Allow me to digress slightly from the theme of this site, international aid. This past week the statements of Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania, a Democratic hawk, set off a debate in Congress and across the nation over the war in Iraq.
Regardless of the position you’ve taken on the war, let’s examine some facts.
Just under 2,100 Americans have been killed. Another 15,500 have been seriously injured and it is estimated that over 50,000 will suffer from battle fatigue. There have been conservative estimates of at least 30,000 Iraqi civilian deaths.
Meanwhile we read that in Iraq unemployment remains at about 60 percent. Clean water is scarce, and our reconstruction efforts have been crippled by the security situation. Insurgent incidents have increased from about 150 per week to over 700 in the last year.
Murtha termed this war "a flawed policy wrapped in an illusion!" He went on to say, “Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on our present course."
When further asked, Rep. Murtha, a decorated combat hero, then went on to say: "I'm absolutely convinced that we're making no progress at all. . . . We have become the enemy; 80 percent of the people in Iraq want us out of there; 45 percent say it's justified to attack Americans. It's time to change direction."
So on that note, I’m going to dedicate a few posts to the subject. My angle: What else could the U.S. have done with the money spent on the war, or for that matter the money we'd save by pulling out at this point?
Maybe we should start with defining "How much has the so called War on Terrorism cost to date?" And then see what else is available for that price.