Ninety-seven U.S. House Republicans have gone on record as opposing the possible nomination of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to be secretary of state because of misleading statements she made about the Benghazi, Libya, attack in which four Americans were killed. Where were these Republicans a decade ago when George Bush was misleading America and launching his preemptive war against Iraq to rid it of imaginary weapons of mass destruction?
According to a “Costs of War” project at Brown University’s Watson Institute of International Studies, the final costs for Bush’s wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan will be $3.7 trillion to $4.4 trillion, roughly 300,000 dead (about a third civilians) and 7.8 million refugees. Bush’s wars, based on fabricated intelligence, executive branch hubris, contempt for diplomacy and ignorance of foreign policy realities, have propelled the United States toward bankruptcy, inflicted unconscionable hardship on our soldiers, unleashed sectarian hatreds, destabilized the region, exacerbated American-Arab relations, and solidified Iran’s place as the dominant regional power.
For the past decade, Bush’s wars have had the additional effect of completely upending America’s economic priorities. Instead of rebuilding American infrastructure and helping Americans prosper in a global economy, the military-industrial complex and its congressional allies have convinced many of us that America, which accounted for 43 percent of global military spending in 2011, must divert even more of its wealth to national security, continue to build obsolete weapons systems that have no place in future warfare and select warfare as the first option instead of the last in foreign policy in places such as Libya and Syria.