Of Bridges

Could the tragic collapse of bridges be avoided for the same tax money? Let’s say that US taxpayer money spent in Iraq causing in reaction the blow-up by insurgents of the Sarafiya Bridge in Baghdad on April 12, 2007 had instead been spent on bridge repair over the objections of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota’s “no new taxes” pledge, then perhaps neither the Sarafiya Bridge nor the interstate bridge in Minneapolis would have collapsed. Of course, I have no idea what the actual dollar figure would be but Minnesota state services were cut by $2 billion by Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty, and current costs of the Iraq war are running about $7 billion a month. Sounds like a clear cut case of misplaced priorities. And it doesn’t say much for right-wing Republicans: they (with the aid of some Democrats, to be sure) get us into a horribly expensive war in Iraq and at the same time cut essential services. Couldn’t they have done it the other way around? I got this bridge comparison idea from Juan Cole‘s blog this morning.

Collapsed Minneapolis interstate bridge:

Collapsed Sarafiya bridge in Baghdad:


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