Thursday, November 09, 2017


The top story on Breitbart's front page right now seems to have wandered over from The Nation or The Intercept:

It's a straightforward story making the point that endless wars have really picked our pockets.
The United States is expected to spend nearly $6 trillion through 2018 on government-wide costs related to the wars waged in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria since 2001, reveals a study by Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.

According to Brown University’s Cost of War project analysis, authored by Neta Crawford, the total estimated cost of U.S. wars between 2001 and 2018 amounts to about $23,386 per individual American taxpayer, which is more than three times the amount ($7,740) calculated by the Pentagon....

Unlike assessments conducted by the Pentagon and other analysts, Crawford’s estimate takes into account trillions in conflict-linked spending appropriated mainly through the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security, State, Defense, and Veteran Affairs.

On top of direct war spending through the Pentagon, the Brown University study includes $880 billion in new base defense costs linked to combat operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, in addition to nearly $780 billion in Department of Homeland Security costs.

Moreover, the study notes that spending on veterans benefits has increased by nearly $300 billion since 2001 due to those wars.
Well .. okay. I guess I'm grateful that this was published.

I know why the story is getting prominent placement at Breitbart. Steve Bannon regards himself as an anti-"globalist." He sees his conservatism as diametrically opposed to Bushite neoconservatism.

Which is nice, but Breitbart also rouses the rabble with stories like these:

Why Trump’s Winning: 9 Facts About Islam The Media Doesn’t Want You To Know

Gorka: America Is Losing War on Terror

From Cairo to Riyadh, Trump Urged Action on Terror Where Obama Offered Islamic Apologism

The West vs Islam Is The New Cold War — Here’s How We Win

If you look at that last piece (from 2016, and co-authored by Milo Yiannopoulos), you see where the Breitbartniks try to thread the needle. The argument is that the U.S. won the Cold War because "western governments poured money into programs designed to undermine the idea of communism." That was cost-effective, and there was no blood expended! "Sure, there were proxy wars around the world, but they weren’t at the root of communism’s failure," we're told. So I guess that victory was peaceful and didn't pick our pockets at all! Vietnam, the arms race -- not relevant!

At least libertarians and Pat Buchanan paleocons sometimes refrain from rousing the rabble against the enemies we're fighting in wars while opposing those same wars. The Breitbartniks want us to hate "radical Islamic terror," then are shocked, shocked, when politicians actually spend blood and treasure going to war based on that anger.

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