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Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 29, 2008 at 11:40 AM

Iraq war funds

If you cut anything, cut this

The story “Stimulus cost likely to soar” [Politics, Nov. 24] said of the $700 billion package that this is “more than the nation has spent over the past six years in Iraq.” That is true only in the most limited accounting of the costs of the war.

The American Friends Service Committee estimates a more accurate cost of the war at $720 million per day. Over six years, that comes to $1.58 trillion — more than double the cost of the proposed stimulus package.

Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz, in his recent book, says the war will cost us $3 trillion, if we include the costs of caring for our physically and psychologically wounded vets, replacing used equipment, etc.

But the real program to compare a $700 billion stimulus package against must be the cost of our American empire. The U.S. military-industrial-intelligence complex of 740 bases worldwide is costing us at least $700 billion every year.

We are facing the choice every empire eventually faces: Is the price of empire worth it? The Cold War is over. We spend as much as all the other countries in the world put together on our military. Is this sensible, especially now?

–Bert Sacks, Seattle

Comments | More in Iraq war, Taxes

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