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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Iraq War - Return on Failure's costs will keep on costing

Dana Perino is so corporate-Orwellian here, and the way she tries to talk down to the venerable Helen Thomas is ridiculous, insulting herself and us all.

Perino will become a corporate shill soon, and Helen Thomas is going down in history as a conscientious, truth-telling pioneer, a great American. Perino is foresaking her honor and privilege of facing Helen Thomas, the Press, and the US Public, to 'sell' a war based on lies and privatized profiteering at the expense of the American and Iraqi public.

But, for the sake of argument, let's get down and dirty with Perino's pseudo-MBA-speak, of 'Return on Success.' Rounding up for the White House, we are experiencing a return on success rate of 4% over 4 years of war, assuming that 'success return' equals the number of troops returned home divided by the peak number of troops [6000/150,000]. If we count the private contractors, then the rate goes to 2% over 4-5 years of war.

Would you invest in a risky proposition that only gave you 3% after four or five years? And what about the costs? The higher taxes, the higher oil prices, the lost allies and prestige? And the costs that Helen Thomas mentioned.

Helen brings in from the margins the costs of 650,000 Iraqi innocents killed [The Lancet], which isn't even factored into the Bush return rate, but should be, and adding to that 30,000 US casualties (severely injured or killed), then this return of 6,000 troops is not a success but an abject failure. Besides the Iraqis that are dead forever, up to 28,000 US veterans are maimed or traumatized forever.

By 1974 the Vietnam War was over, but the US was paying higher interest rates and inflation for that war until the recession of 1983. The Iraq War is on its way to being more expensive, and it may linger on like Korea for another 45 years!

We are going to be paying higher taxes, inflation and interest rates through 2017 if the war ended today, and the Veteran's injured today will need expensive care through about 2050, if the war ended today. And we are going to be paying these higher costs with stagnating jobs and lowered economic opportunities like the stagnant inflationary 1970s, or stagflation.

Who benefits? Military contractors, oil companies, OPEC, Russia, Oligarchs, Bush's friends and family, Health Care providers. I project that they are making off with a trillion dollars, a million-million dollars, or a thousand billion dollars of wealth transfer, transforming the US into a Latin-American or Russian style oligarchy with a few rich on top, a tiny middle class, and lots of poor and working-poor.

Who pays and will pay? The dead and surviving Americans and Iraqis. No wonder Dana Perino needed to 'move on.' There is no good story for her to tell, and Thomas was calling her on it with heart and a great deal of restraint and forbearance.

Perino is upset that we are not buying 'black is white,' 'freedom is ignorance,' 'war leads to peace and democracy.' She is confusing honor with obedience and compliance, and service with authority.

Kucinich is right. We need to impeach these lying, cheating, profiteering warmongers asap. Let's limit the damage, and cut our losses. And who knows what these greedy war pigs will pull in the last innings or downs of this game, especially if they feel desperate?


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