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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The trillion-dollar war

The financial cost of America's "war on terror" is usually hidden from public view.

Linda Bilmes, an assistant secretary at the Department of Commerce from 1999 to 2001 and lecturer of budgeting and public finance at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, wrote recently in the New York Times that, "if the American military presence in the [Middle East] region lasts another five years, the total outlay for the war could stretch to more than $1.3 trillion, or $11,300 for every household in the United States."


Blogger Iqbal Khaldun said...

Just incredible, no matter how unsurprising this information may be. Apart from the sheer criminality of American militarism which the sums involved reflect, it also puts the lie to the entire capitalist myth which the United States supposedly champions. Believe it or not I think there’s something to take heart from in all this nonsense. It proves that if realpolitik can be dictated by such unnatural, impractical mechanisms, then surely a more democratic world geared towards the welfare of the general population is attainable?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005 7:52:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

IF the information is shared.
Can you imagine if the major newspapers in Australia placed it on page one tomorrow under the headline, 'Criminal waste'?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005 8:11:00 pm  
Blogger Iqbal Khaldun said...

It would push welfare fraud off into the gossip column! You could say the same thing about corporate subsidy and insider-trading. What concerns me is that the methods with which the powerful conceal their crimes have become more sophisticated. People often say it's impossible to get away with all manner of grotesque acts because of the immense flow of information. But a lot of that information is just crap, or scattered and decontextualised.

So yes, the information needs to be shared in a constructive manner.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005 9:39:00 pm  

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