Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The new plan, same as the old plan

It's expected that President Obama will later today announce a major escalation in the Afghanistan war. Damn.

Though Obama campaigned on drawing down forces in Iraq and escalating in Afghanistan, this is the time the U.S. should be disengaging from both fights. It is a drain not only on human lives, but on resources that we don't have.

If this escalation goes through, there should indeed be a sort of war tax, a proposal that has come from the Democratic side of the congressional aisle.

Since then-President Bush told America after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to resume consuming and go about normal life, the sacrifices of the "War on Terror" have been borne by only a small portion of the population. Namely, the servicemen and -women who do the actual fighting, and the families they have left behind.

Furthermore, we have so far paid for these wars through debt financing, ironic considering both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars have been the darlings of establishment policital conservatives, and those same conservatives have been railing against health care reform in part because of its huge cost. (Maybe war debt is OK, but debt to give everyday Americans better health insurance options is not.)

It's time to spread the true cost of this war around, because aside from it being fiscally irresponsible to finance these wars on debt, more Americans need to be reminded that war is a tough, nasty, and expensive business. If driving that message home means wrenching open a few wallets, so be it.

We might just find that if rank-and-file Americans have to share more of war's cost, war will suddenly become a much less popular endeavor.

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