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By Tom Waltz
Copyright © 2001

As winter prepares in the coming months to draw its gray shadow across the land, the plight of those unfortunate enough to find themselves without shelter will become even more dire. This seasonal transition from warm to cold creates, for the homeless, a situation consisting of two options: find cover or freeze to death. Not much of a choice to be certain. Unfortunately, the lack of compassion for these poor souls that runs rampant throughout the United States is usually the ultimate factor in the decision. In other words, with no shelter being offered, the homeless die more often than not. It's a national shame that no one with power seems willing to face up to, let alone repair.

To be honest, though, it's not as if a solution is as simple as snapping one's fingers. In these days of economic instability, the average working American is finding it difficult enough to support his or her own family. As a result, assisting strangers who may be down on their luck is out of the question. Who wouldn't want to feed their own children before they feed a stranger on the street? No one.

For this reason, it would seem only appropriate to place responsibility for the problem on the shoulders of the government. Yet, as broke as the average American may be, the government is even more broke, no matter what they might proclaim to the contrary. Consequently, the monies required to initiate major social reforms in the area of homelessness are just not available.

And as for the rich? Forget them. Giving money away to help others might not allow the "well off" to make payments on a luxury yacht or a Lear jet or a third Mercedes, and that is just not acceptable.

It would seem hopeless... almost.

I say almost because I have been inspired with a solution so simplistic in its conception and procedure, so expedient and yet so open to a nearly infinite longevity, as to warrant immediate consideration. But, before I share my idea, let me first spell out its incarnation.

In 1991, the United States found itself involved in a military conflict in the Middle East; specifically Iraq. After Saddam Hussein, leader of Iraq, ordered his armies to invade the small country of Kuwait, then-U.S. President, George Bush, foresaw a threat to the much-relied upon oil supplies in Kuwait and, quite possibly, neighboring Saudi Arabia. Knowing that Saddam would not pull out without a fight, Mr. Bush sent in a large U.S. fighting force to settle the problem. The U.S., as history books will show, was successful in its mission to rid Kuwait of the Iraqi menace, but was unable to topple Hussein from his dictatorial threshold in Iraq. Because of this, the U.S. still may face a military--possibly nuclear or chemical in nature--threat from Iraq. This is where my answer for the homeless situation in the United States comes into play.

For years and years, the U.S. government has striven to develop deadlier and more efficient weapons of war to add to its arsenal. For the most part, the efforts have been successful, resulting in many weapons that defy average imagination. One such device--the neutron bomb--is no exception.

Designed to be a "friendlier" version of the atom bomb, the neutron bomb, once dropped (Pentagon brass prefer the term "deployed"), will destroy all organic inhabitants, but leave intact a majority of the man-made structures in the area it "effects". In this way, the bomb would provide total annihilation of the enemy while allowing future use of their facilities for the victors. A very prudent weapon, to be sure!

It is with the shared knowledge of this weapon that I propose a solution that, if carried out, is two-fold. As mentioned before, Saddam Hussein doesn't seem to be going away any time soon. And, even if he does, odds are that another demented (possibly more so) individual will step up to take his place. By dropping a number of well-placed neutron bombs throughout Iraq, the U.S. can rid itself of the Iraqi threat forever. Saddam will be gone and so will any other goon who may have had notions of filling Mr. Hussein's shoes some day. (Of course, many innocents will be eliminated as well, but that is a small price to pay to maintain U.S. sovereignty.)

Now, as it has already been stated, the neutron bomb kills people but leaves buildings standing and functional. Ridding Iraq of its human population will, as a result, leave a large amount of property waiting to be used. Who better to fill the new vacancies than the poor and homeless from the United States? Being used to cramped quarters as it is, these people should have no problem whatsoever being boarded on to cargo ships headed for the Persian Gulf. In this fashion, the homeless can be sent to an ultimate destination of housing and better overall living standards in Iraq via the most inexpensive transportation means available. Once in Iraq, they can choose where to live, never having to worry again about the harsh winters of the United States.

I predict that in a matter of a few short years, the homeless problem in the United States will be completely solved. And, if we ever run into a situation where there is not enough space in Iraq to fulfill our needs, Iran is always right next door. And lets not forget Syria and Algeria. After all, it's obviously easier to build and drop neutron bombs than it is to finance and construct charitable housing in the United States.

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