Tag: cost of war

Costs Of War Not Seen In Dover Repatriation Photos; and Bill Moyers Closing Comments

Cross-posted at DKos, Open Left, and Firedoglake

Hat tip to Henry Porter and the other diarists who posted on the videos and photos yesterday of the repatriation of service members slain in Afghanistan.

Henry wrote of how enraged he is that war criminals of the previous administration are walking free, of the pain he felt when he encountered a young disabled veteran, and that he finds “a measure of comfort in the hope that unlike his predecessor, this president has the courage, the character , the compassion and the judgment to make his decisions based on the best possible information and advice available to him.”

It is not often that we are able to see photos depicting the cost of war to our troops and their families.  Few people encounter our disabled veterans.  The face of war is rarely seen.

During the war in Vietnam, Walter Cronkite made sure that Mr. and Mrs. America saw plenty of the reality, during the dinner hour.

Sensitivity to the wishes of our soldiers and their families must prevail over other considerations.

And, there are some soldiers and families who have been willing to share images of their sacrifice with us.

I have met the enemy, and he is us

The pictures that zozie linked to in the diary “Photos from Iraq” brought back memories of Desert Storm. One memory, in particular, still haunts me. I’d like to share it with you…

I served on the ground there, flown in with one of the first units to deploy to Saudi Arabia. When we got off the plane, we didn’t know what to expect. We thought we would be shot at immediately. We soon discovered that our worst enemies were going to be the insane heat, dehydration, and boredom.

When the ground war finally began, my unit was in a task force that breached through a belt of landmines. The day was black as night, thick with smoke from burning oil rigs.

Raise Hell for Molly Ivins

In this video, Molly Ivins speaks about Americans who are slackers, failing to defend the most magnificent political document anyone on this planet has been heir to.

This address was recorded over two years ago. The stakes are higher now: It is the eleventh hour for America.

Here’s a recording of a “Raise Hell for Molly Ivins” memorial service for Molly held in January.

What are YOU doing to help America and save the Constitution? What would Molly do?

Stop waiting. Get out the pots and pans. Raise Hell for Molly Ivins.


“Bring Out Your Pots & Pans!

Help organize an action in you home town! We are just regular folks with jobs and all of life’s pressures, but we feel a need to speak out and do what we can. Please join our Raise Hell campaign by banging pots and pans for peace, and using every peaceful means including the Internet, phone and fax to let the LOCAL office of your Congressional Representative know – on the 3rd Friday of every month – that the war must end NOW and no attacks on Iran!

If you cannot attend a physical protest, please WRITE, TELEPHONE, FAX and EMAIL your LOCAL Congressional Representative’s office on that day!


Network with local organizations and individuals is your area. Let us know about your efforts, and send us your pictures to help inspire others; we will post on the website. We will also help you network with others in your area as well as statewide and nationally. Contact us at: [email protected]

Download Flyers and Signs

Go to our section of print-ready materials for flyers and signs that you can use as is, or modify for your locality,

Send Letters and Emails to Congress

See our Congressional contacts and Sample Letters for complete info.


We need BLOG and Internet enthusiasts to get the word out; researchers to gather congressional info and more; website content development and programming support; and other assistance to build the campaign.


We’re making a difference, with a simple, low-cost approach, but it does take hard cash to make the most of our collective efforts!


Email: [email protected]

Phone: 1-925-787-3354 ”

Below the fold, a fun video from the Pots and Pans Brigade.  

Arlington West – March 2008 – Honoring The Fallen

Before dawn every Sunday morning, at the foot of the Santa Monica Pier, volunteers set up crosses in memory of American service members killed in Iraq.

The Video was produced for the New York Times and can be also seen At Their Site

Where Is This 3 Trillion Dollar War Taking US?

Frankly, I am glad I am not Barack Obama. But if ever this country needed someone of his intellectual capacity, strategic brilliance, ability to bring people together, it will be the first day he steps into the Oval office And brothers and sisters I am here tell you, the deep shit hole Bush has left us in will require not just Obama but a team of equally brilliant people to begin to address how we, as Americans, are going to climb out this seeming insurmountable abyss and turn our country around. But there is Obama and for that reason I have hope.

Military Spending:

Many of us are starting to prepare our 2007 taxes, but how many of us know what our tax dollars are actually paying for? FCNL calculates that 43 cents of every dollar {PDF} you’ll pay in taxes go to pay for current and past military activities.

War Is Not the Answer!

Especially WARS Of CHOICE!

And I wish I could have been at the Center for Strategic and International Studies last week.

From the report written about the speach, Murtha and the Cost of the War,  Rep. John P. Murtha gave, any doubters were no more when they left!

True cost of Iraq war: Trillions

Such a deal.

The Iraq war already has cost a family of four $16,500, but you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

A new report from the Congressional Joint Economic Committee says the cost per family is going to be $36,900.

And total expenditures, direct and indirect, could exceed $3.5-trillion if the U.S. stays the course and keeps even 75,000 troops in Iraq through 2017 — hardly a rash assumption, since none of the leading presidential candidates in either party will pledge to have the troops home by 2013.  (To be fair, “only” $2.8-trillion is for Iraq, with the rest for war in Afghanistan.)

Amitabh Pal for The Progressive online:

Predictably, the analysis has the Republicans crying foul. They allege that the Democrats in charge of the committee have played with the numbers. But this is the right way to measure the cost of that unnecessary conflict. The budgetary impact, as large as it is, captures only a fraction of the economic toll on this country.

The report details the multiple ways in which the war has been detrimental to the U.S. economy. Most obviously, the turmoil in Iraq has contributed to a diminished global oil production, making all of us pay higher prices at the pump. The report estimates that the Iraq fiasco has contributed at least $5 per barrel to the increase in oil prices.

And then there are several other costs, too. The government has had to spend borrowed money for the war, diverting spending from more productive uses and paying massive interest payments on its war profligacy. Substantial sums have had to be paid for treating wounded war veterans. There have been several lifetimes of lost productivity for the injured. Considerable military equipment has been damaged. And the list goes on.

Even that dollar count, of course, doesn’t count the real toll of the hundreds of thousands of lives shattered beyond repair, a cost the world will continue to bear for decades.

UPDATE: The Pentagon has found one way to cut costs: By asking wounded vets to give back the signing bonuses they got for enlisting, because they couldn’t fulfill their contracts. More here.

Pal continues:

I’m not going to do that whole guns versus butter thing and lament about all the productive expenditure this money could have been utilized for. It’s giving the Bush Administration too much credit to assume that they would have guided all that amount to more rational uses. (For those interested in such numbers, the American Friends Service Committee has some heartbreaking comparative statistics on the myriad ways the funds could have been better spent.)

Cross-posted on Out of Iraq Bloggers Caucus.