Iraq & the Rotten School Floor

Granted: most of the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Iraq cannot be done by the Iraqis themselves—their infrastructure is damaged, their cadre of professionals is in disarray, they will even be facing religious strife between the Shiites and the Sunnis. But they do have oil. And we have expertise. Plus, right now we have control of, and responsibility for, the country—thanks to our incomparable Military forces. And commitment to principle. And deep pockets.

American oil companies (and don't be surprised if Halliburton, for which both the President and the Vice President used to work, is one of them), American construction companies, American financial services, and the American government—which, of course, is taxpayer funded—will be heavily involved. It will be like the Marshall Plan, which rebuilt Europe after World War II.

Now—jump back to this country, and consider that Pender County cannot afford to replace rotted out portions of the floor in one of its elementary schools. There is something wrong with this picture. The federal government, the State, and the local governments are all responsible for the funding and upkeep of the public schools—the State buys the books and the buses, the County keeps them running, and constructs the buildings, all in concert with Federal help. So, why—if we're willing to spend the money to conquer Iraq, and then help it back on its feet—can't enough money be found to replace some flooring in a 65-year-old school?

Because Pender County has no oil?