The U.S. Joint Service Color Guard on parade at Fort Myer, Virginia
The U.S. Joint Service Color Guard on parade at Fort Myer, Virginia


U. S. Military Casualty Statistics And The Main Concern For Senators – OpEd

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The moral of the U. S. troops is not in good shape. And the follow-up costs of the so-called Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), which was the attack on Afghanistan, Operation New Dawn (OND) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), like these attacks on Iraq were euphemistically called, are skyrocketing. Not to speak of the dramatically increasing suicides among military personnel, the social costs such as broken families, disabled, maimed, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), amputations, evacuations, and the demographics of casualties. A Congressional Research Service Report written by Hannah Fischer1 reveals the enormous human and financial costs the Afghan and Iraqi adventure that was brought upon the American people by a highly irresponsible government.

From 2001 to today, George W. Bush’s adventurism and President Obama’s continuation has cost the lives of 6 656 soldiers, and over 50 000 were partly severely wounded. Over the same period, almost 130 000 have been diagnosed with PTSD. From the year 2000 to 2012, 253 330 have been experienced TBI. At 1 715 soldiers with battle-injuries, amputations were performed, most of them were limb amputations; 800 service men had their leg amputated.

This sad statistics did not seem to interest the Senators. They could have asked the likely new Defense Secretary what he thought about these depressing facts. They only asked silly and irrelevant questions such as whether Hagel will be more subservient to the Israeli government in the future. Mainly, they were so obsessed with Hagel’s position on Israel and Iran as if both countries were the hub of the world. They performed like grand inquisitors. They asked Chuck Hagel to repent and to revoke his earlier statements about the “Israel Lobby”, its intimidation of Congress and his other realistic political judgments about U. S. American foreign policy towards its client state Israel. And Hagel behaved like a poor sinner. Lindsey Graham, John McCain and their ilk proofed by their inquisitorial behavior on whose orders they were acting. Their script was written by the Lobby and their neoconservative think tanks that dominate inside the Belt way.

In an article on MWC news, M. J. Rosenberg characterized the difference between John Brennan’s Senate hearing and the Hagel charade with a John Lennon song: “Imagine there’s no lobby/ it’s easy if you try/ No memorized talking points/ No need to lie.” The later “hearing” was a competition for the best hypocrite and the best sycophant of the lobby’s election campaign support.

The dramatic figures of this report indicate that the Obama administration has more important things to do than planning the next war against Iran. Besides paying compensation for the suffering and the ravages the U. S. Empire inflicted on the people of Afghanistan and Iraq, the Obama administration or one of the concerned parties should charge George W. Bush and his neoconservative monsters with crimes against humanity and war crimes before the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The new book about “Genocide in Iraq” published by Clarity Press sets out the case for prosecution involved in the Iraqi genocide during the sanction period from 1990 to the attack on Iraq in 2003.

According to the UN Genocide Convention of 1948, this defines genocide as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group”, the former U. S. administration can also be charged with genocide, too. The imposed sanctions against Iraq are as heinous as the sanction against the Iranian people. None of the so-called moral authorities of the world have so far addressed the immorality and illegality of these criminal undertakings. Perhaps through an indictment of the people responsible, further deadly U. S. sanctions can be prevented.

Ludwig Watzal

Dr. Ludwig Watzal works as a journalist and editor in Bonn, Germany. He runs the bilingual blog “Between the lines”. He can be reached at http://www.watzal.com/

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