Whether it is the economy, Iraq, or Afghanistan, the new orthodoxy described by Paul Krugman holds true:
It is, instead, the victory of an orthodoxy that has little to do with rational analysis, whose main tenet is that imposing suffering on other people is how you show leadership in tough times.
Too bad about all those dead Iraqis and Afghans. Too bad about the unemployed who are having their unemployment benefits cut off, the school kids who wanted to take classes during the summer who are adrift on the streets right now because their schools don't have money for summer school, and so on and so forth. We must show leadership by imposing suffering on them, yo!
Have you ever noticed that the man proposing imposing suffering always proposes imposing it on other people, not himself? Sort of like the man who says to the unemployed, "there are plenty of jobs, if you're willing to work for less." But don't ask that man for a job, or for the name of someone who has one of those jobs, because he neither has a job to offer himself, nor knows anybody else who is hiring. His knowledge of the existence of jobs is purely theoretical rather than one which he has any personal first-hand knowledge of, sort of like knowledge of the existence of unicorns and cotton candy trees.
-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin