With no evidence of any real threat, with no support from the international community and with $50 billion of taxpayer money and 250,000 American lives on the line, the Bush administration is ready to declare war on Iraq. Amid the rhetoric and international embarrassment, let’s take a moment to think about the welfare of Americans.
We pay for war with our tax dollars and our lives. We pay with our civil liberties, reduced by domestic spying and deregulated police behavior. We pay with lack of funding for desperately needed social programs like education and health care.
We pay with increased violence and racism. It is not the oil tycoons in Washington who pay, nor the corporations enjoying new oil fields and tax cuts, but us, the American people.
So how will we be repaid? According to the Administration, we will be safer from terrorists and look tough in the eyes of the world.
I will not waste time arguing that the world’s only superpower, with a military arsenal larger than the next 14 countries combined, troops in 226 countries and an un-elected president anxious to use them, looks anything but weak to the rest of the world. So, will an invasion of Iraq make us safer?
United States sponsored sanctions and bombings have killed over 1.5 million people in Iraq since the end of the Gulf War. The average Iraqi family lives on about $10 a month with a shortage of medical care, clean water and food in the country.
People blame their misery more on the U.S. than on Saddam, though they certainly detest their merciless dictator. The people of Iraq voted they would rather continue their struggle for reform than submit to U.S. imperialist rule.
A people can only be bombed and starved and manipulated and abused for so long before some of them will inevitably react with violence. Surely, nothing would please the Bin Ladens of the world more than another country full of angry and hopeless youth. After all, most of the Sept. 11 highjackers came from the wealthy United States ally Saudi Arabia, who we did not even bomb.
The United States also risks vital alliances by continuing to spit in the face of the United Nations and its Security Council. The more the Administration dismisses international concern, the more the war is between them and the rest of the world.
So we dish out our rights, our lives and our money. In return, we risk more bombs, more attacks, less protection.
Contact your elected officials via the Congressional Switchboard at 800.839.5276. Register to vote and find your congressperson’s address at www.congress.org. It’s our money, our country, our choice. Let’s take it back.