Saturday, June 5, 2010

“We’ve Always Been at War with Eastasia”

I was hoping to do an ultrarunning post today but I’ll do this instead.
Rep. Alan Grayson, who represents Central Florida (FL-8), seems to be the only one in the Congress of the United States of America who understands what’s at stake with our endless wars:

On May 30, 2010, at 10:06 a.m, the direct cost of occupying Iraq and Afghanistan will hit $1 trillion. And in a few weeks, the House of Representatives will be asked to vote for $33 billion of additional "emergency" supplemental spending to continue the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. There will be the pretense of debate -- speeches on the floor of both chambers, stern requests for timetables or metrics or benchmarks -- but this war money will get tossed in the wood chipper without difficulty, requested by a president who ran on an anti-war platform. Passing this legislation will mark the breaking of another promise to America, the promise that all war spending would be done through the regular budget process. Not through an off-budget swipe of our Chinese credit card.


The war money could be used for schools, bridges, or paying everyone's mortgage payments for a whole year. It could be used to end federal income taxes on every American's first $35,000 of income, as my bill, the War Is Making You Poor Act, does. It could be used to close the yawning deficit, supply health care to the unemployed, or for any other human and humane purpose.

Instead, it will be used for war. Because, as Orwell predicted in 1984, we've reached the point where everyone thinks that we've always been at war with Eastasia. Why?

Not because Al Qaeda was sheltered in Iraq. It wasn't. And not because Al Qaeda is in Afghanistan. It isn't. Bush could never explain why we went to war in Iraq, and Obama can't explain why we are 'escalating' in Afghanistan.

For most of us--although many of us have been hit hard the past couple years--our lives are reasonably stable so we have not become activists.  But I fear that we be forced to.

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