The Costs of War


“It’s really hard to describe in words.
When I think of where we used to live
ten years ago and what is going on now,
it’s like two different lifes.”
Raed Jarrar, Iraqi Political Analyst

Jarrar explains on Democracy Now! that, before the 2003 Iraqi invasion, he used to live within half an hour of all of his many relatives. “Now I don’t know a single person in the entire country…because all of my relatives and friends and colleagues and neighbors, they were either killed or they left the country.”

“We lost everything. We lost our house. We lost our country.” Yet Jarrar says he was among the lucky who did not lose an immediate family member.

When asked what surprised her most about Boston University’s Costs of War report, Co-Author Neta Crawford responded there were so many costs not included and “what struck me is how much we don’t know yet about the costs.”

“The second thing that always strikes me is the sort of indifference to life that one sees.” Crawford explains that we still don’t know the number of people who died in Iraq. The report cites 189,000 confirmed deaths but, Crawford states, it could be double that number.

In addition, deaths continue because of severe damage to Iraq’s infrastructure: “We haven’t put the resources into repair to decrease the indirect deaths that will follow over the years from this war.”

The financial cost of the war in Iraq is now $1.7 trillion, more than $5000 for every person in our nation. The ultimate cost, including unpaid veterans disability, is $2.2 trillion–plus trillions more in interest.

My take: the loss in lives, the plethora of griefs and hardships, these are incalculable.

Rev. Rix welcomes comments at Quoflections@gmail.com. © 2013 Harry Rix.  All rights reserved.

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