Thursday, September 08, 2005

Food for Thought

Christopher Hitchens:

The Constitution is clear on this point: The president doesn't control the purse. An administration cannot spend money that has not been voted. A huge sum of money was voted by Congress, almost unanimously as I recall, for the reconstruction of Iraq. It was felt that we had a national interest in preventing an important state in another Gulf from collapsing into beggary and terror and anarchy. If you want a scandal to investigate, ask yourself why so little of that money has actually yet been spent. But if it had been, or was being, don't delude yourself for one moment that those dollars were stolen from Bourbon Street. By the same or a similar token, don't imagine that if the Kyoto Treaty had been properly signed by Clinton and Gore, which it wasn't because it didn't pass the Senate, or if every chlorofluorocarbon emission had been stopped 20 years ago, that we'd all be happily going to hear jazz at the Preservation Hall. Those who find themselves in the midst of a ruined city may be excused some but not all of their hysteria. Those who blog about it from dry land have no such excuse.

Hat Tip: Kn@ppster