The War on Error

We need to declare war:  a War on Error.

Maybe you think that’s a typo, an error.  You think that I meant to say a War on Terror.  And wouldn’t that be something – like invading Guinea, when you actually meant to invade New Guinea.  Or Equatorial Guinea.  Or Guinea-Bissau.  Wow, even George W. Bush might find that embarrassing, and isn’t that exactly the kind of mistake he would make?

But no, I really meant a War on Error.  Because we already have a War on Terror, so if we declared a War on Terror, we would have two of them.  Which makes no sense.

The War on Terror has had both good and bad results.  On one hand, we have:

  • killed Osama Bin Laden (thank you, President Obama),
  • overthrown the Taliban Government in Afghanistan (with fewer than 1000 Special Forces troops, by the way),
  • forced Al Qaeda out of Afghanistan (and into Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia), and
  • for ten years, prevented Al Qaeda from destroying any more large buildings and killing civilians in the United States.

On the other hand, we have:

  • spent four trillion dollars on the War in Iraq alone, which is roughly eight percent of our entire national net worth, thereby wrecking our economy,
  • killed 8000 American soldiers and contractors, and left around 15% of all US troops serving in Iraq with permanent brain abnormalities, and
  • killed somewhere between 100,000 and 1,000,000 Iraqis, and made millions of Iraqis and Afghans homeless refugees.

I have always felt that if our goal is to foil Al Qaeda attacks in the United States, there probably are more efficient ways to accomplish that goal than military occupation of two foreign countries – two foreign countries that Al Qaeda isn’t even in (as General Petraeus pointed out a couple of years ago).

But we seem to be having a lot of difficulty ending wars, lately.  So my modest proposal is that instead of ending the war, we replace it.  We replace the War on Terror with the War on Error.

And – I must say – the War on Error is a very target-rich environment.  Let’s start with the error that Saddam Hussein was targeting the United States with weapons of mass destruction.  Smoking gun, mushroom cloud, etc., etc.  Certainly, that was an error.  Some say an honest mistake, others a lie.  No matter.  We declare a War on Error, and achieve a quick victory by bringing the troops home.

Then we have this bizarre notion that if we keep stuffing our money into the pockets of Big Business, we might get some of it back.  That is a big, big error.  It’s not going to happen.  Believe me, if corporate welfare could reduce joblessness in America, our unemployment rate already would be minus-56 percent.  Corporate income taxes in America have been cut from $354 billion in 2006 to $191 billion in 2010.  Then there was the $700 billion in bailouts by the Treasury.  Then there was the $15 trillion or so in other bailouts.  And how many private sector jobs has all that private sector candy created?

Apparently, none.  There are one million fewer private sector jobs in America today than there were ten years ago.  Despite the fact that there are 27 million more people in America today.

Corporate welfare doesn’t work.  For sure, it doesn’t put people to work.  It’s an error to think that it does.  Ending corporate welfare will be a huge conquest in the War on Error.

Then we have the error of letting the Chinese determine the value of the U.S. dollar.  How “free” is the “free market” when the Chinese print $1 trillion of their rectangular red pieces of paper, and use them to buy $1 trillion of our rectangular green pieces of paper?  The law of supply and demand guarantees that this will have a very substantial impact on the value of small portraits of dead presidents.  And with the value of our own money dictated by a foreign government this way, we have lost (according to one estimate) five million manufacturing jobs.  Plus all the other jobs that consumer demand from the holders of those five million jobs would have created.  It would seem obvious that letting the Chinese (note to right wing:  the Communist Chinese) control the value of our money is, well, an error.  Since it’s still our money, we need to undo what the Chinese have been doing, and get those jobs back.  Another quick victory for the War on Error.

Maybe you have other ideas for targets in the War on Error.  I’d like to hear them.

As Walt Kelly in Pogo used to say, “we have met the enemy, and he is us.”  If we win the War on Error, then America will be a paradise.  Or, alternatively, we can let our myths destroy us.

My Country, Right or Right!  V for Verity!  America: Lift It or Leave It! 


Alan Grayson

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Candidate for Congress (D-FL)

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