GigaRot :: Politics :: Iraq :: Liberties Lost
American politics is no more absurd than politics anywhere. Honestly. Trust me on this one. No new taxes.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004
  Iran Court Rules on Damages from US Chemical Weapons

$600 million is what they ask. There may be a thousand foreign policy strategy reasons not to pay this, setting aside the tough talking cowboy who is currently in the White House, and the US will never pay this; but we should jump at this "settlement":

- It is chump change, and will not impact the $10 trillion US economy. The amount requested is 0.0000056% of our annual national income (GDP).

- The gas, or chemical weapons, which the US gave Iraq to fight Iran with, killed perhaps 5,000 Iranian civilians in addition to thousands of Iranian troops, and left perhaps another 5,000 disabled. Even if you only admitted to ruining 10,000 lives (rather than... 20,000? 50,000? 100,000?), that would be only $60K per life, a bargain.

It's a cold way to look at it, but better than looking away. A US citizen, in a US courtroom, would expect to sue for millions for a single life: if the tables were turned, the bill would be well into the billions of dollars. $600 million is cheap, and there are people in the town I live in that can write a check like that. (No, not I) And...

- We should do this because it is just the kind of thing the US never does: take responsibility for our actions around the world, show compassion for those beyond our borders and influence, build bridges with nations and their people, heal wounds.

Besides, if Bush decides Iran is evil, you can be certain he'll drop more than $600 million of bombs on Iran cities, including families and children, in the first day, without second thought or remorse. That's just not how I'd choose my Government to spend my tax money, when there are better alternatives to fix the problem. 
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