Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Creative (or just Goofy?) Alternatives to War

(via Alicublog)

Peggy Noonan suggests that Steven Spielberg could single-handedly bring peace to the Middle East if he "...sent out a casting call for males age 12 to 30 he would immediately establish a new Mideast peace, at least for the length of the shoot. Because the only thing the young men there would rather do than kill each other is be a movie star."

Okay, that's pretty goofy, but considering that we will have spent a few hundred billion dollars, over 1000 US lives and many times as many Iraqi lives before we are through in Iraq, it does seem that it might have been worth while to experiment with alternatives to war. For example, what if, instead of invading, we had just bribed Saddam Hussein to leave the country? Maybe we could have offered him $1 billion, that still would have been getting off cheap. Or maybe we could bribe the insurgents: offer each of them $20,000 or so to give up their arms. That would still be much cheaper than war.

So why aren't more creative alternatives to war ever tried? Is it because bribery is immoral and sets a bad precedent? Is it because we know it wouldn't work? Because we worry that the rest of the world would make fun of us?

It's hard for me to see how a solution could be worse than spending $200 billion and killing 100,000 people (many if not most innocent).


Blogger Kyle McCullough said...

Who was it that said: "War is the failure of diplomacy?" This is one of the points that Kerry should have driven home in the campaign. He should have been asking questions like: "just how big of an early retirement package did you offer Saddam Hussein? Yes, you said he could go into exile, but what kind of exile? Just how incompetent were YOUR negotiators that they could not come up with something cheaper than $200 Billion and 1000 American lives?"

(P.S. It's up to $280 Billion and 1402 Americans now, and I'm sure that 100,000 Iraqis estimate needs revision as well.)

4:54 PM  

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