Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Meter On America's Wars Keep Going: Sometimes you don't have to look far to find common sense about national and international issues. A local newspaper columnist, Bill Varble, recently retired but a long time critic for my local paper the "Medford Mail Tribune", wrote a front-page editorial this morning that I found to be just as insightful as anything else I've read on the subject. The sad thing is the two longest wars in American history are little more than a footnote in the daily news over here. But the decision to go into them, particularly Iraq in 2003, has made the sufferings of Iraqi people and those who have fought so long in that country from America continue. Yet it is ignored now because so few Americans are directly effected if they do not have a son or daughter or husband or wife in harm's way. We now focus our attentions on the sluggish economy. But Varble argues--with facts and stats to back it up-- that these long wars have made hope for even a moderate recovery all the more problematic.


  1. Our priorities are so messed up aren't they? Sad.

  2. ""We now focus our attentions on the sluggish economy. But Varble argues--with facts and stats to back it up-- that these long wars have made hope for even a moderate recovery all the more problematic""

    I agree Doug and another thing about these two wars is that we spend a lot of money building
    roads and infrastructure in those countries while our roads and bridges are in a state of disrepair
    here at home and many of our construction workers are out of work... shameful indeed.

  3. Indeed Mary Ellen. The amount of money spent looking for non-existent weapons of mass destruction could have build and rebuild hundreds of bridges and kept thousands of school teachers fully employed and in kids in school for more days per year.
    Oregon public school districts currently have some of the shortest school years in the nation. My local district had to cut a million dollars out of the budget.

    This is the last thing we need in a globalized world.

    And that's just a couple random examples.

    I wish more people could make the link between our bloated defense budget and the constant refrain about a lack of funding for needed programs.

  4. Yes, Mike, there's something very wrong when companies like Haliburton get rich doing doing projects overseas when there are trained and idle workers and construction needs right here.


    I posted this on another site so perhaps you have seen it already. It is about the role of responsible journalism in our wars. I did not agree with all that is in video but I think it is important to see all sides of an issue.

    I don't think I am ever in favor of our country going into war but I really do try, once we are involved, to be a team player and be supportive of our troops who are put in harms way.

    But still we need to see all sides of the issue. This is a long video and a hard video to watch. But worth the time and agony spent.

  6. The first twenty minutes of this are quite gripping Mary Ellen. Even though I've seen some of this material before its really well done and I thank you for posting a link to this.

    I know what you mean about wanting to support those in harm's way. Some of them may be friends or relatives after all.

    The cavalier way these news channel people and some of our leaders go on about warfare, as if its a game, absolutely disgusts me! More sides of an issue and the toll of human suffering should be seen.

    Sadly its usually many months or even years before the counter-narrative material to a campaign comes to American or other allied viewers so we can get a fuller picture.

  7. The reality of what we're doing is planned, staged and orchestrated by people we didn't elect, plus bought-and-paid-for by you and me, Doug. It's been rubber-stamped by a man we did elect - Barack Obama.

    I'm ashamed to say I voted for the sumbitch.

    We are just not getting the truth about our crimes, Doug. We have an ocean of blood on our hands, and the reckoning with the entire world is something I don't want to get my mind around.

  8. I hope the statistic the video quoted about a 90% civilian casualty rate is not right.

  9. Given the relevant choices we were offered, Will, Obama/Biden was the better pair to draw to. We deserve better candidates but wihtout getting a Supreme Court to stop confusing unregulated cash with free speech I don't know of anything other than to give a protest vote to some party that doesn't have a hoot in hell of being elected.

    The fact that he hasn't done more is partly his fault, and some of it is the Karl Rove/Dick Armey inspired "tea party" movement that sent 60 GOP members into Congress some of them quite rabid. I put this down to a low sales-resistence by the average independant voter, who is too ignorant of his own country's history to see what this corporate money-game is all about. (See Robber Baron Era, 1875-1912, for instance). Most of these voters are proud of their guns and their golf handicap or whatever but they couldn't tell you how the 40-hour work week came about or why thee government thought it necessary long ago to put the clamps on the banksters to avoid these little inconveinences like depressions and bulls*** wars.

    Yes, you start thinking about what was done just lately in Iraq and its hard to phathom that all that came from one terrible but limited set of attacks that started and ended one Tuesday morning in 2001. And nobody in Iraq as far as I can tell had a damn thing to do with it!

  10. The article makes some excellent points Doug. The US government has wrecked the country and wrecked the world with their policy of perpetual war (borrowed from Israel) they are nothing short of a disaster.

    Nothing that has the taint of the US government about it has any chance of success whatsoever. The policy of never ending arms sales related profits from perpetual war is the big idea of course, it keeps the rich in their riches and the poor in fantasies and promises but the Empire is a busted flush and actually there is nothing left to fight for, it has all been a terrible mistake and millions of lives have been cut short because of it.

    There is no future without massive political change and there is no will for that in Washington.

    So we continue to snipe in anticipation of a great awakening, and so I think that this article helps!

  11. It's a very tiring ordeal to say the least Doug. I have yet to see what is going on now but I think many are effected.

  12. Given the decline in upward mobility in America, and the widening gap between rich and poor, the awakening maybe sooner than a lot fof people think. AA. One good sign is that the days of "boots on the ground" military operations like the Iraq disaster I believe are now past.

    But I do agree there is a lack of will among those most party-liners on both sides of the aisle in Washington, as of now. That will change I predict in coming elections: an increasingly disenfranchised electorate will have less to gain and more to lose by supporting warmed-over bromides about "the American dream" when said dream really becomes the nightmare of more educated and capable folks working longer and harder just to end up with less, then getting to see it will be even tougher for their adult children.

  13. Tiring is right Jack. The burdens in blood and treasure of these major wars, coupled with the high costs of health care (that deliver no more benefit to Americans than national health systems spending much less per capita) is a drain that needs to be dealt with.

    It will not be solved strictly with the old "no new tax on the very richest, just new cuts in social programs and education for the neediest" approach we've had from those who regard Ronald Reagan as a role model.

    Very tiring indeed.

  14. Who is running this now as I am not being a proud Canadian over here but correct me if I am wrong two Canadian Commanders have been recently appointed and I will say that it's had an impact on Canada and actually cause an election of probably one of the one of the best recent Prime Ministers. And as you know within this year Canada is out of Afganastan. I do mean that with all respect as it's been taxing on many Canadians as well and the public is really not into this anylonger. I don't think the coalition really had a decisive plan to start off with Doug.

  15. Given all that has occurred and for so long, Jack, its understandable Canadians have seen enough. One advantage to a parlimentary system is that you can make the government go back to square one so to speak to achieve a new mandate.

  16. Doug one hopes. You know the system here and many here are not all that pleased with the call of an election. I myself do think that Canada really should adopt the 2 x 4 years as done within America....but Doug they never asked. And the premise was that PM Harper put a hold on the withdrawl of troops combined with now what all is going on overseas. So this process with Lybia has an impact on many.

  17. Yes, it's called "stop-loss" down here. Not matter what you done already to serve the country, they keep you in. A very politically expedient and deplorable system that leads to emotional duress in many families of service people.

  18. I have yet to catch up on the news. I can say there came a time where I just thought to myself that I am going to leave this subject matter for a while but yet I myself have not been keeping up on all the political news here. Yet there was a mandate that was extended but was to end within this very year. And Doug here in Canada we have this rather fast election process. I do hope that at least this is one promise that was made that sticks.