Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Netanyahu's Ego War

Sieg Heil

Click here for related article [FAS]

Periodically, we criticize Israel's Mr Netanyahu for trying to draw the US into a war with Iran -- an action which we are convinced would be as devastating to Israel as it would be to Iran.

Today, we received another argument against such a war; i.e., The financial cost to the global economy would be about $1.7 Trillion. 

Now, if we ignore the thousands of Iranian, Israeli, Arab and US lives to be sacrificed in this foolish endeavor to satisfy the blustering Mr Netanyahu's massive, belligerent ego, let's examine the cost in real terms.

For those with short memories, let's revisit the First Gulf War which cost "only" $61 Billion
-- plus the health expense related to the Gulf War Syndrome.

During President GHW Bush's six-month build-up to go to war with Iraq in 1990-91, the US economy went into a complete stall, which affected the global economy, which brought world commerce to a standstill -- for nearly six months, forcing thousands of businesses to collapse, increasing unemployment in the US and globally, and reducing global GNP by a significant percentage. 

The war involved 34 "coalition" nations, and close to a million US and coalition military troops were deployed.  Ostensibly, the war was fought to protect Kuwait and to retrieve Kuwaiti territory and oil from Iraq.  Ironically, the Kuwaiti military played only a miniscule role in the war, and Kuwaiti men who should have served in the military spent time in US and foreign night-clubs sneering at their US military "security force" -- whom they regarded as paid mercenaries.

Let's segue from that incident 23 years ago to what we see now.

For those who follow the US Congressional wrangling over the "Fiscal Cliff" deadlock, think in terms of the cost of a Netanyahu Ego War as compared to President Obama's proposed tax increases:

1)  The Netanyahu Ego War would cost the world about $1.7 Trillion [somewhat more than the
     $61 Billion cost of the Gulf War] in terms of
      a) Direct security/military-related expense,
      b) Lost commerce and trade revenues,
      c) Damage to regional infrastructure from the conflict
      d) Increased oil prices
      e) Other global economic costs

2)  Mr Obama's Revenue [i.e., tax increases] would amount to $1.6 Trillion.   Let's compare those
      a) That's $100 BILLION less than the cost of Mr Netanyahu's proposed Ego War.
      b) Mr Netanyahu's Ego War would ADD an extra $3,000 a year in taxes for the US taxpayer
      for the next ten years -- over and above the extra $3,000 we would be expected to pay for
      Mr Obama's "revenue" option.

[Hey buddy, can you spare an extra $6 thousand for Uncle Obama?]

That's just the financial cost of the war; we'll save a fuller analysis for a separate post.