Dr. Benjamin Carson has been paying attention to a lot more than the health care debate in the last few years. He’s also been paying attention to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan — two wars that he says he was against.
On Thursday, the famed John Hopkins neurosurgeon appeared on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper and told the host that there were smarter ways to achieve U.S. strategic goals, namely taking out Saddam Hussein, that didn’t involve the U.S. military being bogged in a multi-year war.
On Iraq, Carson said that former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had to go, but added that there were “many good ways” to depose of him without a “horrible war.”
[pullquote_right]”And the best way — you have to take a long term view — is to become petroleum independent,” Carson said Thursday. “If we become petroleum independent we almost win that war on the terrorists immediately because their funding disappears.”[/pullquote_right]
Earlier this week in an interview with the Daily Caller, Carson said that his strategy would’ve been more effective than what happened because “moderate Arab states” would’ve been so terrified that they “would’ve handed over Osama Bin Laden and anybody else we wanted on a silver platter to keep us from doing that.”
Carson said that that kind of thinking must emerge “rather than bombs and missiles.”
“That’s sort of archaic to be honest with you,” he told Tapper.
Dr. Carson gained prominence among conservatives after video surfaced of him critiquing President Obama’s health and tax policies — right in front of President Obama. Carson’s actions even garnered the attention of the Wall Street Journal who wrote an editorial called “Ben Carson for President.” Carson recently spoke at CPAC and has not said that he will run for President of the United States.
According to the Cost of War Project, the number of Iraqi civilian deaths directly related to the Iraq War was estimated to be 134,800, and almost five thousand (4,488) for the U.S. military. When the 3,418 U.S. contractors are added in, the death toll goes up to 7,906, or about eight thousand.
And according to the Cost of War Project’s website, the cost of the Iraq war alone to the United States is $1.69 trillion through fiscal year 2013.