Thursday, March 23, 2006

95 Miles High

Did you catch the Bob Herbert column in today's New York Times, Bush? He cites a study claiming that your war will costs us more than a trillion dollars. Maybe two. I can't vouch for the study's arithmetic, of course, but I was intrigued by the image used to describe just how much money that is. Here, for your edification, are Bob Herbert's words:

Imagine a stack of bills worth $1 million that is roughly six inches high. (Think big denominations — a mix of $100 bills and $1,000 bills, mostly $1,000's.) If the six-inch stack were enlarged to the point where it was worth $1 billion, it would be as tall as the Washington Monument, about 500 feet. If it were worth $1 trillion, the stack would be 95 miles high.

Ninety-five miles high! We're talking denominations of hundreds and thousands here! Do you think the American people you've been talking to have any idea that it's likely to be costing them $10,000 per household to pay for your extravaganza? Do you think those who are still gung-ho about the whole thing would be so likely to support it if they did? I saw a couple of clips from your speech yesterday, Bush. The crowd was enthusiastic, as your crowds usually are. A woman--she could have been an administration shill--asked what to do about the media, who report only the bad news. Played right into your hands, eh, Bush? Among other useful hints, you suggested writing, uh... a blog! Did I hear you right? Isn't that what we've been doing this past year and a half?

Anyway, I'd be interested to hear how it's going, Bush. I mean, not just among those adoring throngs assembled by your people to give the impression of whole-hearted support. I mean polls. The approval ratings. Are they going up as a result of your intense media campaign this week? Are you managing to rally te support base? I'd really like to know.

While we're speaking of the base, I'd also like to know what your evangelicals think about the news from Afghanistan, about Abdul Rahman who converted--sixteen years ago!--from the Muslim faith to Christianity. He was apparently reported to the police by his parents and is now threatened with the death penalty for his transgression, and by no lesser personage than an Afghan Supreme Court Justice. I do believe you had no choice but to go after the terrorists based in Afghanistan after 9/11, and their Taliban protectors, this story does not bode well for the results of our intrusion in that part of the world. Is this what we're spending billions of dollars to protect in the name of freedom and democracy? Death to the infidel?

So there you have it, Bush. I know I'm sounding like a broken record these days, but when I hear you mouth the same god-awful platitudes and refuse stubbornly to consider a change of course or a change of personnel, it frankly drives me crazy. It's not only ruining our reputation in the world, it's ruining our economy. You say, glibly, that it will be up to future presidents to make decisions about this war that you have started. It will also be up to future generations to pay for it. Some of your critics have pointed out that this is another pattern for you: to create a mess of things and leave it to others to clean up. There's going to be a whole lot of cleaning up to do after this one, Bush. It's the work not of years, but decades to come. Our children and our grandchildren will not be thanking you for the task you will have left them.


dennis said...

And I thought it was unthinkable that 60 cents of each of my income tax dollars was going to bombs during Vietnam. It was a mere pittance to the extravagancies of war today.

But Americans don't mind 10 grand each for a war. They love it. Keeps things interesting. Keeps them on top. Just ask Bushwack.

PK said...

He plowed Texas under, don't know if they're out of it yet. We will have to raise taxes, and start with the overly rich. By the time he's gone, our 4th greatgrand kids will still be paying on this mess he's left us.

Thomas said...

I'm from Germany and just accidently surfed to this site and it's great to see there's some people left who actually think over there. Well, since I've already been to the States some years ago, I know that not everyone is carrying the flag and a bible everywhere they go (although you could easy get this impression from the European point of view). The big problem is that the American foreign policy causes anti-American tendencies here, which I hate because i love America and i know that their representatives are not representative. Just keep up the good work, Peter, and let's hope things will improve with the next election.