can’t see the forest

Democrats: US Occupations in Middle East Are Costing Double the Official Figures

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…and we’re merely talking dollars here, to say nothing of the military and civilian lives, national sovereignties, diplomatic standards, and international reputes which are being devoured by the New Colonialism.

In what White House spokes-Barbie Dana Perino has laughably referred to as an “attempt to muddy the waters,” a report drafted by Democratic members of Congress’ Joint Economic Committee (JEC) outlines how, in economic terms, American military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are costing as much as double the officially reported figures—up to $1.3 trillion in direct costs, and at least that much more in tangential or derivative costs to the economy.

DanaPerino Only a few weeks ago, you may recall, Perino educated the White House press corps on the unexpected health benefits of global warming:

“This is an issue where I’m sure lots of people would love to ridicule me when I say this, but it is true that many people die from cold-related deaths every winter. And there are studies that say that climate change in certain areas of the world would help those individuals.”

No, Ms. Perino, I don’t enjoy ridiculing you. I’m just—at least for the moment—profoundly embarrassed that you are the principal public voice of the Chief Executive of the United States of America. And that means I don’t relish paying your salary.

On the new war report, which states that, between 2002 and 2008, the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns will have cost over $20,000 for a U.S. family of four, the BBC writes:

The White House has called the report politically motivated.

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“This report was put out by Democrats on Capitol Hill,” White House press secretary Dana Perino was quoted by the Associated Press as saying. “This committee is known for being partisan and political.”

“They did not consult or co-operate with the Republicans on the committee, and so I think it is an attempt to muddy the waters on what has been some positive developments being reported out of Iraq.”

And some of the figures the report contains were labeled speculative by funding experts, the Washington Post newspaper reported.

‘Lost earnings’

The report was written by Democratic members of Congress’s Joint Economic Committee (JEC).

The cost of the war… is becoming the first thing the people mention after the loss of life when they are opposed to this war

Chuck Schumer
JEC chairman

The BBC’s Justin Webb in Washington says it was designed to shock Americans into stronger opposition to the war in Iraq.

The Democrats calculate that between 2002 and 2008 the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan will have cost the average US family of four about $20,900.

The report adds that the amount could rise to $46,400 over the next decade.

It cites costs such as interest payments on money borrowed from abroad to pay for the wars, lost investment in US businesses, and the cost of oil market disruptions.

Oil prices have surged since the start of the war in Iraq, from about $37 a barrel to more than $90 a barrel in recent weeks. The report says the rise has hit US consumers.

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