This article, by Frosty Wooldridge, is simply the best damn summation of the human costs of the Iraq War I have yet read. IMHO, Wooldridge is the best writer in the business. He has three things going for him. A firm grasp of reality, a command of the facts, and the creativity to write about them---- driven by the rocket fuel of rage and passion. Say no more. Tim Murray
This month, our combat troops of United States military withdrew from Iraq after nearly a decade of killing 100,000 Iraqi citizens of all persuasions, being murdered themselves by insurgents who infiltrated past check points, thousands were killed or maimed by countless IEDs, and, as time plays out over 100,000 American combat troops are predicted to commit suicide from their brains being scrambled by the horrors of war. Thousands of marriages will fail and countless children will suffer the horrors of war as their fathers live in Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome purgatory.
As to the first question of who won: no one. As to the second question of who lost: everyone. As to the third question of who got screwed: America’s military and America’s sons and daughters that served.
Of all the stupid, needless, meaningless and painful wars the United States has created, George W. Bush and the Military Industrial Complex, along with other war profiteers should be sent to prison for their lies, fraud and deception against the American people. “Weapons of Mass Destruction” will become the poster-phrase for our leaders lying, cheating and swindling the American people. George W. Bush cajoled, coaxed and coerced us into war with Iraq.
The German Nazi beast Hermann Goring said it 60 years ago:
“Naturally the common people don’t want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them that they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
Vietnam killed 58,300 kids, wounded 350,000 young men and created havoc across our country. It started our national debt into the trillions of dollars. It split families and it too was based on a lie: the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution gave President Lyndon Baines Johnson the “reason” to massacre over 2.1 million Vietnamese in 10 years of war. No negotiation, no conversation, no attempt at understanding—just go in to Nam and blast them back into the stone age. Trouble was—they pretty much lived in the Stone Age in the first place. Because of his sickening choice, Johnson died of depression and a very sick and sad man the last years of his life. He actually “got it” as to what he did. It will be interesting to see if former President George W. Bush ever “gets it” as to the astounding amount of death and horror he created. He may end his life inside a bottle of booze where he started it.
From the war in Vietnam, I wrote a piece showing a doctor’s research whereby somewhere over 175,000 to as high as 225,000 American combat troops that left Vietnam in one piece, killed themselves from their emotional wounds from their service in Vietnam. The alcoholism and drug addiction from that war grew beyond imagination. It continues today in veteran homelessness, poverty, broken families, drug and alcohol use and nameless children that never enjoyed a healthy father.
The human misery that George W. Bush created in Iraq and Afghanistan may go much higher than 225,000 suicides of U.S. troops. If you start counting the human misery of 2.5 million Iraqi refugees and incredible displacement of their society, the human misery factor extends off the charts.
As you noticed this past week, the Sunni and Shiites are already bombing each other into more violence. One bomb in Baghdad killed 69 people and wounded over 100 others. Sectarian violence will continue.
Our “moment” (10 years) over there might be likened to a person sticking his or her hand into a bucket of water. While our hand remained in the water, the level of the water changed and we created cause and effect. When we withdrew our hand, it all returned to the same as before we left. As Richard Engel said to NBC’s Brian Williams on Friday, “Their sectarian violence is just beginning and will implode Iraq. Iraq’s President Maliki cannot control what’s coming.”
In other words, their endless tribal wars will re-convene. Which means, all our nearly $1 trillion dollars of U.S. taxpayer money will have gone for all the death and destruction—for nothing. In the meantime, our own country’s educational systems, infrastructure and cities crumble before our eyes.
Saddam Hussein was no more a threat to the United States than a baby in a sandbox 10,000 miles away. To remain in Afghanistan for 10 years defies logic, reason and common sense. If we are to be the police-nation of the world to bring all the dictators to justice, we would have to attack, occupy and dominate North Korea, China, Pakistan, Republic of Congo, Somalia, Sudan and two dozen other countries around the world. It’s absolutely absurd what we allowed the Military Industrial Complex to perpetrate on our citizens and our country.
But because we now support an all volunteer army, no one blinks at the deaths and costs. More disturbing, we spend more money on war than most of the rest of the world combined. In the meantime, we suffer 42 million functionally illiterate Americans, 46 million Americans living on food stamps, another 15 million unemployed and 13 million children living in poverty. We’re losing the middle class while our prisons house 2.3 million suffering souls. We have millions of foreclosures of homes for Americans and we can’t pay our teachers a decent wage while our schools fail.
When will this president address America’s rebuilding? When will this Congress “attack” America’s problems? When will Americans speak up for America’s future?
When will 535 members of Congress grow a brain, spine and conscience to represent peace, common sense and reason? When will we elect presidents that studied history, learned critical thinking and understood logic? When will America become an instrument of peace in the world?
If I were a betting man, some president in the future will “create” another war guided by the Military Industrial Complex that creates another generation of suicides, fatherless families, plastic legs, arms and PTSD military veterans. And the American people? Too apathetic to get off the couch to speak up against war!