The costs of America’s invasion and occupation of Iraq have tied up a staggering amount of resources that could have otherwise been deployed to great and necessary purposes elsewhere — at home and abroad.
I am not going to include in this brief comment the tragic human costs of those killed and injured on all sides of this debacle — but I’m just going to outline the Congressional Budget Office cost estimates of costs related to Iraq and the “war on terror” released today.
The figure — according to the CBO — is a whopping $432 billion.
To put that in perspective, this is $18,000 per person in Iraq. If computing just working age Iraqis, the per capita amount of these costs is $30,857.
The CIA fact book lists the purchasing power parity per capita GDP in Iraq as $3400. However, anyone with any genuine experience on the ground experience knows that the real income of families is much lower with individuals fortunate to earn something between $1500 and $2000 a year.
Bribery — or alternatively, enormous national investment and a complete intrasture facelift many times over — would have been more inspirational, less expensive, and tens of thousands if not hundreds would not be war casualties today.
Bush did not do this alone. Lots of Republicans and Democrats helped. Joe Lieberman gave a major assist. So did the Washington Post editorial page. And the neocons.
Accountability. Accountability. Accountability.
— Steve Clemons