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Friday, December 6, 2013

Again: The Cost of the Iraq War

Posted by on Fri, Dec 6, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Then there is also this, pointed out in a WaPo article coauthored by the economist Joseph E. Stiglitz in 2010:

Writing in these pages in early 2008, we put the total cost to the United States of the Iraq war at $3 trillion. This price tag dwarfed previous estimates, including the Bush administration's 2003 projections of a $50 billion to $60 billion war.
The real cost of the war, however, turns out to be even higher than the estimated $3 trillion! Why? Because the war was, one, funded by debt (Bush cut taxes just as the war began), and, two, a lot of the borrowed war money ended up outside of the economy, and so the Keynesian benefits (war-related production) for standard Americans were small. With no real money returning to the productive side of the economy (which still matters), growth slowed and the growth-dependent financial superstructure collapsed.


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Theodore Gorath 1
The Bush presidency was an unmitigated disaster, so much so that even conservatives today refuse to talk about them. Even they can not lie/spin their way out of that one.

I just hope that history does him the justice he deserves.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on December 6, 2013 at 9:02 AM · Report this
"The real cost of the war" points to how important keeping the oil flowing is to fossil fools. We could have spent the money on a giant renewable energy Marshall plan that would have created jobs, but dead-ender neoliberalism isn't supposed to be a recipe for sustainability.
Posted by anon1256 on December 6, 2013 at 9:34 AM · Report this
Well, if we'd pillaged the entire country's oil fields to pay for the war (like some had suggested) it would have been a lot cheaper. (hey, we learned it from the British... yeah, that's it... colonial power!)

It would have also have pretty much doomed the country's economy.
Posted by ChefJoe on December 6, 2013 at 10:02 AM · Report this
@3 How would you pillage the 2nd largest reserve of conventional oil on the planet without putting 1/2 million soldiers on the ground for many years? So, not only is it a stupid idea but it is also impossible.
Posted by anon1256 on December 6, 2013 at 10:16 AM · Report this
@3 How the fuck to you "pillage" oil, you idiot? It's not just sitting barrels waiting for you.

You need very expensive and totally vulnerable drilling, shipping, and pipeline infrastructure to get it anywhere.

And in case you hadn't noticed unemployed and unorganized Arab teenagers were able to fight the strongest military in the world to a complete standstill with nothing but improvised munitions blowing up all the countries infrastructure.

We had to BRIBE their asses to extricate ourselves from that shit.

Christ. You, Dan Savage and Paul Wolfowitz should live on the same magical island where the refrain "see, all we need to do is..." is a strategy.

Yeah. Let's not ever forget The Stranger stumped FOR that war.
Posted by tkc on December 6, 2013 at 10:27 AM · Report this
But Halliburton, Boeing & Lockheed profits went through the roof, so it's all good, right?
Posted by COMTE on December 6, 2013 at 11:37 AM · Report this
Fnarf 7
This is also why the correct answer to ANY conservative who starts jabbering about debt and deficits is "fuck you, asshole". Those trillions destroyed our economy when it was at its most fragile, and blew up the national debt as well. The conservative narrative is still, more than ever in fact, "we can't afford to keep giving these pennies to shiftless poor people", but that's a lie. What we really did with those pennies, trillions of dollars worth of them, is drag them out into the desert and burn them.

To say nothing of the tens of thousands of dead or maimed American boys and girls -- hundreds of thousands, if you include maimed minds.

The entire conservative universe since 9/11 is a pack of lies. It's incredible to me that anyone still believes it -- including the families of those dead boys and girls, and the majority of the people who paid for this catastrophe.

George Bush did VASTLY more damage to the United States of America than Osama bin Laden, and his spiritual heirs are STILL DOING IT. Ugh.
Posted by Fnarf on December 6, 2013 at 12:34 PM · Report this
Fnarf 8
Oh, yeah, and if we wanted Saddam's oil all we had to do was buy the shit on the open market like we did before. No need for unimaginable amounts of blood and treasure spilled out on the sand.
Posted by Fnarf on December 6, 2013 at 1:18 PM · Report this
@8 - Before 2003, Iraq's crude oil production was on average ~1/10 of the Saudi's. Saudi reserves are also vastly overestimated since they magically increased by a third after the OPEC quota system (a fraction of reserves) was put in place. Even if we ignore the issue of deciding who gets oil contracts, the advent of peak oil made opening Iraqi fields to their full extent a necessity to keep doing business as usual (i.e. oil is currently necessary to an estimated 85% of the world economy)
Posted by anon1256 on December 6, 2013 at 1:53 PM · Report this
venomlash 10
The lesser-seen costs:
-The tremendous losses, from ordnance and looting, to Iraq's rich archaeological collections. The country sits atop the "cradle of civilization" and museum pieces that survived the bombings were usually stolen and sold on the black market, often being damaged in the process.
-The distraction from the war in Afghanistan, which while bungled in its execution, was at least justified by factual evidence. We could probably have wiped out much of al-Qaeda's leadership including Bin Laden at Tora Bora, rather than allowing them to linger on and regroup, and established tighter control over the country to avoid it falling into near-anarchy, as it did.
-The hundreds of thousands of civilians who were killed as a direct result of the war.
Posted by venomlash on December 6, 2013 at 1:53 PM · Report this
Is Seattle in such a bubble about the Iraq war that sloggers don't recall hearing that it would be paid for by oil revenues ?

CNN remembers... even if they use Miss Teen USA's "the Iraq"…
Still waiting to cash in on Iraq's oil
Bush officials originally said oil money could help pay for reconstruction. But with production lagging, these funds barely cover the cost of running the government.
NEW YORK ( -- With the war in Iraq now estimated to cost the United States nearly $2 trillion over the next ten years, many taxpayers are probably wondering what happened to all that oil money that was supposed to help pay for the war.

In selling the war to voters, Bush administration officials said overthrowing Saddam Hussein would cost as little at $50 billion, and that much of the reconstruction could be paid for with the Iraq's oil revenue.
Posted by ChefJoe on December 6, 2013 at 6:39 PM · Report this
When you vote in 2014 and 2016, please remember the destruction the republicans caused this country during those terrible years of the cheney/ bush admin. Read the history again, it tells no lies. The republicans almost ruined our country.
Posted by longwayhome on December 8, 2013 at 8:36 PM · Report this

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