AIDS, Homelessness, Valor and Cowardice

U.S. Reports Drop in Homeless Population | NYTimes.com

The evil liberal media dominators at the New York Times report on a Bush initiative that has had an apparently remarkable impact on the chronically homeless in the United States. What is especially surprising is that all sides of the issue seem to be in agreement that the data are reliable. If such consensus is born of truth, then it is true that the chronically homeless population has declined by nearly 30% in the United States over the past four years.

Coupled to this report on PBS’s The News Hour about how resoundingly successful the President’s AIDS relief program in Africa has been, this astonishing development compels one to think of all the remarkable good that could have been achieved with the trillions of dollars (projected costs including interest) currently being squandered in Iraq. After all, the total cost of these programs ($15 billion for AIDS relief as cited by The News Hour report, and ostensibly no more than a few billions of dollars for the “housing first” program; I can’t presently find a citation) absolutely pales when compared with the $752 billion cited by the CBO for the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan thus far. Had such resources been allocated to AIDS relief and homelessness, the earth may well have been purged of both scourges.

Could the President be asking himself if the pursuit of the war in Iraq was a gross misappropriation of resources? After all, the three-quarters of a trillion dollars thus far spent in Iraq has had the sole effect of bringing the American economic engine to a halt by sending the price of crude oil into the stratosphere. Thus, the military operation in Iraq has, in effect, quashed all effective programs undertaken by the government in two ways. First, it has absorbed moneys that would otherwise have been dedicated to such effective programs like AIDS relief and housing first. Second, it has reduced the capability of the American economy to provide for any government program by reducing economic output.

Thus, the reasons why the neoconservatives keep insisting on the validity of the military operations in Iraq are almost understood. Any admission that moneys spent elsewhere would be more effective than the moneys squandered in Iraq would reveal these war mongers to be the frauds and the hucksters that they are. It is, therefore, nothing but an article of fear that compels the cowards who wage war to deny their misdeeds.

And, that is why their cowardice is almost understood. Those occupying positions of power must have the courage to make such admissions. It is their duty. It is, in fact, their legal obligation to confess to their mistakes so that these mistakes can be rectified or remedied before they erode the public’s trust and destroy the institutions that guarantee accountability and efficacy in governance. This very fact that persons vested with authority must carry a higher responsibility is the reason why such childish denials of fault in government are labeled high  crimes and misdemeanors, while those of the child who had broken a vase are labeled mere fibs.

If the constitutional mandate that punishments fit crimes were observed, then such high crimes and misdemeanors would merit harsher punishments than those meted out by parents for their children’s fibs. As it is, however, children are being held accountable for breaking vases, but politicians are exonerated for their squandering of the common wealth and the nation’s prestige. Who is measuring the merits of spending a pittance for the sake of the welfare of humanity against the spending of fortunes to increase the misery of mankind and opting for the latter?

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