Monday, March 19, 2007

Who Has Hurt America More? OBL or GWB?

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

George Bush's illegal, un-provoked, unnecessary, and largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (IUULUIUOI for short) has cost our nation more in blood and treasure than Osama bin Laden.

First, contrast the bloodshed by al Qaeda in America with the sacrifices of our troops in Iraq, beginning four years ago today:
OBL: Total Deaths - All 9/11 Attacks: 3,030
OBL: Total Injuries - All 9/11 Attacks: 2,337
GWB: Total US KIA in Iraq): 3,219
GWB: Total U.S. WIA in Iraq (not counting those troops wounded and returned to combat): 10,685

What I failed to consider when I initially posted this position is that it can be argued - as I vehemently have argued - that massive American retaliation against Afghanistan was not only justified by the 9-11 attacks, but mandated. Therefore our costs sustained in Operation Enduring Freedom are costs which are directly attributable to the 9-11 attacks against us.

As you can see, adding 373 U.S. KIA and 633 WIA in Afghanistan to the Osama bin Laden side of the ledger does not materially effect my contention that George Bush has cost America more in blood than has Osama bin Laden. That's especially true when you remember economists predict that several decades of care for the wounded will amount to an unbelievable $2.5 trillion.

On the financial ledger, the Department of Defense has not provided Congress with the individual costs of Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) as opposed to Operation Iraqi Liberation. But the estimated disparity in costs is apparent to us, as a glimpse at the chart to the right reveals.

The financial losses due to the four airliners' attacks on 9-11, estimated up to $ 40 billion, do not begin to make up the difference. Costs of economic recovery are generally accepted as being less than those of Katrina.

Let's add to the ledger, that as a result of Bush's reckless adventure in Iraq, our military is Stretched to Breaking Point. Finally, of penultimate importance to a global war on terror, is an international consensus on its behalf. Al Qaeda's 2001 attacks on New York and Washington gave us an overwhelming groundswell of sympathy throughout the world. By the time Bush mobilized for his unprovoked and unwarranted invasion of Iraq four years ago today, he had squandered that foundation of support. In fact, Bush's war was the first war in history to garner world-wide demonstrations against it on the day before it began.

It is George W. Bush, who has put the biggest hurt on Americans, in squandering our blood, our economic resources, our military assets, and our international esteem.