The Decline of America

The first anniversary of the war in Iraq has arrived, and America's reputation continues to sink. One year ago, the US tried to bully the world into supporting an unprovoked war, claiming that anybody who didn't believe in Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was either a fool or an accomplice of terrorists. Now we know that the US government and its few allies were themselves either fools or liars. But this has not stopped the Bush administration's thuggish behavior.

The US could be a great force for good. Studies like one by the World Health Organization's Commission on Macroeconomics and Health show that with an $11 trillion dollar annual national income, America could finance the control of AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and many other killer diseases for a small fraction of the money it wastes in Iraq. Instead, US financial assistance to the world's poor countries as a share of national income is the lowest of any donor country.

The US can also be a force for great ill. America's military budget is currently about $450 billion, roughly equal to the rest of the world's combined military spending. The Bush Administration believes that US military power buys security, even though terrorism has increased since the Iraq War.

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