Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Price is Right

Waging war should be the single most expensive undertaking that a nation should ever face. The costs of a preemptive war or one begun following deadly provocation must be shared in total by the entire nation. Unlike King George's Iraq Misadventure, the nation must increase or maintain individual and corporate taxation levels. War should be paid for from the current wealth of a nation and not mortgaged with loans from competitors and potential enemies. Does anyone really know how the United States will pay the Iraq war debt?

The human costs of war are the most distressing to a nation. The United States will continue to face the daunting and expensive after-care for hundreds of thousands of soldiers that have been injured and disabled. Due to the particular horrors of the Iraq Catastrophuck and the unprecedented repetition of the soldiers' tours in the fields of battle the Veterans' Administration is seeing an extraordinary number of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder cases. Servicemen and their families are experiencing huge obstacles both financial and personal as they attempt to live through our nation's chosen crisis.

The political costs of war should also be high. Waging war should be seen as diplomatic and personal political failures on the part of our leaders. The President and other civilian leaders should be held accountable for the failure of diplomacy and persuasion. Such leaders should be considered to have disgraced themselves and be asked to step aside and new leaders appointed and elected. All wars are criminal and the folks responsible should pay a heavy price.

If a nation is forced to war, then the war should be total and unrestrained. There should be no half measures. The enemy must be completely defeated then left to fend for themselves. We should never be asked to reimburse an enemy for his war costs. If you break the peace, then you pay in blood and treasure. When the people of a nation with stupid leaders that wage war awake to realize the true costs of any war, will they not then choose better leaders? That should be their choice and burden.

We all know the expression that "talk is cheap" and we know that it is meant as a snide cut to someone's bombastic utterances and promises. In reality, when it comes to conflicts with our neighbors on this planet -- talking to them is less a hardship, human and monetary, than engaging them in deadly violence. We lose nothing through diplomacy. George Bush and his cronies have cost this nation its respect throughout the world with their cowboy diplomacy and arrogant world view. Their war of choice has plunged our nation deep into debt.

We must talk to our enemies. We must talk to them to maintain and promote peace. Yes, talk is cheap and so may be the price of peace. And, after all, the price is right.

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