August 12, 2006

The Case for 10,000 American Dead in Iraq

Imagine for a moment, that you heard a military man, a former general on CNN argue that with chemical weapons attacks, the upcoming invasion of Iraq could see 3,000 americans die in the invasion. It's 2003, you have no idea what's going to face america when it invades. You do know a bit of history and that even the direst predictions tend to be light on the carnage that will accompany any decently sized war. So you up the ante and ask, will this war be worth 10,000 american dead? The answer from your conscience comes back yes. Breaking a downward civilizational cycle for over a billion muslims that's lasted centuries, getting them off the table as far as radical terrorism and other toxic movements is concerned is worth 10,000 dead. So you say it and shock your friends.

But it's true. The muslim world will inevitably cause a lot more than that in civilian casualties unless its present trajectory is altered. Something has to change and it's a huge task. Creating a free Iraq will change that trajectory. If Iraq can remain unitary and free without violence, its positive influence throughout the whole muslim world will be huge and influence many other governments to ditch their autocratic policies for a sustainable freedom strategy.

But fast forward to 2006. We haven't hit 40% of your initial casualty estimate and for you, the war, though not nearly as front-loaded on the carnage as you thought it would be, is going pretty well on the casualty front. For those who were estimating a thousand dead though, we're well over triple their initial estimates and so many have either jumped ship or are wavering in support of the war, willing to take a loss on the war and make meaningless all those deaths rather than add more lives to the tally.

We're paying a large price for not estimating the casualties heavy early on. Our enemies see our wavering and are encouraged to keep fighting, dreaming of another political victory by disheartening the american people. The big question in the minds of all our allies is whether the US public has the stomach to adjust its tolerance for casualty figures upwards. All that could have been avoided by setting them high in the first place.

Welcome to my world.

Posted by TMLutas at August 12, 2006 08:43 AM