Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Israel, Iraq & Afghanistan: Winners and losers

(Photos are of blown-up people in Iraq and a former World War II Army barracks near San Francisco that is now being used as an artist's studio -- and, yes, that is baby Mena in the background)

I just got an interesting e-mail from the mother of a Marine stationed in Afghanistan. "I can't believe that Secretary of State Clinton apologized to Afghans for the recent air-strikes that killed so many civilians," she wrote, "when evidence is coming in now that most of those people weren't killed by us. They were either killed after the Taliban herded them into buildings and then set up operations on the roofs to make it look like the buildings were Taliban hideouts and thus turning the villagers into military targets -- or else the civilians were deliberately killed by grenades. The Taliban have a nasty habit of moving into areas that have just been hit by American air-strikes, blowing up as many villagers as they can and blaming the slaughter on American forces. And then they have the absolute gall to turn around and demand reparations!"

Is this true? According to the Associated Press, it is. "A senior U.S. defense official said late Wednesday that Marine special operations forces believe the Afghan civilians were killed by grenades hurled by Taliban militants, who then loaded some of the bodies into a vehicle and drove them around the village, claiming the dead were victims of an American air-strike." And if this is true, who exactly is winning this type of "war"?

In Israel, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been tortured, left homeless, deprived of education and/or blown to bits. And when called on the carpet about this by the world community, Israeli officials just look innocent, shuffle their feet and cry, "Who me? I'm just the victim!"

Who exactly is winning this "war" either?

And in Iraq.... Ah, Iraq. I have NO idea what is going on in Iraq these days because my court case against the Department of Defense has been sidetracked off into mediation indefinitely, I'm not allowed to talk about my case as long as it is in mediation -- and I'm not allowed to re-embed in Iraq as long as the case is in mediation. Which means that at this rate I won't be allowed to re-embed in Iraq for years possibly. Years.

In Iraq, the military is definitely winning their war -- against me!

And in America, weapons manufacturers seem to be the clear winners of these three wars, as over 50% of all government spending goes directly to the Pentagon, bypassing education, healthcare, infrastructure repair, The Boardwalk, Park Place and whatever else might benefit the common good.

All this new information is causing me to take a closer look at exactly who is winning and who is losing these "wars" in Israel, Afghanistan and Iraq.

It appears that violent people are winning these wars, no matter which side they are on. And rich people are winning.

And women and children and American taxpayers are clearly losing.

If you stop looking at these "wars" in terms of battles fought between boots-on-the-ground combatants and start looking at them in terms of who profits from them instead, you can see a whole different conflict going on -- and a whole new set of winners and losers. Cheney, Bush and the oil companies won bigtime in Iraq. Weapons manufacturers are winning bigtime in Afghanistan. And who is winning in Israel? Not your average Israeli or Palestinian. Those guys are all losers. They have all lost so much -- over 60 years of peace of mind for their families. It's only the guys on top there that have won.

Wouldn't you just, for once in your life, love to see some kind of "war" happen where women and children and taxpayers finally come up on top?

PS: Guess what? There are many more of us women and children and taxpayers than there are rich guys -- and there are even more of us than there are violent people. We are the majority. We CAN make this happen!