Da Bombs!

Next time Bush says there's no money for after-school and literacy programs...

By Patrisia Gonzales and Roberto Rodriguez
Published on LatinoLA: November 13, 2003

Da Bombs!

Next time the president tells us there's no money for our dilapidated schools and none for our run-down roads ... next time he ridicules the idea of a national health plan as too costly ... next time he says we just can't blindly throw money at our problems and proposes severe cutbacks for our human needs, ask him about the latest $87 billion going to Iraq.

Next time he says there's no money for after-school and literacy programs, the arts, libraries, museums, national parks, Social Security, unemployment insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, say Iraq.

Then ask him about the billions for military aircraft, destroyers, attack helicopters, tanks and Humvees. Ask him about cluster bombs, depleted uranium and cruise missiles. Ask him about our own thermonuclear weapons, and about all the money pouring into research and development of weapons of mass destruction, including his proposal to study the use of mini-nukes and the space-based missile defense system. (No wonder we can't find any WMDs in Iraq -- we have them all!) Then remind him of our half-billion-dollar deficit and soon-to-be $5 trillion national debt. (It was a $5 trillion surplus when he took office.)

When he says there's no money for environmental protection or cleanup, research for alternative fuels, domestic violence reduction programs, emergency and trauma centers, modern and accessible mental health facilities and rest homes, veteran's employment and rehabilitation programs and low-cost drugs for the elderly, mention Iraq.

When he says there's no money for medical research; drug treatment centers (which would dramatically reduce the need for prisons); health and sex education; youth, senior, cultural and artistic centers; living wages for workers; affordable homeownership programs; community beautification; upgrading our nation's transportation (subways) and highway systems; and modernizing our electrical grids, spell I-R-A-Q.

When he says there's no money to increase teachers' salaries; enforce health,
labor and safety standards; combat poverty and hunger; retrain displaced
workers; and bring the hundreds of "colonias" (communities without water and
electricity) along the U.S./Mexico border into the 20th century, then scream Iraq!

When he says we need $67 billion for military occupation and $20 billion for reconstruction, question not the 20, but the 67. Ask him if bombs are actually useful in reconstruction -- for bombs, tanks and B-2 bombers are not hoes, tractors and weather balloons. Tell him that with those billions, we will be exporting the pre-emptive use of force, street justice, super-maximum prisons, military checkpoints, identity cards, military raids, military assassinations, detentions without charges and border patrols (how long before we export walls?). Also ask him if he knows the meaning of "blowback" -- weapons that will come back to haunt us? Then shout Afghanistan and Iraq!

Let him know that for fewer billions than fuel his war machine, free health care and higher education can be made available to all. Bring up his recent "Age of Liberty" speech in which he acknowledges that "stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty." Then remind him of the USA Patriot Act I and II.

Next time he says there's no money to invest in the study of peace and human rights, but that there's lots of money for war, perhaps it's time to identify ourselves as bombs.

Tell him that:

-- universities are not hotbeds of opposition, but are bomb-producing factories;

-- high school students are war fodder (for proof, tell him to visit the hugely overcrowded Garfield and Roosevelt High Schools in East Los Angeles, where there are more military recruiters than college recruiters <A

-- our pot-holed streets are actually transportation arteries for our war

-- illegal aliens are not terrorists, but potential front-line soldiers.

Tell him, while he's on break from one of his campaign fund-raisers, that
they're our first line of defense. Also tell him that the unemployed, the
uninsured, the ill, the maimed, the homeless, the hungry, the dropouts, the street
youths, the runaways and our elders are not throwaways or disposables, but are
"da bombs" (street jargon for "cool," though he won't know the difference).

We almost forgot: Ask him if he knows the price of a single body bag?

Then cry Iraq.

* For a fuller story of how the government heavily invests in the
miltary-industrial-prison complex and how youths are heavily recruited to go to the
military -- as opposed to going to college -- go to the Inner City Struggle website
at: <A HREF=""></A>


About Patrisia Gonzales and Roberto Rodriguez:
Gonzales & Rodriguez can be reached at 608-238-3161or -- PO BOX 5093, Madison, Wisc. 53705. For speaking availability, bios, publications and other info, call/write us or visit:
Email the author

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