Sunday, August 31, 2008

The difference

My local rag today featured gushing profiles of Republican delegates from my local area and why they support McCain-Palin for a third Bush-Cheney term. One had the audacity to call herself a moderate. I strained to determine if I could possibly have any vision in common with any of these people. I wondered how many of them live in gated communities. Tellingly, their quotes were all about national security, values, and oil. On the first point, I would like to ask them why a Republican administration failed to prevent the events of September 11, 2001. On the second, I would like to ask them how they feel the death of untold numbers of Iraqi children as a direct consequence of the U.S. occupation fits their "values" agenda. I would also like them to ponder the following statistics (my source):

U.S. SPENDING IN IRAQ

Spent & Approved War-Spending - About $600 billion of US taxpayers' funds. In June 2008, President Bush signed a bill approving about 200 billion more for 2008, which brings the cumulative total to close to $800 billion.

U.S. Monthly Spending in Iraq - $12 billion in 2008

U.S. Spending per Second - $5,000 in 2008 (per Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on May 5, 2008)

Cost of deploying one U.S. soldier for one year in Iraq - $390,000 (Congressional Research Service)

Lost & Unaccounted for in Iraq - $9 billion of US taxpayers' money and $549.7 milion in spare parts shipped in 2004 to US contractors. Also, per ABC News, 190,000 guns, including 110,000 AK-47 rifles.

Missing - $1 billion in tractor trailers, tank recovery vehicles, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and other equipment and services provided to the Iraqi security forces. (Per CBS News on Dec 6, 2007.)

Mismanaged & Wasted in Iraq - $10 billion, per Feb 2007 Congressional hearings

Halliburton Overcharges Classified by the Pentagon as Unreasonable and Unsupported - $1.4 billion

Amount paid to KBR, a former Halliburton division, to supply U.S. military in Iraq with food, fuel, housing and other items - $20 billion

Portion of the $20 billion paid to KBR that Pentagon auditors deem "questionable or supportable" - $3.2 billion

Number of major U.S. bases in Iraq - 75 (The Nation/New York Times)

QUALITY OF LIFE INDICATORS

Iraqis Displaced Inside Iraq, by Iraq War, as of May 2007 - 2,255,000

Iraqi Refugees in Syria & Jordan - 2.1 million to 2.25 million

Iraqi Unemployment Rate - 27 to 60%, where curfew not in effect

Consumer Price Inflation in 2006 - 50%

Iraqi Children Suffering from Chronic Malnutrition - 28% in June 2007 (Per CNN.com, July 30, 2007)

Percent of professionals who have left Iraq since 2003 - 40%

Iraqi Physicians Before 2003 Invasion - 34,000

Iraqi Physicians Who Have Left Iraq Since 2005 Invasion - 12,000

Iraqi Physicians Murdered Since 2003 Invasion - 2,000

Average Daily Hours Iraqi Homes Have Electricity - 1 to 2 hours, per Ryan Crocker, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq (Per Los Angeles Times, July 27, 2007)

Average Daily Hours Iraqi Homes Have Electricity - 10.9 in May 2007

Average Daily Hours Baghdad Homes Have Electricity - 5.6 in May 2007

Pre-War Daily Hours Baghdad Homes Have Electricity - 16 to 24

Number of Iraqi Homes Connected to Sewer Systems - 37%

Iraqis without access to adequate water supplies - 70% (Per CNN.com, July 30, 2007)

Water Treatment Plants Rehabilitated - 22%

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