Bill Bonner in Paris…
A dinner companion said on Saturday night, “What is really driving the U.S. economy is the war in Iraq and the war against terror.”
“They’re spending $75 billion per quarter…that’s $300 billion a year. And it’s in addition to the regular budget. People think that money goes to building roads and schools in Iraq. But most of it – all but 15% or so – is spent in the United States. It goes to contractors for computer programs, weapons, and supplies. That has a huge impact on the economy. And that’s why there is so little opposition to the war. People know that when the war stops, the economy goes into recession.”
Our friend is a contractor for the Pentagon:
“It is unbelievable how much money is being spent. They are spending billions right on the Pentagon building itself. And now there’s a lot of argument about where the money is being spent. People in New York are complaining about spending money in Montana. And they’ve got a point, of course. Montana is not exactly the front lines in the war against terror. But from a defensive point of view, almost all the money is wasted anyway, so it probably doesn’t make much difference. ”
What a strange and wonderful war. Rather than tightening our belts, the war is taken as a pretext to spend more money.
And, one of the biggest advocates of the billion-dollar war is our favorite columnist Thomas Friedman. Of course, the bumbling world improver has pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes…Glenn Greenwald, best selling author of How Would a Patriot Act?, wrote here:
“…so I spent the day yesterday and today reading every Tom Friedman column beginning in mid-2002 through the present regarding Iraq. That body of work is extraordinary. Friedman is truly one of the most frivolous, dishonest, and morally bankrupt public intellectuals burdening this country. Yet he is, of course, still today, one of the most universally revered figures around, despite – amazingly enough, I think it’s more accurate to say “because of” – his advocacy of the invasion of Iraq, likely the greatest strategic foreign policy disaster in America’s history….”