Some were alarmed about the revelation last week that the US government asked for its bonuses back from a group of California National Guardsman. But even more outrageous is the fact that October marks 15 years since the US government began its war on Afghanistan and by extension its nebulous and ill defined “War on Terrorism,” that subsequently included Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and now Syria.
And just as disconcerting is the fact that most US citizens go about their daily lives and ignore the deaths the pain and suffering this has brought about on their fellow human beings both at home and abroad.
Spurred on by the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force Act, these wars continue to be fought, not to protect our liberty, but rather they are wars of aggression, fought for power, natural resources and profit, fought by the many for the few. Continuous war benefits the financiers and the weapons manufacturers, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Raytheon who have made billions in profit as a result.
US propaganda would have us believe that these wars are being fought to make the world safe for democracy, or to bring about democracy. But a careful analysis of the results of these efforts shows that the US has left in the wake of these efforts nothing but chaos, destruction and failed States. The cure has been worse than the disease.
Iraq civilian deaths alone have been put at over 250,000 by the website Iraqbodycount.com and Brown University researchers in 2014 have put the deaths in Afghanistan and Pakistan at 149,000 which includes civilians and US soldiers. Researchers have since added another 15,000 civilians to that total in Afghanistan alone. Hundreds of thousands more have been injured or seriously wounded. Thousands more have been left homeless.
According to a study by Brown University’s Institute for International and Public Affairs, the cost of the war has reached over
$5,000,000,000,000 that is over 5 TRILLION DOLLARS. That figure includes a little more than a trillion dollars that will be spent on health care for veterans. And according the study’s author future generations will still be paying on the debt accrued in this war.
The author Neta Crawford admitted that her findings were, “so large as to be almost incomprehensible.” She also stated that, “A full accounting of any war’s burdens cannot be places in columns on a ledger….From the civilians harmed or displaced by violence, to the soldiers killed and wounded, to the children who play years later on roads and fields sown with improvised explosive devices and cluster bombs, no set of numbers can convey the human toll of the wars.”
Five trillion dollars?
No doubt with that kind of money we could put people to work rebuilding the infrastructure. We could educate ALL of our children, we could build affordable housing, public transportation, drug treatment centers, mental health facilities and the list of public good and benefit that could come from that money is only limited by your imagination.
At present the US is allies with Al Queada (its sworn enemy), in its effort to overthrow the Syrian government. Yes this is the same terrorist organization that the US government swore a blood oath to destroy yet they are doing business together in yet another effort at US ghettoization.
It is absolutely imperative that people begin to talk about ending this constant warring. “What (to quote the group WAR), is it good for?” Who does it benefit? What had Iraq done to the US or us? What had the Afghans done to the US or us (the 9/11 bombers were primarily Saudi Arabians)? What did Somalia do the US or Libya or Pakistan or Yemen?
It should be noted that today’s warriors have been pre-conditioned to fight these wars against Middle Eastern people because they are fed a constant diet of ostracism, criminalization and marginalization of the “other,” the other race, the other sex, the other religion, or from that other country. In Iraq the other were insurgents, in Chiraq the other are thugs. In Afghanistan the enemy were “sand ni—ers” in South Baltimore they were just “n—ers.” Label them terrorist or criminals and most of the good citizens of this republic will agree with their class enemies that, “they had it coming.”
Hilary Clinton has said of the US, “we are great because we are good.” In truth we like them, are in danger of becoming small moral midgets and like them we are beginning to give in to apathy and indifference to human suffering. We must resist this temptation with all our might and we must reclaim our humanity and remind one another that we have a common humanity (despite the ruling classes lies and propaganda) and that “an injury to one is an injury to all.”
justice then peace