Monday, September 10, 2007

My Question for General Petraeus

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General Petraeus had already stated that the surge has produced “mixed results.” In his testimony today, he clearly tried to emphasize the positives and downplay the negatives. That’s natural, I suppose, but as with any investment with mixed results, what really matters is the net gain or loss.

Before Petraeus even got started, Swopa zeroed in on the most important question that would not be asked during today’s testimony about balancing the bottom line of this war:
Was the essentially non-existent political progress in Iraq the last six months worth 700 American lives? What progress can you guarantee during the next six months that will be worth another several hundred American lives?
Here's another one as I take a different tack in trying to appeal to those who might take a more conservative traditional self-centered approach to defining the bottom line:
You have described "mixed results" during the last six months in Iraq. Considering both the positives and negatives, and based on the “net yield rate” in terms of improvement during that time, how many more years would you estimate that we will need to keep spending $177 million per day in order to reach our goals there?
Even if you are one of those people who views your own life as nothing but a race to accumulate the most and best investments, the fact is that the Iraq occupation is a loser from a pure investment point of view (unless, of course, you're a war profiteer!)

I mean, how long would you keep investing in a mutual fund hoping to reach your retirement goal if the net progress toward your goal after five years suggests that you may never be able to retire?

1 comment:

  1. Giraffe4:52 PM

    I wish you would scale this down and get it to your local newspaper,
    Seenos. I doubt if many have the desire to waste their whole day listening to these droning hearings on CSpan, and the news media is giving it short shrift anyway. This war is immoral, illegal, and criminal. How can they paint it any other way. Your analysis might hit some people where they live.