is founded on. Do you think they give a damn
about their bills in Russia?
--Repo Man (1984)
When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system,
a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow
And when the band plays "Hail to the chief",
they point the cannon right at you
--Fortunate Son, John Fogerty
"Crutchfield, wary of crime in his hometown, had followed the advice of commanders that a Marine on leave might be seen as a prime robbery target with a pocketful of money, so he only carried $8, his military ID card and a bank card (Home Safe From Iraq.)"
Just home after 14 months in Iraq, waiting at the bus stop with his girlfriend after grocery shopping, two thugs robbed him and then shot him point blank in the neck. The thugs were angry that a Marine would have only $8 in his pocket.
"'It is an awful story,' said Alberta Holt, his aunt and legal guardian when he was a teenager determined to flee a troubled Cleveland school for safer surroundings.
"He attended the inner-city East High School in Cleveland but requested to live with his aunt and grandmother and attend suburban Bedford High School for his final two years.
"'He saw his school was in turmoil and asked to get out,' Holt said."
Ms. Holt said she wished he had stayed in Iraq, where at least he could see who was shooting at him. He was due to rotate back to Iraq in a month when he was shot.
The playing field wasn't level in Cleveland. Here's a young Marine aware of the danger he faces on U.S. city streets, aware of the inferior education he was getting at inner city East High School in Cleveland, looking for an escape in the military, hoping to go to college upon discharge . . . and murdered by the sort of thugs he sought to escape.
Poor Lance Cpl. Crutchfield, just looking for a way out. Disaffected youth in Cleveland, disaffected youth in Sadr City: who will get you first?
The American Friends Service Committee says the $720 million a day ($500,000/minute) spent on one day of the Iraq war could buy homes for almost 6,500 families or health care for 423,529 children, or could outfit 1.27 million homes with renewable electricity (War Costs $720 Million Each Day.)
The TimesOnline UK reported in February:
"Since 2003 34,156 people have lost their homes to repossession in the Cleveland area, according to Case Western Reserve University, and the pace of those losses is accelerating. The new year is barely two months old and so far there have been 1,857 foreclosures in the Cleveland area (Cleveland: Ghost Town Created by America's Loan Scandal.)"
With more than 7,500 home repos each year now, it would benefit Cleveland if the U.S. declared war on them. The cost of two days of war could pay for these homes.
Maybe they could even build schools that wouldn't scare a Marine.