Monday, January 16, 2006

Bush, the Two Trillion Dollar Man

Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize winning economist, has calculated that the cost of Bush's Iraq adventure to the American taxpayer is $2 000 000 000 000.

Well. What can you say?

As a psychiatrist I am interested in the fact that governments, who with the obvious exception of George W Bush himself, are composed of highly intelligent and rational people, are capable of doing things which are so out of touch with reality.

I would guess that $2 000 000 000 000, wisely spent on ecologically and socially sound projects, could just about put Africa back onto its feet. But if the Green Party proposed spending on such a scale on such a thing, we would just be ridiculed.

The word "psychotic" keeps coming to my mind when I think about how the world is run. Yet the leaders are so "rational". But paranoid schizophrenics can be very rational. Years ago I toyed with the term Paranoia Mutualis Caesarium to characterise the specific mindset of leaders in the Cold War. Today I re-launch the term, as a rational explanation for the irrational spending on the military machine by leaders worldwide, particularly the American leader.

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