"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Hitch on Kerry's $200 billion 

In an earlier post I objected to one of John Kerry's reasons for opposing our war in Iraq; that the $200 billion we will spend in Iraq would be better spent at home.

Of course, that was on a day when Kerry did oppose the war. His opinion may have changed by the time you read this.

Christopher Hitchens, a committed leftist who supports the war in Iraq, wrote these words about this objection almost two months ago;
There is something absolutely charmless and self-regarding about this pitch, and I wish I could hear a senior Democrat disowning it. It is no better, in point of its domestic tone and appeal, than the rumor of the welfare mother stopping her Cadillac to get vodka on food stamps. In point of its international implications, it also suggests the most vulgar form of isolationism, not to say insularity.

The further implication is that this is a zero-sum game, and that a dollar spent in Iraq is a dollar not spent on domestic needs. In other words, that this hospital or school in New Jersey or Montana would now be fully funded if it wasn't for a crowd of Arab and Kurdish panhandlers. Could anything be more short-sighted than that? Have we not learned that failed states turn into rogue states, and then export their rage and misery? Would we not prosper ourselves—if the question has to be stated in this way—if the Iraqi economy recuperated to the point where it could become a serious trading partner?

This common-sense or self-interested objection doesn't exhaust the argument. A few years ago, many of the same liberals and leftists were quoting improbable if not impossible numbers of dead Iraqi children, murdered by the international sanctions imposed on Saddam Hussein. Even at its most propagandistic, this contained an important moral point: Iraqi civilians were suffering for the sins of their dictatorship (and from the lavish corruption of the U.N. supervision of the "oil-for-food" program). OK, then, we'll remove the regime and lift the sanctions. Happy now? Not at all! It turns out that 1) the Saddam regime was only a threat invented by neo-cons and that 2) we don't owe the Iraqi people a thing. Also, we could use the money ourselves.

Here here. Turns out that all the concern for Iraqi children being starved by the sanctions were just crocodile tears.

John Kerry's foreign policy is now apparently to be held hostage not just by France and the UN, but by the domestic spending demands of the AARP and NEA.

As Hitch says, we can perfectly well afford to educate our children and impliment any needed reforms in our health care system and spend the necessary money in Iraq.

And, as I've said in an earlier post, those who use this monetary line of argument are at best short sighted.

But the worst part is that the liberals, who tell us what kind and compassionate people they are, are perfectly willing to abandon the Iraqis, and all for a few more dollars of domestic spending.

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