Friday, June 16, 2006

Who Has Hurt America More? OBL or GWB? (Part I)

Doing the simple arithmetic does not give us a pretty picture.

George Bush's un-provoked, unnecessary, and largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (UULUIUOI) has cost our nation more in blood than Osama bin Laden.
OBL: Total Deaths - All 9/11 Attacks: 3,030
OBL: Total Injuries - All 9/11 Attacks: 2,337
GWB: Total US KIA in Iraq): 2,500
GWB: Total U.S. WIA in Iraq (not counting those troops wounded and returned to combat): 8,501

Sources:
Iraq Coalition Casualty Count
Viking-Phoenix

21 Moderated Comments:

Anonymous Pekka said...

Vigilante, to be honest with you, I find this post some what of a reach. If not a clear case of the proverbial apples and oranges then at least an over reaction of sorts.

6/17/2006 01:34:00 AM  
Blogger Beach Bum said...

Yes, this might be a case of apples and oranges but after 9/11 we were a united nation and now we are divided along political fault lines like few times before. With civil liberties eroding like a sandy beach in a hurricane and the federal government going into debt to China at warp speed I would have to say that Bushy has been worse to this country than Osama.

6/17/2006 03:49:00 AM  
Blogger Recidivist said...

Apples & oranges???? Blood is blood. As long as you consider the Iraqi war & occupation to be useless and unnecessary, than you have to consider Bush's expedition in Iraq the equivalent (or worse) of 9-11, except that it was self-inflicted (with the compliance of Congress).

6/17/2006 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Beach Bum said...

Your right recidivist, the cost in lives is light years more important than anything else.

6/17/2006 11:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Pekka said...

By no means am I arguing that Bush doesn't have blood in his hands. What I am arguing about is that, in a technical and in a legal sense, Osama commited a murder and W. a manslaughter. There is no way that even this president knowingly went to butcher his own but it all turns out to be that way because of his lack of understanding and intellect. The final results might not be too different but surely the intent was.

6/17/2006 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger Recidivist said...

This is what Pekka says:

What I am arguing about is that, in a technical and in a legal sense, Osama commited a murder and W. a manslaughter.

This is what the Nuremburg Tribunal said:

To initiate a war of aggression is ... the supreme international crime.

We are not talking about "manslaughter". We are talking about wrongful death in the magnitude of thousands. We are not talking about apples and oranges. We are talking about blood.

6/17/2006 11:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Pekka said...

So, you are saying then that Bush's intent and plan was to kill American soldiers? Sorry pal, as much as I detest your "esteemed" president, this is a bit too hard to swallow! I have no problem you calling Bush a war criminal, which in my estimation he is, but from there to a murderer of his own troops is a leap that perhaps would be better left undone. In a way you (Americans) have reached a sort of fever pitch in your political debating by exagerating your points thus shutting the ears of your opponents and making exchanging ideas impossible. This is what, I am afraid, Vigilante did with this post.

6/18/2006 03:49:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Counting drops of blood seems not to getting us too far on this issue. Lets try to be bloodless.

Compare the cost in dollars of Osama bin Laden's attack with four commercial airliners at the four 9-11-01 sites as against the economic costs of Bush's useless war in Iraq.

It's hard to find a focused study on the attacks of 9-11, but one published puts the total at $40 billion. Another says, whatever it was, it was less than what Katrina cost us.

I think the $40 billion estimate above includes the costs of human loss based on foregone lifetime income estimated at around $10 billion, and destruction of physical assets was estimated in the national accounts to amount to $16 billion. And then there is the rescue, cleanup and related costs which come to at least an estimated $11 billion. Based upon my initial post on this thread, eventual medical costs of 9-11 will not approach those encumbered by the UULUIUOI.

Once you add all this up, Osama bin Laden's economic costs inflicted on us on 11 September 2001 do not approach the economic costs George Bush inflicted on us on 20 March 2003 which are estimated at $289 Billion.

I originally stressed the human cost comparison as opposed to this bloodless comparison, because I thought it was less obvious.

I could have added in Bush's fiscal, environmental, scientific policy choices, but the list would go on and on, and distract from my initial point.

The bottom line is that I reject, out of hand, Pekka's suggestion of exaggeration on my part. What I have said to this point as far as the deleterious affect of GWB on our once great country as compared to OBL's has been extremely moderate.

6/18/2006 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger Messenger said...

Mr. Pekka distinguishes between Osama and Bush because of their intentions. I am clear about OBL's intentions, less so about GWB's (perhaps because I have so often been misled). But whatever Bush's intentions were, this sorry mess in Iraq reminds me of the old expression:

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Perhaps Mr. Pekka is the person to ask the question, "What exactly were Bush's intentions?" And, "Just how good were they?"

Please acknowledge in your answer, Mr. Pekka, that it is fairly well established that Bush was set on a military confrontation with Iraq before 9-11.

6/19/2006 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger Blogging4Food said...

Hey, chill-out guys & girls. This here should be a big tent. Pekka has proven he belongs amongst us. So back off. Why quibble over the number of angels on the head of a pin? Pekka is a good guy. Let's share the love around? OK Already!

6/19/2006 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Stella said...

Sorry, Pekka and beachbum: I'm with vigilante. But, I also agree with bloggingforfood: Pekka (and vigilante) are good guys.

I feel Bush is guilty of war crimes. He knew there were no WMDs and insisted on war anyway. To me, that's murder. Check out Iraq Body Count for the deaths of innocent civilians.

When questioned by a soldier about the lack of appropriate military armament, Rummy stated "You have to fight the war you've been given." In other words, to hell with our troops?

Although a long article, Fatal Inaction from the Washington Post provides a chilling glimpse of this war.

BTW, vigilante, hope you don't mind. We added The Vigil link to Swiftspeech.

Hope you don't mind. We're always on the lookout for great sites. If you do, let us know, and we'll remove the link.

Thanks for the great post and comments. Best to you all!

6/19/2006 06:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Pekka said...

Wow, where should I start and what should I say?

No doubt, Messenger, that Bush&Co was hell bent to have their quick and easy victory in Iraq to establish an American hegemony not just in that country but in the whole region. These neocons seem to have sort of a unshakeable conviction that they have the monopoly on truth and thus they don't seem to bother to verify any information that goes along with their preconcieved notions. There were obviously some convenient truth bending involved, too, but this is unfortunately the way politics is today, regardless of the party. This particular point is the one that ultimately led to the intelligence meltdown that we all are so familiar. Also those hanger on expat Iraqis along with the character like the CIA director Tennet contributed to firm those illusions and pipe dreams that the White House gang hold so dear. To a man these guys were 100% sure that the war would be quick and almost bloodless as far as your troops were concerned and they turned out to be right. Everything else, though, went and is still going as wrong as it possibly could. This is a genuine surprise to them which we Europeans couldn't and still can't quite comprehend. This is why I am saying that even if the Bush adminstration has blood in their hands and one of the history's biggest budget screw ups, they are not competing in the same category as monsieur Osama. Messenger, please, never call me Mr. again!:)

Blogging4food, how nice of you to come to my rescue but I don't mind people getting a bit angry with me because that's democracy in action, isn't it?

Stella, why should you be sorry by not agreeing with me? More often than not, I tend to be wrong. Besides, you know that I am putty in your hands.

6/19/2006 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger Messenger said...

Okay, okay, let's all enjoy a round of suds. I'll sit between Pekka and Stella.

6/19/2006 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger Messenger said...

Going back to Pekka's suggestion that Bush might have been well intended as opposed to Osama intending only ill:

What if it turns out that Bush's war of aggression was really not much more than misplaced revenge? Remember (is this in Woodward?) Cheney said 9-11 'changed everything'? and Some one else said that 9-11 changed Cheney? As far as Bush, himself is concerned, he may have been bent on revenge before 9-11: in that Daddy didn't take advantage of his Gulf War triumph in the 1992 election; also, Saddam is thought to have been behind of an assassination attempt on Daddy Bush.

The revenge motive is there. Basically, what was the 9-11 mantra? "We'll fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here". Because Afghanistan was so 'target-poor', it really didn't satisfy the national appetite for revenge that Rove wanted Bush to whet.

So, after dropping the hammer on Afghanistan with so little effect, the avenging Neocons turned to the most conspicuous Muslim country on their short list ('axis') of possible enemies: defenseless (but oil-rich) Iraq.

That's not so different, is it, from what the Marines did in Haditha? seeing your closest buddies in the whole world blown up by unseen hands right before your eyes - wouldn't most of us feel the urge to reach out and crush "the usual suspects" (meaning the first bipeds we encountered? Revenge.

And what happened today?

Our Iraqi/proxy/puppet prosecutors (in the Green Zone) are today requesting death sentence for Saddam for his role in the 1982 killings of 148 villagers in Dujail in retaliation of a wartime assassination attempt.

Revenge was what drove Bush to run amuck in Baghdad, the Marines to run amuck in Haditha, and Saddam to run amuck in Dujail.

Seen in this light, Bush was not that well intentioned.

6/19/2006 10:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Pekka said...

We are still a bit off what my so called point is. I am simply saying that Bush, having his almost cult like beliefs (among other things) blinding him, was not able or willing to see the dire consequences of this adventure. As much as I appreciate your points, I still come somewhat short of considering these gents. as being equal terrorist against America but certainly Bush "wins" the bad guy competition in Iraq. Your points, once again, were superb.

There are limits, though, what I am willing to tolerate. There is no way that I let you sit by Stella without a fight! :)

6/19/2006 10:56:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

I was about to thank Stella for settling this group back into its familiar congeniality, until I read further. ;-)

Now, I'll just thank her for her gracious linking of our associated sites to her Swiftspeech. Once you stop there, you will include it in your routine.

6/20/2006 06:02:00 AM  
Blogger Blogging4Food said...

Well, don't think about just passing through, Vigilante, without assigning the seating in here. Shirking responsibilities is what it is....

6/20/2006 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Beach Bum said...

Why doesn't everyone just come with me to the Magic Kingdom? I know this great French restaurant in EPCOT were we can talk this all through. But it will be separate checks.

6/20/2006 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Hold the freakin' plane! I'm packing!

6/20/2006 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger Stella said...

Messenger, it would be an honor to hang out with you, Pekka, vigilante, beach bum, recidivist, and all of the wonderful people here at The Vigil for some suds. Interesting points, recidivist!

Pekka always provides good thought-provoking comments for intelligent exchanges. My goodness, though, thank you. (~blush~) Didn't know I could still do that!

And, to you, also vigilante. You have a truly great blog. I couldn't resist a link your site to Swiftspeech. Thanks for your compliments and another (~blush~).

As far as Epcot, maybe we can get a group discount? Take care, all.

6/20/2006 11:20:00 PM  
Blogger Malfrat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/01/2007 06:52:00 AM  

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