Blogs > Liberty and Power > Max Boot and the "Butcher's Bill" in Iraq.

Aug 11, 2005 1:10 pm

Max Boot and the "Butcher's Bill" in Iraq.

Max Boot wishes that we had not"dodged" the"butcher's bill" in Iraq:
Oh, how times change. Today we can put “smart” bombs through the window of an office building. Along with greater accuracy has come a growing impatience with “collateral damage.” A bomb that goes astray and hits a foreign embassy or a wedding party now causes international outrage, whereas 60 years ago the destruction of an entire city was a frequent occurrence.

Does this make us more enlightened than the “greatest generation”? Perhaps. We certainly have the luxury of being more discriminating in the application of violence. But even today, there is cause to doubt whether more precision is always better. During the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003, the U.S. was so sparing in its use of force that many Baathists never understood they were beaten. The butcher’s bill we dodged early on is now being paid with compound interest.

Via Henry Farrell at Crooked Timber.

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David T. Beito - 8/12/2005

This is rather typical of Herr Boot. It might be revealing to look back on his predictions during the first stages of the war.

Sudha Shenoy - 8/12/2005

Talk about bloodthirsty. _And_ wrong -- because so totally Americo-centric: the rest of the world doesn't exist. The violence in Iraq comes from the minority Sunnis -- who will now be a permanent minority in a Shia state. The violence is directed against Shias -- read the newspaper reports; against govt entities (police stations, army recruitment centres, govt officials) -- in order to obtain more political power when the present interregnum ends. Americans are allies of the present govt in Iraq -- hence they too are attacked. But all this is clearly too complicated for the likes of the neocons (God help us.)

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