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How much will the war on terrorism cost? If past experience is any indication, there are bound to be a few hidden expenses. As it takes on the axis of evil, the Pentagon is running up what it refers to as “incremental costs” — expenses over and above the cost of training and deploying troops overseas. But when the General Accounting Office took a look at $2.2 billion the Defense Department spent enforcing no-fly zones in Iraq and keeping peace in the Balkans in 2000 and 2001, it found at least $101 million in what it calls “questionable expenditures.” Here are a few of the iffier expenses racked up at air bases in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Cappuccino machine $16,758 Golf-club set with bag $1,478
Corporate golf membership $16,000 White beach sand $4,638
Genie lamp with Riyadh stone $432 “The Intelligent Investor” software $2,987
Cowboy hats $4,896 Deocrative river rock $18,980
Nacho cheese warmer $1,039 Love seat and armchair $23,989
Remote-control cars $3,766 Sumo wrestling suit $3,395

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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