Some more statistical information on the Iraq war

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at
Sun Sep 21 19:11:32 MDT 2003

At the US Labour Against War site, more statistics are provided about the
war in Iraq, from which I reproduce some, but not all (I do not agree, for
example, with the site's idea of calculating a US financial expenditure per
killed person in Iraq, since the US war strategy aimed specifically to limit
the number of deaths as much as possible, even if this raised military
costs). I have not personally checked the accuracy of this data.

Supposing that the war costs the US Government 100 billion dollars only
(which I consider unlikely, because it will cost more I think), this
represents for example:

* 40% of the federal budget of Germany
* in 100 dollar notes piled up you would reach a height of 100 kilometers;
this is equal to the distance between Frankfurt and Heidelberg or Hamburg
and Bremen
* as much as a 6-number lottery win every day for 600 yrs
* 3 times what the US federal government spends on K-12 education
* more than 4 times the US international affairs budget
* 12 times the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) budget in the US

With that amount of money you could for example (in the US or UK)

* build 145,000 kindergartens (there is currently a shortage of 200,000
places for kids in Germany)
* secure health care coverage for all 11 million uninsured children in the
US for 5 years
* finance preschool Head Start for over 14 million children in the US
* rebuild almost all schools in the US that need to be rebuilt
* pay student fees for 400,000 low income US students for 123 years
* provide affordable housing for 1,430,000 families in the US
* pay 1,900,000 elementary teachers in the US for 1 year
* pay 2,100,000 physicians or teachers for 1 year; in the poor countries of
this world, 20 to 50 times as many
* pay 3,300,000 nurses, geriatric care or social workers for 1 year
* create 3,500,000 job training places for 3 years (or job creation schemes)
* give 50 years of the charity money for humanitarian causes in Germany
* pay the whole German budget for health research for 66 years
* increase 180-fold the total amount of federal funds spent so far in
Germany on solar technology
* fund peace research in Germany for 23,000 years

At the world level, you could for example:

* provide all children on earth with enough food, a basic medical care,
primary education and clean water for three and a quarter years
* pay the entire UN budget for 13 years
* finance the budget of UNICEF for 80 years
* finance the budget of the WHO for 250 years
* gurantee the survival of 1 billion children for one year.


If I had been elected instead of Bush (now there's an interesting thought),
I would probably have just spent half or so of that 100 billion dollars
improving and rebuilding Iraq on an equitable basis, and just have left the
Baathists where they were. The reason being that a very substantial
improvement of the socio-economic situation of the Iraqi population as a
whole, would have caused progressive political change quite naturally within
Iraq, and I would be able to say "our enemies just engage in terrorist acts,
while we just get on with constructive reparations", which would have been a
political winner.


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