What’s Next?
April 15, 2003, 1:00am

Well, it looks like we are about to win the war in Iraq … no surprise
there. The U.S. military is so powerful that we can pretty much overpower
any country we want at this point – but does that mean we should?
The 117 American and 31 British soldiers dead so far and the countless
number of Iraqi deaths (and now we are told we may never know the
actual number of Iraqi civilians and military personnel killed) are
thousands of deaths too many.

And now the question is …what’s next? Will the Bush administration
install a puppet government in Iraq made up of just one of the many
opposition groups (the one group that happens to be close friends
with higher-ups in the Defense Department) instead of heeding our
British allies and the rest of the world by allowing the United
Nations to step in and set up a peaceful new government for Iraq?
Will American corporations with uncomfortably close White House
and Pentagon connections reap the spoils of war? Will the U.S. use
this victory as a blank check to go after every other government
we don’t like?

The “thrill” of war and victory can become addicting … but it
is time to start working towards peace. We can only hope that the
Iraqi people will soon have the peace, freedom and democracy that
the Bush administration has promised them … and that our own country
resists resorting to violence, death and destruction to solve international

And as our government goes to work rebuilding Iraq, we can only
hope that they will not continue to abandon our own country. We
cannot forget about our failing economy, our own citizens without
healthcare, our children forced to attend failing schools, our veterans
who have served our country bravely and now face major cuts in their
benefits, and the many Americans laid off recently and forgotten
in the rush to war … It is unbelievable to me that instead of
focusing on solutions, the Republican domestic agenda consists entirely
of tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations (which are still
being let off the hook for their tax shelters overseas), even as
they ask the American people to spend billions on the war and the
rebuilding process . When Americans turn off CNN and look around,
it’s not hard to recognize that many of our fellow citizens are
hurting right now, and that this country needs to be rebuilt, even
as we work to rebuild Iraq. Let’s make rebuilding America – our
schools, our health care system, our infrastructure – a priority.