Go ahead, ask me a hard one.

It’s not hard to turn the question “Are you saying that our troops in Iraq have sacrificed their lives in vain back on the questioner, and back on GWB.

When a Democratic opponent of the war gets asked the question “So do you think the sacrifices of our troops have been in vain?” the answer isn’t far to seek.

No one dies in vain who dies for his country, or her country. Our soldiers in Iraq won the war to depose Saddam Hussein, and before that the war to free Afghanistan from the tyranny of the Taliban and to uproot al-Qaeda from its base of operations. Nothing will dim their glory; surely, it’s not their fault that politicians in Washington and Baghdad lost the peace,

But do I think George W. Bush has needlessly sacrificed American lives on the altar of his own arrogant indifference to reality, and that he has thrown away the fruits of military victory by political blundering? Yes, I do. If sometimes I seem to be a little angry in my criticism of the current Administration, that’s the reason why.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com