Us vs. Them? 

I'll have to look a transcript to be sure, but Christopher Hitchens says that

On Thursday night, Sen. Kerry quite needlessly proposed a contradiction between "opening firehouses in Baghdad and shutting them in the United States of America." Talk about a false alternative. To borrow the current sappy language of "making us safer": Who would feel more secure if they knew that we weren't spending any tax dollars on Iraqi firehouses?

Now if you held a gun to my head and told me to choose between sending a few billion dollars to Iraq versus sending a few billion dollars to state governments in the US, I'd have to choose the former. Isn't one of the main points of liberalism that we must help the people who are truly helpless? Doesn't Iraq need a lot of help rebuilding its civic institutions (not to mention cleaning out the terrorists)? And to tie this all in to our national self interest, isn't making sure that Iraq turns out to be a reasonably liberal state instead of a Islamofascist state important to our national security?

This bit reminds me of Kerry saying that "I actually voted for the $87 billion [reconstruction bill for Iraq] before I voted against it," meaning of course that Kerry approved a bill that would have funded the Iraq reconstruction by rolling back tax cuts for the wealthy. That bill failed, and he voted against a revised bill that did not change the tax cuts.

Hey, I think it'd make planning our federal budget a lot easier if we rolled back the tax cuts, but Republican campaign support being what it is, that wasn't going to happen. So do we go ahead and try to fix up Iraq, even if it forces us to cut domestic spending and possibly incur debt, or do we leave Iraq hanging out to dry? Again, the latter is simply not a humane option.


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