Iraq: giving up and moving on

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Iraq: giving up and moving on

Postby Jerky » Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:46 am

Perplexed as to why the Bush administration would suddenly decide to abandon all Iraqi reconstruction plans and divert the funds towards "other uses"? You shouldn't be. It finally seems to be dawning on even the thickest of marble heads that the invasion of Iraq has been more than just an unmitigated foreign policy failure; it's a disaster of historical proportions. <br><br>The neoconservative plan to use the Middle East as a proving ground for the harebrained schemes hatched in their corporate-funded ebony dungeons has reaped a whirlwind of consequences that we are only beginning to fathom. Yer old pal Jerky has little doubt that future scholars will look back on Bush's illegal war of first resort as a Pascalian wager that came up snake eyes; a prideful and contrary leap of bad faith followed by a terrifying plummet into the screaming void of karmic blowback. <br><br>On the crassest level, there are the fiscal ramifications. These alone are enough to illustrate why even staunch warhawks are now scrambling to pull troops from Iraq before the inevitable tri-partite civil war begins in earnest, in the hope that they might save a bit of face while there's still face left to be saved.<br><br>It seems like only yesterday that the White House was publicly denouncing bureaucratic bean-counters who dared warn that invading Iraq could end up costing taxpayers between $100 and $200 billion. The actual figure, according to neoconservative super-genius Paul Wolfowitz, would turn out to be something more on the order of "$10 billion to $100 billion", depending on the breaks.<br><br>Today, nearly three years after the Preznit declared an end to major combat operations, the military's most recent round of funding requests are set to push the cost of the war so far to an incredible HALF-TRILLION DOLLARS. That's five times Wolfowitz's worst case scenario. Let's all hope he fares better in his current position as head of the World Bank.<br><br>It gets worse. According to a "conservative" estimate recently drafted by economist and Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz, the total cost of the war in Iraq could end up being close to TWO TRILLION DOLLARS. That's four times the adjusted dollar cost of the entire Vietnam war. One helluva price to pay for deposing a lame duck secular Arab nationalist regime and replacing it with a fundamentalist Shia mullahcracy, don't you think? <br><br>The human toll has been no less stark. The estimated number of Iraqi civilians killed in air strikes, car bomb attacks, checkpoint misunderstandings and by psychopathic security contractors ranges from tens of thousands to a quarter million.<br><br>Couldn't give less of a crap about Arab collateral damage? Well then, consider this: If American soldiers in Iraq continue to die at the current rate, 2006 will see 1369 fatalities. That's a lot more than last year's total (846), which was down only slightly from 2004's total (84<!--EZCODE EMOTICON START 8) --><img src= ALT="8)"><!--EZCODE EMOTICON END--> , which was nearly double the number who died in 2003 (486), the year in which the actual invasion took place. The number of wounded, many of whom suffered such irreversible insults as multiple amputations and severe brain trauma, is fast approaching 20,000. <br><br>Ultimately we won't be able to measure the full impact of this tragic folly of a war in wasted treasure, shattered lives, severed limbs or flag-draped coffins. These losses, painful to be sure, are but the surface ripples of the strange currents pulling us irresistibly towards alien shores. Perhaps true understanding will only come after we've crossed the threshold of the rapidly approaching New Dark Age, at which point the sinister fanatics and authoritarian paranoids who have delivered us into the jaws of Evil will be so lost in the hermetic labyrinths of their twisted power minds that they won't be able to recognize it.<br><br>Or perhaps we'll get lucky and snatch mere defeat from the jaws of Apocalypse, thus affording future generations the luxury of reading about us in their history books, shaking their heads in disgust and saying: "What the fuck were they thinking?!" <p></p><i></i>
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