Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Costs of the War in Iraq

I am linking this to an article by the BBC. They cite the range of disputed figures for both human casualties and financial costs.

I am sitting here with my son wondering what could have been accomplished by the tens or hundreds of thousands of people who have died as a result of this invasion and subsequent occupation, as well as considering the impacts on the widows/widowers, orphans, parents, and all those who will simply never get the blood off their hands or the images from their minds.

In addition, there is the matter of the incomprehensible financial expense. At a time when our elected representatives tell us with straight faces that we lack the resources to provide universal healthcare, adequate jobs at "living wages"(additional NYT link), quality public schooling regardless of neighborhood, affordable university education, domestic disaster relief (think Katrina...), or a restructuring of our economy toward sustainability (both ecological and economic sustainability), we have been spending between $800,000,000,000 and $3,000,000,000,000 (that's $800billion-$3trillion) for the war in Iraq, depending on whose figures you use. We are presently saddled with a national debt of $13.4trillion (that's $174,000 debt per US citizen...) at the time of this post, and an increasing trade deficit (which had become a surplus before George W. Bush took office).

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