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Convenient Reparations


I started reading this TomDispatch post, educational as always, and thought – can’t all this be worked into a reparations package? All that money being burned on the way out – with Agent Orange pollution, a cratered country, a shattered society no one thought ‘reparations?’.  Sure the ice cream machine might require supply, but some of the money could go toward that, developing a Iraqi ice cream industry.  Hussein was supposed to be a Stalin Fan, a corporate media correspondent in Cuba once wrote that communist countries somehow excel in ballet and ice cream production. The comparisons with today’s ‘green’ use of water in the desert, and shrink wrapping helicopters in plastic compared with the unsanitary and wasteful, haphazard, approach to withdrawing from Vietnam are witty.

In a nutshell, the Pentagon’s argument couldn’t be simpler or more red-bloodedly American: We have too much stuff to leave Iraq any time soon. In war, as in peace, we’re trapped by our own profligacy. We are the Neiman Marcus and the Wal-Mart of combat. Where we go, our "stuff" goes with us — in such prodigious quantities that removing it is going to prove more daunting than invading in the first place. After all, it took less than a year to put in place the 130,000-plus invasion force, and all its equipment and support outfits from bases all around the world, as well as the air power and naval power to match.

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