Wednesday, September 24, 2003

WASHINGTON (AP) - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told Congress Wednesday that President Bush's $87 billion request for Iraq and Afghanistan was an affordable and needed investment in international security.

But a top Democrat questioned whether the American people have ever blessed the U.S.-led Iraqi reconstruction effort now under way.

``Is $87 billion a great deal of money?'' Rumsfeld said before the Senate Appropriations Committee. ``Yes. But can our country afford it? The answer is also yes. Because it is necessary for the security of our nation and the stability of the world.''

Rumsfeld cited progress in reopening Iraqi schools and hospitals and training a new Iraqi army.

All right, never mind that America's economy is completely in the toilet these days and that Bush & Friends are handing out crazy tax cuts to anybody that doesn't actually need 'em and never mind that we don't know, still, what's happening in Afghanistan on a daily basis except that the U.S. Army is making deals with warlords and that none of the money Junior promised to rebuild those guys has been made available, and never mind that we've got the BIGGEST DEFICEIT EVER that our motherfucking grandkids will be paying off, and never mind that everybody in the world is pretty much just laughing at requests to help foot this $87 billion bill, but Jesus effing Christ, we're gonna pay to give 'em a new army?

Y'know, I'm sympathetic to that fact that Iraq is smack-dab in the middle of one of the most hostile joints in the universe, but so was Japan, back in the '40's, and they weren't allowed any real army to speak of, and it seems to have worked out okay.

Honestly, it's cheaper to leave American forces in place than it's gonna be build up an Iraqi infrastructure at Mach speed. That $87 billion is not gonna be the whole bill. We all know that. Right now $50-some-odd billion is earmarked to pay for the troops and the rest is for rebuilding the country. That latter number will grow by leaps and bounds, because the oil revenue that the Bush admin keeps talking about is A.) not going to amount to much (maybe $3 billion or so the first few years, which is a lot for a person or a company, but not for a country) & B.) OPEC is going to do everything they can to keep Iraq out of the market. I don't know the fuck how (if I did, I'd be a biz guy, not some sci-fi kid plugging away at this shit), but OPEC's proven any number of times in the past that it can fuck over the oil-poor countries pretty much on a whim.

So, really, are you cool with all this?

Whatcha gonna do?

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