Wednesday, October 24, 2007

October 24, 2007

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Mr. Bush's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may cost 2.4 trillion dollars. The Bush administration estimated, before it invaded Iraq, that that war would cost no more than 50 million dollars. Ooops. Still, 2.4 trillion works out to only about $ 8,000. for every man, woman and child in the country. I'm sure you're ready to pony up.

The really bad news is that more wars may be on the way. Vice President Cheney has called Iran "the world's most active state sponsor of terror," and promised "serious consequences." Maureen Dowd suggests in the New York Times that Cheney might attack even if he has to do it alone - like Slim Pickens riding down with the bomb in the movie "Dr. Strangelove." Well, at least that would be relatively cheap in both dollars and American lives.

But the Times also reports a Bush speech telling Cubans that the U.S. "will not accept a political which power changes from one Castro brother to another...."

How, for heaven's sake, did it get to be up to us who ought to run Cuba? We tried that once before anyway. We landed a U.S. trained force of Cuban exiles at a place called the Bay of Pigs, and they lost, big time. Why is this any of our business? No, it's not a democracy, but neither is Russia, neither is China. Are we supposed to invade and "reform" them too? What's going on here?

Once upon a time, the U.S. stayed out of wars unless it was attacked: American ship sinkings got us into World War One; Pearl Harbor, into World War Two. We were attacked; we hit back; and we won. It's been a lot murkier lately.

You can spend a day or two arguing how we got into Vietnam, but it's hard to argue that the U.S. was in danger. Vietnamese did not invade us. We lost that war and all the neighboring countries we said we were protecting, instead of being swallowed up by the Communists, stayed independent and prospered.

Iraq never invaded us either. The first President Bush threw Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait after he invaded it, but that was that. This Iraq war, we started. Never used to do that. And for the record, Iran hasn't attacked the U.S. They threw out the shah, whom we helped but in power, but that was in Iran not New Jersey. Cuba's never attacked us either; in fact, we have a military base there.

This administration seems to think it's in charge of the world. It isn't. If you want to play emperor, guys, please go play it somewhere else.

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