Write About Acceptable Losses

$4,500,000,000 per month. That’s roughly how much the United States is spending on the Iraq war. $54,000,000,000 per year. Going the other direction, that’s $1,125,000,000 per week. $150,000,000 per day. $6,250,000 per hour. $104,167 every minute. $1,736 every second.

Body counts are a little harder to come up with. Even conservative estimates indicate that more than 50,000 Iraqis have died since the beginning of the Iraq war, and over 3,000 U.S. military personnel have died. Ironically, December 25, 2006 marked the day when U.S. military deaths eclipsed the number of innocent people killed in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Of course, if you’re George W. Bush, these are evidently acceptable losses. And with Bush intending to increase troops by more than 20,000 in the near future, we can expect the body counts in both categories above to rise.

I find it ironic that President Bush evidently found it unacceptable in March 2005 to lose Terri Schiavo, even though she was in a persistent vegitative state. He took time out from his vacation to fly to Washington specifically to sign into law a bill (the so-called “Palm Sunday Compromise”) transferring the Schiavo case jurisdiction into Federal custody in an attempt to prevent Schiavo’s feeding tube from being removed.

After her autopsy, Terri Schiavo’s brain weighed only half what it should have weighed had it been healthy. Clearly, her neurological damage was so great that her brain was literally withering away. And yet, losing her was unacceptable.

Evidently, in George Bush’s mind, the lives of thousands of American soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis are worth less than the life of one brain-dead Catholic.

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