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October 30, 2003



This is a man who you widely praise? Has party politics got in the way of principle or consistency?


The war wasn't costly and prolonged so his forecast presumably no longer stands.

Oliver Kamm

"[W]e saw the Tories doggedly follow Labour in trying to incite panic as justification for a war that has killed at least 7,000 innocent civilians and continues to kill our armed service personnel." - Paul Marsden MP, Liberal Democrat Health spokesman, Press Release, 24 September 2003.

"It has become increasingly clear that the maintenance of security in Iraq is proving a heavier burden than existing troop levels can support." - Menzies Campbell MP, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesman, Press Release, 4 September 2003.

So clearly the Liberal Democrats are in exact disagreement with your own judgement that the war was neither costly nor prolonged. Indeed they claim the war is still going on.


Well, Ming Campbell doesn't according to the quote you post above. There were a load of predictions about WMD,about quick democracy,about how welcome the coalition would be,about second resolutions. I think we may be looking at a complex political problem while trying to score cheap political points...

Clem Snide

What were the predictions about quick democracy? Is this another one of those strawmen set up by the Grauniad so they can prove the predictions were wrong? And the coalition was indeed very welcome outside the Sunni heartland. And they have found an active WMD program, however much you may want to ignore it. On the other hand, the Grauniad and Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation made not just predictions, but actual reports of the failure of the shock and awe strategy, and "stiff Iraqi resistance" - lest we forget. That's why I find it impossible to believe a single word they say about Iraq (or the EU, America, Israel, privatisation, GM, or any of the commies' other scapegoats).


You just called the BBC 'Commie'?!? I don't think that I really need to address anything if your normative valiues that underpin your politics are so warped! There were very right-wing people who opposed the war, you know?

Oliver D

Are you sure it wasn't a Euro politican who said that? It sounds like their sort of wishful thinking - a hope for a collapse of the US economy so that their own double-digit unemployment, stagnant growth and out of control deficits don't seem quite so bad.


In the context of the speech when Cable said 'costly' it's pretty clear he was talking about the monetary cost, not in terms of Iraqi lives. Furthermore what Paul Marsden thinks his neither here nor there for the accuracy of Cable's prediction.

Phil Rodgers

We will be able to determine whether the war was "prolonged" and "costly" when it is over. The occupation is currently costing the US about $4 billion per month, around 0.45% of US GDP.


President Bush said 'major combat operations' were over back on May 2nd, which I imagine is what Cable was getting at in terms of the funding of the war and is good enough for me. By the way I think you mean 0.045% of GDP.

Phil Rodgers

US GDP is around $10,800 billion/year [http://www.forecasts.org/gdp.htm]; the cost of the occupation was said by Rumsfeld in July to be $3.9 billion per month, i.e. $46.8 billion per year. That's 0.433% of GDP.

As we all know, more US servicemen have died in Iraq since Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech than did during the "major combat operations". Certainly the war has shifted into a new phase, but it is very far from over.

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