Monday 17 February 2003

Midwinter madness

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."
Dwight David Eisenhower
April 16, 1953

The news is not good. Osama bin Laden wants us to invade Iraq. As of this writing, we're at orange on the alert code. The economy is tanking. We're spending $1.08 billion a day on the military.

And the president wants a $674 billion tax cut.

In the first year, 50 percent of that tax cut would go the richest 1 percent of Americans, and three-quarters of it would go to the richest 5 percent. In the years beyond that, the concentration at the top actually gets worse, according to Citizens for Tax Justice.

To pay for that, George W. Bush wants to raise the rent on subsidized housing for the poorest people in the country and break up Head Start, sending it down to the states, where governments are frantically cutting everything they can. Money to pay for everything from cleaning up Superfund sites to leaving no child behind is being slashed to pay for this obscene tax cut.

We're about to got to war with a country that hasn't fired a shot at us or anyone else. Our war plan calls for us to "shock and awe" Iraq by smashing 800 cruise missiles into Baghdad in the first 48 hours of the war. That's one every four minutes night and day.

According to Harlan Ullman, the "defense intellectual" who advocates the "shock and awe" tactic, it's supposed to work like the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. That worked, all right.

During the Persian Gulf War, we killed 13,000 civilians directly, and another 70,000 died in the aftermath from no water, no food, no electricity, no medical care, etc. I'd like to get rid of Saddam Hussein myself, but how many lives is it worth? And do they get to vote on it?

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