Cross Post from IfLizWereQueen
Photo credit: Chris Hondros
Chris Hondros of Getty Images was with an army unit in Tal Afar on January 18, 2005, when its soldiers killed the parents of this blood-spattered girl at a checkpoint, and his photo was published around the world. Mr. Hondros was kicked out of the unit, though he soon became embedded with a unit in another city.
Was it worth it? Not by my ethics! If you are offended by this photo, you should be. All Americans should be offended and we should show it with our votes in 2012. It should be more than apparent that elected officials from NEITHER party care about the people they represent or the people of the world.
The last of 4,000 US combat troops in Iraq head for home over the next week to 10 days, but Washington still has more than 90,000 troops based in Afghanistan.
In 2005, the late Lieutenant General William Odom called the Iraq invasion ”the greatest strategic disaster in United States history”
He was right in part, but it was a lot more than merely a strategy that we lost. America has lost a lot with the 8 year Iraq war. The USA suffered an immeasurable loss in international credibility. The stated justifications for going to war – Saddam Hussein’s ties to al-Qaeda, weapons of mass destruction, a rapidly developing nuclear weapons program – proved utterly unfounded, while the mightiest, highest-tech war machine in history failed to suppress a variety of rag-tag insurgencies
The estimated total costs of the Iraq war on the US economy, including the costs of health care for veterans, are at more than three trillion dollars.
But material US losses pale when compared to those of the Iraqis – estimated at well over 100,000 dead (many put those estimates at over one million), and countless others, including hundreds of thousands of children, injured or traumatized by their experiences.
Do you want a different world? If you do, you are going to have to stop voting for Democrats and Republicans because if the leaders of BOTH parties have not proven themselves to be war mongers, they never will. Most of the war mongers who voted for the useless war in Iraq are still in Congress. One of them, Hillary Clinton, is even our Secretary of State and continues to shape our war mongering foreign policy. I find it particularly ironic when I read in various places where Hillary states that she cares about women and wants to retire and help them. I can’t help but wonder what the 900,000 widows in Iraq think about her professed largess.
You want a different world? Do you really? Well you can start by not pretending that we won’t have a third choice for President of the USA in 2012 because we do. Jill Stein. What are you doing to support her? Or are you too busy complaining about Obama and the Republicans to build a future of peace and not war? Are you too busy intellectualizing and performing mental gymnastics about how a third party candidate doesn’t have a chance for President. Do you want more of the same? Then keep voting for more of the same and you’ll get just that. You want more of the same? Then don’t support candidates of your choice with your time and money and you’ll get just that–more of the same.
When I remember Iraq, I think of Howard Zinn’s words about how these people in Washington, these people who make millions from their war mongering votes for Wall Street justify war and killing people and how they justify their evil, vile, self-serving behavior:
“To Thomas Friedman, columnist for The New York Times, all Serbs must be punished, without mercy, because they have “tacitly sanctioned” the deeds of their leaders. That is a novel definition of war guilt. Can we now expect an Iraqi journalist to call for bombs placed in every American supermarket on the grounds that all of us have “tacitly sanctioned” the hundreds of thousands of deaths in Iraq caused by our eight-year embargo?
Official terrorism, whether used abroad or at home, by jet bombers or by the police, always receives an opportunity to explain itself in the press, as ordinary terrorism does not. The thirty-one prisoners and nine guards massacred on orders of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller in the Attica uprising, the eleven MOVE members, five of whom were children, killed in a fire after their homes were bombed by Philadelphia police; the eighty-six Branch Davidians, including twenty-four children, who died at the Waco compound in an attack ordered by the Clinton Administration; the African immigrant murdered by a gang of policemen in New York-all of these events had explanations that, however absurd, are dutifully given time and space in the media.”