$200bn, that could ease for instance health care budgets somewhat, but as a onetimer it won't change the world.
$200bn is $700 per US citizen. Last week I bought new glasses, they were cosiderably more expensive than that.
It seems to me that some people interpreted the "war success criteria" in a very simple - if not primitive - way: If WMD were found or not.
What we know is:
- Gas was used against Iran
- Gas was used against the Khurds
- Israel and Saudi Arabia don't need to look after Scud missiles from Iraq any longer
- Kuwait will not again be occupied and destroyed
- There will not be a future bill to be paid for freeing Kuwait
- No WMD will be produced any longer in Iraq
- No neighbor country needs to fear Iraq any longer
- No costly and risky patrols in the former "no fly zones" are needed any longer
- Iraqi individuals are at present receiving education about how to run a normal country from the USA, Britain, Denmark and other countries, something which they last time did roughly 4000 years ago
- There are still internal disagreements in Iraq about how to build the country, which still creates violence.
What we don't know:
- Were the WMDs used up, destructed, or hidden (inside or outside Iraq)?
- How fast will the Iraqi people catch up and build a normal country?
When we put that war into money, then there are also a lot of "savings" involved, which have to be subtracted from the $200bn.
The major problem was that George Bush Sr left it to his son to finish off the 1991 war. I have read a lot of excuses for not finishing that war. Some of those excuses probably had some validity, still they were all bad.
One phrase, which is often used here in Denmark - especially in politics, is "mands minde" meaning "[duration of] man's memory". One day a member of parliament asked about how long time "man's memory" could be considered to be. Another MP
answered promply: "Two weeks".
That seems to fit perfectly well on a lot of aspects concerning the debate about the Iraqi conflict.
But those of us, who do not remember Iraqi political details back to at least 1979, suffer a severe handicap when judging present dilemmas.