War is Expensive!

// July 9th, 2007

I stumbled upon this article today at Y! News:

Report: War costing US $12B a month

I just rekindled this blog this week, but before I did, I was looking back at some of the things I wrote about 3 years ago, decrying how much of a grave mistake this war on Iraq would become.

As I would often say back then, in the aftermath of 9/11 and the run-up to the Iraq war, there is no good, holier than thou feeling about being able to say, “I told you so” when it means that thousands upon thousands of innocent American, Iraqi & Afghan people have died for absolutely no reason at all other than an imperialistic land grab on behalf of the military industrial elite.

In fact, the feeling is quite the opposite. If one had the foresight or common sense to understand and know what would happen once the war began and still could not stop it, the resulting feeling is one of weakness and lack of power in the face of our increasingly unilateral government.

During those times, I spoke my voice, wrote poems, joined protests, and even participated in a live town hall on The Today Show (albeit Saturday morning show at 7am - not even my parents woke up to watch it!), where I grilled David Kay, a former UN weapons inspector, who supported the notion that Iraq had WMDs, only to resign a year later, stating that “we all got it wrong.”

And so, where are we now? $500+ billion spent on a war that is only endangering us even more and further accelerating the decline of our young empire. The current administration is going to be off the hook in a year, leaving this mess for someone else to clean up, namely another administration, but even moreso, US. We are paying for this, not them. Lord knows that collectively, the war profiteers have the money to cover the costs of this disastrous endeavor, but rich people don’t go into government to spend their own money, they go into it to spend YOUR MONEY. They put in none of the cost, and they enjoy all of the benefit aka the revenues.

So if the majority of we the citizens of this country do not want to be involved in this war any longer, why are our taxes still paying for it? If ever there was an example of taxation without representation (the reason this country was even born!), this is it. We’re not spending that tax money on education for our children, on health care for those who need it, on national security, on strengthening our infrastructure, for relieving African debt, or whatever your cause may be.

It reminds me of 2 quotes in Sicko:

Former Britsh MP Tony Benn:
“If we can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people.”

American expatriate living in Paris:
“One of the things that keeps everything running here is that the government is afraid of the people. They’re afraid of protests. They’re afraid of reactions from the people. Whereas in the States, people are afraid of the government. They’re afraid of acting up. They’re afraid of protesting. They’re afraid of getting out.”

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