Cost of the war in Iraq: Democrat's analysis

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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The United States has undertaken a vast commitment to rebuild the nation of Iraq, to create a representative government out of a country with no history of democracy, and a market economy out of a statist economy that has been grossly mismanaged for years. It is important that the Congress and the American people have a clear understanding of the commitment this effort requires.

This analysis concludes that if Congress approves the 2004 supplemental the President has submitted, and does not spend any new money on Iraq after 2004, the cost to the United States, including interest on the public debt, will reach $178 billion over the next decade. This includes only the cost of operations in Iraq, and excludes all estimated costs from the 2003 and 2004 supplementals related to Afghanistan.

Last fall, the Democratic staff of the House Budget Committee released an analysis concluding that the cost of a war in Iraq, including interest on the public debt, would probably reach $100 billion and could rise to $200 billion. This is likely to prove a conservative estimate of the total costs.

Under a reasonable set of assumptions, the cost of our operations in Iraq will reach $237 billion and could reach $418 billion over the next 10 years. Because there is no proposal to offset or pay for the war or the post-war effort, it has to be assumed that the cost will increase the deficit and the national debt.

The following table summarizes the potential cost of these scenarios: [continued]
http://www.house.gov/budget_democrats/analyses/iraq_cost_update.pdf [Broken]
 
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  • #2
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You must hate America and not want Democracy to succede in Iraq to post such a thing.

The Congress is clearly a biased organization, show me a Drudge report on it and I'll consider it.
 
  • #3
Ivan Seeking
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You must hate America and not want Democracy to succede in Iraq to post such a thing.
are you serious?
 
  • #4
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Ivan Seeking said:
are you serious?
Yes, by posting something saying Iraq isn't going well is clearly just a partisan attempt to de-moralize the effort to Democratize Iraq by our brave, heroic, partiotic soldiers. Haven't you seen Bush's speeches? He clearly states that Iraq is on the right path and constantly getting better, and he's the President, he obviously knows more about it than anyone else would.
 
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  • #5
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oh good, for a minute I considered the possiblity that you weren't being sarcastic.
 
  • #6
Ivan Seeking
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wasteofo2 said:
Yes, by posting something saying Iraq isn't going well is clearly just a partisan attempt to de-moralize the effort to Democratize Iraq by our brave, heroic, partiotic soldiers. Haven't you seen Bush's speeches? He clearly states that Iraq is on the right path and constantly getting better, and he's the President, he obviously knows more about it than anyone else would.
What you are saying is that Bush should never be questioned or challenged. This is not patriotic; this is cultish. It is called blind patriotism - one of the most dangerous things of all. Your attitude is exactly what scares me about the right in general. Bush is dangerous.

The war is not going well. Bush has mismanaged this entire affair beyond imagination - a greater disaster than 911 all considered. We must now carry the cost in money and lives, mostly alone, instead of in concert with many nations. He has lied from the start and he has squandered the greatest good will shown this nation in my lifetime.
 
  • #7
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no really, he's being sarcastic... really.
 
  • #8
Ivan Seeking
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I asked. Are we just playing games here or what?

Anyway, this just hit the wires:
CIA Pessimistic About Iraq
Situation Worse Than Portrayed, Analysts Say

People at the CIA "are mad at the policy in Iraq because it's a disaster, and they're digging the hole deeper and deeper and deeper," said one former intelligence officer who maintains contact with CIA officials. "There's no obvious way to fix it. The best we can hope for is a semi-failed state hobbling along with terrorists and a succession of weak governments."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58183-2004Sep28.html
 
  • #9
graphic7
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wasteofo2 said:
You must hate America and not want Democracy to succede in Iraq to post such a thing.

The Congress is clearly a biased organization, show me a Drudge report on it and I'll consider it.
Who are you to say that the Iraqis have a desire for democracy?
 
  • #10
russ_watters
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graphic7 said:
Who are you to say that the Iraqis have a desire for democracy?
That question implies to me that you don't understand what the word "democracy" means.
 
  • #11
graphic7
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I understand what "forcing" a democracy on a sovereign nation means.

Would you care to iteratate on how I fail to understand what the definition of "democracy" means, Russ?

To quote dictionary.com:

1. Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.
2. A political or social unit that has such a government.
3. The common people, considered as the primary source of political power.
Majority rule.
4. The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.

All of which refer to some aspect of a government. I personally believe that if the Iraqi citizens truly desired a democracy, they would've done it on their own. The moment you force democracy on a group of people, it's no longer democracy.

Perhaps I'm the only one that again see the irony in this situation. The United States forces democracy on a nation via the *military*. Doesn't that just ridicule the whole democratic system?

It seems to me that you're the one that doesn't understand what democracy is, Russ.
 
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  • #12
kat
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Graphic7-How many democracies do you think were formed "via" force by the military? A minority? a majority?
 
  • #13
graphic7
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kat said:
Graphic7-How many democracies do you think were formed "via" force by the military? A minority? a majority?
Via the force of the miltary is relative, Kat. As far as I know the successful democracies of the world were actually formed by the citizens' desire, not by an outside invasion. Good try though, Kat.
 
  • #14
LURCH
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I would be somewhat skeptical of any figures being presented by either party. The topic of this thread shows that the source quoted in the original post is representing the Democratic party, so I would expect the estimate to be a little high, unless I see the same numbers from a representative of the Republican party. Likewise, I would expect any estimate from the Republican Party to be rather low. However, I do agree with the opening paragraph, and most especially this statement:
It is important that the Congress and the American people have a clear understanding of the commitment this effort requires.
As has been said since the beginning of this conflict, it's not going to be easy, and it's not going to happen quickly. The open war was the easy part; it is the restructuring of a country that has never known democracy, the liberating of a people who have never known freedom, and gaining the trust of people who have never seen anything but betrayal and brutality from those in power, these are the great challenges ahead.

I don't know if we outsiders can truly grasp what a total wreck Iraq was, or how utterly hopeless the life of the average citizen used to be. Such damage is not undone without great effort.

I don't know what the true cost of restructuring Iraq will turn out to be, but of this we can all be quite certain; the cost of leaving it the way it was would have been much higher.
 
  • #15
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I could handle 400 billion for iraq if we didn't just hand 500 billion to pharmaceutical companies.
 
  • #16
russ_watters
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graphic7 said:
I understand what "forcing" a democracy on a sovereign nation means.
This statement also implies you don't know what a democracy is.
Would you care to iteratate on how I fail to understand what the definition of "democracy" means, Russ?
Sure: phrases like "forcing a democracy" are self-contradictory.
All of which refer [in the definition] to some aspect of a government. I personally believe that if the Iraqi citizens truly desired a democracy, they would've done it on their own. The moment you force democracy on a group of people, it's no longer democracy.
See, there's the key: you're mixing two completely different issues. The question of how the change is made to take place is completely different from what form the final government will be in. Certainly, we are forcing a change to take place. But we are not dictating the final form of the Iraqi government.

Further, the idea that people can easily revolt on a whim to change their form of government is pretty abusurd. Dictators tend to be highly successful in the short run. They rarely ever cede power except in death.
Perhaps I'm the only one that again see the irony in this situation. The United States forces democracy on a nation via the *military*. Doesn't that just ridicule the whole democratic system?
The situation certainly is ironic, but you're reading it backwards. Again, the phrase "forcing democracy" is an oxymoron. Democracy is a choice, by its very nature. It can't be forced on anyone.

The part you are missing is that the US is not imposing our form of government on Iraq. The US knocked off the government that existed (a government which did not have the support of the people) and is now allowing the people to create their own government. What we are doing is forcing the Iraqi government to give its people the choice.

Yes, it is true that the US is setting up some constraints on the structure of the government, but by and large, the people of Iraq are building their own government and once they have a stable government in place, we'll release complete control of it to them.

It seems like you are implying that there could be such a thing as a democratically elected dictator. Again, this is an oxymoron, but it certainly is theoretically possible that someone could propose an amendmen to the constitution (for example) to disband the legislative and judicial branches. But theoretically possible does not make it a historical reality. People don't do such things.
 
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  • #17
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Basic economic theory can prove the war was stupid.

Is it more efficient to kill people and take what they have or be diplomatic and trade with them fairly?

When you kill them, do you realize what power one human has at their disposal. One person alone can causes millions of dollars in damage. Murdering Iraqis and pissing off millions of them, was a stupid, uneconomic mistake all the way around.

When you are fair to people, do you know how much power there is in cooperation? Those who've given up on this superior ideal are in power in our country, with the support of petty-Nazi-Republican, religious nuts.

But in Bushspeak, one who defends Iraqi Homeland is a terrorist. As long as you don't get this, America goes further in debt. Now go out and beat someone up and see how economic that is. We'll put you in jail and it will cost the tax payers idiot!
 
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  • #18
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graphic7,

I agree with you somewhat, but I believe all circumstances are Demcracys, even in situations where people are fighting a dictator or accept laws that would seem unjust to another types of Democracys.

Democracy is a principle in human circumstances rather than a perfect entity.

If the people aren't killing those in the regime that control the functions of government, they accept the government by demonstrating a peacefull attitude. This is Democracy.

If the people are killing those in the regime who controls the functions of government, this too is Democracy.

Democracy is only the relative expression of the people in terms of the existing government.

Where there is killing on the side of the people against the governing regime is less a Democracy though.

Where killing on the side of the governing regime against the people is less a demcracy also.

But the killing on the side of an invading governing regime against the people is the least type of Demcracy that can exist.

A regime that attempts to govern a people who were at peace with one another not killing each other in a huge political magnitude sense, who enters their sovereighn territory, and begins murdering innocent civilians and destroying their property is hardly a Democracy, but still is somewhat.

Democracy is of the people. Which means it comes from the people. The people are responsible to make their own revolutions. Dictators who invade and call an invasion and occupation Democracy while killing mostly civilians-the people, is the lowest, vilest, filthiest Democracy that can exist, and is criminal in nature. Democracy has criminal forms. The invasion of Iraq is a prime example. American citizens democratically approved, by direct support, or by inactive default, by allowing Bush act as president.
 
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  • #19
kat
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omin said:
When you are fair to people, do you know how much power there is in cooperation? Those who've given up on this superior ideal are in power in our country, with the support of petty-Nazi-Republican, religious nuts.
I don't know what the **** your idea of fair is, but leaving people at the mercy of brutal, genocidal dictators doesn't come under the heading of "fair" in any manner that I know of. Maybe if you compassionate *******s had gotten on your band wagon years ago and taken care of Saddam when he first started going screwy you could talk "fair", or maybe if you had screamed to continue and remove him over Gulf War 1 you might have the right to say anything about "Fair" but **** you if you think "fair" is being left to live under the brutality of a man like that.
 
  • #20
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kat said:
I don't know what the **** your idea of fair is, but leaving people at the mercy of brutal, genocidal dictators doesn't come under the heading of "fair" in any manner that I know of. Maybe if you compassionate *******s had gotten on your band wagon years ago and taken care of Saddam when he first started going screwy you could talk "fair", or maybe if you had screamed to continue and remove him over Gulf War 1 you might have the right to say anything about "Fair" but **** you if you think "fair" is being left to live under the brutality of a man like that.
I think it is not fair that Rumsfeld went to shake hands with Saddam during the conflict with Iran, while he was actively using chemical agents against the Iranians, and encouraged him to use all means. It is not fair that American companies like Dupont consequently delivered the chemicals. I think it is not fair that the Anthrax strains available in Iraq where developed in the US. I think it is not fair that Rumsfeld then abused the 911 events to excuse an invasion in Iraq. I think it is unfair that people like you are really lowering themselves by finding any excuse for a war that deep down they KNOW is disastrous and unjust , but will defend even with lies just for the sake of not losing the argument. It is unfair that every day scores of people die because they refuse to accept foreign dominance AND because the occupying forces are uncapable of restoring sufficient conditions. I think it's unfair that people have to live in conditions that are worse than during the period of sanctions. I think it's unfair that neocons and their supporters not only did not consider the alternatives (presuming that they were genuinly interested in the wellbeing of the Iraqi people) but now that their actions prove to be disastrous close their eyes and stubbornly continue to bang their head agaisnt the wall and try to bully the world into doing the same.
 
  • #21
vanesch
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russ_watters said:
But we are not dictating the final form of the Iraqi government.
We all know what will be the final form: an islamic republic!
 
  • #22
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Or an American Puppet
 
  • #23
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omin said:
Basic economic theory can prove the war was stupid.
And basic physics can prove that computers shouldn't work.

That's why the sciences (including economics) have evolved from basic models to ones that are more capable of working in the real world, and as a result, are more complex.
 
  • #24
Gokul43201
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kat said:
I don't know what the **** your idea of fair is, but leaving people at the mercy of brutal, genocidal dictators doesn't come under the heading of "fair" in any manner that I know of. Maybe if you compassionate *******s had gotten on your band wagon years ago and taken care of Saddam when he first started going screwy you could talk "fair", or maybe if you had screamed to continue and remove him over Gulf War 1 you might have the right to say anything about "Fair" but **** you if you think "fair" is being left to live under the brutality of a man like that.
Ha ha. Perhaps, Bush should have used this line when he went to war. He should have told America and Congress that Saddam is a genocidal maniac who tortures and kills his people. And that it's only fair to liberate them from him. (But for the longest time, everyone's known that...and no one - especially, the conservatives - gave a rat's a$$)

Like that would have rallied support for the war...

And now, the supporters of the War can't say enough (I'm not refering to you, Kat) about how Saddam was a brutal dictator, and it was the right thing to liberate the people of Iraq (now that there's no WMDs or al Qaeda link to talk of).

To them, I like to say **** *** !

While we're in the business of saving people from crazy despots, why stop with Saddam ? Let's get Kim Jong Il, and King Fahd and Crown Prince Abdulla. (Along with Charles Taylor, these people were rated as worse dictators than Saddam, as published by Parade Magazine upon consultation with Freedom House, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch) Let's take out Than Shwe and Teodoro Nguema. Let's topple Mugabe and the Sudanese regime.

Now, that would be fair, wouldn't it ?
 
  • #25
russ_watters
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Smurf said:
Or an American Puppet
What from American history would lead you to that conclusion? Ask Germany and Japan if we turned them into american puppets after WWII...

People say that sort of thing all the time. I guess they don't trust us - but that sentiment has no basis in reality.
omin said:
Basic economic theory can prove the war was stupid.
Really? Economics is numbers. The law of supply and demand and so forth. Can you prove mathematically that something is "stupid"? Ie, 1+1="stupid"...

Really, omin, if you want to be taken seriously, stop with the meaningless rhetoric.
 

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