Mantra

We’re buying time with our soldiers’ lives, says Ambassador Crocker. Let’s start counting the days, and the lives.

I’m late to the party on this, but the more I think about it the more convinced I am that Amb. Ryan Crocker gave the anti-war Democrats what should be their #1 talking point:

We are buying time at a cost of the lives of our soldiers.

Kudos to Crocker for telling the truth so bluntly. (His bosses can’t have been pleased.) But lives-for-time is not a deal that much of the country would support, especially since the Iraqi leadership seems to be unable or unwilling to use that time constructively; that’s why the Bushoid dead-enders are hanging on by fantasizing about “victory.”

If I were Obama or Edwards or Clinton or Reid or Pelosi, I’d put a sentence into every speech, no matter what the topic, and update the figures every day:

Since Ambassador Crocker said that we were buying time for the Iraqis at the cost of the lives of our soldiers, we have bought XXX (days, weeks, months) for YYY lives. And we’re no closer to peace, let alone victory. When will we have paid enough?

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