BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Costs of War



Get ready for the estimate:
Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz and Harvard budget expert Linda Bilmes plan to present this week a paper estimating the cost of the Iraq War at between $1-2 trillion.
Hey now!
This is far higher than earlier estimates of $100-200 billion.
I'll say.
Here is their statement:

"The study expands on traditional budgetary estimates by including costs such as lifetime disability and health care for the over 16,000 injured, one fifth of whom have serious brain or spinal injuries.
Holy post traumatic stress disorder, Batman!
It then goes on to analyze the costs to the economy, including the economic value of lives lost and the impact of factors such as higher oil prices that can be partly attributed to the conflict in Iraq.

The paper also calculates the impact on the economy if a proportion of the money spent on the Iraq war were spent in other ways, including on investments in the United States."
Investments in the United States?!

What? Like on education and alternative energy?! Crazy talk!

Speaking of PTSD...

Seven US soldiers killed in Iraq: military, police

Remember all that talk about "violence" during the run-up to the last the Iraqi election?

"They're just tryin' to stop freedom."

And now?

"They're just...tryin' to stop freedom."

Baghdad (Reuters) - Five U.S. soldiers were killed when a roadside bomb hit their vehicle while on patrol in Baghdad on Thursday, the U.S. military said.

Another two American soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb near the southern Iraqi city of Najaf, Iraqi police said.

Suicide bomber kills 10 Afghans as US envoy visits

Afghans as in...Afghanistan.

'Member that place?
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed at least 10 people and wounded 50 in an attack in an Afghan provincial capital on Thursday during a visit by the U.S. ambassador, officials said. The envoy was unhurt.


Qari Mohammad Yousuf, a spokesman for Taliban insurgents, said a local Taliban called Abdur Rahim carried out the attack.

"Our intention was to kill the U.S. ambassador," he told Reuters by satellite phone from an undisclosed location.
The Taliban?

Didn't we, uh, take care of them a few years ago?!
Suspected Taliban guerrillas have carried out a spate of suicide bombings in recent weeks, but in most of these only the attacker was killed.
I guess not.
Taliban guerrillas have spoken of dozens more suicide attackers awaiting orders to strike.


The past year has seen a surge in insurgent violence in Afghanistan in which more than 1,200 people have been killed. Most of the dead have been militants, but they included more than 50 U.S. soldiers.
Fear not, dear reader: We're making good progress.

* * *

Finally, a quick follow up to yesterday's comments about Vegas:

Reid says Chertoff should resign - Senator echoes sheriff after city falls off list

Apparently, "Las Vegas and 10 other cities previously categorized as 'high threat' fell behind 35 areas declared eligible this year for special grants earmarked by the Department of Homeland Security."

Besides New York and Los Angeles...what are those other 33 areas?!

(Google-monkeys unite, and a Pulitzer Prize waiting for the journo who can follow the Homeland Security $ down this slushy rabbit-hole.)
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called for the resignation of Homeland Security Department Secretary Michael Chertoff on Wednesday, one day after the government dropped Las Vegas from a list of cities considered potential high-risk targets eligible for special anti-terrorism grants.


"Anyone who can't see that Las Vegas is a high-risk area doesn't deserve to serve in a position like that," Reid said.
That goes for those of you who are hoping to turn the weekly paycheck into a small fortune.

Good luck!
Las Vegas received $8 million in 2005 through such high-threat funding to purchase a spectrometer to detect chemical agents, special clothing, chemical response vehicles, handheld computers for emergency personnel to communicate, a bomb robot and a bomb armored vehicle...
And for billboards heralding Danny Gans as Vegas' "Number One Performer."

As evidence of risk, (Clark County Sheriff Bill) Young noted documented visits to Las Vegas before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by five of the airplane hijackers, revelations in a Detroit terrorism case that terrorists had plotted to strike Las Vegas, and a 2003 New Year's Eve threat alert under which hotels and airlines were asked by the government to turn over customer lists.
Whoa whoa whoa!

Hotels and airlines were asked by the government to turn over customer lists?!


More later...


  • Heard about you on Air America's The Majority Report. I have lots of free time and am doing what I can. Any suggestions would be helpful; I'm sure my senators and congressman are tired of hearing from me (I'm from AZ - not much help - except tell me why McCain would be a bad Prez).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:23 PM  

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