The Ignored Costs of the Iraq War
By Jerome Grossman
Five years into the war in Iraq, the nation awaits the day of reckoning for the enormous cost of this misbegotten adventure, conceived in ignorance, conducted in arrogance and staining our democracy. The saddest costs are suffered by American soldiers, 4000 deaths and 40,000 wounded; the millions of Iraqis killed or wounded or displaced; and the monetary cost to the U.S. taxpayer now estimated at $3 trillion.
But there are many other hidden costs damaging to our nation that President Bush ignores when he describes this cruel war as "noble, necessary, and just", contrary to world opinion, contrary to friend and foe.
The Costs Ignored:
• U.S. intelligence has been discredited as inaccurate and politicized
• U.S. Is known worldwide as a nation that uses torture as an instrument of policy
• The war has increased the military power and political influence of Iran
• The war has put internal and external pressure on key U.S. allies, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and Pakistan
• The war has affected Israel by weakening the governments of Egypt and Jordan which have peace treaties with Israel
• The war has diminished the reputation of the U.S. in every country and dramatically increased hostility to the U.S. in the Muslim world, affecting the sales of American products
• The war has driven up the cost of oil
• The war has indicated the vulnerability of the U.S. military to guerrilla strategy and tactics
• The war cost is curtailing our country's ability to solve urgent domestic problems of infrastructure, healthcare, education, etc...
The war in Iraq is a costly failure at every level. It must be ended at the earliest possible time to save lives and money in order to establish a sane and sensible foreign policy that will truly protect our country and rebuild U.S. relationships and reputation.
It won’t be easy for the U.S. to leave Iraq. Resistance will come from imperial ambition, domestic political advantage, and oil business interests.. The argument will be made that withdrawal from Iraq without victory might stimulate similar demands in the 130 countries where the U.S. has a total of 737 bases.
And finally, we should remember the experience of other great powers. From 1882 until 1922, the British promised the international community 66 times that they would leave Egypt, but they never did until they were forced out.