The Congressional Research Service has recently (October 3) estimated that the Iraq war is costing about $6 billion per month.

DOD’s current monthly average spending rate is about $6 billion for Iraq, $1 billion for Afghanistan and $170 million for enhanced base security for the first nine months of FY2005. Compared to FY2004, those averages are 19% higher for Iraq, 8% lower for Afghanistan, and 47% lower for base security.

That works out to about $197.3 million per day, fighting in Iraq.

According to CNN, the US has offered $50 million to aid reconstruction and relief in Pakistan, after the devastating earthquate there that killed more than 40,000 people and left 3 million people homeless.

My conclusion? America’s priorities are seriously screwed up.

If they were honest, I think the current occupants of the White House would agree.

George W. Bush, October 6, 2005:

If the broader Middle East is left to grow in bitterness, if countries remain in misery, while radicals stir the resentments of millions, then that part of the world will be a source of endless conflict and mounting danger, and for our generation and the next.

The White House’s Progress Report on the Global War on Terrorism, September 2003:

Many terrorist organizations exploit to their advantage conditions of poverty, social disenfranchisement, unresolved political and regional disputes, and weak state structures.

National Security Strategy of the United States, September 2002:

Poverty does not make poor people into terrorists and murderers. Yet poverty, weak institutions, and corruption can make weak states vulnerable to terrorist networks and drug cartels within their borders.

Bush, November 10, 2001, radio address:

In our struggle against hateful groups that exploit poverty and despair, we must offer an alternative of opportunity and hope.

Note: poor countries were already calling for much greater aid from wealthy countries, even before the latest natural disaster. The current debt burden of the poor countries means that they transfer $230 billion annually to developed nations.

As I blogged earlier this year, the gap between promised assistance and actual foreign aid is about $130 billion per year.

This isn’t small change; I’m discussing hundreds of billions of dollars that could be going to the poor, that is actually going to the rich.

I know that sounds a lot like domestic tax policy, but the world’s poor are really, really poor — hungry, homeless, destitute. The latest UN Development Report has the latest facts and figures.

It’s a global scandal — and terrible foreign policy.

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