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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 5/26/10

Corporations Profit from Permanent War: Memorial Day 2010

By       (Page 1 of 5 pages)   14 comments
Message Bill Quigley

US law officially proclaims Memorial Day "as a day of prayer for permanent peace."

However, the US is much closer to permanent war than permanent peace. Corporations are profiting from wars and lobbying politicians for more. The US, and the rest of the world, cannot afford the rising personal and financial costs of permanent war.

Number One in War

No doubt, the USA is number one in war. This coming year the US will spend 708 billion dollars on war and another $125 billion for Veterans Affairs over $830 billion. In a distant second place is China which spent about $84 billion on its military in 2008.

The US also leads the world in the sale of lethal weapons to others, selling about one of every three weapons worldwide. The USA's major clients? South Korea, Israel and United Arab Emirates.

Our country has 5 percent of the world's population but accounts for more than 40% of the military spending for the whole world.

Harm

Our nation does not respect our soldiers by engaging in permanent war. War is grinding up our children. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have cost over 5000 US lives and tens of thousands more lives of people in those countries. Over 20% of those in our military who served in these two wars, 320,000 people, have war-related traumatic brain injuries. Suicide rates are up by 26 percent among 18 to 29 year old male veterans in the latest Veterans Administration study. Mental health hospitalizations are now the leading cause of hospital admissions for the military, higher than injuries. On any given night, over 100,000 veterans are homeless and living on our nation's streets.

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Bill Quigley is a human rights lawyer and law professor at Loyola University New Orleans and Legal Director for the Center for Constitutional Rights.
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