Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

Syria: By the Poll Numbers

Posted on September 2, 2013 at 12.11 pm

20%: Americans who think military action in Syria would be in the U.S. national interest

27%: Americans who think a military strike would improve the situation in Syria

17%: Independents who say a strike would improve the situation

30%: Democrats who say the same

31%: Republicans who agree

42%: Americans who back the use of military force against the Syrian government over its alleged use of chemical weapons

34%: Americans who still backed the use of military force in Syria after they had digested “a lot” of information on the Syrian government’s alleged chemical attacks

80%: Public approval for the 1990 Gulf War before it began

90%: Support for the U.S. action in Afghanistan before it began

76%: Approval for the Iraq invasion in 2003


“There are real concerns about the efficacy of action and deep fears of U.S. entanglement in Syria,” said James Lindsay, a foreign-policy expert and former Clinton administration official. “The public has a clear case of intervention fatigue after 12 years of engagement overseas, the longest stretch in U.S. history.”

Four takeaways here:

  1. That first figure indicates a growing understanding that just because we could invade somewhere doesn’t mean we need to or have to.
  2. If you had doubts about how similar establishment Republican and establishment Democratic foreign policy views are, have them no more — accounting for the margin of error, those numbers are identical.
  3. The more information someone has about this situation, the more likely they are to oppose intervention. For the blogger, this means: Keep writing. Keep spreading the word. Keep asking people to contact their reps to oppose this war. It can make a difference.
  4. Although there are apparently some irrational people who support war even though they don’t think it will improve the situation, overall, these numbers show progress: This is not 1990 or 2001 or 2003. We are tired of war, and it shows.

Iraqi birth defects from U.S. bombs have outpaced Hiroshima

Posted on June 6, 2013 at 12.13 pm

The appalling report:

The United States may be finished dropping bombs on Iraq, but Iraqi bodies will be dealing with the consequences for generations to come in the form of birth defects, mysterious illnesses and skyrocketing cancer rates.

Al Jazeera’s Dahr Jamail reports that contamination from U.S. weapons, particularly Depleted Uranium (DU) munitions, has led to an Iraqi health crisis of epic proportions. “[C]hildren being born with two heads, children born with only one eye, multiple tumours, disfiguring facial and body deformities, and complex nervous system problems,” are just some of the congenital birth defects being linked to military-related pollution.

Many of these defects are linked to the use of phosphorus and depleted uranium in US bombs dropped on metropolitan areas. The latter is a “chemically toxic heavy metal produced in nuclear waste, [which] is used in weapons due to its ability to pierce through armor.” It’s extremely hazardous, producing birth defects and cancer, and attacking numerous organs. Because depleted uranium can be so “useful,” however, the governments of the US, UK, France, and Israel have opposed banning or limiting its use in bombs.

The price for this prioritization of convenience over, you know, not mass-torturing huge segments of the civilian population and their unborn children is being paid by the Iraqi people:

Today, 14.7 percent of Fallujah’s babies are born with a birth defect, 14 times the documented rate in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Fallujah’s babies have also experienced heart defects 13 times the European rate and nervous system defects 33 times that of Europe. That comes on top of a 12-fold rise in childhood cancer rates since 2004. Furthermore, the male-to-female birth ratio is now 86 boys for every 100 girls, indicating genetic damage that affects males more than females.

If there remains any doubt about the morality of the invasion of Iraq, it seems to me we can consider that question damningly settled.

NOTE: This link does feature some graphic images. It also offers a link to see even more disturbing photos — the birth defect shown there are the “milder” ones. Click at your own risk.

The Costs of War

Posted on January 1, 2013 at 11.32 am

I’m researching some of the costs of America’s wars since 2001 for a work project today. Most of this I’ve read about before — it’s not like I’m unfamiliar with most of the data. But all put together, it’s pretty heart-breaking. Here’s a sampling:


  • $6 trillion+: The final costs of Iraq and Afghanistan
  • $16 trillion: The national debt
  • $720 million: The price of one day at war in Iraq
  • $300 million: One day of war in Afghanistan
  • $132 billion and growing: Annual Dep’t of Veterans Affairs budget
  • $50 billion: What we were told Iraq would cost


  • Warrantless wiretapping
  • Indefinite detention
  • 1.7 billion of our emails read daily
  • Suppression of free speech
  • TSA security theater
  • Assassination of Americans


  • 1 million+ excess deaths in Iraq
  • 7.8 million+ refugees in Iraq
  • 6,518 American soldiers dead in Iraq and Afgh.
  • 16,495 total U.S. military deaths 2001-2010
  • 48,430 Americans wounded in Iraq and Afgh.
  • 1,655 military amputations from battle
  • 300,000 veterans have PTSD
  • 50 civilians killed for every one terrorist

The constant posture of attack our foreign policy takes today simply doesn’t work, and its price is high in dollars, freedom, and lives. If we want a safer and saner America, it’s time to end the wars.

[Sources include: 123456789.]