Life on the side in Tokyo

Thursday, December 29, 2005

My life, at what cost to theirs?

The other day President Bush gave another speech and talked about the price of freedom. What he failed to mention was the cost of his war campaigns, in lost and damaged lives, torn social fabrics, increased emotional instability, damaged natural and built environments, shrinking faith (if there is any left) in leadership and government, in diminished human rights...the list goes on (For an analysis by economists).

Of course the real costs cannot be measured in numbers, though we can indeed count the mounting number of victims against the increased profits for the military industy. But how do we estimate in quantitative terms the pain on the faces of these people or, in more basic terms, the value of clean water, healthy food, safe shelter a decent upbringing and education and peace of mind? These things that most people take for granted in wealthy countries, must they come at a cost to others? To protect our freedom to live in dignity, must we strip such dignity away from the less powerful and less fortunate? My life, at what cost to theirs?


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