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Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

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Old 10-04-04, 06:42 PM   #1
wendersfan
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The economics of war

A fairly scathing indictment of the Bush administration's "war on terror" by a well-known Republican.


The economics of war
by Lou Dobbs

Last week's presidential so-called debate hardly advanced the public knowledge of the political and economic realities of policies pursued by our government. The high cost of extending this country's political and military policies abroad requires an energetic examination of why our political leaders choose specific policies and not others, and the cost to the nation.

It is certain that the price of regime change in Iraq has been high in both blood and treasure. More than 1,000 American troops have been killed in Iraq, and almost 8,000 others have been wounded. We've spent nearly $150 billion fighting the war so far, and the president is expected to request an additional $60 billion in supplemental funding after the election, no matter which candidate the voters decide in November should hold that high office.

None of the supplemental appropriation that will be requested of Congress will be used to defend our soil against a terrorist attack. In fact, our porous borders, open ports, roads, and railways remain all but unprotected. The truth that has so far been ignored by both parties is that tens of billions of dollars more will be required to secure our borders and to recruit and train hundreds of thousands of police officers and paramedics.

Our government has chosen to allocate our principal defense resources to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. While we're spending more than $200 billion in Iraq, we will spend just over $30 billion on homeland security. More than three years after September 11, as many as 3 million illegal aliens will enter the United States this year, some from countries that wish us great harm. Only 5 percent of the 7 million cargo containers that annually come through our ports are properly inspected for dirty bombs and weapons of mass destruction. Yet outlays for border and transportation security are about $5 billion less this year than last, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

What happened to the comprehensive, balanced approach to fighting the war on terrorism that the president promised after 9/11? "We found that there are quite a few programs on the military side of the budget that could be scaled back in order to provide funds for the higher priority, nonmilitary programs," says Marcus Corbin, senior analyst at the Center for Defense Information. Corbin recommends decreasing funding for Cold War-era weapons and instead funneling that money into additional homeland security measures.

Most of what we're currently spending to protect our transportation systems has been limited to aviation. Since 9/11, in fact, about 90 percent of the nation's $5 billion annual investment in transportation security has gone to aviation, according to the 9/11 commission. While the commission conceded that civilian aircraft are still targets for terrorists, it wrote, "Opportunities to do harm are as great, or greater, in maritime or surface transportation."

Small change. The Bush administration has proposed only $46 million for port security grants for 2005, a 63 percent decrease from this year. The Coast Guard estimated that it would take $7.5 billion over 10 years to meet the requirements of the 2002 Maritime Transportation Security Act, which aims to protect our ports and waterways from attack. To protect our railways, the government has so far provided only one-half cent per passenger. The American Public Transportation Association says that $6 billion is needed for transit security.

But as Texas Rep. Jim Turner points out, nowhere is the gap between rhetoric and reality greater than along our southern border. Turner, ranking member of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, last month proposed the Secure Borders Act, which would allocate money, manpower, and new technology to enhance border security. "We have a very porous southern border," Turner told me. "It represents a very severe threat to the security of our country, and, with all of the reports that we're getting about al Qaeda intending to use the southern border as an access point, this kind of security gap must be closed immediately." He added, "We've got to get serious in this country about really fighting a real war on terror and about securing our homeland."

The fog of war should not extend from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan to Capitol Hill and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And voters have a right to know how the government could spend a quarter of a trillion dollars and still leave our citizens so vulnerable to terrorist attack at home.
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Old 10-04-04, 07:19 PM   #2
al_bundy
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unless we militarize our borders like the communists did with minefields and other weapons, we will never have a secure border.
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Old 10-04-04, 07:29 PM   #3
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I expect Edwards to do everything he can to repeat this tomorrow.

"Yes good quest....haliburton ....tion" Let me tell you about my pos....haliburton .....ition on that issue"

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Old 10-04-04, 07:33 PM   #4
Pharoh
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Quote:
Originally posted by bfrank
I expect Edwards to do everything he can to repeat this tomorrow.

"Yes good quest....haliburton ....tion" Let me tell you about my pos....haliburton .....ition on that issue"




What the hell does the article have to do with Haliburton?




BTW, I pray Edwards brings Haliburton up. Since it is such a losing issue though, I seriously doubt he will. Even ambulance chasers such as himself wouldn't do it.
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Old 10-04-04, 07:35 PM   #5
al_bundy
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Quote:
Originally posted by bfrank
I expect Edwards to do everything he can to repeat this tomorrow.

"Yes good quest....haliburton ....tion" Let me tell you about my pos....haliburton .....ition on that issue"

clinton's administration gave more business to halliburton than they could have ever imagined and predicted to their shareholders in the last decade.
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Old 10-04-04, 07:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pharoh


What the hell does the article have to do with Haliburton?
Possibly that there's the implication that the Bush administration is concentrating their spending overseas (where Halliburton benefits) rather than at home, where presumably they wouldn't. But that's only a guess.
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"Fifth Element may be as dumb and artless as Johnny Mnemonic, but since a frenchman made it it must be ART!" -Pants
"...I think it's a low blow to draw attention to wendersfan's drunken state. " - dork
"Just because their victims are still alive doesn't mean they didn't commit murder." - grundle
"You concentrate on the sad wanna be hooliganism and let us worry about the actual soccer." - rocketsauce (final score: Columbus 2-Chicago 1)
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Old 10-04-04, 08:05 PM   #7
al_bundy
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clinton sent the us military on more deployments than any president before him. Halliburton got huge contracts to build and run the life support in bosnia, kosovo and other places.
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Old 10-04-04, 10:57 PM   #8
IMRICKJAMES
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Lou Dobbs is a republican??
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Old 10-05-04, 06:14 AM   #9
wendersfan
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Quote:
Originally posted by IMRICKJAMES
Lou Dobbs is a republican??
Yes, he admitted as such in a recent New York Times Sunday Magazine interview.
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"Fifth Element may be as dumb and artless as Johnny Mnemonic, but since a frenchman made it it must be ART!" -Pants
"...I think it's a low blow to draw attention to wendersfan's drunken state. " - dork
"Just because their victims are still alive doesn't mean they didn't commit murder." - grundle
"You concentrate on the sad wanna be hooliganism and let us worry about the actual soccer." - rocketsauce (final score: Columbus 2-Chicago 1)
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Old 10-05-04, 08:04 AM   #10
classicman2
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Quote:
Originally posted by wendersfan
Yes, he admitted as such in a recent New York Times Sunday Magazine interview.
He's a Rockefeller Republican.

Or, if you prefer, a country club Republican.



I would bet if you were in the booth with him, you would see him pull the Democratic lever more than the Republican lever.
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