Craig Unger, author of The Fall of the House of Bush: The Untold Story of How a Band of True Believers Seized the Executive Branch, Started the Iraq War, and Still Imperils America’s Future, Harpers, November 19:
Already, the Iraq War has cost nearly 4,000 American lives, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, hundreds of billions, perhaps trillions of dollars, and unleashed forces that are still unraveling. Who knows, for example, what will happen with the Kurds and Turkey? Will the Sunni-Shi’ite conflict spread throughout the region? The only thing Bush can do to change that legacy is to bomb Iran, and I think the consequences of such an attack will be even more horrific. If that takes place, Iran will likely blockade the Persian Gulf, blocking off 40 percent of the world’s oil supplies, sending the price of oil to about $200 a barrel. Iran’s Cruise missiles have the range to hit Saudi oil facilities. Convoys supplying American troops in Iraq could easily be cut off, leaving 160,000 Americans troops highly vulnerable. Many more people were killed in Vietnam than have been in Iraq, of course, but I believe the geostrategic consequences of Bush’s policies will leave an even more devastating and enduring legacy.