Politics, Sex, Religion, and all those impolite Human Conversations...

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Location: Oaksterdam, California

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Price of No Sacrifice

I've always thought that Bush was rather clever in not asking for sacrifices from the American public for his foreign follies. Clever, in that it manipulates human nature. People rarely pay attention to what doesn't touch then personally. Few look at the details of policy if there is no direct impact on their daily lives. This aspect of the citizenry requires few facts to intrude on their palpable ignorance. So what is the byproduct of eschewing any up front payments? What have we lost?

The result? Thousands of people starving and (metaphorically) bleeding to death as if this were some Third World nation without any kind of national health or emergency system. While no one could have known the exact nature of this disaster in terms of time and place, we knew full well that something like it was likely—just as we knew that bin Laden, or someone, was likely to attack the U.S. using planes as weapons. Until now, no one in America has been asked to sacrifice a thing for the war in Iraq save those giving their lives and limbs, their mothers, fathers, daughters and sons. They censored the photos of the coffins coming home—much less the mangled corpses--and lied about he budget numbers they were exploding. (What have “future generations” ever done for Karl Rove?) And a compliant media in some cases—a deliberately propagandistic media in others—played along. Now, finally, Americans are seeing just a small part of the cost of that murderous folly. Responding to disasters is one of the basic functions of government, and our government has been looted. What’s left of it—an empty shell in the case of helping the needy cope with catastrophe—is nowhere near competent, much less consistent with the measure of a great nation.

Sadly, I think more people will turn against the Administration if they ever make the connection with the price of gas and destabilization brought to the gulf, the Persian one. That would only be natural.