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Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Cost of War

The human cost is the worst. The Iraqi dead, whom no one officially counts, number in the many thousands. The military dead were 30,00 or more; to us they may be the enemy, but they were conscripts protecting their land from invaders. The civilian dead are at least 30,000 (Bush's number), and possibly greater than 100,000 (based on research published in the Lancet). And they keep dying, in tens and twenties, every day.

Then there are our war dead. Eleven dead on Thursday. Seventeen more since I went to bed last night--five by bombs, twelve in a helicopter crash. They now number 2200+ And, according to an article that came out January 6th, 80% of these deaths were unnecessary. UNNECESSARY!
A secret Pentagon study has found that as many as 80 percent of the marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to the upper body could have survived if they had had extra body armor. Such armor has been available since 2003, but until recently the Pentagon has largely declined to supply it to troops despite calls from the field for additional protection, according to military officials.
1600+ fewer dead, 1600+ fewer grieving families, 2000+ fewer children losing a parent.

There is a special place reserved in hell for Donald Rumsfeld, and all those who are responsible for this. May they burn for all eternity.

Then there are the injured. Hundreds of thousands of maimed Iraqis and maimed Americans. Amputees, depleted uranium, and brain injuries. Not to mention PTSD. And our government trying to deny benefits to the returning veterans.

The financial cost is another matter. This war, which was to have paid for itself, is not being paid for by us. No, the cost is being passed on to future generations of workers (because, in George Bush's America, only wages will be taxed. Capital gains, dividends, inheritances, trust funds and other non-labor related income will be tax-free. Joe Sixpack pays through the nose, while Paris Hilton never pays a dime.)
The real cost to America of the Iraq war is likely to be between $1 trillion and $2 trillion, up to 10 times more than previously thought, according to a report written by a Nobel prize-winning economist and a Harvard budget expert. The study, which expands on traditional estimates by including such costs as lifetime disability and healthcare for troops injured in the conflict as well as the impact on the American economy, concludes that the U.S. Government is continuing to grossly underestimate the cost of the war.
And Kerry was laughed at when he said the war would cost 200 billion dollars!

And to paraphrase Kerry, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Iraq? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"

It's time to leave Iraq--for their sake, and for ours. The hell with Bush and the Neocon's grand vision for their new world order, a "New American Century". We must end the madness!


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