Archive for cost of the iraq war

GOP addiction to war leads to "culture of defendency" turning them "all into warfare queens"


priority fail gop fail culture of defendency

Jon Stewart is brilliant. I rarely use that word, but it applies here. Last week on The Daily Show, he devoted another of many segments to GOP hypocrisy, this time how it applies to spending enormous amounts of money on war. He exposed their hypocritical addiction to budgeting for wars, but not for domestic needs. And then he popped out with the best phrase coinage I've heard in a long, long time: "Culture of defendency" and "warfare queens".

We have a winner:

Jon Stewart:

You do know terrorism isn't the only thing Americans would like to be protected from... [And then he went on to enumerate issues here in the U.S., like crumbling infrastructure]...

Chris Matthews to Jeff Sessions:

"So you have faith that the cost of this war in casualties, and the cost of like a half a trillion dollars, the risk in terms of getting people in the world not liking what we're doing, which is fairly obvious, it is all worth it, 'cause if we do fail-- things fail-- and we come home, and after we come home and it fails over there, they go back to some military coup... isn't that a danger that we can't change the course of a country if we're only going to be there a limited amount of time?"


"I don't believe that's gonna happen."


Unlimited money to go over there, "I don't think anything bad's gonna happen"... Well how about spending some money on cleaning up the mess you made here at home for the veterans?...

I'm worried. I'm really worried about the Republicans, their inability to wean themselves off of military intervention.

They have a culture of defendency, if you will. And I believe it's turned them all into warfare queens. And I think we need to cut them off for their own good.

gop fail streetcar named we're always wrong


Bernie Sanders: You can't fix the economy simply by shredding the safety net


GOP it's not about you

What oh what would we Progressives do without Bernie Sanders? In today's Los Angeles Times, he wrote an op-ed laying out in very clear detail how to make wise choices about how to fix the economy.

Sanders, thankfully, is a member of a budget panel composed of Democratic, Republican and independent Senate and House members doing what they can, supposedly, to avoid another GOP government shutdown.

Senator Sanders explains how to move forward (as opposed to the same old backward, destructive GOP ideas), and how we managed to go from healthy surpluses to (unnecessary) deficits.

He reminds us that by the end of President Clinton's presidency, we had a a $236-billion surplus, and that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted a 10-year budget surplus of $5.6 trillion, meaning we could have erased the national debt by 2011.

Too bad Republicans screwed that up.

And of course, they're blaming President Obama for the horrible outcomes of their horrible policies and horrible obstruction. Here's how it really went down:

  • GW Bush's Afghanistan and Iraq wars were not paid for.
  • Those wars cost us up to $6 trillion.
  • Those wars were put on our national credit card.
  • Bush signed Congress's costly prescription drug bill.
  • That costly prescription drug program was not paid for either.
  • Bush and Congress gave big fat tax breaks to the wealthy and big corporations.
  • As a result, revenue went down.
  • The 2008 recession, caused by the deregulation of Wall Street, also caused revenue to drop.
  • Big fat surpluses turned into big fat deficits.

tadaa3Now gather 'round kiddies, because it's Hypocrisy Time!


Interestingly, today's "deficit hawks" in Congress — Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and other conservative Republicans — voted for those measures that drove up deficits. Now that they're worried about deficits again, they want to dismantle virtually every social program designed to protect working families, the elderly, children, the sick and the poor.

In other words, it's OK to spend trillions on a war we should never have waged in Iraq and to provide huge tax breaks for billionaires and multinational corporations.


Sanders goes on to say that austerity doesn't work, because it clearly hurts those who are already suffering.

Instead of talking about cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, we must end the absurdity of corporations not paying a nickel in federal income taxes. [...]

At a time when we now spend almost as much as the rest of the world combined on defense, we can make judicious cuts in our armed forces without compromising our military capability.

He also thinks it would be a swell idea if Congress members started, you know, listening to the American people, especially because so many polls show that we don't want cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

In fact, according to a recent National Journal poll, 81% do not want to cut Medicare at all, 76% do not want to cut Social Security at all, and 60% do not want to cut Medicaid at all. Other polls make it clear that Americans believe that the wealthiest among us and large corporations must pay their fair share in taxes.

So, Republicans (and even some Dems), how about paying more attention to us, the voters, instead of trying to grab it all for yourselves? It's not about you. It's about all of us. It's about We the People.


Be proud, Bush and Cheney: Iran is the victor in post-war Iraq


iraq war smaller

Be proud BushCo, be proud you lying pieces of excrement; be proud Dick Cheney, G.W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Condi Rice, et al., for taking full advantage of the tragedy of September 11, 2001 to start a fraudulent war. Be proud for using the deaths of thousands of Americans to invade a country that had nothing to do with 9/11. Be proud that men and women are coming home without arms, legs, and what's left of their sanity. Be proud of the PTSD, the alcoholism, the divorces, the trauma suffered by the children of veterans, and the lack of post-war care that so many veterans now need so badly but can't seem to get.

Be proud at the $6 trillion that your little war could very well end up costing us.

And be proud, you utterly heartless morons, for allowing Iran to win in post-war Iraq.

The Los Angeles Times has two articles covering those last two points, here and here. Let's start with the costs of the two most expensive wars in U.S. history:

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will ultimately cost between $4 trillion and $6 trillion, with medical care and disability benefits weighing heavily for decades to come, according to a new analysis.

The bill to taxpayers so far has been $2 trillion, plus $260 billion in interest on the resulting debt. By comparison, the current federal budget is $3.8 trillion.

The costs of the wars will continue to mount, said the study's author, Linda Bilmes, a public policy expert at Harvard University.

The largest future expenses will be medical care and disability benefits for veterans, Bilmes predicted. "The big, big cost comes 30 or 40 years out," she said.

Feeling good about yourselves, neocons? No regrets?

Maybe this next article will change what little there is of their minds, but I doubt it. After all, Cheney doesn't spend any time thinking about his "faults," and certainly has no regrets:

Ten years after the U.S.-led invasion to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the geopolitical winner of the war appears to be their common enemy: Iran.

American military forces are long gone, and Iraqi officials say Washington's political influence in Baghdad is now virtually nonexistent. Hussein is dead. But Iran has become an indispensable broker among Baghdad's new Shiite elite, and its influence continues to grow.

There's your legacy, BushCo. Be proud.

the ugly bush stain


Republicans "twist history to leave us with merely a tarnished Bush presidency rather than an utterly corrupt one."


the ugly bush stain

Today's L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "The what if's of Iraq," Opinion, March 19

Max Boot claims that the justification of ending Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program for going to war with Saddam Hussein was an error, not a lie. He then assigns much of the blame for the ongoing strife in Iraq to President Obama's hasty exit in 2011. This is the prevailing effort from the right, to twist history to leave us with merely a tarnished Bush presidency rather than an utterly corrupt one.

The Bush administration may have made the mistake of initially believing that Iraq had an active weapons of mass destruction program, but the lie it told the American people was the certainty of its existence even in the face of mounting doubt and evidence to the contrary. "There isn't any debate about it," then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said about the supposed weapons program in the lead-up to the war. "There is no doubt," said Vice President Dick Cheney, even though contradictory reports were being suppressed and the debate in intelligence circles was raging.

We must not allow history to be forgotten, no matter how badly it stains our political leanings.

Jeff Payne



Boot throws out any number of what-if's to try to justify the horrendous, tragic fiasco of the Iraq war initiated by the Bush administration.

Let me give Boot the ultimate what if: Let's say the popular-vote winner of the 2000 election, Al Gore, had actually taken the White House. That's an easy one. There would never have been an Iraq war at all, and all that blood and treasure — unpaid for, as it was — would never have been wasted.

Bottom line: The invasion of Iraq was an ego trip and a stupid, senseless loss of people and money that never should have occurred. No one can ever justify it, and we will still be paying for it when our grandchildren are old.

Linda Winters

Culver City


As someone who opposed the Iraq invasion from the beginning, I am still angry at those from both parties in the House and the Senate who originally voted to rush into that war. And I admire those who were smart enough to vote against it. So many lives and so many billions of dollars could have been saved if we had more carefully considered all the consequences before taking that action.

Going forward, hopefully we will listen more respectfully to those who question the wisdom of heading into such misadventures.

Daryl Lubinsky



What if Boot led off his piece with a reminder of the bogus assertion by the Bush administration that Hussein and Osama bin Laden were linked? What if Boot reminded us that many of the United Nations weapons inspectors declared before the U.S. invasion of Iraq that they doubted Iraq had a weapons program? What if the U.S. had a mandatory military draft program with no deferments?

Would we have gone to war with Iraq in such a hurry?

Kenneth Grimes

Los Angeles

The writer is a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps.