- The Bush Regime has quagmired America into a sixth year
of war in Afghanistan and Iraq with no end in sight. The cost of these
wars of aggression is horrendous. Official US combat casualties stand
at 4,538 dead. Officially, 29,780 US troops have been wounded in Iraq.
Experts have argued that these numbers are understatements. Regardless,
these numbers are only the tip of the iceberg.
- On April 17, 2008, AP News reported that a new study
released by the RAND Corporation concludes that "some 300,000 U.S.
troops are suffering from major depression or post traumatic stress from
serving in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and 320,000 received brain
- On April 21, 2008, OpEdNews reported that an internal
email from Gen. Michael J. Kussman, undersecretary for health at the Veterans
Administration, to Ira Katz, head of mental health at the VA, confirms
a McClatchy Newspaper report that 126 veterans per week commit suicide.
To the extent that the suicides are attributable to the war, more than
500 deaths should be added to the reported combat fatalities each month.
- Turning to Iraqi deaths, expert studies support as many
as 1.2 million dead Iraqis, almost entirely civilians. Another 2
million Iraqis have fled their country, and there are 2 million displaced
Iraqis within Iraq.
- Afghan casualties are unknown.
- Both Afghanistan and Iraq have suffered unconscionable
civilian deaths and damage to housing, infrastructure and environment.
Iraq is afflicted with depleted uranium and open sewers.
- Then there are the economic costs to the US. Nobel economist
Joseph Stiglitz estimates the full cost of the invasion and attempted occupation
of Iraq to be between $3 trillion and $5 trillion. The dollar price of
oil and gasoline have tripled, and the dollar has lost value against other
currencies, declining dramatically even against the lowly Thai baht. Before
Bush launched his wars of aggression, one US dollar was worth 45 baht.
Today the dollar is only worth 30 baht.
- The US cannot afford these costs. Prior to his resignation
last month, US Comptroller General David Walker reported that the accumulated
unfunded liabilities of the US government total $53 trillion dollars.
The US government cannot cover these liabilities. The Bush Regime even
has to borrow the money from foreigners to pay for its wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan. There is no more certain way to bankrupt the country and
dethrone the dollar as world reserve currency.
- The moral costs are perhaps the highest. All of the deaths,
injuries, and economic costs to the US and its victims are due entirely
to lies told by the President and Vice President of the US, by the Secretary
of Defense, the National Security Advisor, the Secretary of State, and,
of course, by the media, including the "liberal" New York Times.
All of these lies were uttered in behalf of an undeclared agenda. "Our"
government has still not told "we the people" the real reasons
"our" government invaded Afghanistan and Iraq.
- Instead, the American sheeple have accepted a succession
of transparent lies: weapons of mass destruction, al Qaeda connections
and complicity in the 9/11 attack, overthrowing a dictator and "bringing
democracy" to Iraqis.
- The great moral American people would rather believe
government lies than to acknowledge the government's crimes and to hold
the government accountable.
- There are many effective ways in which a moral people
could protest. Consider investors, for example. Clearly Halliburton and
military suppliers are cleaning up. Investors flock to the stocks in order
to participate in the rise in value from booming profits. But what would
a moral people do? Wouldn't they boycott the stocks of the companies that
are profiting from the Bush Regime's war crimes?
- If the US invaded Iraq for any of the succession of reasons
the Bush Regime has given, why would the US have spent $750 million on
a fortress "embassy" with anti-missile systems and its own electricity
and water systems spread over 104 acres? No one has ever seen or heard
of such an embassy before. Clearly, this "embassy" is constructed
as the headquarters of an occupying colonial ruler.
- The fact is that Bush invaded Iraq with the intent of
turning Iraq into an American colony. The so-called government of al-Maliki
is not a government. Maliki is the well paid front man for US colonial
rule. Maliki's government does not exist outside the protected Green Zone,
the headquarters of the American occupation.
- If colonial rule were not the intent, the US would not
be going out of its way to force al Sadr's 60,000 man militia into a fight.
Sadr is a Shi'ite who is a real Iraqi leader, perhaps the only Iraqi who
could end the sectarian conflict and restore some unity to Iraq. As such
he is regarded by the Bush Regime as a danger to the American puppet Maliki.
Unless the US is able to purchase or rig the upcoming Iraqi election,
Sadr is likely to emerge as the dominant figure. This would be a highly
unfavorable development for the Bush Regime's hopes of establishing its
colonial rule behind the facade of a Maliki fake democracy. Rather than
work with Sadr in order to extract themselves from a quagmire, the Americans
will be doing everything possible to assassinate Sadr.
- Why does the Bush Regime want to rule Iraq? Some speculate
that it is a matter of "peak oil." Oil supplies are said to
be declining even as demand for oil multiplies from developing countries
such as China. According to this argument, the US decided to seize Iraq
to insure its own oil supply.
- This explanation is problematic. Most US oil comes from
Canada, Mexico, and Venezuela. The best way for the US to insure its oil
supplies would be to protect the dollar's role as world reserve currency.
Moreover, $3-5 trillion would have purchased a tremendous amount of oil.
Prior to the US invasions, the US oil import bill was running less than
$100 billion per year. Even in 2006 total US imports from OPEC countries
was $145 billion, and the US trade deficit with OPEC totaled $106 billion.
Three trillion dollars could have paid for US oil imports for 30 years;
five trillion dollars could pay the US oil bill for a half century had
the Bush Regime preserved a sound dollar.
- The more likely explanation for the US invasion of Iraq
is the neoconservative Bush Regime's commitment to the defense of Israeli
territorial expansion. There is no such thing as a neoconservative who
is not allied with Israel. Israel hopes to steal all of the West Bank
and southern Lebanon for its territorial expansion. An American colonial
regime in Iraq not only buttresses Israel from attack, but also can pressure
Syria and Iran from giving support to the Palestinians and Lebanese. The
Iraqi war is a war for Israeli territorial expansion. Americans are dying
and bleeding to death financially for Israel. Bush's "war on terror"
is a hoax that serves to cover US intervention in the Middle East in behalf
of "greater Israel."
- Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury
in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street
Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is
coauthor of The
Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com