The Associated Press has reported that, quite succinctly, “Bush Wants $82B More for Iraq, Afghan Costs”. That’s a pretty snappy headline, and more or less cuts to the quick on the president’s supplemental budget request that was submitted to Congress yesterday. Because, realistically, when $75 billion of that request is slated to go to the Defense Department, it’s reasonable to summarize the funds as going to cover the costs of our continued War on Terror™. Oh, and also the War in Iraq (nb: if, at this point in time, they are in fact now one and the same, please excuse our ignorance).
Regardless, after deducting the Defense Department’s war costs, that still leaves the administration with a fairly large $7 billion worth of funds to disperse. And how! Let’s take a look at some of the various line item expenses:
– $2.242 billion to counter drugs, pay for security, and support democracy and reconstruction in Afghanistan.
– $60 million for Ukraine, which recently elected Viktor Yushchenko president.
– $660 million for construction of a U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
The lesson? Promoting American-style democracy costs a shitload. It’s almost as though there’s a correlation between our mania for capitalism and our mania for freedom and liberty. Thankfully, I can still buy heroin for cheap, however. Hamid, you’re a grand ol’ motherfucker! Love you!
– $400 million to reward nations that have taken political and economic risks to join the U.S.-led coalitions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Uh-oh. That whole “coalition of the willing” thing from way back when? At least we know we never bribed them, right? Or had to shell out millions of dollars so we could play host to 32 Macedonian mess-hall workers on our bases in Iraq?
– $950 million to help areas affected by the recent tsunami in the Indian Ocean.
In other words, that “$15 million in tsunami relief” figure that was quoted so long ago was, well, incorrect. It should never have been reported. $950 million. That’s what we meant all along.
Finally, there’s this:
– $200 million in education and border security aid for the Palestinians.
Fuck, we’re so glad Yasser Arafat’s dead!