Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A New War On Terror

Remembering the echoes of the words spoken by the Bush Administration before the war in Iraq ever started, one must wonder at just how forgetful the American people have become, and where their sense of outrage and injustice has gone.

On Jan. 19th, 2003, Donald Rumsfeld boldly declared that the Iraq conflict would cost no more than 50 billion dollars. Easily forgotten now that Rumsfeld is no longer in the public eye, but the fact remains that this was the view of the entire administration, with some going so far as to say that the war would pay for itself in the form of Iraqi oil. We now know that all of this was smoke and mirrors, better known as outright lies. The 'war on terror' has cost the United States over a trillion dollars and counting.

As Bush demands more money for his phony war, the war designed to suppress the production of Iraq's oil in order to allow for record profits for his oil baron friends, he terrorizes our own country in the form of legislation meant to implement the beginning foundations of the squashing of all voices of dissent. We'll save that for another day, but today, let's look at what all of that war money would have bought us.

First, according to The National Priorities Project, it could have paid for almost 300 million children to have health insurance for a year. Or it could have covered every child in the country for more than five years.

Twenty three million people could have gone to college for four years, fully paid for.

63 million kids could have had a year of head start.

We could have added 8.5 million teachers to our schools.

Or we could have used the money to build 4.5 million new housing units.

To go further than that, if our intent in the world is to be truly helpful and neighborly like, we could have started programs in virtually every poor nation on earth to help them have clean drinking water, grow their own food, and give the the technological know how to bring themselves up out of the stone age. But those are not our priorities.

We could have taken the old Equinox car, you know the one, it runs on water, but was killed by the oil companies, and perfected it to the point that we could be laughing at the oil producing states by now, as they swam in vast reserves of useless black gold.

Instead, we received vast tax cuts for the rich, on the blatant lie of trickle down economics. Trickle down economics is the theory that if the rich have more money to invest, it will create more growth, because in their benevolence, they'll share that wealth with the rest of us in the form of health benefits, pay increases, and the creation of new jobs for all. Only it doesn't work that way. Benevolence among the super rich is rare and the only jobs they created were the slave labor jobs in China, India, Thailand, Pakistan, Columbia, Guatemala, etc.

According to Bush's own words in a speech recently explaining his veto of the new funding for LIHEAP, and SCHIP, the programs designed to keep Americans from freezing to death and fund health care for kids, he rationalized the vetoes as well as further tax cuts for the rich by stating that the cuts would enable small business owners to provide health insurance for their employees. Oh. And poor Americans already have health care, he added, they're alled emergency rooms. So I decided to fact check him on that.

I called 50 businesses, ranging from privately owned corner gas stations, to mom and pop grocery stores, restaurants, hardware stores, you name it, I called them. The answers that I received as to how well their employees were covered by company health insurance due to Bush's tax cuts ranged from laughter at the very idea that the tax cuts had made any impact on their bottom line, to those who said it wasn't their responsibility to provide health care. I could not find even one small business owner who had implemented a health insurance program due to any tax cuts. Indeed, I found many of them were laying people off, because they couldn't afford to pay the high price of heating and cooling, let alone pay for health insurance. So, the notion of tax cuts being beneficial to small businesses is a cynical way of suckering the people into going along with his give away to the rich.

So Bush is fighting a war of terrorism all right. But it's a war on the American people. Oh. I know. You're going to come back with the far right position of fighting them over there, blah, blah, blah. But this was a war of choice, not a war because of any threat. The threat was actually stemming from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, so we went ahead and bombed Iraq. Al-Quaeda's safe haven was Afghanistan, so we shoved them aside, and invaded Iraq. Now the Taliban is in charge of over half of the country again, with their eye on retaking Kabul, the capitol. So, how is this a war on terror again?

We need a new war on terror. One that stops this administration from victimizing the poor and the middle class here at home, and concentrates our efforts on rooting out the true terrorists in the world. But that would take a radical change in ideology from this President, and he could care less about the poor or the middle class. The fact is, these new Republicans will speak platitudes to your face, then try to destroy the very foundation and backbone of our country. Someone even suggested to me yesterday that outsourcing all of our jobs was good for the country. Oh. I see. How silly of me. Sending our good paying jobs overseas and replacing them with Wal-Mart jobs is good for the country. Sure. If you're a super rich corporate CEO, who gets paid in the hundreds of millions of dollars range. Batmanchester

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