Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Billions down the drain in Iraq

There's a new report that maps out the disaster of the Iraq occupation. Nobody talks about it much anymore, although it should come up every time a GOPer wails about excess spending. This was one expensive fiasco in foreign relations.
Overall, including all military and diplomatic costs and other aid, the U.S. has spent at least $767 billion since the American-led invasion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. National Priorities Project, a U.S. research group that analyzes federal data, estimated the cost at $811 billion, noting that some funds are still being spent on ongoing projects.
I think those numbers are too low. I seen many estimates at over a trillion. I also doubt it includes the costs of treating the soldiers who came home broken from too many extended deployments in that sand trap. But leaving the numbers aside, how much good did all of Bush's nation building in Iraq do?
And yet Iraq's government is rife with corruption and infighting. Baghdad's streets are still cowed by near-daily deadly bombings. A quarter of the country's 31 million population lives in poverty, and few have reliable electricity and clean water.
No mention of the refugees who live in limbo. I assume there are still many. And of course, no one puts a price on the all the needless deaths. As usual, Charlie Pierce says it best:
This catastrophe killed more actual people than it killed the careers of the people who planned it and cheered it on. We should all be ashamed. And we're not.
Actually, some of us are ashamed. Have been outraged and ashamed since the start. But no one listened to us then -- or now. Because we were right all along, but for the wrong reasons, according to the Very Serious Pundits who got everything wrong, but still dine out on their sinecures at neo-con think tanks and bobble their heads on our teevees on Sundays.

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