Thursday, September 27, 2007

$190,000,000,000.


That figure above is the one-hundred-and-ninety billion dollars that defense secretary Gates has said we need to continue fighting in Iraq. I suppose, though no one says, this is over and above the $600 billion we already spend on offense, er, defense. (By the way, the plan to give health insurance to America's children, which would cost $7 billion and be paid for by higher tobacco taxes, has been rejected by the Bush Wehrmacht as being "too expensive.")

I have a mathematical mind and a good head for numbers. Iraq has a population of 20 million. So spending $190 billion there could translate into giving each man, woman and child in Iraq $9500. $38,000 for a family of four. Free and clear. No taxes.

Here's what I think we ought to do. Allot half that money to consumer goods and give each Iraqi a 96" flat screen, an iPod, and half a dozen Prada accoutrements. Then with the other half of the money, rebuild their infrastructure and beam in the mindless televised crap (complete with pharma commercials) that is the opiate of our populace and keeps our outrage confined to issues as seminal as Britney's body fat, Janet Jackson's nipple, and John Edwards' haircut. Also, we could invite drug cartels in to further anesthetize the people. After all, the Mexican drug cartels alone do a combined $23 billion in sales here, which must keep more than a few potential trouble-makers nodding off rather than rabble-rousing.

I'm serious.

This makes sense to me.

1 comment:

T said...

It makes sense to anybody with a sense for reality.
I can't beleive for a second that the resources in Iraq could be worth that much. Not even long term. Besides. A stake in the oil, erc. or not. There will be no peace in that region before the people and their leaders want peace. It's unfortunately true that people get the leaders they wish for. Whether democratically or not. At the end of the day the leaders are in many ways the reflection of the populace. In countries that are made up of many foes only the strongest will persist, and opress the others to stay in power. People don't want peace. People want to hate.