Snarky Behavior

I Don’t Want to Live in a World without Burritos

July 9, 2007 · Leave a Comment

Congratulations to the New York Times editorial board for finally growing a pair. Puberty is a special time when your budding gonads slowly descend, your voice deepens, and you start to question authority. I’m verklempt.

In no instance is the axiom “the opposite of progress is Congress” more true than on the issue of Iraq. Democrats sent a timetable to the White House knowing full well it would be vetoed, and would lack the required super-majority to override. And the President continues to conveniently push-back his benchmarked expectations until he sees a clear turnaround.

In my previous post, I initially intended to inquire why it was so easy for the media and general population to pick-up and run with the immigration issue, while the question of Iraq is handled with kid-gloves. Why does Lou Dobbs have a conniption at the mention of “amnesty,” but talks over Iraq as if it were verbal cud?

It’s weird, right? Why can’t people get angry over the war without being cast as hysterical?

I think there are a lot of reasons, but most importantly is the fundamental misunderstanding or misconstruing of sectarian violence and targeted terrorism. Most people aren’t sure why our troops are there, other than we invaded on false urgency, made a mess of things, and should stay until things have settled down. Um, let’s ask Britain how that worked for them in Israel.

Another unfortunate pawn in the debate are our troops themselves. Do you ever notice how uncomfortable politicians get when the talk about the “cost” of the war financially without first mentioning the cost in bodies? Nearly 4,000 American soldiers have died, and nearly 20,000 have been wounded.

Now, I don’t want to sound crass, because these are professional soldiers who bravely enlisted during a time of war. As long as they are overseas they will have my support, admiration and respect. But a soldier’s sacrifice should not obfuscate how much this war is costing our nation in real dollars. And at $200 million per day, and an estimated $1.7 trillion overall… this war is very, very expensive.

As a tax-payer, why can’t I (or anyone besides Ron Paul) get viscerally angry at that price-tag?

Because the soldiers are giving their lives, and you can’t put a price on that, and nobody wants to be the beatnik hippie who spits on their veterans, so it’s best if you just don’t bring it up at all. (Hold on… let me remove the silver spoon from my mouth… there we are). Plus there are those (and I used to be one of them) that still think Iraq is strategically salvageable to secure a viable source of foreign oil for years to come.

Well, it’s not. It’s a sunk cost. As much as it pains me to admit, liberal economic theory is too optimistic to expect a democracy to exist in an single-resource economy (see: Iran, Afghanistan, Columbia, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia). And the global spotlight is too intense to set up another puppet government.

So on the issue of Iraq, we walk on egg-shells, waiting for someone, anyone to take a strong position, admitting failure, citing cost-benefit analysis.

But on immigration, any yahoo can openly and eagerly hate on an illegal alien. And we can shoot down policy reforms willy-nilly, even if it means accepting the status quo.

And that, is the Dobbsian theory.

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