Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 2 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 2 (4 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   8 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

The Obscenity of War and Military Spending in a World of Need and Suffering

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 5/4/14

Become a Fan
  (9 fans)
- Advertisement -

A study by professor Linda J. Blimes of Harvard University concludes that the cost to the US of the Iraq and Afghan wars, taken together, will be between $4 and $6 trillion. This includes long-term medical care and disability compensation for service members, veterans and families, military replenishment and social and economic costs. The cost so far is $2 trillion.


U.S. Navy War Ships Launch Cruise Missiles into Iraq
(image by SurfaceWarriors)
  DMCA
www.flickr.com/photos/55244200@N05/12781372984/: U.S. Navy War Ships Launch Cruise Missiles into Iraq" alt="From www.flickr.com/photos/55244200@N05/12781372984/: U.S. Navy War Ships Launch Cruise Missiles into Iraq" width="300">

In order to get our head round the colossal figure of $6 trillion, this is equivalent to $75,000 for every household in the US. Deaths of Iraqis and Afghans taken together are estimated from 600, 000 to a million, coalition troops' deaths around 8,000, over 7,000 of whom are Americans. The suffering and the sheer misery of widows, orphans and families behind these statistics are unimaginable.

Our propensity to dehumanize the 'other' makes it all too easy for the demagogue, the charlatan and the power hungry to exploit. We are too readily manipulated and outraged into diverting our resources into wars that cause death, injury and destruction. The suffering to millions of fellow human beings is kept from us by mainstream media too ready to play its role. In any case, the dehumanization of our 'enemies' dulls our compassion to the point of not seeing their pain and suffering as real.

Leaders and those who would profit from these wars would package their language in distortions and omissions to hide the truth. George Orwell summed it up: "Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."

- Advertisement -

Let us for a moment put aside the human cost of these wars and concentrate on the economic cost. This obscene spending on death and destruction is done by a country, the US, where 15% of its citizens, 46 million, live below the poverty threshold of $23,492 and 1.5 million of its children become homeless every year.

Worldwide, 3 billion people live on less than $2.50 a day, 360 million of whom live on less than $1 a day. Grinding poverty, hunger and lack of clean water and effective sanitation blight their lives and their future. 22,000 children die every day due to poverty.

Families are trapped in a cycle of misery and deprivation that cascades through generations with no escape route. Yet in this world of need and suffering, the world military spending stood at over $1.7 trillion in 2012.

The vast majority of us individually can see that there is something seriously wrong with the way our priorities are perceived. It is beyond comprehension that with so much poverty and need worldwide, that so much wealth is spent on wars and weapons of death and destruction. However, this rationality and our sense of fairness could so easily be overcome when called upon to dehumanize our perceived 'enemies'.

As a species we have tremendous talents. Our scientific achievements are incredible; our advances in medicine and technology are stunning. Our social development however is still almost at Stone Age level.

- Advertisement -

 

Dr Adnan Al-Daini took early retirement in 2005 as a principal lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at a British University. His PhD in Mechanical Engineering is from Birmingham University, UK. He has published numerous applied scientific research (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Libyan revolution

The Pursuit of Happiness. America, live up to the ideals of your Declaration of Independence

The Obscenity of War and Military Spending in a World of Need and Suffering

The Power of the Media

Global Warming: Doing Nothing or Very Little Is Not an Option

Education -- Heading to Mediocrity for the Many

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
6 people are discussing this page, with 8 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

I encourage anyone not having time or inclination ... by Daniel Geery on Sunday, May 4, 2014 at 11:58:43 AM
Also, contemplating such numbers is critical, time... by Daniel Geery on Sunday, May 4, 2014 at 12:03:46 PM
I am sure you meant to say: a trillion is a thousa... by Adnan Al-Daini on Sunday, May 4, 2014 at 1:05:25 PM
Thank you for the correction and enhancing what I ... by Daniel Geery on Sunday, May 4, 2014 at 6:06:08 PM
It's a beautiful Sunday morning and all week I dea... by Shirley Braverman on Sunday, May 4, 2014 at 12:13:22 PM
The costs of war ultimately destroyed Rome - when ... by Jo Anne Simson on Sunday, May 4, 2014 at 9:18:27 PM
Excellent article on OpEd ___ Main economy base of... by urb musak on Monday, May 5, 2014 at 2:02:22 PM
If a picture is worth a thousand words - then how ... by mrk * on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 7:32:23 AM