Sometimes though, a person just needs to go ahead, lead with the chin and get things of the heart out in the open.
So, here goes.
To date the war in Iraq has cost the nation $365,000,000,000--and that is a conservative estimate. Earlier this week the President asked Congress for $237,000,000,000 in additional funds for the next year.
Sums of money this large more than boggle my very limited mind.
The funds and their use cut at my heart and move my soul deeply for many reasons, all related to life, priorities, purpose, outcomes, peace, justice and hope.
For today I will stick to brief observations about alternatives.
The National Priorities Project provides a running--"rushing" would be better--tabulation of the cost of the war. Take a moment and check the site out at: http://costofwar.com/index.html.
Just as striking are its estimates of the completely different outcomes that could have been realized with the application of funds at these same levels. What might the nation have been able to achieve had these same funds been applied to other pressing national issues?
For example. . .
- 48,000,000 children could have been enrolled in the pre-school programs of Head Start
- 218,000,000 children could have been fully insured
- 6,000,000 new public school teachers could have been recruited and hired
- 3,000,000 new units of housing could have been built
- 18,000,000 four-year, full scholarships to public universities could have been awarded
The possibilities are endless. Pick an area. Consider the weight of the assets involved. Dream a little.
Sadly, today our nation finds itself in a very difficult position as our leaders consider what to do next in Iraq. One thing is certain. The funding meter is still whirling.
Even sadder is the realization that this comparison is actually a cruel fantasy.
Can you imagine us deciding to actually appropriate and spend our national treasure on such matters as these I've listed as "alternatives"?
Like I say, I know this won't matter. But, I do feel better having expressed myself.