Iraq – Actually Twice As Bad

Leave it to the Republicans to finally let the truth slip out.

Iraq is twice as bad as any of us thought.

For years now — yes, years — I’ve been using the National Priorities  Project as the quintessential barometer for how much the United States is spending in Iraq.  Turns out the NPP was wrong, by half.

No fault of their own.  The NPP says the United States is spending $275 million per day.  The truth is closer to $480 million per day.  That is, if you believe the Republicans.  I have the Bad Astronomer to thank for this woeful news.  Once again, he has “one-upped” the Liberal bloggers.

He cites Senator Ted Stevens in the Washington Post.  Stevens actually used the revised figures to demonstrate the need for more money.  According to Stevens:

The latest estimate of the growing costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the worldwide battle against terrorism — nearly $15 billion a month — came last week from one of the Senate’s leading proponents of a continued U.S. military presence in Iraq.

“This cost of this war is approaching $15 billion a month, with the Army spending $4.2 billion of that every month,” Sen. Ted Stevens (Alaska), the ranking Republican on the Appropriations defense subcommittee, said in a little-noticed floor speech Dec. 18. His remarks came in support of adding $70 billion to the omnibus fiscal 2008 spending legislation to pay for the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, as well as counterterrorism activities, for the six months from Oct. 1, 2007, through March 31 of next year.

So it’s even worse than we all thought.

So, where does that leave us with the numbers?  Do we actually know how much money we’ve spent in Iraq?

Our national debt right now is estimated to be at $9.127 trillion.  We have lost 3901 American soldiers in Iraq.  At least 80,137 Iraq civilians have been killed, although some estimates put the total much higher than 100,000.  And somewhere between 23,000 and 100,000 American soldiers have been wounded in Iraq.

Are all of these numbers not related to each other?  What possible solution can we count on while many of the most prominent members of Congress are running for President?

Does anybody care about this crisis?  Or is it all just useful for the current campaigns?