New Civilization News: An Easy Solution Missed    
 An Easy Solution Missed15 comments
picture21 Nov 2007 @ 23:59, by Paul Quintanilla

Recent estimates of how much this war in Iraq will cost us surpass one trillion dollars.

One trillion dollars.

What a waste. What a waste. If we had gone to Saddam early in 2003 and had offered him (“We’re going to make you an offer you can’t refuse.”) one trillion for the entire country of Iraq - or, at least, his oil producing regions - do you think, staring the gun in the face, he would have declined?

One cool easy trillion dollars. He could have bought, perhaps, a chunk of southern France for that. He could have had the biggest and most luxurious beach resort in the world. He could have lived at ease and comfort, envied by millions, the most successful gangster ever, evolving into a figure of romance and legend in the history books.

But, no. Instead we decided to waste our money. To let our children die needlessly in Iraq. To murder and slaughter hundreds of thousands of Arabs making ourselves unpopular throughout the world. Hated, stuck in an unending violent quagmire, suffering an enormous loss of face.

And the cost of the war, according to experts, will go way beyond a trillion dollars. We could have saved billions!

With a billion bucks we could have bought off George Bush too. He could have bought the biggest ranch in Texas and may have left the rest of the world alone. For a lousy billion it would certainly have been worth it. At least, George wouldn’t have been obliged to be successful at anything. He could have lived at leisure, not a care in the sky. And had we known then what we know now we would have considered ourselves lucky.

Why, we just don’t seem to have our priorities straight in this country.

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22 Nov 2007 @ 03:34 by vaxen : Solly Cholly...
but it has already exceeded the 450++ trillion dollah mahk... ;) Nice try, anyway...  

22 Nov 2007 @ 17:50 by Quinty @ : I think you're wrong
Vax. The administration claims it is up to 800,000,000,000. While other sources (not just the Democrats) include all the "peripherals" as well, and claim it is way over a trillion. But hey, I'm sure we could have worked something out with Saddam. Especially if we had dangled that noose before his face.

Published on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 by Associated Press
Iraq, Afghan War Costs Are $1.6 Trillion
by Jeannine Aversa

The economic costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are estimated to total $1.6 trillion - roughly double the amount the White House has requested thus far, according to a new report by Democrats on Congress’ Joint Economic Committee.

The report, obtained by The Associated Press and scheduled to be released Tuesday, attempted to put a price tag on the two conflicts, including “hidden” costs such as interest payments on the money borrowed to pay for the wars, lost investment, the expense of long-term health care for injured veterans and the cost of oil market disruptions.

The $1.6 trillion figure, for the period from 2002 to 2008, translates into a cost of $20,900 for a family of four, the report said. The Bush administration has requested $804 billion for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined, the report stated.

For the Iraq war only, total economic costs were estimated at $1.3 trillion for the period from 2002 to 2008. That would cost a family of four $16,500, the report said.

Future economic costs would be even greater. The report estimated that both wars would cost $3.5 trillion between 2003 and 2017. Under that scenario, it would cost a family of four $46,400, the report said.

Oil prices have surged since the start of the war, from about $37 a barrel to well over $90 a barrel in recent weeks, the report said. “Consistent disruptions from the war have affected oil prices,” although the Iraq war is not responsible for all of the increase in oil prices, the report said.

Still, the report estimated that high oil prices have hit U.S. consumers in the pocket, transferring “approximately $124 billion from U.S. oil consumers to foreign (oil) producers” from 2003 to 2008, the report said.

High oil prices can slow overall economic growth if that chills spending and investment by consumers and businesses. At the same time, high oil prices can spread inflation throughout the economy if companies decide to boost the prices of many other goods and services.

Meanwhile, “the sum of interest paid on Iraq-related debt from 2003 to 2017 will total over $550 billion,” the report said. The government has to make interest payments on the money it borrows to finance the national debt, which recently hit $9 trillion for the first time.

The report comes as the House prepares to vote this week on another effort by Democrats to set a deadline for withdrawing troops from Iraq as a condition for providing another $50 billion for the war.

“What this report makes crystal clear is that the cost to our country in lives lost and dollars spent is tragically unacceptable,” said Joint Economic Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in a statement prepared to accompany the report’s release.

The report, from the committee’s Democratic majority, was not vetted with Republican members, said Israel Klein, a spokesman for the panel. An earlier draft of the report had put the economic cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars at a slightly lower, $1.5 trillion.  

22 Nov 2007 @ 17:54 by Quinty @ : Whoops....
I just relooked at your figure. That was trillion not billion, you said.

Gee, if that's true we could have bought Saudi Arabia and Jordon too.... Why not the moon?  

23 Nov 2007 @ 12:52 by jazzolog : On Buying Countries
This is a wonderful, peaceful idea, and here's a Thanksgiving toast to guys like you who roam the earth enjoying the quiet things of life. However, if we buy a country, do we get as many JOBS out of it? Isn't it more economical to steal the country, kill the people, and then move in with free-market, free-enterprise freedom? Remember, the Good American always votes the platform that "creates jobs!" Excuse me now, but Wal-Mart opens at 8...and this is the biggest shopping day of the year!  

23 Nov 2007 @ 17:01 by Quinty @ : That makes sense,
Jazzo. Maybe somebody in the White House will pick up on that idea.  

4 Dec 2007 @ 00:54 by b : Harry Reid says the surge
didn't work. The Iraqi's say it did. Hillary is not going after those anti feminist Muslims who use their sharia law to sentence a girl to legal gang rape then corporal punishment for a wink.  

5 Dec 2007 @ 00:22 by vaxen : Georgia Guidestones
Let's keep the earths population under 500,000,000 shall we? Actually the brunt of it all, and the joke is...that there is no money! Aha! Thus Cheneys: "Deficits don't matter!" Do the research. The conclusions you will come to should be...

Astounding Science Fiction!

Well I'll be! They really aren't human after all.

Go back to sleep, dummy.  

20 Jul 2008 @ 19:24 by Quinty @ : Is Afghanistan another quagmire?

Is Nichols right? Have we been in Afghanistan long enough now to know whether our commitment and overall strategic policy will work? Should have worked after all these years? I don't know. My overall sentiments on the Middle East is that we should pull out. That we have no business there. That if they want to sell the oil to us we will buy it until we can cut off all our dependency on it. Hopefully within ten years as Al Gore suggests. That the Middle East for Americans means nothing but heartache.

Published on Sunday, July 20, 2008 by The Nation
Obama’s Wrong Turn in Afghanistan
by John Nichols
Running for president is a perilous endeavor. Candidates make mistakes.

And Barack Obama is making a serious mistake this weekend.

As he tours Afghanistan, the senator from Illinois says he is “more interested in listening than doing a lot of talking.”

That would be good if it were the case.

Unfortunately, Obama is busy making promises.

After meeting with the Democratic presidential candidate inside the US base in Jalalabad, Afghan warlord turned provincial governor Gul Agha Sherzai told reporters, “Obama promised us that if he becomes a president in the future, he will support and help Afghanistan not only in its security sector but also in reconstruction, development and economic sector.”

Translation: Obama is not listening. He is making commitments.

Specific commitments.

Despite the fact that there are more foreign troops in Afghanistan today than at any time since the 2001 invasion — roughly 60,000 total, including 36,000 Americans - Obama is proposing to dispatch two more US combat divisions (comprising more than 7,000 soldiers) to Afghanistan. That will give the United States even greater responsibility for a technically NATO-led ooccupation.

The Democrat’s send-more-troops proposal is precisely the same as that of Republican John McCain.

And it is precisely wrong.

Dramatic increases in the US troop presence in Afghanistan in the past year have done nothing to stabilize the situation on the ground in the country. In fact, US military officials acknowledge that attacks in eastern Afghanistan — the sector of the country where the majority of US forces currently operate — are up by 40 percent so far in 2008.

So, too, as recent events remind us, are US and Afghan death tolls.

More troops will not cure what ails Afghanistan.

That’s because, even though the cover of the latest edition of Time magazine refers to the fight in Afghanistan as “The Right War,” and even though Obama seems to have bought into this particularly dangerous variation Washington-insider spin, there is nothing right or smart about deepening the US troop commitment in a country that has a long history of thwarting the best-laid plans of great military powers.

The US media and political class has never focused very seriously on the war in Afghanistan.

But in Canada, which was smart enough to keep out of Iraq, but not smart enough to keep out of Afghanistan, there has been much more attention to the conflict.

That attention has fostered a serious movement calling for bringing Canadian troops home.

More than a year ago, the opposition New Democratic Party called for “an immediate safe and secure withdrawal of (Canadian) troops from the counter-insurgency mission and to focus our assistance, not through counter-insurgency but through development and aid.”

“The combat role is the wrong role for Canada and it’s not making life more secure for Afghans,” declared Jack Layton, the NDP’s parliamentary leader.

The NDP leader and other Canadian critics of the country’s military presence in Afghanistan argue, correctly, that while foreign forces have been training Afghan army and police units since the conflict began, the security situation in Afghanistan has not improved.

The Canadians suggest that one of the big problems is the fact that the foreign presence in the country is a too-narrowly defined military occupation directed by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, rather than a broader, more-thoughtfully conceived mission under the leadership of the United Nations.

“Instead of extending a strategy that isn’t working, Canada must aim to support and facilitate efforts towards the peaceful resolution of the Afghan conflict,” says veteran parliamentarian Alexa McDonough, the NDP’s spokesperson on international development issues.

Argues McDonough: “Canada should lead the international community towards a political solution, not continue the failed military approach. This means the international body in charge should be the United Nations, not NATO.”

Instead of making ill-thought commitments of additional US troops to another quagmire, Barack Obama should be listening to the wise critique from engaged Canadians regarding a misguided and misdirected foreign military presence in Afghanistan.

John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written The Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

Copyright © 2008 The Nation  

29 Jan 2015 @ 10:52 by Hiroshi @ : CqlxaCMLnu
Forgot to comment on your other post about Troopathon, nice call out.You know I'm ayawls behind our brave men and women. I will do what I can for them.  

29 Jan 2015 @ 15:58 by Imoohi @ : mphlKUhIxVlSKKCjuh
that their dream was to vote. We gave it to them, that is truly something to be proud of. Now the resaon I’m talking about Iraq is because the Afghanistan war is the same situation and we could accomplish the same. No doubt the situation in Afghanistan is tougher; the country is literally a haven for terrorists and always has been. The country is a hot bed and I really think that this general is right and that we do need to send more troops. I’m really thinking if we do not send more troops we may have another Tet Offensive on our hands. The borders of Afghanistan are clearly not locked down and the mountains are perfect hiding, I really think that the Taliban and other terrorist forces are building up. If they were to launch a major offensive more than likely we would receive very high casualties and the troops would be overwhelmed without reinforcements. The troops would more than likely hold off the offensive, but only after losing many. The whole situation of Iraq and Afghanistan has kind of fallen into the back of a lot of peoples mind and I’m worried that one day we may turn on the TV and see that the troops in Afghanistan are surrounded and under heavy attack. Lastly if we were to lose Afghanistan that would basically make the past many years a waste and all the men who gave their lives to make it a better country would really be disrespected by us not doing all we could.  

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