We're all hoping that the nation of Greece gets through this crisis without too much suffering, but one thing is clear: They've mismanaged their finances on a grand scale. They've blown a truly mind-bending amount of money.
Did you know that Greece actually owes 1/6th the cost of an Iraq invasion?
Let that sink in for a second.
According to George Will Greece is a "reminder that reality does not respect a democracy's delusions." And he's right: The amount of money that Greece let slip through its fingers is actually one half of one third of the amount it took to invade Iraq on the pretext of finding WMDs.
How could they just light fire to that kind of cash?
Why aren't the people responsible in prison?
Don't they know they've shredded their credibility with the entire world?
If I came from a country that had made that kind of money disappear - the kind of money you could use for a halfway decent down payment on a failed nation-building experiment - I'd be ashamed of myself. God, I'd think, my country really, really needs to get its act together.
I don't mean to sound harsh. But when you let go of that much wealth - just lose it, as if you'd completely failed at whatever project you were spending it on - if you screw up that monumentally, you kind of forfeit the right to be taken seriously ever again.
People look at you - if you're the kind of person who loses 1/6 of what it cost to kill thousands of your troops, smash the government of Iraq, and turn it into an anarchic no man's land of sectarian murder - with contempt. Whether you admit it or not, it's time to question your fundamental worth as a country.
A nation like that needs to do everything, and I mean everything, differently from now on. What would it say about them if they didn't? What if they lost that kind of capital and just acted as if nothing happened?
I don't like to think about it.
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