There is much being written in retrospect as we’re nearing the 10th anniversary of the beginning of sloppy American invasion of Iraq. Here at Irregular Times, there’s a great deal of experience that we could bring back to mind. A decade ago, we were attending anti-war protests, warning that rushing off to war was a foolish choice, while more powerful media sources were credulously following along with the pro-war propaganda fed to them by the Bush White House.
While our culture needs to look back at the factors that contributed to its terrible decision to start a war in Iraq, we also need to look forward, to continue to plan ways to deal with the destructive influence that the Iraq War continues to have in American society. One of the most significant negative impacts of the Iraq War has been the growth of the budget deficit, and the dominance of discussions of spending in Congress, to the detriment of other issues.
We wouldn’t have the sequester today, if it wasn’t for all the wasteful military spending that took place to enable the invasion and occupation of Iraq. However, Republicans and conservative Democrats remain reluctant to cut military spending back down to pre-war levels, and have worked to obfuscate the true financial cost of the war.
Yesterday, two members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Bruce Braley and Walter Jones, introduced a bill that should have been passed into law a long time ago. H.R. 1238 directs the President of the United States to calculate and report to Congress the long term costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
So far, Jones and Braley are the only two members of Congress to sign their names in support of this bill. Why won’t others in Congress support this fiscally responsible proposal?