dinsdag, maart 25, 2003

Time To Pay The Coalition Of the Willing

"The best things in life are free
But you can keep them for the birds and bees
Now give me money
That's what I want
That's what I want, yeah
That's what I want"


Well, the big mystery has been solved. For weeks the country has unsuccessfully requested that the Bush Administration give it some idea of how much this glorious little liberation of Iraq is going to cost. Although you STILL don't know, at least you have an idea of the down payment.

Those of you who pay taxes in the United States might be interested to know that out of the 74.7 billion Bush is asking for, your good Coalition of the Willing buddy, Turkey is getting $1 BILLION of your money to reject the deployment of American troops on their soil, to threaten deployment of its own troops in Kurdish-held areas in northern Iraq, a move bound to inflame Kurdish sentiment and complicate US plans for a post-Saddam Iraq, AND to allow the US to use their airspace for overflights by F-18 fighter jets based on aircraft carriers in the eastern Mediterranean before realizing that the US Tomahawk missiles launched from those carriers would be landing on Turkish soil. Still, quite a bargain when you add it all up.

This must be the sort of business acumen that George W. Bush used in launching a succession of failed oil companies, where he lost millions of his father's friends' dollars.

You might want to compare that amount with the relatively meager $4 billion he's asking for your "Homeland Security".

Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee predicted that the final cost of the war -- which will be borne almost entirely by American taxpayers -- could be twice the amount requested Monday, and Pentagon officials did not deny that more requests would be coming in next year's budget.

Keith Ashdown of the Taxpayer for Common Sense calls the president's $74.7 billion request "an expensive down-payment." The politically moderate group just issued its own cost estimate for the war and reconstruction, concluding that it's likely to cost $110 billion this year and could exceed $550 billion over the next decade.

In addition to this Turkish bargain, falling under the category of "some other programs" are the payoffs to other Coalition of the "Willing" members like Pakistan, Israel, Jordan which, including Turkey, amount to the same $4 billion Bush requested for Homeland Security.

For funding the Invasion of Iraq for the next 6 months, he requested $63 billion.

Let's put it this way: to "liberate" Iraq and to pay off some of the coalition of the willing, you taxpayers will pay about 12 times more in supplemental costs than you will for the supplemental costs of security of your own country. And if you'd like some further comedy, it's a drop in the bucket compared to Bush's proposed 10-year, $726 billion tax cut which primarily benefits the wealthiest one percent of the population of your country.

As the New York Times proclaimed today, this is indeed a Budgetary Shock and Awe.

So work hard America. The mistakes of the Bush Administration are getting expensive.

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