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?