Thursday, January 06, 2005

The Cost of War: US Tsunami Aid Amounts to Less Than Two Days in Iraq

This is something a bunch of blogs have commented on this morning, but it's too amusing a comparison for Superblog!! to ignore.

Cory Doctorow points to Frank Boosman, who has done the math:

[...] the total amount committed by the US government to date for tsunami relief -- $350,000,000 -- equals 42.27 hours of the cost of the war in Iraq. Just to put things in perspective.

Initially, the US committed only a tenth of that sum, $35 million, which, according to The Nation, is $5 million less than the planned expenditure for Bush's inauguration on January 20th.

The war in Iraq has - as of this writing - cost the United States over $148 billion , which could have fully funded global anti-hunger efforts for 6 years or world-wide AIDS programs for 14 years, or immunized every child in the world for 49 years. Again, just to put things in perspective.

But hey, at least the war got rid of Saddam, so life must be pretty sweet in Iraq now, right?

All kidding aside, I recognize that a lot of the people who support the Iraqi endeavour do it because they genuinely (if, IMO, very naively) think it is a Good Thing, something that will create a better life for a bunch of people. The vast majority of reports from Iraq would seem to contradict that assumption. But regardless of where you stand on the issue, the war is a very costly gamble. Meanwhile, there are tons of ways that money could have been used to actually create a better life for people.

If that was a priority for the Bush administration, I mean.

Which it's not.

Because the Bush administration are assholes.

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