Thursday, September 13, 2007

Not the post I set out to write

Drawing on buckets of sarcasm, I started to write a post about how Bush could save his legacy. The thought was he could tell his base that he was withdrawing the troops from Iraq so he could pay for cleaning up illegal immigration. That would, in effect, create a full win-win for him with Republicans and some Democrats.

Then, as I usually do, I started doing the research. Folks, this is seriously not funny.

For the money we spend to wage one day of war ($9 billion /30 days = $33.3 million), we could almost fund the entire annual budget of Homeland Security.

Department of Homeland Security's annual budget is about $35 billion.

For all of the Very Serious People we have in Washington, DC and in the media, here's a question: When you tell us you're serious about Homeland Security, how long will we laugh before we go mad from your insanity?

And, for less than the cost of one month of war, we could bring 100% of our troops home.

I know. It's been said before - the insanity of spending this money, the things we could do with the money we are flushing away: the improvement of our healthcare system, the rebuilding of the gulf states, and on and on.

In fact, let's forget spending it at all. Let's appeal to the missing. Where are the fiscal conservatives that used to populate the Republican Party? Where is their outrage? Better even, where is ours?

Those of us who opposed the war always, and rightly so, focus on the loss of human life. It is priceless, not only because it cannot be replaced but also for all the opportunities for the future lost with it.

We already know the right could care less about this cost because it's not tangible, or real, to them. Identifying with human suffering requires the ability to paint the individual, not the broad brush of neatly pigeonholed groups. They lack that.

But, are they so snowed with tax cuts and invisible (deficit) spending that they can't see the incalculable costs in the dollar and cents they love so much more than the little people? Why can't the money changers see the immeasurable fiscal hell hole that this war has created in our country?

It is a sad reality. I know it seems very callous to focus on the money instead of the human life. But that is who these people are. That is what they know. We haven't a chance of getting them to listen, much less change their minds, until we craft a position that acknowledges this, over and over again.