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Killing Machine

December 3, 2004

Remember during the Presidential “debates” when Kerry & Edwards said the war in Iraq had cost the US $200 billion. The other side, with an air of snarling satisfaction, debunked this exaggeration saying “..$120 billion is, in fact, what has been allocated to Iraq.” (By the way: why, media, didn’t you put this little gem of a soundbyte out there for all to see, over and over. It was every bit as entertaining as Howard Dean’s hollering.)

Well, today the National Priorities Project puts the monetary cost at over $148 billion and icasualties.org puts US military fatalities at 1261; and US military wounded stand at 9556 (ibid). These figures pale in comparison with the costs to the Iraqi people: 100,000 dead civilians before Falloojeh. (Thanks again, media, for not leveling with us about Falloojeh. Keep up the good work!)

As we approach the $150 billion mark it makes sense to consider this: Economist Jeffrey Sachs says we could solve world poverty on $150 billion a year.

Wow. Let me think about that. Let’s see: I’d bet we could actually establish that there is a moral justification for ending poverty. (As a side note, let me clarify that in saying this, I am implying that there is no moral justification for the war in Iraq. Have no doubt about were I am coming from here.) Anyway, having established a moral justification, I’d also bet that the world would pitch in to help pay for a project such as this. Shit, if we (the US) led this effort and went around spending money to end poverty, the people of the world might notice; and be thankful; and trust us. Peace, love, and harmony would infect the people of the world. They would rise up against tyranny, topple dictators, foil power seekers, convict the corrupt, reject exploitation. No more patriotism. No more nationalism..

Naaaaah– not good for business.

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