The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Political posturing, while the human costs of war continues to climb

Apr 30, 2007

The Democrats in Congress have passed a new Iraq war budget of 124 billion dollars. Bush says he will veto it because it sets deadlines for the beginning of U.S. troop withdrawals. Actually it only suggests “deadlines.”

The Democrats and Republicans have both been carrying out their assigned roles – the Republicans to justify the war, the Democrats to pacify us into waiting for them to do something about it ... in the far distant future.

No matter what, there will be a new appropriation for this war. And it will boost total official U.S. spending on the Iraq War to at least 456 billion dollars by the end of 2007. Many experts say that the real cost of the war is probably twice what these official figures show. And of course, they’re only talking about money – and not the human cost in lost lives and permanently disabling injuries, both U.S. and Iraqi.

But even the monetary cost has a human cost.

456 billion dollars could have paid for full health care for the more than 47 million people with no health insurance in this country. In addition, ten thousand more elementary schools could have been built, and a million more elementary school teachers hired. Over 500 thousand college students could have been given scholarships and a million affordable housing units constructed with the money left over. And spending on those things would have created many more jobs in this country.

The huge and ever-growing expense, both human and financial, of the U.S. wars in the Middle East are weighing on working class people in this country – and destroying Iraq and Afghanistan. Get all U.S. troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan now!