Concettina Died and Other Stories of the East Side

Iraq War and the World Economy, posted March 1, 2008 at 04:03 PM

Here's something for Senator Clinton's supporters to consider: Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says that the Iraq war is a "central cause" of the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the US, which is also threatening the world economy. This article in The Australian explains this preeminent economist's view of the connection between the war and the mortgage problem:

Professor Stiglitz told the Chatham House think tank in London that the Bush White House was currently estimating the cost of the war at about $US500 billion, but that figure massively understated things such as the medical and welfare costs of US military servicemen.

The war was now the second-most expensive in US history after World War II and the second-longest after Vietnam, he said.

The spending on Iraq was a hidden cause of the current credit crunch because the US central bank responded to the massive financial drain of the war by flooding the American economy with cheap credit.

"The regulators were looking the other way and money was being lent to anybody this side of a life-support system," he said.

That led to a housing bubble and a consumption boom, and the fallout was plunging the US economy into recession and saddling the next US president with the biggest budget deficit in history, he said.

In summarizing Stiglitz's views, the article also compares the hard figures of the war's cost with what that money could have bought: "The money being spent on the war each week would be enough to wipe out illiteracy around the world, he said. Just a few days' funding would be enough to provide health insurance for US children who were not covered, he said." It's worth reading the whole article.

We owe it to ourselves to not elect a president who supported this war. We owe it to our children's children's children who could still be paying for this blunder. We have wasted so many lives, ruined so many others, and destroyed our credibility in the world. We have increased the hatred for us in unstable parts of the world, and as this article shows, we've shot ourselves in the foot economically.

Yes, I realize both Clinton and Obama are promising to end the war. But in my view, Clinton's support of the motion to go to war in the first place disqualifies her. She insists that given what she knew at the time, she made an honest assessment and stands by it. That's horseshit. Millions of Americans knew better and we were out protesting in the streets. And plenty of our representatives in the Congress knew better too and voted correctly against the war authorization. Clinton played it safe by betting with the administration's dealing of fear. As we've seen in recent days, Clinton herself is not above playing the role of fear-monger to scare up votes.

Enough. We need to show the world that We The People will not stand for these lies any longer. If you're in Ohio or Texas, I urge you to vote for Barack Obama on Tuesday. In experience and in policy he is every bit as ready for the presidency as Hillary Clinton. But in organization of getting out the vote and in approaching this election as a 50-state game, he's got her beat. And more importantly, In terms of judgment, he's been on the right side of the biggest foreign policy issue of this generation from the beginning. For those of you already supporting him, there is no time like the present to send him 5 or 10 bucks (or more). He's going to need it to finish out this primary campaign, and he's certainly going to need it to carry him through the general election.

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