By Debbie Menon
The War And Occupation Of Iraq Costs $573,648,582,159
Payvand.com - The $573 billion dollar cost to date, for the war in Iraq is the low estimate, or rather the literal cost. This does not include the cost of borrowing that money, or the cost of 5 or 6 decades of medical care and disability pensions for several hundred thousand American soldiers. These figures don't include the health and education services and other social programs which were robbed to pay for the war, which will probably never be funded again. And most important, the direct costs and the opportunity costs to the Iraqi people and their economy, including the lost income and pain and suffering of more than a million dead and many million Iraqis turned into refugees.
Think of the $25 billion that the US automakers would like to borrow, and are being denied by Congress. That same Congress has agreed to pay that much money, for the past five years, every month for more than 50 months, for the illegal Iraq war. US automakers lack the chutzpah to ask Congress this way:
Which better serves US interests and National
a) To have 3 viable automobile companies or
b) To have one more month of war in Iraq? The two options cost the same.
Which is the better buy for Americans? Congress needs to choose.
Every man's "Costs" are someone else's "Income."
Every man's "Losses" are someone else's "Profits."
It is all relative! Try reading the ledger from the other side of the table and see how it looks.
Suddenly, life in the U.S.A. doesn't seem so stable anymore, if you believe half of what you read in the press and there is no reason not to.
Unemployment is as high or higher than it has ever been, and this is reflected in statistics of which enumerating procedure is ever-changing in order to minimize the impression and impact. Those hundreds of thousands of healthy, trained, capable and willing "workers" who are unemployed and looking for work, taking anything they can to earn enough to put something on the table, are probably even greater than they were during The Great Depression in 1929.
The "real" numbers of unemployed, have always been manipulated to hide the hard truths because it is simply impolitic to let the people know how badly off they actually are. It is one thing to worry about not having enough to feed, clothe and house the kids, it is another thing to know that it is endemic, and that there is little hope that things will improve at any time in the foreseeable future.
American Industry, one of the most powerful in the world a hundred years ago, has, with the support of years of American government policy, exported overseas almost all of America's jobs in the search for ever more profitability at any costs to anyone but the American Corporate elites and the career Government oligarchy who manage the system.
Most Americans have been equally victimized by the Bank and Stock Market manipulators, actually the very same people, who seeing the profitable housing mortgage business evaporate along with the loss of employment and subsequent inability of their clients to buy even bigger and more expensive homes in order to keep up with the Joneses and "The American Dream," reengineered the Housing Mortgage Industry in such a deceitful and illegal manner that it not only preserved their already immense profits, but raised them to heretofore unseemly and unimaginably obscene levels! All at the cost, of course of not only the default of the mortgages and loss of the homes of thousands of people, but also the loss and bankruptcy of millions of worldwide investors in their Ponzi styled Mortgage and derivatives schemes.
In the meanwhile, as a diversion from their personal problems while sitting amongst their displaced possessions at the curbs in front of their former homes, worrying about how and what to feed the children, they are warned of dire and immediately threatening "terrorists" movements who are even at the moment preparing to blow up what little they have left, invade what is left of their country, and destroy the remnants of "The Dream."
This threat, of course, provides about the only remaining opportunity for the young, fit, healthy and able, to find some means of providing for the fiscal security of the family, to wit, Military Service, in which they are offered fiscal security in exchange for physical risk to their personal survival and well being. Those who survive, sane and in one piece, will survive! Those who do not will be presented with a small medal, a wheelchair and a prosthesis... or a flag, the flowers, the eulogy of heroism, and the small plot of land are free!
This morning in the news they are confronted by the specter of the world threat of piracy in Somalian waters! As if they did not have enough problems with housing, work, and those terrorists who envy their high, rich and advanced American Lifestyle, they are now warned of the threat of these pirates, and the devastating effects they will have on the lives, freedoms and lifestyles of each of them, wherever they live in the world!
They are warned that recent capture of a large ship full of petroleum has sent the price of crude skyrocketing by an entire dollar! One entire dollar!
Has the skyrocketing price of oil (by one dollar) affected my personal economy? You bet! But, let's get our pirates into perspective.
Somehow, seated in the Middle East, I do not feel much of a personal threat from a bunch of ragtag pirates, playing a fools game with guns, large heavily armed Naval vessels and greedy Corporate Ship owners and commodities traders. I don't think I am going to run out to my neighborhood gun-shop and arm myself against the imminent depredations of Somalian pirates!
I recall just recently when other acts of piracy, all connected to the shenanigans mentioned earlier, in this essay, skyrocketed the price of crude to twice what it is today, and the subsequent impact it had on the price of petrol at the pump for the unemployed guy and his wife in the US, sitting among their possessions at the curb (which, by the way, have not subsequently fallen in proportion to the "losses" in the price of crude), and, I note, that this impact was only experienced by the ones whose automobiles had not yet been repossessed and who had found sufficient work for the day to afford to put some petrol into their autos to enable them to get down to the unemployment office to apply, yet again, for whatever work may become available.
Yes, indeed. Americans have been victimized and are becoming more so every day. It would appear that the American Dream and the Great American Economy were both built on one gigantic and unstable fault line. And the core is trembling!
About the author: Debbie Menon is an independent writer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
... Payvand News - 11/25/08 ... --