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This Blog Is Moving

Greetings. After this weekend, this Take Our Country Back Blog will be moving to the new web site. Too many conservatives are getting zapped by the intolerant dweebs of the Obama Goons and seeing that this editing platform is a free site, Blogger can do pretty much what it feels like doing. Hence, I now have a paid site and will be migrating the last 1400+ posts shortly.

So, one day, you just may click this page somewhere and it will show up as "private". It has been fun but the intolerant Czarbie Goon Squads are brain dead idiots. They can come play at the new site which I OWN outright.

Friday, August 3, 2007

What Are Your Freedoms Worth?

Once again, if any conservative blogger is NOT a member of The Victory Caucus, you should be ashamed...really. There are people over there that do not have blogs but participate in forums and every once in a while, a participant comes up with gems second to none. This is one of those times.

I am still waiting for the originator to bless this post which can be found here and can be read there IF one is a member. If not a member, too bad for you.

The author goes by K~Bob...

Is this war really expensive? I mean, is it really? If you read this "report" made yesterday by David Gardner in the UK's Daily Mail newspaper, you would most likely feel a sense of shock and dismay at the horrific expense of it all. That is, you would unless the reporter had bothered to give you some (genuinely) relative sense of how much money this really is. First, let's break down the list of concepts jumbled together to help sell you on joining the ranks of those supposedly dissatisfied with the war.

The writer begins with an amount:
The war in Iraq is costing British and American taxpayers more than £2,000 a second.

The combined bill for the two countries was revealed yesterday as the conflict claimed the lives of a British soldier - our 164th military victim - and four U.S. troops.
Forget for the moment the disingenuous use of the word "revealed" in that sentence (excepting the most top secret items, the costs and budget are always publicly available to anyone brave enough to subject themselves to effort of looking). No, more importantly, why does a reporter then follow that "revelation" with this sentence?
More then 100 Iraqis also died in a series of suicide bombings and attacks that have become commonplace in the chaotic aftermath of the 2003 invasion.
Of course, the purpose of such a spurious factoid (out of the hundreds of thousands available) is to make things look like these massive sums are being spent to no effect. However, this sentence is also a misrepresentation of reality on many levels. Let's just focus on one: "...a series of suicide bombings and attacks that have become commonplace in the chaotic aftermath of the 2003 invasion." The use of suicide bombings against non-military targets is terrorism, plain and simple. This tactic was growing worldwide at alarming rates well before 2003. Nor has it been confined to Iraq. No one seriously thought that removing a dictator would lead to peace, all by itself. The President was clear about this from the beginning. He told us it would be a long, dangerous, and expensive undertaking. He obviously wasn't talking about just the removal of Saddam.

History shows that only two outcomes will drastically reduce the use of such bombs. 1) The rise of a strong tide of liberal democracy throughout the Middle East, or 2) The rise of a strong tide of totalitarianism throughout the Middle East. This reporter is selling despair over any attempt at the former, and making it much easier for those who would prefer the latter.

Washington's Congressional Budget Office estimated that as of June, up to £250billion had been spent on combat operations in Iraq.

The tally is snowballing at the rate of £5billion a month, which translates to nearly £2,000 every second.

Britain's war spending is running at £80million a month, or £31 a second. That may be a drop in the ocean compared to the U.S., but critics say it is nevertheless a major drain on national coffers.
At least the writer "admits" the British cost is miniscule compared to the US cost. The article continues in a similar fashion, with more scary numbers, and also claiming Vice President Cheney's answer to Larry King's question about estimating the strength of the insurgency as being the White House's "first admission" of such things. President Bush has never been willing to play the "will you finally admit?" game, but he has been quite open about the threats we are facing, and has plainly stated on several occasions that they are escalating, not only in Iraq, but in other parts of the world.

Then there are more mentions of specific acts of violence (only in Iraq, of course--perspective is not really necessary for this reporter). He also returns several times to the cost factor, citing huge numbers regarding the total cost of the war (never compared to other wars or adjusted for inflation). Just raw numbers. No genuine context for them except one single, paltry effort:
America recently pledged £18million to the United Nations' refugee agency - an amount which would fund military operations in Iraq for less than three hours.
The game is established that huge numbers--dancing in front of a background of carefully selected scenes of violence--is somehow just a news report, and not an editorial miscarriage. He caps the story with a reference to Dr. Lawrence Lindsay:
One of President Bush's top budget advisors, Lawrence Lindsey, was fired in 2003 when he estimated that the war would cost £100billion, a figure described at the time as far too high but now considered a gross underestimate.
We already know that this is inaccurate (it was 2002), and speculative. You can see why if you read this report about the firings and Senator Daschle's comments at the time.

But let's get to the real issue here. $35 Billion? $100 Billion? $300 Billion? $500 Billion? What does that really mean? I have found various non-adjusted costs for World War II that indicate we spent anywhere from $100B to $300B on that war (not including the Marshall Plan costs for the "aftermath"). Some references say that translates to around $2 Trillion today.

Yes, WWII was a major conflict, and Iraq per se is not considered as such (mainly because the critics also fail to understand the enemy is not only in Iraq). But further, were we prosecuting WWII in a way designed to limit collateral damage as we regularly do now? Not very much! Now, in order to appease USA-hating critics, and honestly, to be better people than our enemies, our military goes to extremes undreamt of in previous generations to protect innocent life, and actually protect the purported rights of enemy combatants (none of whom reciprocate in this self-limiting behavior today). This costs exceptionally more than major-combat-with-no-restrictions, and takes much more time to deal with. Every possible engagement that can be monitored for tactics and collateral damage potentiality is subject to command decisions away from the action that can take a lot of time to resolve. This increases the risk to our soldiers, and the overall expense.

Do they wish us to wage war on the cheap and flatten Baghdad? Not exactly. It would contribute to their propaganda about the evil USA, but it would not be acceptable to them. No, our critics would seem to suggest that the cost is simply unbearable. That's their main point, and you can see this story repeated in many papers in just this fashon. We'll get back to that, but first, can we imagine the cost of defeat? Can anyone place a dollar amount on the carnage that would ensue if we accept the yoke of defeat these critics want to place upon us? Can anyone possibly be mad enough to assume such a loss would not embolden, empower, and enable our enemies to attack us here? That is a real cost, and you need no numbers to draw attention to it. (Besides, any such numbers would dwarf the amounts being discussed today.)

Returning to that main point, can we bear the cost today? Think for a moment about the "real" costs of World War II. Americans had to ration things. They had to collect metal for guns and ammo. They had shortages of supply and shortages in the transportation of goods. Every household was affected, either by direct contribution of men and the loss of wages, or by the sacrifice of supporting the war. Let's compare that with the sacrifice being made by the average household today. Scrap metal drives for the war in Iraq? None. War bonds rallies? None. Rationing? None. Declining economy? No. Wide-scale enlistments and loss of hundreds of thousands of military lives? No.

The fact is, our economy is so strong, and our lives so minimally impacted, our government could have taken all of that money and simply burned it, and few of us would have noticed.

Yes, the war does have its costs. For some, it has cost all they have to give, and we are a nation forever grateful to them and their families. But are these costs unbearable for this nation? To say yes would embarrass the efforts of our forebears. To say we cannot bear these costs is to admit that totalitarianism is preferable to ugly headlines disturbing our "down time" at the local coffee shop.

Yes, we can and will bear these costs, and the costs to come. Of such burdens is victory forged.