If a gang of murderers took over your neighbors’ house, and the sheriff came in and decided to launch a rocket-grenade at the house, and he blew up the house and killed five murderers and three of your neighbors, would you say he was successful?
If the sheriff then came to you and asked for $989.14 to go catch other potential murders and repair your neighborhood, and he used $989.09 to pay his salary and buy more rocket-grenades and gave your neighbors’ surviving relatives only five cents to rebuild their home, would you say he was doing the right thing?
Well, thank God they print “In God We Trust” on our currency, because it’s gonna take a lot of blind faith to believe that our almighty dollar is speaking for God.
According to the latest reports in “Time,” U.S.-sponsored soldiers killed about 5,000 Taliban and al-Qaida fighters and 3.000 civilians in the war in Afghanistan. For every five people we were trying to kill, we accidentally killed three innocent bystanders. That’s not very good odds.
Now the President wants to go to war with Iraq. The Congressional Budget Office has predicted the cost of this war will be $272 billion. That’s up $72 billion from just two weeks ago. Based on a population of 275 million, every single American will now owe $989.09 to fund the effort.
Meanwhile, Washington has devoted just five cents per person to rebuild the bombed-out infrastructure in Afghanistan. Only $16 million has been budgeted over the next two years to civilian projects such as “school reconstruction and well digging.” In America, that’s enough money to build one school.
How can we consider ourselves peace-keepers if the message we continually deliver is laced with violence? The problems of peace should not be solved with war. War requires men to become barbaric savages. Peace requires a different kind of man. Our man is President George W. Bush.
The President says that the best way to achieve peace is to shred the flesh of Saddam Hussein and his sword-wielding people. That’s what war is, you know, it’s a license to shred the flesh of enemies and innocents at a five to three average or worse in some places (see 9/11). Those dollar bills you earned that say “In God We Trust” will pay for the war that kills people.
Sarcasm makes me sing, “A-shredding we will go, a-shredding we will go, heave-ho your hard-earned dough, a-shredding we will go!”
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could poof Saddam out of existence and replace his regime with a freedom-loving democratic society? His real estate is just where we need it. It’s a perfect location! Location, location, location!
God may be on our side, but for some strange reason, He gave most of the world’s oil to the Muslims. Go figure. If America could set up a second home in Iraq, our energy problems would be solved for a while.
Conversely, if Saddam can get a nuclear bomb and gain enough power to control oil supplies in the Middle East, America will shrivel up quicker than brain cells on crack. Saddam could flush America down the drain if he could control our access to oil. The President knows this and has decided that the best course of action is war.
If U.S. troops set up permanent residence on Iraqi soil, the average jihadist might believe bin Laden’s argument that the United States is at war with all of Islam. Remember that al-Qaida was formed during the first Gulf War when we stationed American troops on “sacred Islamic soil.”
The new TV networks like al-Jazeera will fill Arab television with war footage, corpses and refugees. If you were a Muslim and you watched a foreign invader (with a different God) bombing fellow Muslims in your own territory, would you support the invader?
Surely we can win at war with Iraq, but can we win the peace in the Middle East? Our president is willing to bet blood that we can. What do you think?
We’ve made it fairly clear that we are willing to accept foreign casualties at a ratio of five to three, armed to innocent, and we are willing to pay top dollar to do it. 9/11 has callused our instincts. The question is, are we willing to sacrifice as much to prevent war as we are to win war?
Maybe we should think about that the next time we fill up our tanks with gas.
Silt resident Bernie Boettcher’s column runs every other Thursday in the Post Independent.
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This will be my 500th column — my final column in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.