18 July 2007

A Penny Saved?

Recently I have been trying to save more money. Just something I am trying to do to help my self and my future plans. Today I was thinking about all the money this nation spends on the military and how much it could save by not having a war. But the cost of not having the war out weigh not having it -- they make more money fighting than not.

Last night I saw this show on The Discovery Channel -- Build it Bigger. The episode I saw was about the military and refurbishing the tanks they have. The host went to Anniston Army Depot and was able to see the massive amount of tanks the military sends there. There were thousands of old tanks. It was like looking at a junk yard -- only these tanks had not too much damage to them. Some of them just needed a few new parts. They showed the military men cleaning the tanks and putting new engines into them. That was the part that was amazing. All of the tanks that they showed were in line to be fixed and shipped back to the military fighting site. Redoing them costs upward of a million dollars. For one tank. Making the originals can cost around 5 million dollars per tank.

And people wonder why this war is still going on? If it stops who is going to make the billions of dollars the war has to offer? If it stops all the private companies making money will go broke. Our tax dollars will have no where to go. On NPR this afternoon there was a brief story about how the Congress is trying to set a date for pulling hundreds of thousands of US soldiers out of Iraq. The story was immediately followed by another story about the Balad air force base in Iraq and its necessity in the war. The base houses over 25,000 troops. I don't think people realize how large these numbers are. That is the population of many colleges in this country. Camp Anaconda is located near Balad. It has 28,000 troops and 8,000 civilian contractors. There are hundreds of trailers housing the people, a dentist, ultra nice medical facilities, two swimming pools, a huge movie theatre, a fitness gym, golf course, Subway, Popeye's, Burger King, Pizza Hut, five nice dining halls run by the contractors and more.

I'm not saying the soldiers don't deserve these nice amenities while they are in "Mortaritaville" (known as that since it receives about two attacks a day). Most of the guys joined up to get paid, nothing wrong with that. Most of the did not realize that they would be over there for this long fighting a war that seems to have no end in sight.

All I'm saying is that the war has a price. The facilities over there are funded by many contractors that are all about making money. The facilities here are funded by the government and the contractors, both trying to make money. The factories and military bases in St. Louis, Mississippi, Michigan and all over this country are making money producing military equipment, housing equipment, etc that all helps the workers in the factories pay their bills. They all have thousands of employees. If the war ends, can you imagine the unemployment this nation would face?

There is no way it is going to end any time soon. I wish all the troops the best of luck. I hope they return in tact -- mentally and physically. Hopefully they return soon, but if the government has any say about it I don't think it will be over soon. Congress people say they want it to end and for the troops to return, but I believe it is all lip service. They have so many lobbyists in their back pocket that when vote time comes, they will likely not vote for these men and women to return to the lives they had, and can have here in this country.