Monday musings: Local costs of the wars, is 2012 decided?

A couple of thoughts ramble around my head this morning. It being a quiet Monday, let us cogitate:

– As a general rule I am asked to ponder local things, which means I’m not supposed to spend a lot of time on national things, but it is hard not to notice that national things intrude on local, whether we want them to or not.

Consider the current wars, of which there are at least two, although Libya ought to count, and Yemen, and Somalia where we’re sending in mercenaries and pretending we don’t know who they work for, and who knows where else? The Onion a while back ran an article about the military (click) apologizing for forgetting to tell us about the war in Syria, and who knows if that’s still fiction?

Anyway, one of the ways local things are affected by the wars is in money. Notice how the national debt and deficit are both soaring? Notice how budgets are being cut? Notice how senior meals have been reduced? Yes there is a connection.

This fun web site (click) run by the National Priorities Project gives a running tally of just the wars that are more-or-less official, in Iraq and Afghanistan. See the pretty numbers roll by? $1.23 trillion and counting. You can also break it down by state ($6.6 billion for Utah) city ($170 million for Ogden) counties (they only show Salt Lake and Utah) and congressional district ($2.17 billion for Rob Bishop’s 1st Congressional District).

Isn’t that fun? Anyone else here thinK an extra $7 billion would have come in handy for Utah over the last decade?

Every dime of that cost was added to the national debt, none of it paid by taxes (thanks to tax cuts by both Bush and Obama) and all of it represents non-productive money taken out of the economy that could have much better been spent on schools, health care, infrastructure, and so on and so forth. Or just on keeping our national debt from growing.

Oh yeah, and the wars also killed 5,000 and wounded another 44,000, plus another 100,000 or so traumatic brain injuries, PTSDs and on and on. Can’t forget them!

And we note with displeasure that Iraq is still exploding (click), and Afghanistan and everything connected to it continue to be a complete FUBAR (click)  so I think we can consider our $1.3 trillion pretty badly spent.

I’m not for one minute advocating it, but this sort of thing does make one yearn for the days — mostly mythical — when a country could invade someone, steal gold or cotton or slaves or something useful, and actually come out ahead on the deal.

Wait, wasn’t that what we were told about the War in Iraq? Yup.

— Is 2012 already decided? I keep wondering. Obama still has fully a third of his first term to work through, and since Gov. Perry of Tex tossed his hat into the ring, I’m seeing a lot of commentery (click)  about why he’s likely to win.

I wish this whole campaign would go away — States trying to get publicity by hosting ever-earlire campaign events that allegedly mean something have brought us to the point where we actually give a rat’s patoot about the Iowa staw poll where candidates actually pay voters to show up, and this is supposed to mean something?

And of course Perry, who wasn’t there, is already touted as the strongest challenge to Romney, who also wasn’t there, but the straw poll was still really meaningful, somehow.  

Meanwhile, economic disaster looms and wars continue  but nothing is going to get done about any of those because everyone’s already looking over their shoulder at next year’s election.

Which, keep in mind, (click) is already pretty much decided.

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24 Responses to Monday musings: Local costs of the wars, is 2012 decided?

  1. hawg says:

    “but this sort of thing does make one yearn for the days — mostly mythical — when a country could invade someone, steal gold or cotton or slaves or something useful, and actually come out ahead on the deal.

    Wait, wasn’t that what we were told about the War in Iraq?”

    as if quoting the Onion isn’t funny enough, the above statement is great.

    we were told exactly what you said, remember it was all you liberals who said the sole reason we went to war was for oil. and now it’s a good reason for you?

    • willbike says:

      Was WMD a good reason?

      • hawg says:

        yup, WMD is a good reason, but not as good as taking their oil.

        now before you remind that they didn’t find the WMD you had in mind, I am aware of that. so then why does your boy keep us there?

        • ctrentelman says:

          see answer below…i don’t know how to work this apparently.

        • willbike says:

          Because we can’t just pull everyone out, before we hopefully train enough security forces to provide some level of stability, or the little that we accomplished will be lost.

          • hawg says:

            hey that’s what Bush said. (and was beat up for it)
            guess the view changed for obama when he got to the WORKING side of the desk, huh?

        • willbike says:

          “hey that’s what Bush said. (and was beat up for it)
          guess the view changed for obama when he got to the WORKING side of the desk, huh?”

          My view never changed. I supported and told people to support Bush, just like I do with Obama.

          • hawg says:

            “My view never changed. I supported and told people to support Bush”

            OK, so you supported the WMD reason then.

        • willbike says:

          As a soldier in the United States Army I supported what the President of the United States told me to do.

        • willbike says:

          “yup, WMD is a good reason, but not as good as taking their oil.”

          That’s cute how you effectively dismiss thousands of dead Americans with “yup.”

  2. ctrentelman says:

    You left of (strategic editing, you sly dog you) where I said i was not in any way advocating this but ….

    That last sentence was referring to bush’s employee, paul wolfowitz, who on March 27, 2003, told the House Appropriations Committee that oil revenue earned by Iraq alone would pay for Iraq’s reconstruction after the Iraq war.

    Yes, anti-war people (not just liberals) did say it was all about oil, whichis not now and never was a good reason but it was, then, the reason. As one person — including me — said at the time, \if Iraq’s chief export were broccoli, would we be doing this?\

    • hawg says:

      yeah, but it was ironically funny for the moment though.:)

    • hawg says:

      I like broccoli. and if it was the sole food on the entire planet and iraq was the sole source for said sole food, you wouldn’t go to war for food? bet you would

      • ctrentelman says:

        so you agree we did go for oil?

        gee, and i thought you bought bush’s democracy schtick… I’m proud of you.

        • hawg says:

          no, I think we should have gone for oil.
          so would food be a good enough reason or not to go to war/

          • ctrentelman says:

            your question of them being the only source of food on the planet is not only speculative but impossible since, if they were the only source of food on the planet, whether broccoli or kumquats, everyone else would starve to death before being able to mount an offensive to get some food.

            so I see no sense in speculating on an answer.

            Oil, on the other hand, is available in other places and, if one takes the trouble, can be done without, so I don’t see it as a reason to invade. If we did need their oil, it would have been far easier to just wait until they needed some cash to buy food (broccoli!) and, since oil is all they have to export, pointed out to them that they can either sell us the oil for our broccoli or go ahead and eat the oil.

            So, from a free market capitalistic point of view, the war was also unnecessary.

          • hawg says:

            hey charles can you talk to the higher ups about the damned dissapearing reply button? it’s irritating.

            anyway in response to below.

            oil is second only to food nowadays.

            not necessarily in this case, because it is everywhere (if nutcase enviromentalists will get out of the way) but it could be considered a good reason for war one day.

            yes, I know my scenario is impossible, but the question remains (unanswered) would you consider war for food if it ever got to that point?

  3. ctrentelman says:

    might have been if there were, but there weren’t and much of the so-called evidence for them had been shown to be false before the invasion. The International Atomic Agncy (i forget the exact name) had debunked the aluminum tube theory before colin powell cited it in his speech at the UN, for example, but nobody paid attention.

  4. Howard Ratcliffe says:

    Rick Perry might win unless people knew about his 2008 Republican Governor’s conference in Dallas where Sarah Palin’s water broke; giving a 30 minute speech and flying 9 hours to Wasilla after this happened on her 5th child is criminal bad judgment at best.
    If people knew Rick advocates
    Texas seceding from the Union, about
    Operation Gun Runner, the
    NAFTA Superhighway, his
    penchant for Austin hookers, and strippers, his
    support of TARP followed by his condemnation of it after money disbursement, his
    membership in the Bilderberg Group and CFR, his
    2008 FLDS Raid at El Dorado based on a hoax phone call by Rozita Swinton, his
    Chief of Staff Mike Swinton proposing forced Guardasil HPV Vaccines for 12 year olds at $360/per vial as a paid lobbyist for Merck, his
    Privatization and unconstitutional borrowing of money for toll roads, University buildings, water systems and cancer research, his
    Campaign contributions from Country Wide Mortgage just ahead of bankruptcy, his
    support of illegal immigration,
    his support of the
    Federal Reserve, Patriot Act, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libyan Wars.
    As Lucy would say “Ricky, you have some ‘splainin to do.”

  5. ctrentelman says:

    beats me. He and i disagree on this subject. I’ve said many times we should have pulled out yesterday.

  6. ctrentelman says:

    my plan to balance the budget is defund the entire wars and tell the generals they have until Oct. 1 to clear everyone out. Anything they can’t move is to be abandoned on site or destroyed, depending on military value.

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