relatively modest sums. It’s penny wise and pound foolish, but then that’s standard Democratic economics.