The too-high cost of imposing America’s will on others

At war in Afghanistan: Not worth the cost

Once President Barack Obama made the decision to blow well over $100 million in taxpayer dollars for a weekend attack on Libya, we saw yet another example of committing an over-extended military to yet another conflict while millions of Americans remain out of work in a stagnant economy.

The cost of sticking our nose into internal strife in Libya showcases how often our priorities are mixed up. That $100 million will balloon into billions before our role in Libya ends — assuming it does — and that’s money we will never get back and that will show no return.

Iraq‘s massive oil reserves were supposed to pay for rebuilding that country. Instead, most of the billions in cost came from American taxpayers.  So far, we’ve dropped about $350 billion into the never-ending war in Afghanistan.  It costs America $6 billion a month in Afghanistan and $5 billion a month in Iraq.

The cost so far for both wars: A not-so-cool trillion bucks of American taxpayer funds.

And for what? Does either country have the freedom and Democracy promised when we launched military action?  Democracy was the stated goal when we invaded Iraq, a nation that posed no threat to the United States. Various sects still rule that nation with an iron hand.

We went into Afghanistan with the stated goal of tracking down Osama bin Laden and killing him. He remains at large in what has now become the longest, most-expensive war in U.S. history.

At least 4,441 Americans have died in Iraq since the invasion began in March 2003.  We claim that “combat” operations ended last year but 50,000 American soldiers remain in that embattled nation and every one has a target on his or her back.

Another 1,384 American soldiers have fallen in Afghanistan.  When combined with Iraq, nearly 6,000 Americans have died in those two wars and tens of thousands more came home with crippling physical injuries and/or severe mental problems.

Did these people die defending America? Not really. Did they die in a noble cause? No. They died for flawed political agendas: First for George W. Bush‘s lies and now for Barack Obama’s inexperience and inability to focus on the real needs of the country.

Meanwhile, schools in Illinois have laid off 2,100 tenured and non-tenured teachers this year, the rabid right-wing focuses on union-busting campaigns in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and other states rather than on putting people back to work and more Americans struggle to get by as their unemployment runs out and record numbers of food stamps are issued.

The American middle class has all but vanished. The American Dream no longer exists for too many families. What we have in its place is the American Nightmare and one from which the nation may never wake up.

Where are the priorities of our government? Which is more important? The need to impose our will on the other side of the world or the needs of the  jobless, the hungry and the needy here at home?

With the American deficit headed into double-digit trillions and this nation tears itself apart with extremist politics from both the right and the left, we continue to overextend ourselves with expensive wars we can’t afford and screwed up priorities.

The cost is too high, the returns too small and the damage too great.

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8 Responses to "The too-high cost of imposing America’s will on others"

  1. Keith  March 21, 2011 at 8:39 am

    When, oh when, are we ever going to stop poking our noses into every other nartion’s business?

    Or, to put it more bluntly, what, if anything, is to be gained from sending million-dollar cruise missiles to kill opposing tribes of Bedouins, most of whom (Including Mohammar Quadaffi himself) still live in tents?

    And the main “talking point” our leaders keep repeating over and over again (ad nauseum) that we are “bombing Libya to protect the lives of civilians” sounds an awful lot like Nixon saying we were “bombing for peace” in Vietnam.

    Indeed. back then (as now) “bombing for peace” “and “bombing to protect civilians” is a lot like “screwing for virginity”. Both utterances are oxymorons (being uttered, unfortunately, by the morons we now have running our nation!)

    Indeed, I’ve often wondered why were there no million-dollar cruise missiles sent against the despots killing their millions of minions in Rawanda. Did we erect a “no fly zone” over that country back then?

    Did we send in fighter jets to bomb those who were killing THEIR civilians?

    Why not?

    Are their “civilian lives” worth any less than those ow being “protected” in Libya? It would seem (by their actions) that our leaders seem to think so.

    Clearly, this whole wretched nonsense is once again all about OIL. It has absolutely NOTHING whatsoever to do with “protecting civilians” and the.
    “tallking points” these clowns continually offer as excuses for their actions are nothing but boldface lies that fool no one.

    Hilliary, Obama (et al), now need to come clean and give us the REAL reasons why we are once again bombing yet ANOTHER sovereign nation into oblivion.

  2. woody188  March 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    They have a WWII mentality, thinking war spending will lift the USA out of this depression as it did the last. Problem with that thinking is that most of the industrialized world was destroyed during WWII. This left the United States to do most of the rebuilding, and getting paid to do so.

    Today we are destroying third-world nations and we aren’t the only ones getting the contracts to rebuild. Plus, with global labor arbitrage parading as free trade and rampant/unchecked immigration deflating wages, impossible odds are stacked against making a livable wage in the United States.

    It’s the end of the world as we know it.

  3. griff  March 21, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Look at the state of our own country. Is it any real surprise no one around the world wants this? I know I don’t, and I f**king live here.

    Voting does a lot of good, I’ve noticed. Can’t wait to do it again.

  4. Carl Nemo  March 21, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Spot-commentary Doug Thompson.

    The reason the beat goes on is that our nation has been commandeered by duopolists. There’s little to no difference when it comes to either party. This President went from a “change we can believe” motto to “expect more of the same in spades sucka”…! He might as well be George W. Bush redux.

    Right now he’s galavanting around South America doing what he does best; ie., engaging his smooth, jive turkey delivery while blowin’ smoke to hopefuls in our southern hemisphere concerning better relations etc…. NOT!

    As he sits at the conference table listening to his NSC advisers et al. , all perma-hawks that are totally MIC compromised and lets them steer him towards another bottomline friendly decision on their behalf; I.E., “Mr. President we advise you that in the interest and stability of the N. African region we must attack Libya in order to secure oil supplies for our allies in Europe and to insure stability in the markets in general”. As Obama looks over their grim visages at the table with sleeves full of stripes, chests full of ribbons and medals, stars on their epaulettes, mostly, if not all ‘white guys’ each with a line of military blarney a mile long, he acquiesces as usual, feeling well as a good ‘community organizer’ should, but in a Presidential way by allowing ‘community’ consenus to make the final decision without him having to dig deeply within to come up with more sensible decision that just might contramand their MIC friendly line of bullsh*t and be more ‘wallet’ friendly to our citizens.

    If the guy had been in the military and had seen some action along with the direct results of our continually failing war policies, then maybe, just maybe he’d shut this endless dog and pony show down that’s been working in earnest to establish “Empire Americanus” since H.W. Bush/Quayle’s Gulf War I. Clinton/Gore had their hands in the Bosnia/Serbian debacle in addition to launching cruise missiles at an alleged terrorist training camp with no success to be had. Also they were involved with the failed Somalian mission followed by a grand slam on the parth of eight years of G.W. Bush/Cheny by attacking Iraq for a second time in a little over a decade, then Afghanistan and now even sniffing out Pakistan with Libya going ‘hot’ this past week. Neither Iraq or Afghanistan had anything to do with the destruction on 9/11. It was linked mostly to Saudi radicals; ie., eighteen of them. Did we hassle S.A….hell no! Instead we heard how the Saudi’s are “like family” to the Bushistas. For all practical purposes this nation has been involved with fomenting wars for the past twenty years nonstop from major to brushfire consequence.

    Will this continuing shakedown of the American taxpayer ever come to to halt? Seeming not as long people continue to elect or reelect either Republicans or Democrats to our highest office filling the halls of Conress and the White House with skunks of the same stripe and odour of corruption.

    Does anyone get the picture here? Our nation has been summarily hijacked by MIC interests which are facilitated by key Congressmen who sit on the committees that hold the purse strings for this ongoing nonsense. They are rewarded handsomely by their MIC patrons, the welfare of our nation be damned…! Ike warned us of such, but no one listened.

    Seemingly we’re doomed to fail as a nation. : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  5. Sandune  March 22, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Carl, you are absolutely correct. But many of us listened to Ike. What good did it do when MIC put people to work with a fear that if we did not stay in wars, our jobs would end.

    Our defense contracts opened up new manufacturing that grew like cancers all over America. We might have been able to continue this except for the President who wrote up trade agreements with other nations that cost American tax payers more in taxes than their jobs could pay.

    Why should it be a shock to anyone that the generations of Bush politicians are oil people? Didn’t we talk about President Bush’s purchase of millions of acres in Paraguay after he left office? All that money was invested in a nation without access to the oceans. It has to be full of oil. I wonder how much of our tax dollars went into that purchase?

    When Bush 43 ran for reelection, not a single word was written about his oil investments and much of what I exposed was laughed at. Even on R.R. the comments were very reserved regarding the Bush Family We could not mention 911 and no one was even interested in the Commission Report. CHB is very typical of the lack of interest for change on the internet. The only really active posters were after the prohibitions of gays and abortions.

    Our House and Senate are on the payrolls of our manufacturing corporations. We knew this prior to 43′s election but not a single action was planned to stop it.

    I received many emails and threats from several internet sites that I must stop exposing the religious right and that they are the future of American politics. The American people through the GOP will not stop until Jesus is the only acceptable God in America. I attended an Arizona Republican State meeting and asked the question and was told to leave the GOP as it is a new form of combined religion and government.

    We are doomed to follow the lobbyists who work for the MIC and there isn’t one damn thing we can do about it. The future will be the development of a terrorist government run by the Christian hypocrites who are in it for the money.

    We learned a great lesson in 2008. Many of us had hoped that the new Administration would straighten up the trade agreements and stop our manufacturing from leaving the States. I guess the bills for this action are still be paid for.

    Another mess is growing in America. We have a large percentage of Americans who are revolting against the government. They are gathering up many armed Conservatives who want out government under their control. Something very sinister seems to be growing and this revolution will be done by the religious right. Our courts are needing armed guards and searches for guns in the audience.

    This puzzles me as most of these revolutionaries are Christians. It does not sit well in my brain. I read a lot of court reports and the trend is growing for mothers to kill their kids under orders from God.

    So Carl, when do we listen?

    • Carl Nemo  March 22, 2011 at 12:24 pm

      We’re beyond ‘listening’ Ms. Price. To put is simply our collective “goose butts” are cooked and the mattoids that own this nation lock, stock and barrel enjoy the flavor our pedestrian ‘meat’. : |

      Carl Nemo **==

  6. Phil  March 22, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    “The American middle class has all but vanished ”

    C’mon, skip the hyperbole Doug. The middle class is not almost gone. It just isn’t tossing money around the way it was a few years ago.

  7. Sandune  March 22, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    So, I’m learning that there is nothing any of us can do for our vanishing middle class? We will simply turn on the TV and ignore any level of authority to removes more and more of our freedoms and raise our taxes until we simply use up what is left of our assets and fade out of the picture.

    I tried to inspire individual character into my children and apparently gave them a false sense of security for their futures. They are planning on leaving the states before their integrity is washed away. My own kids have gotten their own children and step children through college and marriages and there is nothing left to do. The problem with my generation is the price of living in America. Many of us have downsized our homes, bought smaller cars and have learned to eat less daily. None of us will go hungry or be in need of sustenance and shelter. Many here in Palm Springs are doubling up to save housing costs. .My son in law has an elderly aunt who lives alone in a very expensive area of Nob Hill. I have invited her to spend a couple of weeks with me here to look around and see if this atmosphere would please her. My place is large enough for 2 adults. My cats would love another lap for our evening reading hour.

    I spent years in an all girl’s boarding school and could tune out just about anything. Mu music would be the only problem. Few love the sound of Bach full time.

    I just hate to give up on American values. My choice of values drained out of the culture years ago. It has nothing to do with money and everything to do with trust of others. CHB gathers some fine members but I have seen several on other sites who I would not trust for a minute.

    We all have our limits of patience with others. America is not ready for an open discussion regarding right over wrong. It all comes down to who calls the shots in our actions…….America still runs on a consensus of whether the opposition can play by the rules before we even try. Apparently after the first President ignored the Constitution, it was open season allowing the next White House occupant to follow with the same broken actions.

    We never learn from our previous mistakes and we never will. Every 10 year cycle we haul out the same problems and fight about them. I often wonder if Shakespeare’s great mind is still alive wondering why not even his warning signs were strong enough to get us over our weaknesses.

    The strongest of our weaknesses is to keep our pants on even while we are lecturing to others about spiritual morals. Personally I don’t think of sex as being a sin. Unless one is protected against disease then having sex can be a death threat. I’ve avoided it for 25 years as the thought of contracting a disease is not worth the pleasure. My kids would find it hysterically funny if I got the clap.

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