Posts Tagged ‘economy’

Bill Moyers: The Real Costs of American War

April 2, 2012

 By Bill Moyers, Bill Moyers & Co,  Truthout, April 1, 2012.

Most discussion about the “costs of war” focuses on two numbers: dollars spent and American troops who gave their lives. A decade into the war on terror, those official costs are over a trillion dollars and more than 6,000 dead. But as overwhelming as those numbers are, they don’t tell the full story.

In one of the most comprehensive studies available, researchers in the Eisenhower Study Group at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies looked at the human, economic, social and political costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as our military actions in Pakistan. Their complete findings are available at costofwar.org. The numbers below are all from their report, which is dated June 2011. When the study sites both conservative and moderate estimates, we’ve chosen the conservative numbers. It is difficult to find more recent tallies for most of these numbers, but up-to-date totals of U.S. military deaths, along with photos and biographical information, can be found in The Washington Post’s Faces of the Fallen collection.

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Roberts: US Treasury Running on Fumes

July 27, 2010

down to the last trillion in red ink

By Paul Craig Roberts, VDARE.com, July 26, 2010

The White House is screaming like a stuck pig. WikiLeaks’ release of the Afghan War Documents “puts the lives of our soldiers and our coalition partners at risk.”

What nonsense. Obama’s war puts the lives of American soldiers at risk, and the craven puppet state behavior of “our partners” in serving as US mercenaries is what puts their troops at risk.

Keep in mind that it was someone in the US military that leaked the documents to WikiLeaks.  This means that there is a spark of rebellion within the Empire itself.

And rightly so.  The leaked documents show that the US has committed numerous war crimes and that the US government and military have lied through their teeth in order to cover up the failure of their policies. These are the revelations that Washington wants to keep secret.

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Fidel Castro: The November 4 elections

November 4, 2008

Reflections of Fidel | Granma, Nov 4, 2008

TOMORROW will be a very important day. World opinion will be following what happens with the elections in the United States. It is the most powerful nation on the planet. With less than five percent of the world’s population, it annually sucks up enormous quantities of oil and gas, minerals, raw materials, consumer goods and sophisticated products from other countries; many of these, especially fuel and products that are mined, are not renewable.

It is the largest producer and exporter of weapons. The military industrial complex also has an insatiable market within the same country. Its air and naval forces are concentrated on dozens of military bases in other countries. The strategic missiles of the United States, which carry nuclear warheads, can reach any point in the world with total precision.

Many of the most intelligent minds in the world are plucked out of their native countries and placed at the service of this system. It is a parasitical and rapacious empire.

As everybody knows, the black population that was brought into the United States through slavery for centuries is victim of intense racial discrimination.

Obama, the Democratic candidate, is part African, and the color black and other physical traits of that race predominate in him. He was able to study at an institution of higher learning from which he graduated with brilliant grades. He is no doubt more intelligent, educated and level-headed than his Republican rival.

I am analyzing tomorrow’s elections as the world is experiencing a serious financial crisis, the worst since the 1930s, among many others that have seriously affected the economies of many countries for more than three-quarters of a century.

The international media, analysts and political commentators are spending some of their time on the issue. Obama is considered as the best political orator in the United States in recent decades. His compatriot Toni Morrison, winner of the Nobel Literature Prize in 1993 —the first of her ethnicity born in the United States to win that award and an excellent writer — describes him as the future president and poet of that nation.

I have observed the struggle between the two rivals. The black candidate, who surprised everyone so much when he won the nomination against strong adversaries, has articulated his ideas well, and strikes with them over and over in the minds of voters. He does not hesitate to affirm that above all, more than Republicans and Democrats, they are the people of the United States, citizens that he describes as the most productive in the world; that he will cut taxes for the middle class, in which he includes almost everybody; he will eliminate them for the poorest and raise them for the richest. Income will not be allocated to saving banks.

He reiterates over and over that the ruinous spending on Bush’s war in Iraq should not be paid for by U.S. taxpayers. He would put an end to that and bring back the U.S. soldiers. Perhaps he took into account the fact that that country had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It has cost the blood of thousands of U.S. soldiers, dead or injured in combat, and more than one million lives in that Muslim nation. It was a war of conquest imposed by the empire in its search for oil.

Given the financial crisis that has broken out and its consequences, U.S. citizens are more concerned at this time about the economy than the war in Iraq. They are tormented by their worries over jobs; the security of their savings deposited in banks; their retirements funds; the fear of losing the purchasing power of their money and the homes in which they live with their families. They wish for the security of receiving, in any circumstances, adequate medical services, and the guarantee of their children’s right to higher education.

Obama is defiant; I think that he has run and will run increasing risks in the country in which an extremist can legally acquire a sophisticated modern weapon on any street corner, just like in the early 18th century in the West of the United States. He supports his system and will base himself on it. Concerns over the world’s pressing problems really do not occupy an important place in Obama’s mind, and even less so in the mind of the candidate who, as a war pilot, dropped dozens of tons of bombs on the city of Hanoi, more than 15,000 kilometers from Washington, without any remorse in his conscience.

Last Thursday the 30th, when I wrote to Lula, along with what I described in my reflections of October 31, I literally said to him in my letter, “Racism and discrimination have existed in U.S. society since it was born more than two centuries ago. Blacks and Latin Americans have always been discriminated against there. Its citizens were educated in consumerism. Humanity is objectively threatened by its weapons of mass destruction.

“The people of the United States are more concerned about the economy than the war in Iraq. McCain is old, bellicose, uncultured, not very intelligent and not in good health.”

Finally, I added, “If my estimates should be erroneous, all kinds of racism prevail and the Republican candidate obtains the presidency, the danger of war would grow and the opportunities of the peoples to advance would be reduced. Despite everything, we must fight and raise awareness about this, no matter who wins these elections.”

When this opinion of mine is published tomorrow, nobody will have any time to say that I wrote something that could be utilized by one of the candidates for their campaign. I had to be, and have been, neutral in the electoral battle. It is not “interference in the internal affairs of the United States,” as the State Department would say, with all that respect it has for the sovereignty of other countries.


Fidel Castro Ruz

November 3, 2008

War in Georgia: The Israeli connection

August 11, 2008

For past seven years, Israeli companies have been helping Gerogian army to preparer for war against Russia through arms deals, training of infantry units and security advice

Arie Egozi | YNet News, August 10, 2008 var

The fighting which broke out over the weekend between Russia and Georgia has brought Israel’s intensive involvement in the region into the limelight. This involvement includes the sale of advanced weapons to Georgia and the training of the Georgian army’s infantry forces.

The Defense Ministry held a special meeting Sunday to discuss the various arms deals held by Israelis in Georgia, but no change in policy has been announced as of yet.

Advice
Foreign Ministry warns Israelis against traveling to Georgia / Roee Nahmias
Ministry ups travel warning due to ongoing military conflict with Russia, asks Israelis already in Georgia to contact embassy in Tbilsi or ministry’s situation room in Israel
Full story

“The subject is closely monitored,” said sources in the Defense Ministry. “We are not operating in any way which may counter Israeli interests. We have turned down many requests involving arms sales to Georgia; and the ones which have been approves have been duly scrutinized. So far, we have placed no limitations on the sale of protective measures.”

According to Israeli sources, Gal Hirsch gave the Georgian army advice on the establishment of elite units such as Sayeret Matkal and on rearmament, and gave various courses in the fields of combat intelligence and fighting in built-up areas.

Israel began selling arms to Georgia about seven years ago following an initiative by Georgian citizens who immigrated to Israel and became businesspeople.

“They contacted defense industry officials and arms dealers and told them that Georgia had relatively large budgets and could be interested in purchasing Israeli weapons,” says a source involved in arms exports.

The military cooperation between the countries developed swiftly. The fact that Georgia’s defense minister, Davit Kezerashvili, is a former Israeli who is fluent in Hebrew contributed to this cooperation.

“His door was always open to the Israelis who came and offered his country arms systems made in Israel,” the source said. “Compared to countries in Eastern Europe, the deals in this country were conducted fast, mainly due to the defense minister’s personal involvement.”

Among the Israelis who took advantage of the opportunity and began doing business in Georgia were former Minister Roni Milo and his brother Shlomo, former director-general of the Military Industries, Brigadier-General (Res.) Gal Hirsch and Major-General (Res.) Yisrael Ziv.

Roni Milo conducted business in Georgia for Elbit Systems and the Military Industries, and with his help Israel’s defense industries managed to sell to Georgia remote-piloted vehicles (RPVs), automatic turrets for armored vehicles, antiaircraft systems, communication systems, shells and rockets.

Continued . . .


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