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What's Worth It, and What Isn't
November 12, 2003
By Kurt Kurowski

Anyone who has had a hand in raising an infant to adulthood may know the feeling: you watch the weekly casualty list from Iraq and you're hit hardest by the ages of some of the soldiers. A nineteen year old, another, and yet another. Dead at the age of nineteen. The feeling I speak of is heartache.

And it isn't worth it.

It bears repeating. It isn't worth the lives of our families and neighbors in an attempt to bring Democracy to a country that clearly does not want it from America. Every soldier that has died has given their life to free Iraqis, but the manner in which the Bush people have deployed our troops has resulted in far too great a loss. Had the motives of the Bush camp been purer, more honest and less secretive, had they been less inept, things might have been different. But here we are in Iraq and we are now left to deal with what the administration has wrought.

It's time to clearly and repeatedly answer the Bush war supporters who claim that they never hear of alternatives from "negative whiners." If the war fans cared enough to listen in the first place, they would know that the alternatives are much the same as they were before Iraq was invaded. It is particularly important for our concerned leaders and Democratic presidential candidates to forcefully drive these points home if we are to head off the growing disaster in the Mideast.

It's time to turn all operations over to the United Nations and NATO. Iraqis must be trained to fight for their own freedom, and American troops must be reduced to a fraction of what they now are.

This war isn't worth the loss of our standing in the world: the coalition Bush has built is pitifully weak in numbers of troops and economic aid. And that's not surprising. It's the result of a new American diplomacy that consists chiefly of bullying, intimidation and misinformation. Bush can work to change that.

It isn't worth the hundreds of billions of dollars that will eventually go to Iraq while our own states go begging for education, health and infrastructure dollars. The trillion dollar tax cuts are not worth it if it means the burden of payment for war will be shifted to the middle-class and the poor, weakening them in the process. And it will be cold comfort to have economic help coming in the form of military jobs and a wartime economy. Other nations must be persuaded to financially assist us through diplomacy, not arrogant brow-beating and bad-mouthing.

It isn't worth it to use our troops to protect the economic interests of the Bush-Cheney campaign contributors who are benefiting from this war. Contracts must be opened up to other nations who would help to clean up the mess in Iraq.

This administration's "War on Terrorism" isn't worth it. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. One minute of logical thought will tell you that killing thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq will not help in defeating terrorism. It is already producing the opposite result as diverse terrorist groups as well as Iraqi citizens coalesce and new recruits are initiated. Terrorism will be defeated only with the cooperation of dozens of other nations. America must learn how the rest of the world has fought terrorism for the past thirty years. Just because we've taken a back seat in the past doesn't mean we can't take the lead now in creating a coalition to effectively reduce and ultimately defeat the forces that contribute to terrorism, and terrorism itself.

It isn't worth it to continue putting trust in an administration that has already lied to us in the most egregious manner possible. Of great concern is the fact that our military is over-extended and we are told there will be no military draft, yet our current leaders have plans for the entire Middle-east which existed well before they entered the White House. This includes Iran, which Bush branded as part of his "axis of evil," even as that nation continues to work for its own democracy on its own terms. These wrong-headed self-aggrandizing plans are not worth the lives of one more teenager, not one more son, mother, brother or friend. Not here in America, nor any other country.

The Bush-Cheney team could have avoided problems by listening to American citizens, military leaders, and the State Department when they warned the administration not to enter Iraq ill-prepared. It may or may not be too late to bring the world to our side with Cheney and Bush in the White House, but either way it's fair to conclude that keeping an administration in power that doesn't listen, doesn't learn and so willfully and carelessly creates disasters is most certainly not worth it.

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