The House of Representatives awarded its seal of approval to the slaughtering of young Americans in Afghanistan. The 303 triumphant members were not all GOP members, but the victory must be chalked up to the leadership of Speaker John Boehner (R., OH), who cannot be held accountable for 113 opposed.
On September 11, 2001, Washington and New York were attacked with 2,819 lives lost in Manhattan, 189 at the Pentagon and 44 near Shanksville, PA, when 40 passengers and four crew members fought the airplane hijackers. Eighteen months minus three days later (March 19, 2002) we invaded Iraq.
Since 9/11, we continue to pay out nearly $1.5 trillion in costs that can be attributed directly to military expenses; more billions under other slots are ignored. The Great Recession followed and still endures, throwing people out of jobs and their homes, curtailing federal, state and municipal financial capabilities. Many people are out of money, which may truly explain the sharp drop in support for further military adventures.
My TheTentacle.com column of May 11 (“Why War in Afghanistan”) points out a survey that says only eight percent of the public supports the on-going conflict.
The American public was beguiled initially by political bells, whistles and drums – hard-core propaganda that whipped up patriotism. The target this time was not the Hitler, or “a buck-toothed Jap,” but all Muslims, which combines racism, ignorance and a ferocious thirst for revenge. As I said less than two weeks ago, politicians were made more personally comfortable by the passing of the draft.
Still those are young Americans losing their lives in the equivalent of the British Empire’s colonial wars, which can better be described as commercial. They were fought to gain more markets for England’s plethora of businesses created by the industrial age. In the current U.S. version, the huge profits slide into the pockets of well-connected individuals. The Occupy protestors are uncomfortably right; the top one percent – that includes most Congressmen – prospers on the shoulders of rest of us.
Maryland’s legislature which passed a law saying there is a higher income tax on those who make over $100,000 a year – howled at by local Republicans and Democrats – baldly acknowledges reality: The supply of money has dwindled. Furthermore, there is the reality of further drops, wiping out the economic progress made in the last several years.
Still this column is about unnecessary shedding of American blood, along with the rest of humanity’s. So far the casualty count hovers in the range of 9/11’s, almost 3,000. Hundreds of office workers, first responders and onlookers were wounded, some horribly. The Pentagon publishes a death list every four weeks; it does not include those mangled, blinded and rendered incapable of taking care of themselves. A Baghdad official told The New York Times that 70,000 Iraqi men, women and children lost their lives and more than four million were wounded since Saddam Hussein surrendered power, yielding to internecine revenges.
The $642 billion appropriation for the Department of Defense does not include the defeated amendment, which means, as I said, “Slaughtering of young Americans in Afghanistan” goes on.
There are no words to express my present contempt for the House of Representatives, including Congressman Roscoe Bartlett who sits in the Western Maryland seat.