The is one of the ironically funny quotes I’ve seen regarding the real cost of the 5 Years War in Iraq, by former chief economist in the Bush administration, Larry Lindsey, in his recently-released book, What a President Should Know … but Most Learn Too Late:
There is a widely held but utterly false belief that wars are good for the economy. Taking resources that could be used to build homes, manufacture appliances, or invent and develop new technologies and using them instead to make things that get blown up is not good for an economy. It can foster inflation and erode a nation’s capital base. (quoted from a money.cnn.com article, January 11 2008)
Perhaps the greatest tragedy in this never-ending war is the fact that our commitment has been so completely marginalized not only by the media, who are guilty only of pandering to the ethereal whims of a fickle and impatient American society, but the very government that initiated our involvement in the first place. Over the past week, news from the front has been nearly completely drowned out by doomsday predictions on the state of the US economy. Nancy Pelosi, once so committed to ending the war, seems content now to kowtow to the White House so long as she is given a spot next to the President as they mug for cameras in front of the huge tax rebate checks they’re dangling before the noses of American consumers. Why worry about the war, they seem to be asking, when you could be out spending all this money we’re going to send you that we really can’t afford to borrow anymore anyway…? Meanwhile, soldiers are still dying. Millions of dollars are still being used every day to grease the gears of the US war machine. The voracious borrowing of the Federal Government has wreaked such havoc on the domestic economy that 2 million American families are facing foreclosure of their homes over the next year. And still the war goes on and on. Every day the news is filled not with stories on our success (or failures) in Iraq, but with reports of how our economy may or may not implode at any time. The sacrifice of our troops is at risk of being forgotten. An almost equally disturbing effect of this media saturation on our economic woes is our inability to hold our leaders accountable for their actions — or otherwise their inaction relative to the promises they made to win our vote.
If inflation is rightly considered a “hidden tax,” then Republicans still in office have lied to us with their promises not to raise taxes. If promising to end the war was the engine that drove Democrats into power in ’06, then we should be clamoring for their immediate removal from office. They claimed to need six months. We’ve given them 18. And still the war goes on and on…