12 February, 21:07

US wars against Afghanistan and Iraq: crimes against humanity

US wars against Afghanistan and Iraq: crimes against humanity

The US has failed miserably in Afghanistan, the way they failed in Iraq, in Vietnam, and in dozens of other places and even though they are finally leaving with their tail between their legs, military "commanders" continue to make bold statements and try to put a positive spin on the fiasco that seem to be disconnected from reality and might cause the average person to question their competence.

It may be difficult for the average American and for citizens of the world to understand those who have launched all of the US wars, in the same way that it is difficult for the sane person to understand the mind and the motivations of a homicidal serial killer, yet if we look closely maybe we can. Or not? These are people who have caused the deaths of millions and for you and I it might be difficult to comprehend why despite the failures in Afghanistan and the price the world is having to pay for their "lessons" they want to continue with their adventure.

For Americans it should be vital to understand why their country is at war, but they are bogged down trying to survive without healthcare, with homes being foreclosed, education becoming privatized and everything growing astronomically expensive. Every day those who still have jobs work and attempt to pay for a gallon of gas at the pump so they can stay employed, the same gallon that was $0.69 in 1980 and is already predicted and forecast to be at over $10.00 by the year 2030, yet few question.

Americans should be concerned, if not for the over 1 million lives that have been brutally extinguished since the "War on Terror" began, including the initial 2,999 of their fellow countrymen and innocent civilians who perished on 9-11, then for the simple economic reason that every household in America, whether they support the unfounded and illegal wars and invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq or not, are going to foot the bill for generations to come as the military adventures started by their leaders will cost every household approximately $75,000.00 so far.

Yes American taxpayer, like it or not, justified or not, you will pay as much as $6 trillion for your government’s illegal invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, that breaks down to the equivalent of $75,000 for every household according to the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.

Costs of wars

In an article for Global Research Sabir Shah detailed the costs of the US wars which Bush and the wars’ proponents said would pay for themselves through oil revenues. So then why isn’t gas at the pump now $0.30 a gallon but has instead skyrocketed? Ask them.

Overall the illegal wars have cost the US $6 trillion dollars, $2 trillion which they have already borrowed and already paid $260 billion just on the interest of those loans. But the war profiteers don’t care, at the same time they are also giving themselves tax cuts of historic proportions.

Those are just the preliminary financial costs there are also long term costs and the cost in destroyed lives and human suffering that the US tries to ignore.

Of course no one in the US has seriously done any study on how many Afghan lives they have extinguished or destroyed either, but there have been many studies done on the lives of US soldiers that have been affected. According to Global Research approximately 1.56 million US Afghanistan and Iraq veterans are receiving treatment at Veterans Administration Hospitals and will be receiving benefits for the rest of their lives with %50 of all veterans having already applied for permanent disability benefits.

Citing the Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government report Global Research says the US government has already spent $134 billion on medical care and disability benefits and that they will pay out $836 billion more in the coming decades. But that is not the worst thing, according to the Harvard report, even if the warmongers ended their wars in Iraq and Afghanistan it would not help in easing the growing and widespread poverty, unemployment and declining living standards for working people in the US. Quite the opposite, no matter what happens Americans will be paying for the American adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq for many, many decades to come.

Detached from Reality: No Accoutability

Perhaps through no fault of their own but rather because their government has been taken over by war profiteers, the military industrial complex and the security structures that only serve those promoting war for the sake of war, American have lost the backbone to question and the ability to call for accountability.

Putting aside, as Americans love to do, that the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were crimes against humanity and unprovoked aggressive wars launched on countries that never posed a threat to the US, one of the real insanities of the wars is that the commanders and the wars’ proponents have the audacity to openly discuss the "lessons that are to be learned" over their failed military adventures. As if they were on a training run and their decades of war, the millions of civilians killed, the hundreds of thousands of American soldiers crippled and the decimated US economy were not even worth mentioning.

Lessons Learned ?!?!

In an unapologetic article the site UT San Diego matter-of-factly reports that retired Marine General John Allen and retired Navy Admiral James Stavridis two key former commanders in Afghanistan spoke at a conference dedicated to the "lessons to be learned" from their devastating wars.

Of course the conference itself, the "commanders" and the publication ignore the fact that the US was the cause of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and that these invasions were based on lie after lie, but the remorselessly discuss the "lessons to be learned" as if they are discussing some training exercise and not decades of war that caused millions of deaths.

Perhaps I am mistaken but if someone has the authority to send soldiers off to die and order the invasions of countries they damn well better have already learned their "lessons" and actually know what they are doing.

So what lessons did these commanders learn? Well one is that: "… long-term engagement leveraging multinational alliances is key to global stability, in that country and others from Iraq to the Balkans and China." In other words use your allies in your illegal wars.

The publication calls the aggressive wars which killed millions the "US experience" and says the two commanders "… cautioned against the isolationist streak in American sentiment emerging in the post-Afghanistan, post-Iraq war era." Sure people are beginning to wake up and see the war criminals for what they are and most normal countries do not want to be involved in crimes against humanity and endless resource wars.

Mr. Allen’s Lessons

Mr. Allen was very nice in telling the audience about the lessons he had learned in Afghanistan. Very expensive lessons paid coming at a cost of trillions of dollars and millions of lives, but since they were so expensive no doubt the things he learned need repeating. Among his comments he said: "… without security almost nothing is possible in the future in Afghanistan." Sure but I think any idiot will tell you that you cannot build a future when your country has been invaded and is occupied.

Regardless, that was not Mr. Allen’s main lesson learned. According to him his top lesson learned was that the invaded people might actually fight back and kill his "advisers". "That development, together with innovations in the method and prevalence of roadside bombs, or improvised explosive devices (IEDs), is among Allen’s top lessons learned from the war."reports UT San Diego.

Mr. Allen also said: "It took us awhile to recognize the strategic implications, killing our advisers, created a huge political crisis ... that began to create a dissolution of the coalition. This was the biggest political challenge I faced."

Mr. Stavridis’ Lessons

Neither of the "commanders" took responsibility for bringing Al-Qaeda to Iraq, a country where they did not exist before, and did not mention the fall of Fallujah a city for which hundreds of Americans had died, so I guess it was not that important.

Mr. Stavridis did acknowledge "enormous fatigue" in the US with Middle Eastern problems, from the Palestinian crisis to Iraq and Afghanistan in what is perceived as "this enormous, disastrous crescent of crisis." but did not take any responsibility. Even worse he said they should continue their adventure: "The worst thing we could do in my view is walk away from this turbulent part of the world or come home to our shores."

Mr. Stavridis was regretful on one point however when he said: "… the US failed to leave behind a residual force of troops. Options for nurturing stability in volatile areas include ‘strategic communication’ about American values such as democracy, NATO military advisers, private-sector weapons sales, and cultural exchanges to build ‘secondary linkages.’" Yes, the families of those one million Iraqis the US killed need to be taught about "American values, democracy and weapons sales.

Mr. Stravidis was candid however when he stated the real reason for destroying Iraq: "All is not lost. If we use the tools we have, we’ve got a reasonable chance of keeping Iraq where it needs to be, a friend of the United States, engaged in the region." No mention of Al-Qaeda or 9-11 or WMDs there. Strange?

Best Lesson

The award for the best lesson learned goes to Mr. Stravidis and he gets the award for saying: "In the end, we won’t deliver security strictly from the barrel of a gun. We are going to do it through building teams."

Apparently they love learning because they want more

The American Forces Press Service reports that apparently the lessons continue. This time the student is Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel who said that despite the fact that Afghan President Hamid Karzai will not sign an agreement that would allow for a continued US/NATO presence he: "… continues to plan for a post-2014 training and assistance mission in Afghanistan."

The publication says that Mr. Hagel recently met US President Obama and discussed the retreat and the pulling out of forces and equipment from Afghanistan. The US position has not changed, Mr. Hagel said, adding that "Karzai has so far refused to sign the pact…", but that, "We continue to hope and believe that it will be signed, and we will continue to plan and work with our NATO and International Security Assistance Force commanders for a post-2014 mission."

People keep dying as apparently the hardest lesson which the US refuses to learn is that they are simply "not wanted". Time to finally go home.

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