Magazine article The American Prospect

Lonely in Iraq

Magazine article The American Prospect

Lonely in Iraq

Article excerpt

HOW MANY LIVES OF American soldiers is the administration willing to sacrifice on the altar of its unilateralism?

Maybe a soldier a day is a politically acceptable rate for George W. Bush. It's not quite high enough to rise to the level of a political crisis that might force him to abandon his aversion to letting the United Nations, and its member nations, take a real role in reconstructing Iraq.

The $4 billion monthly bill to the taxpayers may be harder to get around, though. Even members of Bush's own party seem vexed by that, particularly since no one has come up with a compelling reason why that figure will diminish over time.

But the price of getting French and German euros in lieu of dollars is that they'll have to be doled out by the United Nations or the World Bank or some international institution. The price for getting Indian soldiers to patrol the streets of Baghdad is that they'll have to answer to some UN-sanctioned authority, even if that authority is still the commanding U.S. general. In other words, the price for reducing the toll that the occupation is taking on American funds and lives is that George W. …

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