Magog: Unguarded
Magog: Unguarded
Swarming Around... cats living with dogs... total chaos.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

"I can't believe Bush wants $87 billion more from us!"

That was the IM that appeared on the screen from a friend on Sunday night. If an IM could have harrumphed, this one would have. I wasn't near my computer at the time, so I didn't respond. I hadn't seen the Pres' speech, so that was the first I had heard of it anyway and hadn't had time to digest it. It's difficult to wrap your arms around that kind of figure. Is it a lot? Not enough? Well, it is certainly a lot of money by any standard, but in fighting a war, to what can we compare it?

On the one hand, it's good to see a liberal reaction that at least recognizes that it is OUR money that the government is spending. The usual reaction to spending our money on well-intentioned "programs" is that "government" spending is good. So it is a little surprising to see that Dems and libs in general have gone fiscally conservative when it comes to funding the war.

But is it really that much? Next year, labor, health, and education programs will cost $137.6 billion. I have yet to see any Democrat complain that the government is spending too much of our money for those. Which, of course, merely reflects that the left is reflexively anti-Bush more than it is anti-war.

The war, militarily speaking, despite what the media would like to think, is going pretty well. A more fair criticism, in my mind, is why more of that money isn't earmarked for media campaigns in Iraq (forget American media--they've made clear where they stand). Knowing that political battles often sway on media campaigns and that elections largely hinge on how politicians do on television, it seems that the US would be more savvy (or interested in) handling a media campaign in Iraq. Right now, al Jazeera is winning that battle because they've proven to be the only party willing to compete. Given the relative low cost and low risk, it is clear more effort should be put into selling the idea of political change to Iraqis rather than bullying them into it.

posted by the wolf | 10:11 AM
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