In Immigration: Open the Borders, I pointed to a Juris Naturalis post about immigration, in which the author was addressing “Christians amenable to liberty” on the benevolence of open immigration. This week, I found myself browsing another post at Juris Naturalis, this time, a very short but to-the-point anti-war plea.
We should’ve just moved all the Iraqis here, he says. A novel idea, indeed!
The author ntoes that the explicit, monetary cost of the invasion and occupation of Iraq has to-date is between $500 B and $900 B, although some estimates have suggested that it could be as high as $3 Trillion.
Playing with the $900 Billion figure, he concludes that this has cost something like $32,000 for each man, woman, and child in Iraq. If he had used the $3T figure, the cost per Iraqi would be about $100,000. And what, praytell, have any of them got to show for it?
And what, praytell, have any of them got to show for it?
Most of them still live in abject, third world poverty, suffer from rolling blackouts, lack of adequate medical care, and the occasional bombings, household raids, insurgent attacks, and all the other niceties that go along with a war in your backyard.
Sure, they no longer suffer under the sometimes brutal regime of Saddam Hussein, but in all fairness, the trade embargoes imposed by the West (among other policies) only exacerbated the domestic problem of a megalomaniacal dictator. It should’ve been possible to accomplish regime change for far less than $900 Billion. And if it wasn’t, it’s only because the government was doing it wrong.
Playing with the $900 Billion figure, I conclude that the war has cost something like $3,000 for each man, woman, and child in the U.S. Using the $3T figure, the cost per American soars to about $10,000.
And what, praytell, have any of us got to show for it?
Juris Naturalist rightly notes that we “ought not support wars, even for humanitarian purposes. Instead [people] ought to support open-immigration laws, and then volunteer to pay for refugee and oppressed peoples rescue efforts.”
Bravo! But you see, there’s no money in that. There’s no power in that, which is why government will always favor a policy of war, to any number of peaceful and voluntary alternatives.