Despite the spectacular, counterproductive failure associated with the United States' decision to invade the wrong country, most Americans have been insulated from the costs. Iraq, not Pennsylvania, was thrown into murderous chaos. Afghan civilians, not Pittsburghers, have been killed and dismembered by poorly aimed weapons. Pakistani children, not ours, must wonder whether drone-delivered explosives will shatter their lives today.
By lowering taxes while air-dropping cash by the pallet into Iraq (literally; the pallets in the photograph, left, hold $100 bills, part of more than 350 tons of cash delivered in a single operation), the United States' political leaders also enabled American taxpayers to
The per-capita tab exceeds $3,000. Because that figure includes infants, it is more meaningful to examine a family-of-four figure -- $12,000 -- or to consider that a family with above-average income is liable for $20,000 or more. Plus interest, thanks to the Bush tax cuts.
More than 5,000 Americans have been killed, and many more injured, while fighting in this mess. (Many more Afghans, Iraqis and Pakistanis -- far too many of them noncombatants, including children -- have died or been maimed.) These losses have been felt primarily in disadvantaged neighborhoods, almost exclusively in military families.
These failures, these wrongs, these outrages have been conducted in the name of every citizen of the United States, on our dime. We may have been able to dodge the cost -- so far -- but we can not avoid responsibility. This blood is on our hands.
Infinonytune: One Trillion Dollars, Anti-Flag (from G20 soundtrack)