July 10, 2007

The Friedmans, They Pile Up

Atrios reminds us of what all the pundits were saying a Friedman ago, so head on over and scroll down. It probably won't spoil it to say that many of them incorrectly predicted that the next six months, starting in January, would be the last chance for the government of/Surge in/war on in Iraq to succeed. They've all been saying the same, bloody things for five bloody years, in spite of reading the same, bloody headlines every bloody day.

Recent news from Iraq:

Report: Sunni Extremists Attack Village

Iraqis Grapple With High Unemployment, at a rate judged to be between 60-70%.

UK plots seem terror exports from Iraq

U.S. Military Deaths in Iraq at 3,606

Iraq's Al-Qaeda threatens to attack Iran

Howard's oil speech 'was stating the truth'

Iraqi Politicians Warn Against Pullout: Foreign Minister Asserts 140,000 Turkish Troops Are Poised Along Border

Turkey: Threats Of Incursion Into Iraq Increase

Marine's court-martial opens in shooting of civilian in Iraq

Blair aide says cabinet had "severe doubts" on Iraq

White House In "Panic Mode" Over Iraq

Rotting bodies spoil Baghdad's taste for river fish

Mortars hit Baghdad's Green Zone, no one killed -US, with U.S. military commanders described as blaming Iran for the mortars.

FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, July 10: By my count at 11 am EDT (Reuters Alertnet updates these daily reports as new information comes in), 89 Iraqis have been reported dead today, either executed by kidnappers, killed by crossfire or at fake checkpoints, or dead in fighting between insurgents and official military forces.

'US spent over half a trillion dollars on Iraq, Afghan wars', while "running costs have hit $12 billion a month."

And how about another stroll down memory lane to the 2004 presidential debate:

KERRY: The goal of the sanctions was not to remove Saddam Hussein, it was to remove the weapons of mass destruction. And, Mr. President, just yesterday the Duelfer report told you and the whole world they worked. He didn't have weapons of mass destruction, Mr. President. That was the objective.

And if we'd used smart diplomacy, we could have saved $200 billion and an invasion of Iraq. And right now, Osama bin Laden might be in jail or dead. That's the war against terror. ...

O'BRIEN: Mr. President, you have enjoyed a Republican majority in the House and Senate for most of your presidency. In that time, you've not vetoed a single spending bill. Excluding $120 billion spent in Iran and -- I'm sorry, Iraq and Afghanistan, there has been $700 billion spent and not paid for by taxes. ...

Then there was some spin:

KURTZ: On the other hand, Kerry did correct something he had been saying repeatedly, which was that the war has cost 200 billion. It's actually although cost $120 billion, although projections offer $200 billion. The president still talking about government-run health care. Almost every expert in journalism I've talked to says there may be a lot of problems with Kerry's health care plan, but it's not run by the government.

THOMAS: Look, I think at this stage, they are consciously twisting the truth. It's not just little accidents. And I think as Dana says, they've caught on. The big lie or maybe the little lie works.

KURTZ: The medium lie.

THOMAS: The medium lie works. So they're doing them.

MILBANK: We catch up to it a few days after the fact, and everybody has forgotten.

THOMAS: But not very successfully and not very well. We do not do a good job.

MILBANK: We should be doing a lot more. ...

Or this:

And if you look carefully at the numbers Kerry constantly repeated, his dishonesty or lack of close contact with reality becomes even clearer. The $200 billion he says we’re expending in Iraq includes funds for Afghanistan ...

If the war was only going to have cost us $200 billion, in hindsight, we should all have been doing backflips over that. Even in government spending, over $500 billion total at around $12 billion a week is real money.

To beat my own, usual horse, a week's worth of Iraq spending added to the Farm Bill budget could easily secure the future of sustainable agriculture funding and research, as well as do a lot to support local food economies. Instead, we have to quibble about a few million here or there. Repeat this complaint, ad infinitum, for every domestic spending priority that personally matters to you.

This misbegotten, parasitic war continues to bleed the people and treasuries of both Iraq and the United States. It steals away and destroys human capital, blighting the lives of the wounded and the families of survivors, depriving us of the future contributions of the dead. It sucks the marrow out of public programs that ensure the preservation of health and the building of future productivity, blighting our economic growth in the U.S. and utterly shattering the trust, institutions and infrastructure that would allow Iraq to have a functioning economy, let alone a growing one.

And these useless, well-fed, well-insured, well-protected windbags look at all the destruction preceding this moment and say, 'well, give it a little more time.' A little more time, a little more treasure, a little more blood. Just another Friedman worth.


Posted by natasha at July 10, 2007 08:14 AM | Iraq | Technorati links |