$46 Billion Spent in Iraq Since 2003: Where’s the Austerity in That?

It’s been eight years since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Every once in a while, Americans will be blessed with a glimpse or two of journalism (like the surprising article by the USA Today that I will link to later). Eight years and how many Americans know what is really going on over there? Eight years and we still don’t have a progress report. I don’t know about you, but when the government decides to “forget” to tell the public that funds the war the ins and outs of one of the most influential wars in our lives, I ask questions. That would be like a Fortune 500 employee doing side deals with a third party, but forgetting to tell the CEO what she did.

Doesn’t anyone else find it suspicious that when the people of the United States ask for spending and jobs at home, we’re told we have to cut back, spend wisely and adopt more frugal lifestyles while Wall Street continues to get tax cuts and rake in record bonuses? Does anyone find it unsettling that when it comes to one of the most important wars in our lifetimes, we’re told to not ask too many questions? When we ask about that war, our patriotism then comes in question and our characters are assassinated. We’re labeled as radicals (and possibly placed on a watch list). Finally, does anyone find it disturbing that when it comes to spending in Iraq—to rebuild a country that we had a dominant role in destroying, not to mention a war that was started based on purposeful and carefully thought-out governmental misinformation—we seem to always have the money available?

Whatever, I’m sure you’re thinking I’m a hippie from the 70s who doesn’t want any war. I could be that. You’re also thinking, “Come on, dude. You have to be pragmatist when it comes to politics.” So I have to be an obedient, government pawn you mean? Let me rebut by asking when will enough be enough? How many more risky wars will we engage in before we say we’ve had enough of our government treating us like second-class citizens? I’m sure a couple more wars will be necessary though. North Korea, Iraq and Saudi Arabia are still there. I’m down if you are.

So let me get this straight, our Congress tells the people they represent that when it comes to disaster and emergency relief for US Citizens, we have to offset the funds and cut from programs immediately or else we won’t get the relief we need? Is there anything more cheap, deceitful, sociopathic and cruel than extorting someone when they’ve lost everything? So when our lives have been destroyed by nature, the very system that would not exist without taxing our paychecks tells us: “Hold on and wait while we cut your programs and services. We have to find enough money to make up for the help you keeping asking us for.” Serves us right. Those pesky Americans asking for disaster relief… What a socialist and pathetic bunch of leeches. Can’t they do these things on their own like real mavericks?

America spends all this time overseas playing the world’s protector and savior, but when it comes to its own citizens, we’re last on the totem pole (let’s not even talk about how little attention minorities, women, the young & old and the handicapped get).

According to the Obama administration (it should be noted that sometimes these guys don’t tell the truth…) they will decrease the troops in Iraq from about 46,000 current troops to 3,000 by the end of this year. But don’t get too excited because we have made $53 billion available for spending in a country that we’ve bombed and pillaged. As of last year, we’ve spent $44.6 billion of those available funds. And the Libyan War will cost American taxpayers at least $896 million, but don’t hold your breathe waiting for the Tea Party to fight the government over discretionary spending. I thought we were working on pulling out of there by 2011? It’s just another joke on the American people, our heroes and the citizens of the countries around the world. Who knows who’s next.

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