U.S. finally supports jobs program.....in Iraq, of course

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 at 05:12 PM

Well, at least the oblivious little buggers are consistent.  We can tolerate massive government spending in Iraq, but not here, we can countenance public health care in Iraq, but not here, and now........we need a jobs program to stem unemployment in Iraq, but not here.

From today's Washington Post:

To Stem Iraqi Violence, U.S. Aims to Create Jobs

By Josh White and Griff Witte
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, December 12, 2006; Page A01

As Iraq descends further into violence and disarray, the Pentagon is turning to a weapon some believe should have been used years ago: jobs.

Members of a small Pentagon task force have gone to the most dangerous areas of Iraq over the past six months to bring life to nearly 200 state-owned factories abandoned by the Coalition Provisional Authority after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Their goal is to employ tens of thousands of Iraqis in coming months, part of a plan to reduce soaring unemployment and lessen the violence that has crippled progress.

Defense officials and military commanders say that festering unemployment -- at 70 percent in some areas -- is leading Iraqi men to take cash from insurgents to place bombs on roads or take shots at U.S. troops. Other Iraqis are joining sectarian attacks because their quality of life has slipped dramatically, officials say.

Army Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the top U.S. field commander in Iraq, said that tackling unemployment could do far more good than adding U.S. combat troops or more aggressively pursuing an elusive enemy. He said the project to open the factories and stimulate local economies is long overdue and was born "of desperation."

So....if tackling unemployment there could "do far more good than adding U.S. combat troops," exactly why is it that in America, tackling unemployment isn't superior to adding new police officers, prisons, and prison guards?

Seems to me that the implicit message here is that if you want real, useful jobs in America, you first need to present the powers that be with sufficient "incentive" in the form of damage to them and their interests.

Why is it that this story keeps reminding me of the phrase: "if you make peaceful change impossible, you make violent change inevitable?"