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The Price of War-- A Human Economics War Hawks Should Account For

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Rob Kall     Permalink
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From flickr.com/photos/61411590@N03/5859097301/: paying the price for war
paying the price for war
(Image by Key Foster)
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Our dear Nobel Peace prize winning president has asked congress for a new AUMF-- Authorization for Use of Military Force. WTF, the old one is getting old-- vintage 2001.

Before the chickenhawks and wimps who want to prove they are tough by voting for war-- those are the rare few who are not motivated by the military industrial complex lobbyists and donors-- cavalierly sign off on another war, they should be required to state out loud some of the following statistics.

For every soldier killed in action, two will commit suicide. So triple the projected death count, then add in the ones who die from injuries acquired on an off the battlefield, while in the military. Those deaths should count too.
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Thirty percent of veterans seen at the VA have PTSD. It's estimated that as many as 35 percent of Iraq veterans will develop PTSD. One report found that "a large majority of Vietnam Veterans struggled with chronic PTSD symptoms, with four out of five reporting recent symptoms when interviewed 20-25 years after Vietnam." That's 80% suffering from PTSD symptoms.

Experts estimate that 30-35% of veterans come home with closed head trauma.

Almost half of vets were found to binge drink, 20% of them reported binge drinking every week for the past month, in one study.

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A handful will go on to become war whores, as members of congress, totally selling themselves to the military industrial complex, becoming spokesmen for more and more war. John McCain is one of the most despicable shameful examples. A tiny few will learn from their military experience and oppose war. It is sick that veterans are loyal to the army and the military and seek to send more innocent young, imbued with American exceptionalism driven patriotism to wars started on lies, where the real motives are profits and power.

We see that war is, for presidential candidates, like a street corner drug, to be dispensed to voters who are feeling helpless, disempowered, without agency. The mostly white, Christian people who embrace these calls for war are not very different from the angry, disempowered, without agency youths who are inspired to jihad.

Maybe the draft should be re-instated. Make people vote to send their children to wars that are highly likely to impair almost all of them. Make parents, even parents of adults who are enlisting, sign off on an informed consent that states that there is an 80% chance their child will come home with PTSD, 30% of chance of head injury, 50% chance of alcoholic symptoms.

Maybe the next AUMF should include in the title Authorization to Use Military Force and Maim Most of the naive volunteers who offer to serve to defend the quickly eroding freedoms the United Corporate States still hold.

Maybe when a young person enlists, he or she should be required to sign a statement saying that he/she has viewed a documentary that has informed him that the risks are so high, it is almost certain he will come home impaired for part or the rest of his life.

Keep in mind that the Bush administration estimated that the Iraq war would cost $50-80 billion dollars. Now the estimates are that it will have costs over three trillion dollars, 30-60 times more. As David Swanson's book title states, War Is A Lie-- and not just one lie, many, many, many lies. Whatever promises a president, his military leaders who are helping him sell the war, and his allies in congress are making-- they are built upon lies and deceptions. History has proven this again and again.

I've left out some very important costs of war. When a nation kills innocent victims, the soul of the nation pays a price. Every citizen holds responsibility for the dead children, mothers and grandparents.

Bottom line, if a president asks for war and a congress considers giving him what he wants, have some rules in place so we do the kind of accounting that we do for fiscal budgets. The price is far higher than we are usually led to believe.


 

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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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