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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Bill Moyers Essay: The Cost of War

Bill Moyers Essay: The Cost of War

I find myself comparing the costs that shall have been paid by citizens of the United States of America to the costs to those who by chance were born into Iraq. That burned soldier may not look forward to the health care of Paris Hilton, but what can his Iraqi counterpart look forward to? Yes, a lot of wealth will have been transfered from future Americans to the coffers of military contractors. How does this amount compare to the loss of Iraqi national oil wealth? It pales, per capita, no doubt.

Still there's another cost that comes to mind. Those Iraqis have suffered under the sword of Hussein and they have suffered the paint from a broad brush in the minds of many. Too many I meet in the U.S. are eager to paint the world in these simple colors. All the while I hear lamentations from fellow Americans about the loss of international prestige and respect we suffer because of George W. Bush's Middle East missteps. Is this any less delusional? We citizens of the United States have imagined ourselves to be masters of our own fate, and we have imagined the children of Arabia and Islam and Palestine and Judea to be masters as well. I find this to be of the most dangerous manner of hubris. We suffer this delusion to justify our indifference and our greed, and we hardly notice when this delusion serves as conduit -- transforming fears of an indifferent god into reckless war spilling alien blood.

Yes, I am saying it: If The War serves to awaken the U.S. citizenry from slumber in time to preserve Constitutional rule of law it shall have been a bargain well made. I am not saying this because I love America. I am saying this because I love freedom and open society. I am saying this because I believe the children of Iraq and of Mexico have as much right to the pursuit of happiness as do I.

The people of the United States of America created the most powerful economy in history. Then we sold it for baubles and beads. Is it too late to void the sale? What cost freedom? Are we yet rich enough in spirit to bargain for the blood of our own children, or for the blood of children not our own?

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