Imagine that! Let me say it again – a billion dollars a day. That is how much your country is now spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
We’ve been in Iraq for over seven years and as any reader of this blog knows, we’ve been in Afghanistan for nine years. A trillion dollars is just days away. At this writing, the total is at $993 billion. (That’s $158 million for my own county. We are fewer than 300K people.)
Afghanistan is a war the American people wanted. Iraq is a war George Bush wanted. Iraq has cost us almost three times as much as Afghanistan, where we’re still engaged – and where troops numbers and fighting has escalated . Oh, it’s the 218th day of the ninth year there.
Iraq has been a disgrace for America, whatever the near term outcome. The fact of it violated everything we preach, every value we’ve ever fought for.
Even if Iraq ended up being the ‘Paris of the Middle East’, it wouldn’t last. Lebanon was once the “Paris of the Middle East”. Today it’s a ruin. The endless military actions and power struggles in that part of the world won’t go away because yet another country got into the fight.
In spite of what FOX News (owned by an Australian), The Weekly Standard (owned by the same Australian) or The Washington Times (owned by the Korean Blessed Father Sun Myung Moon) said in 2003, Iraq was always brought to you by Bill Kristol, The Project for A New American Century*, and all the neo-cons who hide behind the guns in young soldier’s hands.
* The PNAC was co-founded by William Kristol and Robert Kagan in 1997, with roots in the 1992 Pentagon. PNAC’s original 25 signatories were an eclectic mix of academics and conservative politicians, several of whom have subsequently found positions in the presidential administration of George Walker Bush. PNAC is noteworthy for its focus on Iraq, a preoccupation that began before Bush became president and predates the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In 1998, the group wrote a letter to President Bill Clinton, Mississippi Senator Trent Lott (then Senate Majority Leader) and Newt Gingrich (then Speaker of the House of Representatives), demanding a harder line against Iraq. By then, the group had grown in numbers, adding individuals such as former Reagan-era U.N. Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, and long-time Washington cold warrior/pro-Likud Richard N. Perle.
Oh, and Dick Cheney was a signatory as were Rumsfeld, Scooter Libby, Jeb Bush, Paul Wolfowitz, and Dan Quayle.