Friday, July 14, 2006

Dollar Diplomacy

This comment by apostropher over at Unfogged got me to thinking. According to the CIA World Factbook, the estimated population of Iraq as of July 2006 is 26,783,383. Estimates vary, but it looks like somewhere between 39,000 and 43,500 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the start of the war. Not taking into account the deaths of those in the Iraqi military, that puts the pre-war estimate of the Iraqi population at somewhere around 26,826,883. Now then, according to the LA Times, the Iraq War has cost the United States about $291 billion thus far. Dividing the cost of the war by the pre-war population of Iraq, we have spent nearly $11,000 per person in Iraq on this war.

I wonder, what would have happened if GWB had gone on television in March of 2003 and said the following?
The United States has as its goal the removal of Saddam Hussein from power. We are fully prepared to invade Iraq, but war would inevitably result in the deaths of U.S. soldiers as well as many Iraqis, both civilian and military. Therefore, we propose the following: If the Iraqi people will rise up, remove Saddam from power, deliver him to our custody, and establish a democratic government willing to cooperate with the United States in our effort to eliminate the threat of terrorism worldwide, we will give every man, woman, and child in Iraq $11,000 in U.S. currency. Cash. No questions asked.

The Iraqi people have thirty days to respond to this offer.

Would have been worth a try, wouldn't it?

You know, it's not too late to make a similar offer to the people of Iran. Or North Korea. Or anywhere else we're thinking of invading.

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