Things I have gleaned from my Twitter feed [on March 20th]: It is the second anniversary of the death of Arthur C. Clarke. Things that are noticeably absent: Any mention that today is the 7th anniversary of the beginning of the war in Iraq. But let’s forget Twitter for a second — though it’s a great measure of where the hive mind is focused — and turn to some more “reliable” news sources. There’s not a single op-ed in the New York Times today to mark the anniversary, or pontificate on where it all went wrong (update: there is a photo slideshow from this weekend’s Magazine). Nor the Wall St. Journal to tell us what went right. Nothing in the Washington Post either. Nor the LA Times. I can’t even find a single link on Drudge. Perhaps even more shocking is that I can’t find anything on Andrew Sullivan. It’s almost as though where the media is concerned the Iraq War didn’t happen.Well, Robert Greenwald did not forget: Iraq: Thousands Dead, $747.3 Billion Spent And Not Any Safer
Tag Archives | War and Peace
Sherwood Ross writes on the Intelligence Daily:
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The U.S. spends more for war annually than all state governments combined spend for the health, education, welfare, and safety of 308 million Americans.
Joseph Henchman, director of state projects for the Tax Foundation of Washington, D.C., says the states collected a total of $781 billion in taxes in 2008.
For a rough comparison, according to Wikipedia data, the total budget for what the Pentagon calls “defense” in fiscal year 2010 will be at least $880 billion and could possibly top $1 trillion. That’s more than all the state governments collect.
Henchman says all American local governments combined (cities, counties, etc.) collect about $500 billion in taxes. Add that to total state tax take and you get over $1.3 trillion. This means Uncle Sam’s Pentagon is sopping up nearly as much money as all state, county, city, and other governmental units spend to run the country.
BEN FELLER writes on the Huffington Post:
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OSLO — President Barack Obama entered the pantheon of Nobel Peace Prize winners Thursday with humble words, acknowledging his own few accomplishments while delivering a robust defense of war and promising to use the prestigious award to “reach for the world that ought to be.”
A wartime president honored for peace, Obama became the first sitting U.S. president in 90 years and the third ever to win the prize — some say prematurely. In this damp, chilly Nordic capital to pick it up, he and his wife, Michelle, whirled through a day filled with Nobel pomp and ceremony.
And yet Obama was staying here only about 24 hours, skipping a slew of Nobel activities. This miffed some in Norway but reflects a White House that sees little value in extra pictures of the president, his poll numbers dropping at home, taking an overseas victory lap while thousands of U.S.
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The hopes and prospects for peace aren’t well aligned — not even close. The task is to bring them nearer. Presumably that was the intent of the Nobel Peace Prize committee in choosing President Barack Obama.
The prize “seemed a kind of prayer and encouragement by the Nobel committee for future endeavor and more consensual American leadership,” Steven Erlanger and Sheryl Gay Stolberg wrote in The New York Times.
The nature of the Bush-Obama transition bears directly on the likelihood that the prayers and encouragement might lead to progress.
The Nobel committee’s concerns were valid. They singled out Obama’s rhetoric on reducing nuclear weapons.
Right now Iran’s nuclear ambitions dominate the headlines. The warnings are that Iran may be concealing something from the International Atomic Energy Agency and violating U.N. Security Council Resolution 1887, passed last month and hailed as a victory for Obama’s efforts to contain Iran.