It’s ironic that a country we have been occupying for eight years and spent a trillion dollars propping up is still having violent convulsions, while the Egyptians held a largely non-violent uprising earlier this year and are more on the way toward a stable democracy than our client state. Not that their troubles are over, by any means, but they’re farther along.
This is assuming, of course, that establishing a democratic model in the Middle East was the primary reason we invaded Iraq. Actually, it was just one of the later reasons, after the original rationales, like WMD, fizzled out.
One of the latest fads to sweep Washington comes from the Democrats: the concept of a “war tax” on all Americans to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that the Bush administration obligingly put on the national credit card so that we wouldn’t feel the pain. Republicans claim this is a non-starter, and some accuse the Democrats (as they did years ago, when Rep. Charles Rangel suggested reinstituting the draft in order to spread the burden throughout the population) of intentionally trying to diminish support for the wars.
If asking Americans to finance a war of opportunity is likely to erode their support, then maybe it is a war that shouldn’t be fought, and never should have been. Maybe a tax is the best way to concentrate our thinking on what kind of a nation we have allowed ourselves to become.
Another issue is why Republicans feel that it is a sin to pass the costs of entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid on to future generations, while there is nothing wrong with asking them to pay for today’s wars. Could it be that entitlement programs are the product of progressive politics, while our Middle East involvements are virile, conservative enterprises more worthy of a great nation flexing its muscles?