City of Roses
Our government and the Pentagon certainly CAN afford it, no question about that. But I also happen to believe a vast majority of this nation really isn't willing in wanting us to afford it, hardly anyone who supports the war is willing to make that sacrifice or even take to the streets for pro-war rallies, so I imagine barely anyone REALLY wants to make any major sacrifice.
The fact is, our nation's war economy is accelerating in growth (in Oregon its higher than its been since World War II), and in the process, basic qualities of life for all Americans are eroding.
Economist Doug Henwood has estimated that the war bill will add up to an average of at least $3,415 for every U.S. household, while another economist, James Galbraith of the University of Texas, predicts that while war spending may boost the economy in a short-term, over the long term it is likely to bring a decade of economic troubles, including an expanded trade deficit and high inflation.
The $151.1 billion expenditure for the war through 2005 could have paid for nearly 23 million housing vouchers; health care for over 27 million uninsured Americans; salaries for nearly 3 million elementary school teachers; 678,200 new fire engines; over 20 million Head Start slots for children; or health care coverage for 82 million children. Before the 2004 election, a leaked memo from the White House to domestic agencies outlines major cuts in funding for education, Head Start, home ownership, job training, medical research and homeland security.
In July 2004, the New England Journal of Medicine reported that 1 in 6 soldiers returning from war in Iraq were showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression, or severe anxiety, yet only 23 to 40 percent of respondents in the study who showed signs of a mental disorder had sought mental health care.
Many of our schools are either losing money or have gone bankrupt, health care costs have virtually doubled since the war began, more Americans are in poverty since the war began, the minimum wage has remained the same despite that.....this emerging war economy is hurting our own children here at home.
In 1967, when Dr. Martin Luther King made his speech "Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence," he offered a number of reasons for opposing that war. One was of the diversion of resources war encourages, where he said, "I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic, destructive suction tube."
A second point he made in that speech was tha ""we are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation, for those it calls 'enemy,' for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers."
Those who still believe in the war can and have every right to share and take pride in the short-term rosey indicators, but when you see the tens of thousands of Katrina victims still migrating from place to place, many of them without food stamps and even food to feed their kids, when you see elementary schools in your own community becoming overcrowded, when you recognize many Americans just can't get by on our current minimum wage, you know something is absolutely wrong here, and due to the Iraq war we are experiencing another one of these very diversions of resources from our own children Dr. King spoke about before, to a war effort that may not even succeed, which may cost as much as $2 trillion by the end.
"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"