Iraq War: The Cost of Bush Lies and His Influence of Not Being Accountable

1 02 2009

UPDATED 3/15/2013

From a Reuters report on a Watson Institute study:

NEW YORK, March 14 (Reuters) – The U.S. war in Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, a study released on Thursday said.

The war has killed at least 134,000 Iraqi civilians and may have contributed to the deaths of as many as four times that number, according to the Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.

When security forces, insurgents, journalists and humanitarian workers were included, the war’s death toll rose to an estimated 176,000 to 189,000, the study said.

See the full article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/14/iraq-war-cost-more-than-2-trillion_n_2875493.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009.

ORIGINAL POST I WROTE

George W. Bush reasons for the Iraq War: WMDs, Iraq’s ties to al-Qaeda, and liberate Iraqis from Saddam Hussein and create a democratic government. His refusal to accept or admit any accountability for the results of his misleading the American people have had tremendous cost to Iraq and to the U.S.

I just finished reading the riveting “War Journal: My Five Years in Iraq” by Richard Engel, NBC News Middle East Correspondent. Richard says none of those reasons for starting the war are true, and that the war in Iraq “…has always been more about geography, religion, and power than democracy. If you see where Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds live, it’s easy to understand their struggles for dominance.” Bush never understood that…and frankly didn’t care. He did what he wanted to do and what he wanted to do has been…and continues to be…extremely costly.

Here are some statistics on what the Iraq war (taken from think tanks such as the Brookings Institute and from the media) has cost the U.S. as of 1/21/09 due to Bush’s folly of inserting us in the middle of a civil and religious war:

  • 4,231 U.S. soldiers killed; 30% of them younger than 22 years old
  • 30,984 U.S. soldiers injured, with 20% of them having serious brain or spinal injuries
  • 30% of U.S. soldiers develop serious mental health problems within 3-4 months of returning home and suicide rates in the U.S. Army hitting an all-time high in 2008
  • One TRILLION DOLLARS (that’s $1000 billion) through  October 2009 in U.S. taxpayer money (this figure was updated 10/25/09)
    • $390,000 per year to deploy just ONE U.S. soldier
  • 142,000 – 148,000 (depending on whose statistics you use) troops in Iraq currently
  • 513,000 U.S. troops deployed since 2003; 197,000 of those more than once and 53,000 more than 3 times
  • According to February, 2007 Congressional hearings (and that was two years ago so the number is probably much higher now) an estimated $10 billion wasted and mismanaged in Iraq

Now add to those staggering numbers the impact on the Iraqi people:

  • An estimated more than one MILLION Iraqi citizens killed as of August, 2007 (according to the Opinion Business Research survey); the official documented number around 100,000
  • 2.25 million Iraqis displaced inside Iraq and 2.25 million Iraqis who are now refugees in Syria or Jordan as of May 2007; an additional 840,000 people displaced since May 2007 – a total of well over 5 MILLION Iraqis displaced
    • A note: Syria has refused to allow the 1.5 million who came there to work so many of the refugees have been forced to send their daughters – even as young as 5 or 6 – to clubs to dance to get money unofficially, becoming the family breadwinners. The girls make usually $20 to 30 per day in the clubs and the fathers of these girls act as pimps for work outside the club. These girls and their families are casualties of the U.S. War on Iraq.

Bush used the fear that the Iraq War would disintegrate into chaos to get re-elected in 2004. The cost to the American people of having four more years of Bush as president has been immense. He used fear again to continue to justify the now $12 billion per month the U.S. spends to keep our troops there. This is triple the burn rate of what we spent in the early years of the war. John McCain used fear about the war to try and get elected president and said he would never take our troops out until we had won. Only Barack Obama seems to understand that we are in a war we should never have started and that we cannot win.

The fear the Republican warmongers have perpetuated is that Iraq would descend into civil war if we leave. It has been happening for years now. Richard Engel cites countless atrocities that Iraqis have committed against other Iraqis during the Iraq War, continuing the torture and violence of Saddam Hussein:

  • A father’s beautiful 17-year-old daughter is kidnapped. The father talks to the kidnappers and convinces them to let him speak to his daughter. He asks her if she has been violated and she says yes. He tells the kidnappers to keep her…that he doesn’t want her back in that condition. The kidnappers execute the girl.
  • A family refuses an order to move from their home and their two-year-old boy is kidnapped, split open, stuffed with rice, roasted, and delivered to their doorstep.
  • People are executed and thrown in the streets as a warning to others to not cross the executioners.
  • Body parts are everywhere, bombings are commonplace, and women in particular hide in their homes in fear.

Some infrastructure improvements have been made since the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003. Phone subscribers have increased from 800,000 to over 14 million. Internet users have increased from 4,500 to around 850,000. Those improvements do not negate the fact that the cost of the Iraq war has been very high…for the U.S., other countries, and especially for Iraqis.

Bush’s lies have caused unbelievable destruction, death, injury, harm to the U.S. reputation around the world, increase in terrorists and terrorism, U.S.-sanctioned use of torture, and money. And we wonder why our country is in the place it is now. We had an immoral, destructionist, lying, and above-the-law president who felt he was accountable to no one. The American people followed suit…we felt we could do anything and not pay a price. We are paying now…both as a country and individually.

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11 responses

2 02 2009
halvoropsal

Obama is now put to the test. Increase in troops in Afg. is risky. I remember Russia and Iran war situation. The cost of ever gonig to war in the first place was dreadful. Where is the money going to come from? Is the vacume in Iraq inevitable?

3 02 2009
chamay0

Bush for a long time hereafter will be our country’s greatest disgrace. Yet we have not really learned anything, since we continue to allow the republican party to confront us with falsehoods, trickery, and peddeling of fear.

I can only say I am so darn happy that the adults have taken up residence in the White House.

27 03 2009
vincent

with all the financial and life costs,they seem to be changing the strategy to deploy young people of the thirdworld countries.they are enticing theme with the the dollar.
Us has paid the cost now they want inoocent inadequately trained young people in the th ird world to pay with their lives.
can you imageine training some one for one month in uganda and sending them to iraq?
Obama should end the so called “war on terror”

1 08 2009
Ben

Your “$10 billion wasted and mismanaged in Iraq” is nothing compared to Barack’s Porkulus Bill… Nothing.

12 08 2009
John

Where were the tea parties when Bush was wasting hundreds of billions in Iraq? At least Obama is spending American tax dollars on Americans.

We had Saddam right where we wanted him before the Iraq war, right under our thumb. There was no need for war. We had him pinned down with no-fly zones and economic sanctions. Bush Sr. had the intelligence to know that occupation of Iraq would be a quagmire after the Gulf War. The son unfortunately was not as intelligent as the father.

How many of Obama’s programs would already be funded if it weren’t for W’s war in Iraq?

13 10 2009
Debugger

Dianne, I appreciate your articles and candid and accurate observations.
I agree Obama has been put in a position to react mainly by Bush’s blatant stupidity and the evil greed of his advisors, mainly Cheney and Rumsfeld including the twisted influence of AIPAC and the military machine. (Eisenhower’s statement of concern when he left the presidency has grown into what we are experiencing presently) We are headed in the direction of more war coming up with Iran and hopefully Obama can see the light that this would be the beginning of the end not only financially but to our ‘limited’ freedom we enjoy.

10 11 2009
JimS

You can google ‘cost of the iraq’ war and received a number of hits. Several sites report the amount spent so far on the Iraq/Afghan wars at about $684 billion. In FY 2009 the interest paid on the national debt was $383 billion and the interest paid since the onset of the wars likely exceeds $2 trillion, vastly more than the wars. This is interest payment only, nothing is being paid down on the national debt itself and in fact the national debt has grown each and every year including Clinton’s administrations (a few were very small).

The National Intelligence Estimate of October 2002 shows all 16 reporting agencies thought Iraq had WMD programs. British, French, Italian, and Israeli
intelligent agencies said the same as did the Clintons, Gore, Albright, Edwards, Kerry, and Kennedy during the administrations of Clinton and/or Bush.

Using Google and integrity can yield truth.

21 11 2009
Donmore

This is in response to JimS remarks that many countries thought there were WMDs in Iraq. I served in the late 1950’s at Vandenberg AFB where camera loaded satellites were launched to fly over Russia to gather information as to what the Soviets were up to. The results were very clear and Sharpe images revealing the intended results. More than 40 years later with great improvement of camera technology and the fact of stationary satellites would make the facts known about WMDs in Iraq. No this was just another Bush lie. Before the 1st Gulf War satellites were placed to watch every move the Iraqis made. The Bush Administration had to have known what was and was not there!

I know that the reports did say what Jim pointed out; however, those reports had to have been falsified. Remember the U-2 and Blackbird flights. What do you think their mission was?

30 12 2009
JAMEY HARRIS

IRAQ AFGHANISTAN PAKISTAN HAD AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH AMERICAS SECURITY BUT FOR THOSE CONTRIES SECURITY THE GREAT AMERICAN TAXPAYER RIPOFF?

W THE WAR CRIMINAL

29 01 2010
hoz

Please leave the post up. The world needs TRUTH. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld should be prosecuted for their war crimes.

16 09 2010
KeithinCapitola

Does anyone remember than Bush told us that the war with iraq won’t cost us the US taxpayer anything. It won’t be paid for by the Iraqi oil. Then they blew up the pipleines, and started charging us for the war. they haven’t beenn able to repair some oil piplines in 8-9 years? Don’t think thats the problem1 Anyone know where I can get that quote from Bush? Anyone ever hear that Bushes grandfather Herbert Walker Bush was busted after WW2 for aiding and abeding the enemy? He was with the Chase Bank in New York, ever hear of them? Their still in business. He sent money from teh Chase bank to the Dueche Bank in Germany to give to Hitler. Rockefellers, IBM gave hitler the tech to number the jews with the tatoos to keep tract of them. Look up on YouTube Prof Anthony Sutton’s “Best Enemy Money Can Buy”. There is a lot ,ore than that in his book, a must buy. We also gave the russians foreign aid all during the Vietnam War, that’s where the North Viet. got heir weapons, and Mig planes and Russian pilots.

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