With the U.S. on the verge of pulling out of Iraq and shutting down one war, fear that a new war with Iran is on the horizon is growing.
Why should you care? Over the past decade the U.S. has spent trillions of dollars on war in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, not to mention covert operations around the globe. As angry Americans take to streets demanding a hand in their own government and a shot at living a decent life, the deficit-plagued U.S. clearly cannot afford another military incursion. U.S. war -making comes with a heavy price: Consider the costs of these three wars over the last 10 years.
“The human and economic costs of these wars will continue for decades, some costs not peaking until mid-century. Many of the wars’ costs are invisible to Americans, buried in a variety of budgets, and so have not been counted or assessed. For example, while most people think the Pentagon war appropriations are equivalent to the wars’ budgetary costs, the true numbers are twice that and the full economic cost of the wars much larger yet,” according to the Costs of War project, a study released by the Eisenhower Research Project based at Brown University.
“Conservatively estimated, the war bills already paid and obligated to be paid are $3.2 trillion in constant dollars. A more reasonable estimate puts the number at nearly $4 trillion,” reported the Costs of War project. The goal of the project was to examine and present the consequences and costs of the U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan since September 11, 2001.
“Over this long nearly ten years, the United States launched two major wars and engaged in the largest reorganization of its government since the Great Depression. A new weapon, the remotely piloted ‘drone’ aircraft was sent to kill militants in Yemen and Pakistan. More than 2.2 million Americans have gone to war and over a million have returned as veterans. Some who have returned have been honored, a small number have been tried for war crimes, and too many have committed suicide,” said the Costs of War analysis.
The numbers of deaths are “very conservatively estimated at 225,000 and the great majority civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan,” the Costs of War project noted.
“What have the wars that the U.S. has undertaken since September 2001 cost in blood and treasure, opportunities lost and possibilities foreclosed? What are the ongoing consequences for the people who fought them, for bystanders, for democracy, human rights, and civil liberties, for the American economy, budget, and the deficit?” researchers asked.
Beyond the financial cost is the ultimate price paid by U.S. servicemen and their families as young people are sent to fight and die in battles for control of and access to oil and the social costs of restrictions to civil liberties and in the case of Anwar al-Awlaki, the killing of an American citizen by drone attack without trial based solely on government claims that the cleric was a threat.
Much of U.S. policy in the region and anti-Iranian fervor stems from the American commitment to protect Israel at all costs. The Jewish state has shrilly charged the Iranians are a regional security threat and cannot be allowed to have nuclear arms. Meanwhile Zionists hold these weapons of mass destruction and make no bones about striking Iran, when necessary.
While it may seem ludicrous that the ruling class and their minions in Congress would consider another war, it is not an impossibility. There is a renewed feeling of American bravado and invincibility with the killing of Osama Bin Laden of Al Qaeda, the fatal targeting of Mr. Al-Awlaki, an outspoken opponent of U.S. foreign policy and Al-Qaeda leader, and the overthrow and brutal beating and killing of Libya’s revolutionary leader Muammar Gadhafi. These “victories,” which have increased disdain for the U.S. around the globe, have made America feel as if her might truly makes right.
On several occasions the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam has spoken into ongoing hostilities against Iran, warning against going to war at the instigation of the Zionist influence in Washington and from Tel Aviv. He has discouraged the American people from supporting and fighting in such a war as his teacher, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, did during World War II.
“These are my words for our brother president, Barack Obama: In 1942, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was sent to prison because President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued an Executive Order to take him off the streets when America was prosecuting a war, and America needed some Black bodies to go and fight a war even though there was no benefit for us in fighting such a war,” he said in a recent address. “And now, the Zionists are pushing President Obama to go to war with Iran over some suspected nuclear power that the Israelis have that Iran does not have!”
Min. Farrakhan has continually warned America cannot and will not win any wars and has strongly warned that to go after Iran militarily is to lead the U.S. quickly to ruin.
Despite those warnings, the warmongers and the Iran baiting has gone unchecked: Iran reported Dec. 4 that it shot down an unmanned stealth drone on its Eastern border, saying the drone was spying on the country and violated Iranian airspace. Iranian officials said the highly secret RQ-170 drone was recovered largely intact. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard quickly also went on high alert, with increased concern that strikes to nuclear facilities, which the Islamic republic insists are peaceful, could come at any time.
“If the Iranian claims are true, that a stealth drone was shot down while operating in Iranian airspace, the damage is even more serious. The United States has no right to violate Iranian airspace; doing so would be a violation of international law and a serious provocation,” said Rep. Dennis Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat. “If the Administration is trying to stumble into war with Iran, this alleged violation would be a step in that direction.”
The congressman’s statement came as American military officials in Afghanistan maintain that the drone which employs stealth technology was lost in Western Afghanistan as a result of a mechanical malfunction.
“If the American claims that the drone drifted into Iran after a mechanical malfunction are true, it serves as further evidence that our presence in Afghanistan is destabilizing the region,” Rep. Kucinich warned.
Iranian relations turned for the worse after Britain, followed by the United States, recently announced tighter sanctions against the Iran Central Bank over Tehran’s nuclear program. In response to Western moves, Iranians took to the streets in protest attacking the British embassy compound in Tehran and openly burning its flag and wrecking the property.
None of the current scenario bodes well for America and to push ahead in a mindless or arrogant manner would mean missing the lessons of the past decade and more misery in a country and region where there is plenty of misery to go around.