Friday, March 07, 2008

Iraq by the Numbers...and the reactions

First, let's be really clear from the outset. I am not reflexively anti-war. I skew peace over fighting in most cases, but there is a case to be made for war. To paraphrase Gwynne Dyer, being anti-war is tacitly saying that the current global situation is the best of all possible. War can be needed to upset the apple cart and put something better in its place.
That does not mean being a war monger, nor supporting the neo-con agenda and its muscular projection of American power abroad.
It also doesn't mean I can't be reflexively anti- this-war. This was an unnecessary and wasteful distraction from the real issues involved in terrorism and sub-state ideological violence.
So here's a run down of the useless waste during this trip down the rat hole.

Foreign Policy In Focus The Iraq Quagmire
U.S. military killed in Iraq: 3,973
Number of U.S. troops wounded in combat since the war began: 29,203
Iraqi Security Force deaths: 7,924
Iraqi civilians killed: Estimates range from 81,632-1,120,000
Internally displaced refugees in Iraq: 3.4 million
Iraqi refugees living abroad: 2.2-2.4 million
Iraqi refugees admitted to the U.S.: 3,222
Number of U.S. soldiers in Iraq: 155,000
Number of "Coalition of the Willing" soldiers in Iraq:
February 2008: 9,895
September 2006: 18,000
November 2004: 25,595
Army soldiers in Iraq who have served two or more tours: 74%
Number of Private Military Contractors in Iraq: 180,000
Number of Private Military Contractors criminally prosecuted by the U.S. government for violence or abuse in Iraq: 1
Number of contract workers killed: 917 What the Iraq war has created, according to the U.S. National Intelligence Council: "A training and recruitment ground (for terrorists), and an opportunity for terrorists to enhance their technical skills."
Effect on al Qaeda of the Iraq War, according to International Institute for Strategic Studies: "Accelerated recruitment"
The bill so far: $526 billion
Cost per day: $275 million
Cost per household: $4,100
The estimated long-term bill: $3 trillion
What $526 billion could have paid for in the U.S. in one year:
Children with health care: 223 million or
Scholarships for university students: 86 million or
Head Start places for children: 72 million
Cost of 22 days in Iraq could safeguard our nation's ports from attack for ten years.
Cost of 18 hours in Iraq could secure U.S. chemical plants for five years.
Iraqi Unemployment level: 25-40%
*U.S. unemployment during the Great Depression: 25%
70% of the Iraqi population is without access to clean water.
80% is without sanitation.
90% of Iraq's 180 hospitals lack basic medical and surgical supplies.
79% of Iraqis oppose the presence of Coalition Forces.
78% of Iraqis believe things are going badly in Iraq overall.
64% of Americans oppose the war in Iraq.
What the "Declaration of Principles" has set according to Defense Secretary Robert Gates: "A mutually agreed arrangement whereby we have a long and enduring presence."

Three trillion dollars - Nobel winning economist tabulates true cost of Iraq war - Boing Boing
Dispatches from the Culture Wars: The Economic Cost of the War
And predictable:
Think Progress » White House Smears Nobel Economist: ‘Lacks Courage’ For Ignoring ‘Cost Of Failure’ In Iraq
This may be a good time to use the word 'fuck' if I haven't already.

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