Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Today marks the 5 year anniversary of our war in Iraq. That's 1827 days. Of course, it has also been 1784 days since Pres. Bush proudly declared "Mission Accomplished" while thrusting his virility in the face of everyone on the planet.

What have we accomplsihed in the last 5 years?

  • 3990 dead American soliders
  • 23,000-100,000 injured American soliders
  • 1,189,173 dead Iraqis
  • spent over $1.3 TRILLION in 5 years
According to and American Friends Service Committee.

Some might argue that the money we've spent in Iraq could have been better spent. Let's see what else we could have done with that money.

One day in Iraq costs $720 million. According to the American Friends Service Committee:
  • Health Insurance for an adult costs $4,403 per year. $720 Million could cover 163,525 people.
  • The average cost of a new elementary school is $8,497,627. $720 Million could pay for 84 brand new schools.
  • It costs $624 to give a child free school lunches for a year. $720 Million could buy lunch for 1,153,846 kids.
  • An affordable housing unit costs around $111,061. $720 Million could buy 6,482 homes.
  • A year of Head Start costs $7550. $720 Million could open 95,364 new slots.
  • The average cost of renewable electricity for a home is $565/year. $720 Million could pay for 1,274,336 homes to have it.
  • An average school teacher’s salary is $57,000. $720 Million could put 12, 478 new teachers in the classroom.
  • The average cost of a four-year state university is $20,628. $720 Million could put 34,904 students through college.
  • Health insurance for a child costs $1,700 per year. $720 Million could cover 423,529 kids.

I would even argue that if that money were jostling around the US Economy, we might not be in a recession and New Orleans would be rebuilt by now.

Like Barack Obama, I have been against this war from the beginning. And I am saddened by all that could have been, but for this war. Now I'm not arguing that we should have sat idly by after September 11th, but the fact is that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with September 11th, and it seems to me that the Bush Administration knew it. We should have finished what we started in Afghanistan. If we had, maybe we'd have Osama Bin Laden by now. And maybe so many soliders lives wouldn't have been destroyed.

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