2.1.06

WHY THE LOSS FUNCTION MATTERS. Mitch at Shot in the Dark finds a Chicago Tribune appraisal of nine arguments for liberating Iraq. The Tribune's writers conclude,

Seventeen days before the war, this page reluctantly urged the president to launch it. We said that every earnest tool of diplomacy with Iraq had failed to improve the world's security, stop the butchery--or rationalize years of UN inaction. We contended that Saddam Hussein, not George W. Bush, had demanded this conflict.

Many people of patriotism and integrity disagreed with us and still do. But the totality of what we know now--what this matrix chronicles-- affirms for us our verdict of March 2, 2003. We hope these editorials help Tribune readers assess theirs.

The article is worth your time reading it. What it ... and many other arguments, both in favor and in opposition to liberating Iraq (or toppling Saddam, or stealing the oil, as you wish) ... neglects to do is carefully spell out what would be better or worse about the status quo ante bellum.

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