What was the true cost of the war in Iraq? It’s important to dissect every facet of this stain on history. The American people were lied to and herded into a war based on greed, and the media, owned by the moneyed interests of military industrial complex, was explicit in silencing dissent at the time. Recent polls show up to 54-56% of Americans stating the Iraq war was a mistake, and while it’s encouraging that over half the country acknowledges this, I’m disturbed it’s not a vast majority.
Many are aware, or have read the Iraq war veteran Tomas Young’s letter to Bush and Cheney on the 10th year anniversary of the war in Iraq.
“I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.” [ Read More ]
We owe it to Tomas Young and the veterans who served in Iraq to read the entirety of that letter and to consider the scope of the horrors perpetrated on not only our own soldiers, but the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians as well.
Conservative estimates of documented civilian deaths in Iraq number between 111,827-122,306 since the war began ten years ago.
The death toll of US soldiers in Iraq, bravely serving their country in the trust that their lives are spent in the interests of protecting the freedom of their fellow countrymen number at an estimated 4,488. Then we must take into account the tens of thousands of troops who were wounded, psychologically and physically, many finding themselves paralyzed, or with loss of limb when they return home.
The Psychological Toll of The Iraq War On Veterans
To have an understanding of the psychological trauma alone inflicted on our soldiers fighting this unjust war, there are currently an average of 22 veterans committing suicide a day in the US. This is horrifying. War is hell, but for many who returned home, their sanity and ability to work and cope with everyday life were compromised to a point where they could no longer endure the suffering of another day. Psychologically speaking, though our brave men and woman returned back to US soil, for them the war torturously remained embedded in their every day experience.
How Well Were Our Veterans Looked After?
The average wait to receive full benefits upon return from duty in Iraq ranges from 183 days to 600 days, depending upon where you live. There are an estimated 200,000 homeless veterans, many of which sleep in the streets of Washington DC. The same politician war mongers who callously sent these soldiers to war under the guise of liberty – but in truth in the service to their pay masters, the military industrial complex – may well drive past many homeless veterans each day as they head off to work, oblivious, apathetic, or in denial of the terrible irony that despite their parroting of ‘support the troops‘, we heard propagandized to no end is nothing but lip service.
These troops are not looked after. Not one veteran should be left behind. Not one man or woman willing to have sacrificed their life, physical or mental well being should continue to suffer without every assistance possible afforded to them upon their return to the country they sought with heart and soul to protect.
The Economic Cost of War: Who Benefited? Not The Troops
There is an estimated cost to the war of 2.2 trillion dollars. A fraction of this could go to the care taking of our veterans, but they are not the financial benefactors of war. The military industrial complex, who buys our politicians to throw us into perpetual war are the big winners. And don’t forget Haliburton, in charge of rebuilding Iraqi infrastructure, and conveniently owned by Dick Cheney, perhaps the prime mover and head cheer leader of the disgrace upon our country, and the delivering of suffering to millions. This suffering includes not only the US troops who died, the veterans who returned wounded, the Iraqi civilians who died needlessly, but all their loved ones combined.
This 2.2 trillion dollars could have been spent to save our environment, feed and shelter the homeless around the world, and rebuild the infrastructure of the United States, bringing jobs and prosperity to our nation. If you count the interest the US will be paying on this money, it may well end up being more in the realm of 6 trillion when all is said and done.
This is unprecedented corruption, and Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and a host of others should be tried on war crimes, and made to wash the feet of every man, woman and child who has suffered, before being sent off to their sentencing.
But It Gets Worse: Depleted Uranium Munitions
Depleted Uranium Munitions were used in the Iraq war, causing one of the most horrific natural disasters the world has ever seen. The radioactive fallout, evidenced by the chronic illnesses of Iraqi civilians, US soldiers, and horribly deformed children, is estimated to be as bad as 14 times that of the aftermath of the nuclear blast at Hiroshima regarding the rate of birth defects.
This is akin to nuclear and chemical warfare, devastating Iraq beyond reckoning. The below video has graphic photos of deformed children that have resulted from this inexplicable aftermath. Watch with caution, for it is difficult to behold, but watch nonetheless. You will only have to endure the images for moments, but the parents of these children must care for them for the duration of their lives, or abandon them, and live with that unique pain.
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The Great Lie. There Were No Weapons of Mass Destruction, We Went To War For Oil
Just in case you’re not convinced it was about the oil all along – and there’s no need to take my mere word for it – here’s a few quotes from those far closer to the inner machinations of the Washington machine.
“People say we’re not fighting for oil. Of course we are. They talk about America’s national interest. What the hell do you think they’re talking about? We’re not there for figs.” – Chuck Hagel, US Secretary of Defense
“I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.” – Economist Alan Greenspan
“Of course it’s about the oil, it’s very much about oil, and we can’t really deny that.” – Gen. John Abizaid, Former Commander of CENTCOM
Of course you don’t need this article or these quotes to tell you this. An iota of critical examination into human nature and into the Iraq War itself will leave you with no other conclusion than that the US wanted Saddam Hussein dead, and the oil of Iraq for their own. But even if you believe it was worth it for the oil, do you think it would benefit you? No, it would benefit multinational corporations. They would get wealthier, sell the oil abroad, and you would still be paying similar prices at the pump.
No matter how you slice it, this war was an atrocity, a scam, and there has been no justice delivered upon those who systematically lied to us for their own economic gain.