Monday, August 6, 2007

Paying the Costs of Zionism

The war in Iraq is costing the United States more per month than the Vietnam war cost per month on average over its eight-year term. In real dollars, adjusted for inflation. In a country that has recently deindustrialized itself, and has gone from being the world’s biggest creditor nation to being the world’s biggest debtor nation.

In a country that borrows money to pay for consumer goods and not for productive equipment that might pay the costs of borrowing. Trillion-dollar bill (on the rosiest assumptions). Mostly to pay the operating costs of the war (wait for when the Pentagon demands that all its worn-out equipment be replaced).

A war that increases the costs of fighting Bibi Netanyahu’s 'war on terror’. The generals can’t say when it will be over, and no prominent politician of either party is prepared to even discuss a meaningful withdrawal. It is bad manners to officially admit that fighting a war for Israel might be dumb, especially a war that is destabilizing the world’s largest source of hydrocarbons.

Both likely Presidential candidates are gung-ho for years more of fighting. The big secret about the strange American devotion to paying the costs of Zionism is that the United States simply can’t afford it. Nixon had to end gold backing for the dollar in order to keep the United States from becoming insolvent over the costs of Vietnam. President Giuliani won’t have anywhere near the same bargaining position when he has to try the same sort of trick. Of course, the right-wingers will use the economic crisis as yet another excuse for belt-tightening, i. e., cutting social programs. What happens when there are no programs left to cut?

1 comment:

Affad Shaikh said...

some good news out of the war in Iraq...

Damien McElroy and Tim Butcher, Telegraph, 8/9/07

America has been forced to withhold funding from its key ally in the Middle East amid the strain of paying for its expensive military campaign in Iraq.

Washington had promised Israel a substantial increase in its financial support to bolster it against Iran.

But US officials decided to amend their pledge because of escalating costs, including the need to spend $750 million (£375 million) to fly thousands of armoured troop carriers to Iraq to protect troops against Iranian-made roadside bombs.

The Pentagon has come under intense pressure to speed up deployment of the new Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle (MRAP), which boasts a V-shaped hull and a raised chassis and is proven to withstand a range of explosive projectiles common in Iraq.

The army has ordered 8,000 MRAP vehicles at a cost of $12 billion. But a request by the Pentagon for an emergency transport budget illustrates the increasing danger faced by troops on the ground.

Officials said extra funds would be used to get 3,400 MRAPs to Iraq by the end of the year.

The diversion of funds has caused a budget shortfall in Israel that forced Ehud Olmert, the prime minister, to convene an emergency cabinet meeting yesterday. (MORE)