Column: Not on my credit card, bucko

By Gus Bode

A quick Google search recently showed me that a decent number of countries have an unfilled quota for residence visas. Well, that’s reassuring.

At least there will always be somewhere else for me to go when the U.S. goes bankrupt and the streets erupt in anarchy.

OK, OK. It’s a far-fetched scenario. But given today’s facts – according to a recent CNN poll, only 30 percent of Americans support the war in Iraq, and our national debt has officially teetered over $9 trillion – there might not be a whole lot left for me to do but plan my own exit strategy.


President George W. Bush recently demanded another $46 billion for the military by Christmas. It is certainly safe to say the payment plan for this war is in need of a desperate overhaul.

After all, Bush made his thoughts clear about his own exit strategy (or lack thereof) from the Middle East in a press conference at the White House two weeks ago.

“If you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing (Iran) from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon,” Bush said.


He did not just say “World War III.”

The ease at which our president throws around this sort of rhetoric gives me the heebie jeebies. He has no intent to end this war or bring our troops home. Quite frankly, it’s one of the main reasons why I don’t feel as guilty as I may have once felt about losing faith in our country’s monetary future.

First of all, Iran and Iraq just happen to hold second and third place in most oil reserves, respectively. Let’s get real and for a moment agree that this war was never about Sept. 11 or weapons of mass destruction.


Let’s say what the supposed anti-Bush, leftist whack jobs have been saying all along: This war is about oil.

Secondly, let’s agree that Iraq, Iran and even Afghanistan are not without problems. Al Qaeda has been a plague within the Middle East. It is an intelligent terrorist organization and has successfully undermined these governments in their attempts to unify their countries.

Civil war is the current roadblock to peace in Iraq, but as Thomas Friedman pointed out in the New York Times, Iraqis are doing much for themselves to align against pro-Al Qaeda forces.

This is where our troops sit – in the middle of the desert �in a nation that admittedly has its problems, but nonetheless, guarding oil.

This is the situation that the citizens of America are an audience to, and why education and healthcare will continually be sacrificed from a budget that is being funneled to the military.

And it is being paid for with borrowed money that my generation will be responsible for paying back.

As yesterday’s San Jose Mercury News editorial pointed out, during the Vietnam War, Americans paid a surcharge on their taxes so that Congress had money to draw from.

Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., is pushing for a similar and temporary surcharge on income taxes to help pay for the war. So far, he is having a hard time finding support.

Unfortunately, it is a necessary evil.

And at least it gives me one more reason to hope that this country might not go bankrupt.

Soliwon is a junior studying journalism.