You know, I was just thinking. Economists are sometimes forced to reckon people’s lives against monetary expenditure – that is, they have to assign some sort of price tag to the average person’s life. Typically the figure that’s kicked around is within an order of magnitude of a million dollars.
Well, this gives us another way to look at the cost of the war. George W. Bush’s war on Iraq is on track to cost a trillion dollars before it’s over (if it’s ever over). So let’s do the math:
(a trillion dollars for one war) divided by (a million dollars for one life)
equals (a trillion dollars for one war) multiplied by (one life for a million dollars)
equals, hold on, let’s be careful with the units,
a million lives for a war.
Which is surely within an order of magnitude of the claim I was making in my previous post. For indeed this is the scale we’re looking at. This is the magnitude of the crime. I beg you, think about this carefully. It might look like I’m playing with figures here but these million deaths are not a metaphor. This is the shit that happens when you send a nation to war. Bodies lie in the streets of Iraq – and in the streets of New Orleans. They are not philosophies, ideals, or propositions. They are, or used to be, human beings. And this… this “president” has killed them.
Oh make no mistake. This is no accident, this inconceivable and inexcusable slaughter. It is a deliberate payment. I say again, it is deliberate. For Bush, this is the price of power. The death of thousands is not something he tries to avoid. It is just part of the business of governing.
George W. Bush intended to create the conditions under which hundreds of thousands of men, women and children would die. He knew others might suffer – by the millions – for decades, if he made certain choices, and he went ahead with exactly those choices, so that he could be a star. He condemned those people to die: the ones cut down by cannon-fire and the ones cut down by poverty. Do not hesitate to blame George W. Bush personally and directly for these thousands upon thousands of weeping husbands and wives and parents and children because all this pain is his fault. He knew exactly what he was doing. For him a million deaths is just a risk: something he might get in trouble for, if he doesn’t play the rest of his cards right.
But so far, he’s been playing pretty good. He’s been winning and he’s still winning. He’s still the president, and people are still dying every day, all day long, so that he can be the president. He is terrifyingly strong, partly because he literally does not mind if, for him to win, every other living thing on this little green planet has to lose.
How do you fight something like that? It’s almost the only question that matters anymore. He has to go. He has to go. He has to go. We have to get rid of him somehow. But he has all the money and all the guns and so many Bible-toting thugs you can’t even imagine. So what can we do?
What can we do?
It’s not a rhetorical question.