On June 30th, President Bush signed into law a $162 billion War Supplemental spending bill, providing an additional $130 billion for the Iraq War alone. This new funding brings the total allocated for the Iraq War to $656.1 billion.
National Priorities Project has updated its local cost of war numbers to reflect this new total, also showing what this war funding could buy in City of Baltimore and the state of Maryland .
While the cost of war is not dominating the headlines right now, its toll on our nation, our communities and our future continues to climb
Taxpayers in Maryland will pay $12.7 billion for total Iraq war spending approved to date. For the same amount of money, the following could have been provided:
· 2,497,126 People with Health Care for One Year OR
· 11,804,878 Homes with Renewable Electricity for One Year OR
· 256,949 Public Safety Officers for One year OR
· 215,979 Music and Arts Teachers for One Year OR
· 1,608,366 Scholarships for University Students for One Year OR
· 68,196 Affordable Housing Units OR
· 4,899,262 Children with Health Care for One Year OR
· 1,704,751 Head Start Places for Children for One Year OR
· 201,398 Elementary School Teachers for One Year OR
· 214,884 Port Container Inspectors for One year
Taxpayers in Baltimore , Maryland will pay $889.4 million for total Iraq war spending approved to date. For the same amount of money, the following could have been provided:
· 174,660 People with Health Care for One Year OR
· 825,683 Homes with Renewable Electricity for One Year OR
· 17,972 Public Safety Officers for One year OR
· 15,106 Music and Arts Teachers for One Year OR
· 112,496 Scholarships for University Students for One Year OR
· 4,770 Affordable Housing Units OR
· 342,675 Children with Health Care for One Year OR
· 119,238 Head Start Places for Children for One Year OR
· 14,087 Elementary School Teachers for One Year OR
· 15,030 Port Container Inspectors for One year
Baltimore Urban Peace Program
American Friends Service Committee
4806 York Road
Baltimore, MD 21212
Published on Sunday, July 6, 2008 by Agence France Presse
Afghan Governor Says 22 Civilians Killed in Air Strike
JALALABAD, Afghanistan - An Afghan district governor said 22 people, most of them women and children, were killed Sunday when US-led coalition air strikes hit a wedding party in eastern Afghanistan , but the force insisted only militants were killed.
“I confirm that 22 people, three of them men and 19 of them women and children, were killed,” said Hamisha Gul, governor of Deh Bala district in the eastern province of Nangarhar .
Gul said his information came from police and other officials he had dispatched to the area near the Pakistan border to investigate after reports of civilian casualties in the incident.
His claim could not be immediately confirmed with more senior Afghan officials nor independently verified as the area is remote and difficult to access.
The US-led coalition rejected the allegations.
“It was not a wedding party, there were no women or children present. We have no reports of civilian casualties,” coalition media officer Captain Christian Patterson told AFP.
The coalition said in a statement earlier that “several” militants were killed in the air strike.
It was the second time in three days the coalition was accused of inflicting heavy civilian casualties in air strikes.
Afghan officials have said strikes on Friday in northeast Nuristan province, also on the border with Pakistan , killed more than a dozen civilians.
The coalition insists only militants were killed. President Hamid Karzai has ordered an investigation.
The seven-year internationally supported campaign to fight a bloody Taliban-led insurgency has seen several incidents in which civilians were killed, as well as claims of civilian casualties that have proven untrue.
Hundreds of civilians have been killed in international military action against insurgents, most of them in air strikes on remote areas even though the forces employ several measures to confirm the identities of their targets.
The UN said last month that nearly 700 Afghan civilians have lost their lives this year, nearly two-thirds in militant attacks and about 255 in military operations.
© 2008 Agence France Presse