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War has weakened economy, but how much?

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To the Editor:

Opinion polls say that voter's main worry is now the economy, not the war, but there is no way to disentangle the two. The question is not whether the economy has been weakened by the war, the question is how much. According to acclaimed economists, if the U.S. should make a total withdrawal of all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan by 2012, which is doubtful, the economic impact will be right at $6 trillion. Other than the immediate expense made known will be the interest on borrowed money, and the Veterans Administration announced 850,000 veterans that will require indefinite medical care, disability compensation, death benefits, treatment for chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, evacuation and many other extended costs.

From the Bush Administration's blunder to invade Iraq after 9/11 was about as logical as if we had invaded Thailand after Pearl Harbor. While based on lies money spent is like pouring it down the drain, where had it been more judiciously invested here on plants, equipment, infrastructure, research, health, education and other worthy programs, it could have assured the country that peacetime economy operates near or at full employment. Instead the economy paid a high price, which Bush arrogantly passed down to his successor, and future generations to be settled, if ever. In the mean time 45 percent of taxpayer's money ($650 billion)-plus a year goes to military spending, as the national debt soars and thousands are left homeless, sick and dying unable to obtain health care.

If the U.S. with only 4.5 percent of the world's population cut its military spending by 50 percent, it would still amount to 25 percent of the world's total, even though we have no formidable or even fearful enemy ¬where comparatively the U.S. is Goliath vs. the boy David. Yet the glorified masses, tea baggers and such march to the beat of war drums unaware that, “the road to glory leads but to the grave,” not unlike those described by Hitler in his autobiography Mien Kampf – “All propaganda has to be popular and to adapt its spiritual level to the perception of the least intelligent of those whom it intends to direct itself." And so the beat goes on.

Robert KnowlesLebanon

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