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Friday, December 22, 2006


Relative worth, part II

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was quoted yesterday as saying that the effort in Iraq is "worth the investment." The monetary reference is pure capitalist thinking, but to be sure it's a perfectly correct use of the English language - investment can be of things other than money. And indeed, she was referring not just to money but to lives. American lives:
"I know from the point of view of not just the monetary cost but the sacrifice of American lives a lot has been sacrificed for Iraq, a lot has been invested in Iraq."
British or Italian or Polish (etc.) lives? They don't even count as part of the investment. Iraqi lives? What, are you kidding?

This is, needless to say, a perfect demonstration of the imperialist attitude toward the world. Rice says that it's "worth the investment, because once it emerges as a country that is a stabilizing factor you will have a very different kind of Middle East." Even if that were true, which is dubious on many counts, did she or her boss bother to ask the Iraqis if they were willing to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of themselves in order to create "a very different kind of Middle East"? We all know the answer.

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