Sunday, December 11, 2011

Calculating Lives in the Lie that is War


Washington Post: Pentagon program to limit the threat of roadside bombs faces budget cut http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/pentagon-program-to-limit-the-threat-of-roadside-bombs-faces-budget-cut/2011/12/08/gIQAEQ5VlO_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines


"Budget hawks may cut back a five-year-old Pentagon program aimed at curbing casualties from the crude roadside bombs known as IEDs, a leading threat to U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
The Senate Armed Services Committee has proposed trimming $265 million from the Pentagon’s $3.2 billion budget for the program... 

...The Pentagon created the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization in 2006, near the height of the war in Iraq. In the years since, the program has provided hand-held detectors, bomb-sniffing dogs and other tools to help control the danger from the bombs, many of which are made with easily available fertilizer. Forces in Afghanistan encounter about 1,500 of them a month...

Majia here: I am completely and totally against US military assaults in the Middle East. I am deeply saddened by all of the lives that have been adversely impacted, including all parties involved -- civilians, soldiers, "enemy combatants," etc.
(E.G., see http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/civilian-deaths-at-root-of-us-iraqi-disconnect/2011/12/05/gIQAuKFglO_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines )

That said, I think this proposed cut demonstrates to US soldiers exactly how much value is accorded to their lives by U.S. "budget hawks."

Wars almost never benefit the common people. Wars are designed and orchestrated by, and for, elite interests. The devaluation of life that occurs in war contexts reflects the values elite hold toward common people.

As David Swanson argues, "War is a Lie"
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/11/22-6
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Y2WzlOMqlY

And as Chris  Hedges elaborates, War is Sin
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090601_war_is_sin/

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