The gruesome cost of the Iraq occupation continues to escalate
I rose halfway, leaned to the right, and cupped the object. I might as well have plucked volcanic lava from a crater. I could feel the flesh of my palm liquefying. Pain bolted up my arm like an electric current. In one fluid motion, I raised my right arm and started to throw the mass over the side of the vehicle, a short backhand toss. Then everything went dark.
"How I Lost My Hand But Found Myself"
Among my unposted drafts of the last couple of weeks was a passing remembrance of the human toll of the Iraq occupation: More than 2700 American soldiers killed; more than 20,000 wounded.
The bill for future U.S. taxpayers -- our children -- for the Iraq war and the "stay the course" occupation has now reached $379 billion. $97 billion has been approved thus far for Afghanistan operations.
Who's profiting from the war? Take a look at the Center for Public Integrity's database of federal contractors.
A lot of the names in this top-ten list also got no-bid Katrina cleanup contracts worth billions:
Kellogg, Brown & Root (Halliburton)..........$11,431,000,000
Parsons Corp. ..........$5,286,136,252
Fluor Corp. ..........$3,754,964,295
Washington Group International..........$3,133,078,193
Shaw Group/Shaw E & I..........$3,050,749,910
Bechtel Group Inc. ..........$2,829,833,859
Contrack International Inc. ..........$2,325,000,000
Tetra Tech Inc. ..........$1,541,947,671
USA Environmental Inc. ..........$1,541,947,671
If George W. Bush were to do any more to fulfill Osama bin Laden's strategy to cripple the United States financially, he'd be a member of al Qaeda himself. Maybe he should be waterboarded to see what else he plans to do to help Osama bin Laden.
I have a suggestion for Congress. Before they allocate any more funds for the Iraq occupation, require every senior member of the Bush administration -- especially George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Condaleeza Rice -- to spend a day in a military hospital in Baghdad.
As for the fight for freedom and civilization which Bush so often uses to justify his criminally incompetent war strategery, he must have something else in mind. It is evidently now a criminal offense in the minds of the Bush SS to use the word "reprehensible" when speaking to Dick Cheney about the Iraq occupation.
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