Sorry about that. Gary brought home a new toy today - it was a pole with long strings of mylar tinsel type stuff attached. Everyone went nuts for it - and it was clearly a toy they can play with only under supervision. I would swear one of us was watching the entire time they were playing, and neither of us saw anyone nip any of the stuff off. But Lazlo was VIOLENTLY convulsing, it looked like he was trying to get something up. Clear liquid came up. We examined the toy - and there were three ends with about 3 - 4 inches missing. I called the vet - they said bring him in. So off we went. Our new vet is 30 minutes away. We had to wait for x-rays. Everything looked good. He seems OK now. So 3 hours and $130 later, we have peace of mind. We should all put together a book: "Fun with Cats!" LOL!
Anyway, I wrote the number wrong. We spent $52 billion on education. We only spent $8.5 billion on Senior Citizens.
I would feel differently about spending $87 billion to fund a war on terror if we were spending it on shoring up our ports and borders. If we were spending the money on inspecting greater than 17% of the packages and containers that enter this country. At least efforts like that create jobs and actually increase our security.
Like I started to write before, the problem I have with us "rebuilding" Iraq is that we aren't focusing on the infrastructure they need, and some of the Iraqis are fighting against the rebuilding efforts. Blowing up the pipeline. They'll be bombing our infrastructure efforts. I think all we are creating IS a breeding ground for future terrorism. I think all we are doing now is shoring up the hate and resentment against us. The country might have had a Dictator - but they at least had water. Now they don't even have that, and they blame us. I don't think our presence there is helping either us or the Iraqis. Giving U.S. companies the contracts isn't helping either. I think it would be best served with an international committee, or whatever, and that the contracts be given by them to proper bidders. I think our presence there in the way we're managing it is further deteriorating our future security, breeding further hate, and creating future want-to-be terrorists - that because we aren't spending the money at home, have a good chance of gaining access to our country.
I think through an alternative international process, without this massive military presence, it wouldn't be costing $87 billion.
But...now that we went in and blew things up, I think it is our responsibility to help the Iraqi people get their lives back together.
I do agree with this philosophy. I just don't think that's what is actually happening. I think we're throwing money down a hole and further destabilizing what is already a terrible situation - for the Iraqis and for us. Bush's argument for "fixing" Iraq is to fight terrorism, not to "do the right thing." Which is what we've supposedly been doing in Afghanistan. And let's face it - Afghanistan is in worse shape now. We're facing strong resistance, gaining no ground, and the country is back to warring factions. They country is exporting over 1000 tonnes of heroine again.... Notice how you almost never hear about Afghanistan in the news?