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We Went to Iraq and All We Got Was This Stupid Debt

The biggest problem with our economy comes from funding this war.

If you listen to Tea Party favorites such as congressional candidate Craig Huey, the reason why we have such a big deficit is that the U.S. is bankrupting itself with entitlements.

Yet one of the biggest causes of the economic mess we now face is the Republican-initiated Iraq War.

The death of Osama bin Laden shows more than ever how much of a waste our presence in Iraq has been.

The trail to bin Laden began with the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Pakistan by that country’s security forces, which turned him over to the United States. Mohammed’s interrogation produced other intelligence activity in Afghanistan and Pakistan that ultimately led to finding bin Laden.

 Iraq did not figure into the process.

The Iraq War was unnecessary, justified by a threat of weapons of mass destruction that were never found. More than 4,444 U.S. soldiers have been killed with 32,051 seriously wounded. The war will cost more than $3 trillion, including billions that are unaccounted for, and it is financed with borrowed money.  

Those numbers can be a little daunting, so let me put it another way: The war in Iraq will cost each American approximately $10,000.

That spending has directly affected America's ability to fund social programs and to bring down unemployment by stimulating the economy with needed infrastructure improvements.

Yet the Republicans in Congress are focusing their attention on cutting discretionary domestic spending as a condition for raising the debt limit.

Huey himself backs continued high military spending.

The war in Afghanistan could still go either way. Both sides claim they are winning. If we cut and run now, the Taliban will fill the vacuum.

I am not optimistic. Afghanistan is a tribal country with one of the most corrupt central governments in the world. The drawdown of forces should start as scheduled this summer in Afghanistan, with a speed to be determined by conditions on the ground.

But when it comes to Iraq, one of the best ways we can cut the deficit is to maintain the timetable for the Iraqi drawdown with U.S. forces totally out of the country by year-end.

On July 12, vote for a congressional candidate who takes that unequivocal position.

JDJung June 01, 2011 at 03:08 AM
You're right on, Paul. Our invasion of Iraq also weakened Iran's biggest threat. For that, I don't feel any safer.
Jane June 01, 2011 at 04:44 AM
Last I checked, 1 in 7 people was on food stamps. Nearly 60% of the federal budget is entitlements. Do the math. It's welfare, medicare, social security and other social entitlements that SANK US (past tense - we're done).
MIchelle Murphy June 02, 2011 at 06:13 PM
Indeed do the math. If we had not given tax cuts to the super rich and started a war (or is it three) of aggression we would be as well off as we were in Clinton's time when budgets got balanced and the deficit was shrinking. This article dares to speak some truth using actual figures and knee jerk Fox News misinformed types call it a useless liberal rag (when no rags were used just ethereal electronic impulses). If we actually went for the Medicare-ending Republican plan favored by Huey and almost all Republicans the deficit would not decrease. Gingrich (I hate to say it) was right the first time. That plan is nothing but extremist social engineering and badly designed at that.
Richard Kriete June 02, 2011 at 11:18 PM
Liz; You couldn't be more spot on. I'm a Republican, but the Republicans in office today are there for their career and not their service to the country. That is why they are so ignorantly partisan and constantly avoid the truth about Iraq in particular; it's for their guaranteed entitlements and paychecks. What a farce! Richard
orlando June 07, 2011 at 08:35 PM
Thanks for revealing yourself as just another tax and spend liberal. That makes reading your comment much easier. :-)

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