Rich Get Richer, The Poor Get Killed
Us Raise 1000 Contributions... Please Donate!
This week is our second quarter 2004
fund drive. Our goal is to bring in 1000 individual
donations before midnight on Sunday, May 16.
There is no minimum (or maximum) donation. Whether
you can spare $5 or $500, your contribution will
bring us one step closer to our goal. So please
take a moment to donate
In his speech to the nation last year, in which he announced
that the unprovoked invasion of Iraq was underway, President
George W. Bush alluded to the sacrifice required of a nation
at war. Historically, whenever a president has been forced
to put American troops in harm's way, he has called upon all
Americans - especially the most fortunate among us - to do
whatever they can to help with the war effort. Bush paid lip
service to this concept in his speech.
"Americans understand the costs of conflict because we have
paid them in the past," he said. "War has no certainty, except
the certainty of sacrifice." But in Bush's America, the only
certainty is that those at the bottom of the socio-economic
ladder will continue to sacrifice considerably more than those
at the top.
So far, Bush's war has cost more than $120 billion and 700
But if the American system has treated you well enough to
allow you to become wealthy, you probably think everything
is going great. You've gotten tax cut after tax cut. None
of your family or friends have been sent to Iraq. You haven't
seen the hundreds of flag-draped caskets returning to America,
because of the administration's ban on journalists from Dover
Air Force Base. And if you're lucky (and immoral) enough to
own a piece of Halliburton, Bechtel or another winner of huge
no-bid contracts in Iraq, you've probably made more than enough
of a profit from the unnecessary death and destruction to
buy another SUV.
Today, the true costs of the war are being disproportionately
borne by low- and middle-income Americans. These are the people
losing access to child care, education, health care and other
essential services because Bush continued to give tax cuts
to the rich even after he decided to spend billions of dollars
on an unnecessary war. These are the people left unemployed
by the "jobless recovery" to which Bush's monomaniacal pursuit
of war has led. And these are the people who are dying in
Iraq, often because enlisting in the armed forces was the
only way out of the destitution and poverty into which they
But, of course, it's not just the current generation of
Americans who will suffer from Bush's war. In fact, we haven't
paid a dime of the $120 billion yet, because we don't have
it. Bush and the Republican-led Congress have simply charged
the bill to the country's already maxed-out credit card, to
be paid for by future generations of American taxpayers.
And $120 billion is just the tip of the iceberg. Every month,
Bush's war costs our future children and grandchildren an
additional $4.7 billion. That's more than $100,000 per minute,
24 hours a day, until we are finally able to leave Iraq years
or decades down the road.
Yet in addition to refusing to provide a realistic estimate
of how much the next year of the war will cost until after
the election, Bush has not asked his wealthy base to sacrifice
anything. Not their tax cuts, not their corporations' offshore
tax shelters and certainly not their huge gas-guzzling SUVs
that will only lead to more oil wars in the Middle East.
On March 27 of last year, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul
Wolfowitz, one of the Bush administration's most unabashed
warmongers, told a House appropriations committee that "oil
revenues of [Iraq] could bring between $50 billion and $100
billion over the next two or three years." Continuing the
administration's policy of misleading Congress and the American
people into war, Wolfowitz went on say that "we're dealing
with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction."
Now, more than $120 billion and 700 American lives later,
with oil flowing at barely a trickle, there is little evidence
that anyone but us, our children and our grandchildren will
bear the brunt of Bush's disastrous policy of unprovoked war.
Bush's rich friends at Halliburton, Bechtel and the rest,
however, will continue to profit from the spilled blood of
young Americans in Iraq for years to come.