The public grade school in my neighborhood has a science classroom, but no science teacher. I’m not a teacher or a scientist, but I’ve been asked to help teach science there. You see, there’s no money in the budget to hire a science teacher. Therefore, all 350 of the children at that school are being “left behind” in science. This same school has other unfilled teaching and tutoring positions too. They just can’t afford to properly educate the children. My neighbor Kate and other volunteers are filling in to help out, but the school is desperate for money and the students are desperate for a quality education.
Let’s make the assumption that it costs $50,000 to hire a teacher for a year. If hired, assume that each teacher would educate at least 100 students each year and that those students would each benefit from that instruction for the remainders of their lives.
By the end of 2006, the Iraq Invasion and occupation will have cost this country $350 Billion. That’s an awful lot of money. That’s enough to hire two teachers for 3 ½ million years. Or it could have hired 100,000 teachers for 70 years each. This would have enriched the lives of 70 Million students, benefiting each of them for the rest of their lives.
This is why I think of Iraq every time I see dozens of educationally neglected children walking down my street toward the public grade school. This is why I think of Iraq when I read that America’s children are not testing well on science, math or English.
Because this Administration refuses to assign any metric to this War and because none of the stated goals of this War have been achieved, it is difficult to give a name to this War. I would recommend the following: The Seventy Million Children Left Behind War.
This Country has a tomb for the Unknown Soldier from each major war. I don’t know for sure whether we yet have recovered the remains of an unknown U.S. soldier killed in Iraq, but we now have a name for the resting place for those remains: The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of The Seventy Million Children Left Behind War.