Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Deficit Hawks Don't Seem Worried About The Cost Of Wars

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.


Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the $12 billion in cash that was air-lifted by the U.S. into Iraq in 2004...and promptly vanished without a trace. How much do you want to bet that this money is now sitting in the Swiss bank accounts of some NeoCons, who are chuckling at the whole affair?

Jack Jodell said...

That was a superb last sentence which sums the Republicans up perfectly, Manifesto Joe. They are still dominated by neocon ideology of preemptive war and military dominance throughout the world. They would be perfectly happy to have us militarily engaged all over for the next 100 years.

The current no-win situation is the natural end result of non-bid military contracting and the privatization of war, whereby profit and continuance are the driving factors, not military victory or political solution. Just like with abortion and everything else, the GOP will play politics with this, for sure. For they can never attain political dominance straight on with a honest and straightforward agenda or presentation. Instead, they have to sneak back into power using hyperbole, deceit, and roundabout methods. They are morally bankrupt.