The real cost of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq.

September 5, 2010 | By | 5 Replies More

What is the cost of the U.S. invasion of Iraq? The cost, which will continue to mount for decades, is staggering, even insane. It wasn’t $50 B, as W stated; it’s already in the trillions. Here are the numbers from the Washington Post. The reason for the U.S. invasion and occupation? Unknown. The deleterious effect on the soldiers, their families and the U.S. economy? Long term and devastating. For the hawks, it was fun going in with all those fancy weapons blazing, but they are not offering any ideas as far as cleaning up this catastrophic mess.   And those hawks have absolutely nothing to offer to the massive number of Iraqi refugees, who have spilled all over the Middle East, placing an enormous burden on Syria and Jordan.

And combat is not “over,” per the recent lies of the Obama Administration. And the corrupt corporate media is, for the most part, not calling out the Obama Administration for this recent fabrication any more than they confronted the U.S. for the fictitious “reasons” for invading in the first place.  The media excels at serving as official stenographer for U.S. politicians whenever the topic is war (and see this piece on a documentary by Phil Donahue, and this article regarding Amy Goodman’s views about the additional failures of the media).  The corporate media bears thus much of the blame for the bleak economic future of the U.S. 

It looks like the U.S. didn’t plan this “war” any better than they figured out how to make airplanes safe from terrorists prior to 2001. Hundreds of high-paid counter-terrorism experts on the U.S. payroll and they couldn’t figure out to lock the cockpit doors to keep a suicidal terrorist (of which many were known prior to 2001) from disabling the pilot and crashing the plane. And then we come up with a brilliant plan that forbids passengers from bringing finger nail clippers onto the planes.

I’m convinced that the U.S. invasion of Iraq was caused by bigoted conservatives who were seething after the U.S. was shown to be inept as far as airline safety, allowing non-Caucasian men armed with only box-cutters to wreak havoc. They couldn’t bear to look in the mirror and accept the blame, so they lashed out by raining bombs all over Iraq, even though the exercise helped to destroy the U.S. economy. It was like going home after work and kicking the dog because your boss yelled at you. The invasion of Iraq looked attractive because we were pissed and embarrassed, and what Iraq amounted to was causing more damage to the U.S. Long term damage to our economy, which means starving our schools, libraries, research, and infrastructure, just so we could brag that we took out Saddam.  Or, perhaps, that Saddam was merely the excuse for public consumption, and the real purpose of the “war” was mainly to make immense amounts of money for military-related industries that had members of Congress in their pocket.

The history yet to be written will judge us to be fools. Maybe that judgment will provoke us to invade yet another country and squander what we have left of our economy.  Maybe Americans will try to defend themselves by claiming that they had good intentions.  They should have known better, however.  As Hannah Arendt wrote long ago, far more damage is caused by the failure to think things through than by trying to cause damage.

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Category: Corruption, History, Military, War

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (5)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    From Fareed Zakaria:

    Since September 11, 2001, the U.S. government has created or reconfigured at least 263 organizations to tackle some aspect of the war on terror. The amount of money spent on intelligence has risen by 250 percent, to $75 billion (and that’s the public number, which is a gross underestimate). That’s more than the rest of the world spends put together. Thirty-three new building complexes have been built for intelligence bureaucracies alone, occupying 17 million square feet—the equivalent of 22 U.S. Capitols or three Pentagons. Five miles southeast of the White House, the largest government site in 50 years is being built—at a cost of $3.4 billion—to house the largest bureaucracy after the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs: the Department of Homeland Security, which has a workforce of 230,000 people. This new system produces 50,000 reports a year—136 a day!

    http://www.newsweek.com/2010/09/04/zakaria-why-am

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    Here's a comment I placed on Facebook. I'm cross-posting:

    I've heard more than a dozen "reasons" for invading Iraq from George W. Bush and his cabinet and advisers, and none of them struck me as true. Here's 21 of them: http://robertsolis.wordpress.com/2008/01/31/21-re… That's a terrible foundation for spending one to three trillion dollars that we didn't even have. I saw it as a war of choice, and I also believed (and still believe) that the "evidence" justifying the invasion was intentionally cooked up. You need a real reason for sending 4,000 soldiers to their deaths, and allowing 30,000 to be wounded. Also for making millions of innocent Iraqis homeless and wrecking the U.S. economy. Lest you think that I'm partisan, I consider Barack Obama's recent claim that we've now reached the end of U.S. combat involvement as total garbage, intentionally concocted. And I consider Obama escalation of the occupation and militarization of Afghanistan to be reprehensible. In order to me to support a war, there must be a reason for fighting and real life military objectives. I don't count any of the following as justifications: A) Our oil is under their sand; B) Saddam pisses us off, C) God is on our side or D) the military-industrial complex needs a financial jolt.

  3. Tim Hogan says:

    Erich, we went into Afghanistan to oust The Taliban and get OSB. I supported the war in Afghanistan.

    We got rid of the Taliban as the govebnment of Afghanistan and replaced it with an inept corrupt collage of shady characters more bent on securing power for themselves and their tribal cronies and lining their pockets than securing any future for all Afghanis. I still supported the war in Afghanistan.

    It is clear the US and NATO troop roles in Afghanistan are to simply be ground up as fodder for the inept and corrupt tribal leaders in Afghanistan who will cut a peace deal with the Taliban as soon as we leave. The sooner we leave, the better. The Afghanis must stand or fall on their own. I do not support the war in Afghanistan.

  4. Tony Coyle says:

    Tim

    I agree with the principle behind your comment regarding the evolution of the war in Afghanistan.

    I was against the war from the beginning. I saw a replication of the failed Soviet war in Afghanistan (where we supported the mujahadeen), and of the many failed 'police actions' throughout the latter 20th century. This was simply more of the same.

    I agree fully with your perspective: having gone in, the coalition *could* have avoided the corrupt quagmire that is the current Afghani government – but they didn't. We appear to have installed a bunch of get-me-rich warlords, who are more than willing to sell out to whomever brings them a paycheck.

    I grieve for the people of Afghanistan – they are screwed no matter what happens.

    Despite Von Clausewitz' famous aphorism "war is the continuation of diplomacy by other means": in Afghanistan, it seems, we simply bypassed diplomacy altogether.

  5. Tim Hogan says:

    The latest from Afghanistan: Karzai says; "US out of graft investigations!"

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/arti

    I say: "US out of Afghanistan!"

    If Mr. Karzai can do it alone, let him.

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