Quote of the Day   Leave a comment

John Fugelsang:

So for tonight’s F-bomb, we cover a little-covered report that affects all of us.

Because it’s from Stuart Bowen. He’s the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction. And that’s more than just a sexy title — he’s the guy whose job it is to officially notify Congress about how much of our money was spent on the Iraq invasion and occupation and reconstruction.

Now, Bowen just reported that maybe, just maybe, the Iraq War wasn’t a great idea from a money perspective. I could quote you highlights from the report: how the reconstruction “grew to a size much larger than was ever anticipated” or how “not enough was accomplished for the size of the funds extended.”

Wow. Who knew?

And he’s just talking about the $60 billion of U.S. taxpayer money that went to Iraq reconstruction projects. I’d like to repeat that figure, since we’re all so busy arguing about the budget deficit in this country: $60 billion, or $15 million per day. Just to give you some scale, that’s more than Current TV pays me in a whole month.

And it’s relevant. Under the austerity politics of D.C., we have Democrats and mostly Republicans now telling us how we have to cut spending to rebuild America after 10 years of nonstop spending to rebuild Iraq after we blew it up. So let’s go back, through the mists of time, to 10 years ago this month.

Back when Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his capo de tutti capi Paul Wolfowitz were telling us how invading Iraq would pay for itself. And then once we were there they said we couldn’t leave because then Iran would invade Iraq and create the new Islamo-fascist supergroup “Iranq.”

Meanwhile, the people who were against the invasion said it would kill a lot of soldiers, would kill even more Iraqis and would only succeed in making a few U.S. businessmen and international oil companies very, very rich.

So who was right?

Well, according to the report, the American taxpayer spent $40 million for a prison in the eastern Diyala province that now sits in ruins. It’s never gonna be finished. It’s never gonna be used. All that money wasted — sort of like the next Guns N’ Roses album.

Also, a $108 million wastewater treatment center in Fallujah is going to finish eight years late and only service 9,000 homes. If Iraq wants to finish the job we’ve started, they’ve got to pony up with another $87 million. And we can’t help them because we’re broke from spending too much money trying to help them after blowing up their country.

At the end of the day, my friends, the Iraq War cost you and me around $800 billion, or $7.6 billion a month. Factor in long-term cost of caring for our wounded veterans, it’s about a trillion dollars. Over 4,000 U.S. troops are dead, well over 30,000 are injured or maimed for life. Over 100,000 Iraqis are dead.

Now I don’t know if America will learn anything from this, but as long as we’re talking about cutting Medicare, cutting education, cutting salary for government employees; as long as we’re paying the tab after George Bush’s eight-year-long dine-n-dash; as long as Barack Obama is still being blamed for an economy that was partially wrecked by this war; as long as there are still men and women in our government who think they can have two wars off the books while cutting taxes for the wealthy and still get to call themselves conservative …

Here’s a very simple economic formula that works: People who supported the Iraq War don’t ever, ever, ever get to complain about deficits or spending.

In late 2002, a group of entertainers called Artists United to Win Without War put out an open letter to President Bush rejecting the doctrine that America had the right to launch first-strike attacks. A lot of people put their reputations on the line, like Mike Farrell, Lily Tomlin, Samuel L. Jackson — and look who’s right there, in between the late Bonnie Franklin and Janeane Garafalo? Which also happens to also be my dream three-way? — 100 million Americans — one third of us were against Iraq.

Yes, all this spending has led to a lot of suffering, and the austerity politicians of the GOP remind you we can alleviate some of that suffering if we can just come together, cut taxes for the rich even more, and take just a bit more money away from old, sick people.

http://current.com/shows/viewpoint/videos/john-fugelsang-people-who-supported-the-iraq-war-dont-ever-get-to-complain-about-deficits/

 

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Posted March 9, 2013 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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