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Commentary :: Environment
Brent Herbert
11 Jul 2004
Some useful facts and figures to consider which help to illustrate just how and who sets the global policy priorities, and the motivations which underly these choices.
Javascript does not seem to publish properly, so the graphical counters intended as the header to this article, will be included as a comment to this article, and may or not work. The cost of the Iraq War as of mid July 2004 was about 123 billion. Close to 53 million children have died of hunger and malnourishment since 2000.

Setting Priorities

For the cost of the Iraq War the following could have been funded (which is worth keeping in mind when politicians drag out that bit about there not being any money to pay for anything...)

World Hunger could be eliminated for five years.
Number of Starved Babies saved - all of them.
Over 17 million children could have attended pre-shool daycare.
Over 50 million children could have received health insurance.
Over 2,300,000 school teachers could have been hired.
Over 3,000,000 low income students could have attended four years of university.
Over 1,700,000 low income housing units could have been built.
Fifty per cent of the debt of the most heavily indebted poor countries could have been paid off.

None of these items were funded because they are not a national priority, and besides, 'we just can't afford it'. It is worth noting that all these programs stimulate the global economy, and thus the argument that further tax cuts must be given to really rich people to 'stimulate the economy' and 'create jobs' is a red herring.

Estimated amount of wealth that was transferred to the top percentile by the Reagan-Thatcher era tax cuts - 11 trillion dollars.
At the same time, the poorest nations were plunged into debt, and this debt was used to force them to implement the destruction of all social programs in favor of Reagan policies. The Reagan era de-regulation of corporate special interest groups had the effect of allowing small groups of people to undermine democracy (leading to wide spread voter cynicism around the world as every party, including the so-called 'labor parties' or 'social democrats' are forced to adopt right wing social and economic policies or face punishing capital flight, and the wrecking of the economy, which pundits will then blame on the disobedient government. After both the French and certain Far Eastern economies were deliberately plunged into recession using this method of de-regulation promoted by Reagan, the lesson was learned by all countries, and the extremely right wing Reagan agenda was forced on countries world wide, and the resulting debt was further used as a new kind of neo-colonial tool to exploit the world's poorest nations (nations which must obey, or face punishing reprisals they cannot afford). Futhermore, Reagan's budget chief indicated that the tax cut agenda was planned to deliberately plunge the government into debt, making all social programs impossible in the future, entrenching the extreme right wing agenda forever. Altogether the extreme right wing won a tremendous victory, destroying all other political parties around the world, and continue their destruction of the much hated social programs, returning the planet step by step closer to the kind of dog eat dog viciousness which was characteristic of capitalism during the time of Charles Dickens, the cruelty of which was the inspiration for social programs in the first place, and which the extreme right wing has never learned to live with since that time. You have to give credit where credit is due, since the right wing Reagan-Thatcher agenda was brilliantly conceived, and to the present time, has proven to be a great success, although voter turn out continues to plummet, and voter cynicism continues to increase in countries around the world, since no one has anyone to vote for anymore, since every party is now a right wing Republican party (if they know what is good for them...and almost all of them do, having taken their punishment in decades past. The end result is that voting is a sham, since only the votes of corporate special interests group matter anymore, and the job of politicians is to deceive people in various ways, and most people know this already, hence the cynicism, and falling voter turnouts. (One popular stunt in the past in Canada, was for politicians to preach on the left while campaigning, so as to get votes, and then take a sharp turn to the right once in office, blaming it all on bad book keeping by the previous party, which made everything unaffordable and thus impossible, something that was not known until the election was over and they got a look at the books...this trickery doesn't work anymore, and politicians are running out of creative options when it comes to serving their corporate special interest group masters, while still trying to trick people into voting for them.

The total debt of the world's most heavily indebted poor nations as a percentage of the Reagan-Thatcher tax cuts - less than 3 per cent. Once again the priorities were established and the results were what one would expect.
Now that a plague of locusts, and more climate change related flooding is coming to Africa, the threat of famine is also imminent. Amount of time that the interest would have been paid on Sub-Saharan African debt by the Live Aid concert for famine victims - 20 hours.
The current Bush administration tax cuts for the 'have mores' (as Bush referred to the elite, his 'political base' as he called them, in his very funny joke) are even larger than the Reagan-Thatcher tax cuts, meaning that in the future an even larger amount will accrue than the 11 trillion dollars already transferred to the Reagan-Thatcher-Bush 'political base'.
Cause of the Great Depression, according to Albert Einstein - accumulation of great wealth by a small minority of the population, leading to economic instablity.
Amount of the current 690 billion dollar tax cut to be cancelled should the Democrats get into office (according to John Kerry on his Larry King interview) - 90 billion.
Amount saved on Iraq War expenditures under a Kerry administration (once again, according to his statements on Larry King) - Zero. The Iraq War will continue. As well the costs will probably increase since Kerry has suggested that more troops should be sent to Iraq.

Oil...the dirty three letter word...Kerry wants to send more troops to Iraq, and Kerry is also concerned about Chavez, the dirty dictator of Venezuela. Kerry also has indicated that he wants to send more troops to Iraq, since apparently there aren't enough Americans in Iraq already, so he wants to send more American kids off to suffer some of the Post Traumatic Stress disorder and become vets in Iraq. Anyone who thinks the Democrats will walk away from all that Iraq oil is badly mistaken. Won't happen. They won't walk away from that Venezuelan oil, or that Bolivian natural gas either, both of those situations still underway, and both those countries probably in line for one of those Washington engineered coup d'etats, just as Iraq has had a coup d'etat for oil, although of course, its not about oil, its about 'Democracy' (this is Washington after all, a real good, caring place).

It is interesting to note that both Venezuela and Iraq have oil wells, and that both Venezuela and Iraq have nationalized oil industries, that need to be sold off to be privatized by the multinational oil companies. Hence we find that both the Kerry and Bush teams have the same base, and seem to be equally determined that the haves should become the 'have mores' in that we see a coup d'etat underway against Venezuela and another form of coup d'etat underway in Iraq, although we are assured that the coup in Iraq wasn't about oil, or, God forbid, nationalized oil that needs to be privatized for the Benefit of the elite, the have mores, since the Iraq war used to be about weapons of mass destruction, but if it can't be about that then its about 'human rights' (thus the need to put Saddam on trial).

Amount of time spent covering the issues mentioned above on America's religious broadcasting systems (based on the observations of this writer over the years). Zero percent. Currently the saved and born again are busy keeping the Focus on the Genitals, through such organizations as 'Focus on the Family', and various other 'moral crusades' that always involve a set of genitals, which one must suppose is one good way to keep everyone busy and distracted, as well as preventing the nation and the planet from emerging from its ongoing moral decay.

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11 Jul 2004
By the way the title and the author are screwed up on this piece...

Cost of the War in Iraq - setting policy priorities

Cost of the War in Iraq
(JavaScript Error)

Starved Baby Counter
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Over 50 million children have died of hunger and malnutrition since this website was founded.
For those who encounter the Javascript error, as of mid July the Cost of the War in Iraq was around 123 billion. The starved baby counter was at around 53 million.

or or or
11 Jul 2004
that would be or or or
unfortunately just the cost of the Iraq war would not pay for all those things
if you want and and and then you could pay for all of it by cancelling the Bush tax cuts and redirecting the money, and whole shot could have been paid with money to spare if the Reagan Thatcher 11 trillion dollar cash transfer had never gone through
the documentation for that list is found by following the link to the cost of war website
where it says (click here for more details)
the url is
and and and
11 Jul 2004
of course that could also be and and and if the Americans stay in Iraq for five or six years, and if the Democrats get in and send more troops to Iraq then perhaps it would be and and and in about three or four years, depending on high those democrats jack up the cost, as well the democrats might decide to cancel the full 690 billion dollar tax cut instead of just shaving off 90 billion, but that would anger their base, the have mores, so you can probably forget about that idea...the 90 billion Kerry referred to on Larry King as a 'shared sacrifice' and 90 billion is enough of a sacrifice apparently for the Democratic base among the have mores (after all the Democrats are competing with the Republicans for the love and attention of the have mores, and they won't be to popular if they go any further than that 90 billion dollar shared sacrifice Kerry was talking about on Larry King). Apparently the have mores have to sacrifice 90 billion which will be their contribution while the have a lot lesses sacrifice their kids in Iraq, probably in greater numbers than ever, since Kerry seems to think we really need more Americans in Iraq to bring 'stability' to the government of Iraq, which is neccesary if those privatized oil wells are going to be able make a dime of profits for the have more oil profits crowd...