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Recent news on America war

With over 150,000 soldiers and officers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan there has been significant impact on their lives back home. According to a report in Time magazine there were 10,477 divorces in 2004, 8,367 in 2005 and data for subsequent years are available and will be published soon. That is an amazing number of broken homes and that many people under stress and combating depression.

Meanwhile on the domestic front in America, the economy is going south. Gas prices are rising, despite America being in total control of Iraqi oil. The common man is stretched to his limit. Job losses are common, hundreds of thousands of homes are facing foreclosure because the owners have lost jobs and are unable to pay mortgage. If the war continues more MONEY has to be pumped into it.

Imagine if there was no war and the same amount of money ($ 2 trillion) were to be INVESTED on poverty eradication, education and development programmes in Sub Saharan Africa or Asia. Better still if it was invested in various parts of America on technology enhancement, job creation and improvement of education infrastructure or bolstering university budgets wouldn’t the dollar have achieved much more? Almost all universities across the US are announcing a steep hike in their tuition. I am pretty sure this could have been avoided if the country was not at war. Perhaps gas prices wouldn’t have gone so high if there was no war.

Bush is certainly most to blame or credit for the invasion, but primary blame for sectarian violence is on those who actually commit it. this same attitude happened couple years ago when so many commentators blamed French society for the riots in Paris. I think there is an element of racism here; as if Arabs or Muslims in general just by nature can’t help rioting or bombing other people, and so Bush’s war set them all off and now of course that’s all they will do. But that’s wrong. They can help it. They don’t have to kill each other if they don’t want to. If they don’t want the US there, the Iraqi government can now simply ask us to leave. Even if they were justified in attacking coalition forces, what justification is there for them to blow up oil pipelines, hospitals and even crowded market places? That doesn’t hurt us, it only hurts them.

Around May of 2006, there was a very shocking murder in the Monsour neighborhood right next to ours. An 8 year-old boy was found dead with drill holes in his body and head. was not just murdered, but tortured several times with a power drill. It was almost certainly done by the Jaysh Al Mahdi (Sadr’s militia), since drill torture is one of their trademark techniques. Now there’s no possible way this little boy was involved in terrorism. The only purpose of this torture and murder was to terrorize that particular Sunni neighborhood, and I’m sure it worked. Now in spite of all their religious justifications (it’s weird how every threatening letter in Baghdad is signed “in the name of Allah, the compassionate, the merciful”!), the terrorists are human beings and deep down even they know they are doing something wrong. Of the hundreds of prisoners I have dealt with, some of whom were literally caught in the act, I have yet to see one proudly admit he is fighting a just cause, or doing something right. You know what insurgents do when they get caught? They cry, cry, cry and deny, deny deny. Even if they are caught with overwhelming evidence, they make the most ludicrous stories about their situation (one guy claimed he was setting off bombs only to protect children because children kept trying to play with them!!!), or they will claim they were forced to join the terrorists because of threats to their family. It’s usually not true, but even if true, I don’t believe that being threatened is a justifiable excuse for murdering innocent people. Strangely, for all their ferocity, they are extremely docile after capture and almost always spill their information very freely. If they truly believed they were fighting a just cause, I believe they would resist capture a little more and be proud of their role, not trying to deny it.

Massive Death Toll

Recently the death toll of allied forces personnel reached an astronomical figure of 4,000. There has been a huge outcry about this in US and UK, two countries which account for the maximum casualties. But several articles which trumpeted this 4,000 number and also carried several follow-up stories on the subject have completely ignored civilian casualties due to the war. The number of civilian casualties in Iraq alone is estimated at 82,418-89,938 by Iraq Body Count, a website which documents civilian deaths in Iraq. A figure in excess of 20 times of military casualities. But civilians are Iraqis, why should we bother seems to be the attitude of the newspapers who don’t bother even to spend one line to mention the number. Why did the war kill so many civilians? Is America justified in killing so many civilians while claiming that the war was to rescue them from a cruel dictator? These questions continue to be unanswered.

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