VIEW FROM AFAR

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DALE SUDERMAN
Seems like only yesterday the president of the United States sent me a check for $300. With it was a little note telling me the federal government had plenty of money and that I should spend my tax bonus as wisely as possible.

Fortunately, I saved my refund. This week I will spend most of it to buy a tank of gas for my Saturn at the Chicago price of $3.17 per gallon.

I was surprised to get another letter last week from the President. There is some chance this letter was a hoax since it came with postage due. But the information seemed accurate and so I am passing it on.

* * *

Dear Taxpayer,

Your household now owes $11,300 for the war in Iraq. This bill is based on paying for the military hardware, soldiers, veteran’s benefits, interest payments and the cost of paying off our allies to help us for the next five years.

This is only a preliminary estimate of the cost of the war since I have no idea how long this crazy thing will drag on. The generals are planning for us to be there for five more years-but the way things are heading south right now it’s anybody’s guess.

Don’t worry if you cannot pay this bill immediately. We will bill your children and grandchildren.

Please don’t bother me with any questions about this. I am on vacation in Texas and I am already avoiding some crazy lady standing at the end of my driveway going boo-hoo because her kid got killed in Iraq. If she can’t get my attention, you as an average taxpayer don’t stand a chance.

Sincerely,

The President.

PS: There is some good news. A gallon of gas only costs 5 cents in Iraq. If we can figure out a way to run a long hose from Baghdad to Boston, maybe we could drop gas prices a little.

* * *

The candor of the president’s letter is long overdue. It seems trite to point out there were no weapons of mass destruction. It is debatable if liberating Iraq from tyranny and replacing it with endless anarchy is progress.

One shudders to think about the growing prospect that today’s anarchy will be replaced by a systematic civil war.

The Axis of Evil has one nation reduced to chaos by the American invasion. But Iran and North Korea, with their real weapons of mass destruction, have never been more safe and secure. America can invade or threaten them only by recalling veterans from the Korean War and World War II. Our volunteer pipeline is empty

Perhaps we as average citizens are to blame. Our schools focus on basic math and reading skills. History and social studies are marginal subjects left to be taught by football coaches.

Kids don’t know much history or geography until they get shipped to exotic places.

The president doesn’t have much to fear from the chaotic critiques of the Democrats. But he might want to listen carefully to the growing criticism from Republicans facing the 2006 elections.

Republican politicians always have deep principles of piety and patriotism. But they also have an even deeper core value-getting reelected.

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