A U.S. attack on Iraq could profoundly affect the Americaneconomy, because this time, the United States would have tofoot most of the bills. Eleven years ago, the Persian Gulfwar cost the U.S. and its allies $61.1 billion. $48.4billion of that was paid by other nations. The cost of thatwar in 2002 dollars was $79.9 billion.
In 1991, our allies paid almost 80 percent of it. This timearound, it looks like we’ll have to pick up the tabourselves. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Japan divided the costof the 1991 war with the United States, but none of them hasoffered to assist with financing a war against Iraq. “Justopen a map,” says a member of the Kuwaiti royal family.”Afghanistan is in turmoil, the Middle East is in flames,and you want to open a third front in the region?”
Since the federal budget deficit is expanding, war will meanmore red ink or cutbacks in domestic programs, at a timewhen citizens are demanding more money for schools andMedicare drugs. War could have a substantial psychologicaleffect on the stock market, retail spending, businessinvestment, travel and other key elements of the economy. Ifoil supplies are disrupted, as they were during the 1991gulf war, and prices rise sharply, it could lead to anotherrecession.
Harvard economist Richard N. Cooper says that after Iraqiforces invaded Kuwait in August 1990, oil prices climbedrapidly from a low of $15 a barrel and peaked at $40 inOctober 1990. Prices remained high for more than a year inwhat many saw as a tax on worldwide consumers that allowedSaudi Arabia and Kuwait to pay part of the war costs.
James R. Schlesinger, of the Pentagon Defense Policy Board,says he doesn?t think fear of economic instability by itselfwould cause the us to stop trying to unseat the SaddamHussein. He says, “My view is that given all we have said asa leading world power about the necessity of regime changein Iraq means that our credibility would be badly damaged ifthat regime change did not take place.”
We may need to get Saddam before he gets us: Khidir Hamza,who worked in Iraq’s nuclear weapon program before defectingin 1994, says, “With more than 10 ton of uranium and one tonof slightly enriched uranium…in its possession, Iraq hasenough to generate the needed bomb-grade uranium for threenuclear weapons by 2005.”
At recent Senate hearings, a number of other expertwitnesses also warned that Saddam becomes more dangerousevery day, as he works on developing chemical, biologicaland nuclear weapons.
Hamza says, “Iraq is using corporations in India and othercountries to import the needed equipment for its program andchannel it through countries like Malaysia for shipment toIraq.” He claims that Iraq is “gearing up to extend therange of its missiles to easily reach Israel.”
If we invade Iraq, will the FBI come through for us thistime? Find out by reading ?The Bureau: The Secret History ofthe FBI? by Ronald Kessler,click here.
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