Cost of the Bush Regime’s WAR by Geronimo Tagatac
According to the latest estimates, the Bush regime’s war in Iraq will cost $1.2 trillion. That’s trillion. According to a recent New York Times article, this war is costing you, me and everyone we know, $300 million dollars each day. And with the Bush administration’s anticipated “surge,” which is a one-syllable way of saying escalation, the costs are headed north.
With the $200 billion that the US is spending annually on the war, we might have been able to fund health care for every uninsured person in America. Instead, we are saddled with what, according to international studies, is the most expensive and least accessible health care system in the developed world. We might also have implemented universal pre-school for all of our children. These programs would only have cost a fraction of what we are and will spend on a useless conflict that is based on a web of lies.
And what do the people who started this war have in mind for the future? They intend to rebuild the military to pre-Iraq war levels, to replace the tanks, planes, artillery and small arms, to the tune of over $100 billion, in order to, in their words “meet our global commitments.” Translation: More billions for arms manufacturers so that we can further the neo-con vision of American global dominance by military means.
In the meantime, other countries, especially China, invest money in development and trade, in Africa, Southeast and South Asia and Latin America, in return for the resources of those regions. The countries of the European Union and Japan are moving quickly to develop alternate energy sources to petroleum (60% of Denmark’s energy needs are met by wind generators).
War leaves a big hole in a country. Over three thousand men and women, not to mention those who are yet to fall, are never coming home again to their families, to return to their jobs, school and their friends. More than twenty thousand have returned wounded, many of them never to lead normal lives again. And then there are the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi men, women and children who have been killed and maimed in the Bush war. Note: You can bet that the casualties of this conflict don’t include the children, fathers and mothers of the people who started it and are profiting from it.
In the meantime, we continue to pour billions of dollars and thousands of lives into a war based on conservative ideology, greed and dishonesty when we might have used the same resources to ensure our country a peaceful and prosperous future.
Geronimo Tagatac is a first generation Phillipine-American. He spent his childhood living and working in the fields and orchards of rural California. He has published short fiction in the “Writers Forum,” “Orion” and “Mississippi Mud.” He currently lives and writes in Salem, Oregon. He can be reached at [email protected]