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02/25/2003 Archived Entry: "Invisible costs of "war""
I keep hammering at the domestic cost of this "war" on terrorism...
and how heavily it contributes to the record-breaking federal deficit, the state-by-state budget overruns, the bankrupting of cities, the downsizing of companies and local services, the depleting of individual wealth as consumers pay more and more for items like gas or food. On every level, North America is being economically bled dry to finance a war for legacy by George W. Bush, a war for U.S. imperialism that most Americans believe will make them more secure, when the very opposite is true. But the budget overruns and high-profile rumors of bankruptcy are only the costs you *see*. Most of the impact is invisible to the average person, most of the costs are unintented and unacknowledged. An article in the Orlando Sentinel outlines just 3 instances of hidden costs being imposed on hundreds of thousands of companies and businesss contracts. "Florida tour operators complain that they are losing business to Canada and South America because it is taking Mexican travelers up to four months to get visas to visit the United States. Newly painted Boeing jumbo jets sit for days on a tarmac in Seattle because their foreign buyers are unable to obtain visas for pilots to come to the United States for training to fly the aircraft home. And a $5 million metal-cutting machine has been stranded at a Cincinnati factory for four months because its Chinese purchaser can't get its engineers into the United States for a final inspection." Multiply these costs by hundreds, by thousands on a daily basis. Take my husband and me as fairly typical examples...we won't vacation in the States -- which is our custom -- until the "war" is over, we boycott air travel because we won't surrender out civil liberties to buy a plane ticket, we are making no large purchases in the foreseeable future... These are not steps taken by "radicals," tho' Brad and I do *radically* oppose the imminent invasion of Iraq. They are steps being taken by sensible people throughout North America, who are worried about their families, their birthright of liberty, and their lifesavings. The measures being imposed make no sense. They would not have stopped a single 9/11 terrorist. But they will stop the individual freedom and prosperity for which America has been renown.
On the Personal/Movement Front:
Many thanks to good friend Joe Stromberg for passing along a humor item for this blog. The Steven Wright page of quotations. Wright is one the last "drugged-out," 60's-style comics and his political incorrectness is refreshing.
The Voluntaryist has added three more free online classics from the freedom tradition: Abstain From Beans by Robert LeFevre, The Illegality, Immorality, and Violence of All Political Action also by LeFevre, and Political Methods vs. Nonviolent Resistance by Francis Tandy.
Meanwhile, kudos to Harry Browne for his article on the ridiculous call to "boycott" French goods. A humorous piece on France's rebellion, BTW, is Nuke France by the incomparable Robert Higgs. The never subtle but often correct Justin Raimondo has a simpler title for his analysis -- Vive la France!
It is odd...the war is making me re-evaluate people whom I had previously dismissed. I had been among Browne's critics but I find myself applauding him without pause on the war. I had nothing but contempt for Clinton now I find myself longing for the days of merely philandering and PC Presidents. (Charley Reese makes a similar point.)
This week's FOXNews/ifeminists column, entitled either "The Right to Golf" or "Augusta Critics Cheapen Real Discrimination," is available for reprinting and reposting -- the FOXNews URL, the ifeminists.com URL. The new editorials are posted on the front page and the 1st issue of the resurrected InsiderUpdate will go out later today. The ifeminists.com site is coming alive once more, largely thanks to the incredible dedication of my software-guru husband.
Best to all,