Monday, January 5, 2015

The cost of war

This is only the financial cost of our wars, of course. It doesn't include our costs in blood, honor, and reputation. And it's only the cost so far. We'll be paying for years and years to come, certainly for our young people who've been maimed in combat.

Remember when the Iraq War was supposed to "pay for itself"? (Hey, we couldn't pass up a free war, now, could we?)

Remember when the Bush Administration fired Lawrence Lindsey for suggesting that the cost could be as high as $100-200 billion dollars? The cost has been far, far, far higher than that, and we still don't know how high it will go.

Again, this is only the dollar cost, but that has been enormous. But were our wars at least successful?

We invaded Afghanistan in order to get Osama bin Laden, supposedly. Only that didn't work. We invaded an entire country in order to get one man, and we didn't even do that. By the end of the Bush Administration, the president was saying he wasn't even interested in Osama bin Laden.

Well, what else could he say? It was pretty embarrassing to get America into a war - the longest war in American history - for nothing, wasn't it?

It took Barack Obama to show us how we should have gone after Osama bin Laden in the first place - without a war, without an enormous cost in money and lives. Of course, it wasn't as much fun as a war, right? Certainly not for defense contractors.

And, of course, we based our invasion of Iraq entirely on a lie. Saddam Hussein had never attacked us and was no threat to us whatsoever. He was the enemy of Al-Qaeda, and he did not have weapons of mass destruction. (And no, he wasn't trying to acquire nukes, either.)

Everything the Bush Administration told us about Iraq turned out to be a lie. We invaded an innocent country. (And then, to put the frosting on the cake, we tortured prisoners of war. Just think of what those chicken-hawk Republicans did to my country!)

America's infrastructure is crumbling. Our schools need help. Our students are suffering, and college graduates end up deep in debt. Meanwhile, we've wasted a fortune waging two unnecessary and unwise wars,... for nothing.

No, not for nothing. The rich made out like bandits. The military-industrial complex has been ecstatic. America lost money - and blood, and honor - but defense contractors have been very, very happy with the politicians they've bought.


Jim Harris said...

I think whenever we go to war an immediate 10% war tax should kick in on our federal taxes. That might cure us of jumping into wars so quickly. No more wars on credit.

WCG said...

I could be wrong, Jim, but I don't think we've ever fought a war without raising taxes to pay for it,... until the Bush Administration.

No more wars on credit? I agree with you, but we've never fought wars on credit, historically. This was one president who discovered that he could play Commander-in-Chief all he wanted as long as the American people didn't have to fight (no draft) or even pay for those wars.

Unfortunately, he was right. It worked. He even got re-elected. So you can bet that Republicans have learned from that, the next time some chickenhawk president wants to play war.