Since I bought bull semen from Pharo Cattle Company, I get their newsletter, and thought this piece from Brett Pharo was worth sharing. I would only disagree on one point. The Iraq war will cost much more than he says, after lifetime care of the debilitated – several trillion.
Well, for the third time, we have a President of the United States telling us our war in Iraq is over, mission accomplished, yadda, yadda. Let's hope this one is right. Given the propensity of Mr. Obama, following Mr. Bush's lead, to take military action against relatively weak countries in the oil-rich middle east, it will probably not be long before our leaders invade Iran, Syria, Yemen, or who knows where else, so let's take a quick look at what we've accomplished in Iraq and what it cost. I'm sure I'll anger those of you who blindly march to your fuhrer's bidding with flags waving, but I'm OK with that.
The Iraq war cost the U.S. of A. over a trillion dollars. That's a lot of change. That's enough to buy 10 million homes at $100,000 apiece. Or enough to buy 625 million ounces of gold. Or enough to buy almost 40 million households a new 2012 Chevrolet Impala. Or enough to drill every man, woman and child in the US his own personal 200 foot deep water well. Or enough to buy every single person on the planet two Bibles. All that wealth has been destroyed and unrecoverable, and that doesn't even count the wealth of our allies and enemies that was destroyed.
The Iraq war cost the lives of thousands of America's finest young people, and wounded tens of thousands more. It is likely that the death toll for Iraqis is in the hundreds of thousands, plus God only knows how many wounded and mangled. You may not think there is value to Iraqi lives, but you'll have to take that up with God. He sent his Son to die for each one of them the same as he did for Americans.
We did depose a rather ruthless dictator in Saddam Hussein. He frequently oppressed the Shia majority as well as the Kurds in the north. He did manage to hold together a country of distinct groups whose boundaries had been established by European powers. On the other hand, Saddam's government was a steadfast enemy of terrorist groups like Al Qaeda.
Through our war on Iraq, we have shattered any unity that might have existed. It remains possible that Iraq may coalesce into a democratic nation peacefully choosing their government. I find it far more likely that it will either splinter into its diverse parts or be ruled by a strong dictator, probably a theocratic dictator.
Iraq includes what's known as the fertile crescent, often called the "cradle of civilization," and had many important and priceless historical sites and museums. Much of that has been destroyed.
Prior to our war there, Christians were relatively free to worship when, where, and how they pleased. That is no longer the case, and it seems unlikely that it will be the case for the foreseeable future.
Students from around the world, including America, used to attend Iraqi universities. No more. Basic necessities are provided sporadically at best, schools have been destroyed, the infrastructure is in shambles. What once was a relatively prosperous country, rich in culture, history, and the arts, has been reduced to rubble and fighting tribes.
Liberators are often welcomed and celebrated, but occupiers are not. Even if we were heralded by many, though certainly not all, for our removal of Saddam, we overstayed our welcome and resentment is high in this country which was once seen as a strong ally. Even as the last troops were leaving Iraq, American flags were being burned in the streets. Our invasion and occupation of Iraq did more for al Qaeda recruitment than anything they could ever have done, and at the same time removed one of their staunchest opponents in the region. I think we can expect that whatever form a government may take in Iraq, it is unlikely to be friendly to the US.
I have great admiration for our men and women in arms and the efforts they put forth in Iraq. They did what they were asked to do in a very tough situation. But to the idea that they were fighting to protect our freedom, I have to reply succinctly, though rudely, "--------." Our freedoms were never threatened by Iraq, and we certainly have far fewer freedoms today than we did ten years ago. That's not the soldiers' fault, though; it's the fault of our leadership in DC.
Is it any wonder that political contributions from service members to Ron Paul exceed contributions to all other candidates combined? He seems to be the only one from either major party that understands what it costs us in lives, wealth, and respect to carry on the way we have been. As the greatest President in our history, in my opinion, George Washington said, it is best if we avoid foreign entanglements.
"Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” ~ Hermann Goering