Rob Kall OpEdNews.Com March 6, 2003
There were less than a thousand fatal casualties. of the Gulf War. But there are hundreds of thousands of stories of troops who, after exposure to US or Iraqi toxic substances, developed disabling health problems after they came home.
While we don 't expect many deaths to occur during the almost certain Bush Iraq War, we should expect massive numbers of casualties. Since the father Bush 's gulf war, 40% of the military personnel involved are now categorized as disabled. (The War Against Our Selves ) Some were injured in friendly fire incidents, but most suffer from exposure to toxic materials, many used by the US military on the Iraqi army.
This 2003 Bush war will very likely produce higher counts in all casualty categories. Since Saddam knows that once this war starts there is only one possible outcome, he has made it clear he intends to use all the resources at his disposal, including weapons of mass destruction. This includes biological, chemical and dirty nuclear.
Since the original Gulf War, the use of suicide attackers has been honed to a fine art that Saddam has not only invested in, but he has created a cadre of Iraqis ready to attack occupying troops.
Since the occupation of Iraq will take years, the US will end up sending hundreds of thousand more new recruits and reservists to Bush 's new colony of Iraq. If the percentages are similar to what they were for the original brief Iraq war, we could end up seeing well over 300,000 of our young men and women killed or disabled for life. Many will develop problems leading to either infertility or congenital risks that argue against bearing children.
Over the course of their disabled lives, the cost for health care and social security could, since these are young people, easily exceed $500,000, even $1,000,000. each, leading to further costs of the war exceeding $150-300 billion more, not including the burdens on families.
If the US really does as George Bush promises, and it takes care of the people of Iraq, we can assume that the cost of caring for the millions of Iraqis who are hurt or later disabled by the war could add hundred of billions more. This is an enormous responsibility that could literally exceed the US's current national debt, exceed a trillion dollars.
But there are a handful of men-- Perle, Wolfowitz, Rumsfield, and sadly, Powell, who say this is "worth" it.
Our old allies-- Germany, France-- and our new allies-- Russia and China-- know how bad a decision war is. As George Bush dons the mantel of a modern day, fundamentalist fogged Joan of Arc Complex, he sallies forth knowing that his skin will not feel the fire, his pocket and his family's wealth will only expand exponentially while the rest of the country and the world suffer never before seen economic, political and social devastation.
How would a German, knowing of Hitler's horrible potential, have been treated if he'd invited France, Germany, Russia and China to rescue his country? He would probably have been put in jail or killed. I wonder if we are getting close to that time here. The radio talk shows talk about putting anti-war protesters in internment camps. Rumsfeld has started his own military secret spy police It Can Happen Here.
As we watch the whirlwind of events in Iraq and Korea, as Bush uses up the last vestiges of his Diplomatic currency and shifts to cash and threats, we see China, quietly sitting in the background, too silent, regarding Korea. For, after the Bush regime, China probably ahs more to gain from the falling of the US as a world power (as it's failure at diplomacy has clearly shown it has already fallen.) and the fragmenting of the western world's alliances.
While the US abuses international laws, breaks treaties and encourages military leaders over democratic actions in Turkey, it sets examples that petty dictators and burgeoning tyrants will surely cite as they abuse their peoples and the world's stability and peace. These are costs that are immeasurable, that threaten the future of the planet.
Rob Kall is founder of OpEdNews.Com, and organizer of the storycon summit meeting on the art science and application of Story.