John Stossel: Libertarians versus conservatives
They are quick and correct to point out the danger of Iran going nuclear. They are not as quick to talk about the fact that Iran has a population three times the size of Iraq’s — and the Iraq War wasn’t as smooth or short as then-Vice President Dick Cheney and others assured us it would be.
Bolton also acknowledges that the Iraq War did not go well, but then adds, “Where mistakes were made was after the military campaign.” The U.S. was unprepared for the civil war that broke out. The U.S. also failed to turn utilities and other state-run companies in Iraq over to the private sector, maintaining poorly run monopolies on energy production and other essential services, often squandering billions of dollars.
Occasionally government acknowledges mistakes in domestic policy — but that doesn’t mean it then becomes more efficient. It usually just spends more to try, and fail, to fix the problem. It’s the nature of government. Politicians don’t face the competitive incentives that force other people to make hard decisions.
In his first term alone, Obama spent about three times as much in Afghanistan as Bush did in two terms. Did we win hearts and minds? I don’t think so. The Taliban may still retake the country.
John Stossel is host of “Stossel” on the Fox Business Network.
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