War Costs Soar, and Yet More War Than We Bargained For
Those hoping Obama would have been even slightly less belligerent than the last president must be truly disappointed now. I know I am.
First, we learn the Libya war, where airstrikes have again intensified, is costing more than previously estimated. Not really much of a surprise. But the earlier Pentagon projection of $40 million a month was off by at least $20 million. As the conflict rages, with the threat posed against civilians by the regime continuing without much apparent change, despite the bombings, it is hard to see where the endgame is supposed to be. Meanwhile, the rebels circumstantially on the side of the U.S. government and NATO are being implicated in their own attacks on civilians. No surprise there, either. When is the last time the U.S. allied with a foreign force that wasn’t brutal against innocent people? I’m not sure of the answer, if there is one. And now NATO is threatening these “freedom fighters” with violence should they not relent in their atrocities. Ah. A civil war where there are no good guys—how very unpredictable—except of course for the U.S. government, whose bombs only kill in the quest for peace and justice, and whose death count must be measures against the goal of making the world safe for democracy.
Then there is the covert war in Yemen, where the Obama administration has increased U.S. involvement considerably. A couple dozen in Pakistan were reportedly slaughtered in drone attacks just today. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is meanwhile calling for a more permanent presence in Afghanistan than most Americans were likely bargaining for.
Well, this is the price for ridding the world of evil. Unless, of course, that evil is happening under the auspices of a U.S.-friendly regime—such as the state of Bahrain, which continues to be in the good graces of Washington despite its brutal crackdowns against dissidents and medical workers, its torture, its abuse of women and girls, and its destruction of dozens of Shiite mosques. Saddam Hussein was also brutal against the Shiites, we’ll recall, but he was different—by the time the U.S. waged war to topple his regime, he was no longer a friend of the U.S. government.