By Manifesto Joe
While the "deficit hawks" in Congress are scheming for all kinds of attacks on Social Security and other flimsy strands of the U.S. social safety net, news just came out that an estimated $5 billion-plus of what was spent for rebuilding in war-ravaged Iraq was wasted. Yep, wasted.
Here's a link to a story about this.
It's funny how it is with deficit hawks, most of them Republicans -- there's never enough money to keep jobless people going, but there's always money for a war, and for its ancillary costs.
The Iraq war is now supposed to be over in terms of the U.S. combat role, or so says President Obama. Don't bet on it. The U.S. is leaving 50,000 troops in the country, and insurgents are suddenly re-emerging to launch coordinated attacks. I hope I am pleasantly surprised, but I doubt that U.S. forces will be leaving Iraq anytime soon. Expect a permanent occupation, similar to the ones in Germany and Japan, and one not nearly as tranquil.
Meanwhile, the cost will keep rising, well beyond the estimated $750 billion that the Iraq war has already cost U.S. taxpayers.
The way the Republican Party and the DINOs play politics, Obama will end up holding the bag for all this, one way or another. If he withdraws all U.S. troops eventually, expect something perhaps worse than a Vietnam scenario, with Iraq descending into chaos and civil war. "Obama lost the war!" will be the Fox News mantra.
If he keeps a permanent occupation force in Iraq, then the Michael Steeles out there will have license to rewrite history. Never mind that Obama has always regarded the Iraq war as a terrible mistake. It has become his war, regardless of Il Doofus' grotesque 2002-03 decision and regardless of the outcome. Politically, he's in a no-win situation.
Meanwhile, expect a solid bloc of Republicans and a few "Blue Dog Democrats" to try to cut Social Security and stymie extensions of unemployment benefits, while at the same time supporting every war appropriation that comes before them. For them, there's always a deficit for life -- and there's always a huge surplus for death.
Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.