Wednesday, March 19, 2008

unHappy Anniversary

The present Iraq War is five years old today. Vanity Fair excerpts a portion of economist Joseph Stiglitz's new book, The $3 Trillion War, in its latest issue. Stiglitz argues that both the Pentagon and the White House have grossly underestimated the cost of the Iraq War, which will assume the hefty price tag that inspired Stiglitz's book's name in record time:

"To understand why the true costs of the war are so much higher than the official estimates, we can start by looking at America’s veterans. No one has suffered more from the administration’s blindness and stinginess. To date, more than 1.6 million American troops have been deployed in the Iraq and Afghanistan operations. More than 4,000 have been killed. More than 65,000 have been wounded or injured, or have contracted a disease. Of the 750,000 troops who have been discharged so far, some 260,000 have been treated at veterans’ medical facilities. Nearly 100,000 have been diagnosed as having mental-health conditions. Another 200,000 have sought counseling and re-adjustment services at walk-in vet centers."

I'll never forget attending a lecture in college, where an old Korean War vet got up during the Q&A portion to quote Eisenhower; "I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its stupidity."

Now I see why.

1 comment:

alpha de tortuga said...

more love, less war! if only $ 3 trillion dollars could buy back half of the innocent lives lost in that senseless war. I saw this documentary on one of the cable networks, can't quite remember which it was, but it was about the Numbers of lives lost, it's all heartbreaking really.