Why It’s Time to End the War in the Middle East
IT’S TIME TO END OUR COMPULSIVE CRUSADE
AGAINST THE MIDDLE EAST
By Grant Marcus
one in a series of political posts for peace
When it comes to U.S. policy of war and peace,
wisdom is quintessential. But these days, decisions
are made more often from political bias without
compromise. Great power and money interests win
out and reflex decisions without public interest
in mind. And these decisions come from deep-
seeded anger, hatred, and racial/ethnic bias, rather
than sound information.
Worse, the act of war is determined by our ene-
my’s resources and the profits they can generate,
while sacrificing the general welfare of our demo-
cracy. We end up with a diaspora of victims at
home and abroad.
While addressing the issue of war, Nobel Laure-
ate Albert Einstein stated that “Everything has changed
except for the way we think.” If Einstein was alive
today, he may have quipped, “Everything has changed
including the way we think, which is much worse.”
Growing up during the Kennedy Administration, I
realize how our negotiation to prevent war has changed
for the worse. JFK thought of war as immoral, a last
resort that was used by a “failed” leadership. JFK
insisted on a “direct line to Moscow to avoid…danger-
ous delays, misunderstandings, and misreadings…”
His discussions and meetings with Krushev were
considered an imperative, and by the public, an hon-
orable thing to do. Many accept the premise that
because President Kennedy devoted unfailing op-
en communication with the Soviets, he saved
our country from nuclear devastation.
Today, we no longer negotiate with the enemy.
We present ultimatums, with the caveat, “all options
are on the table,” meaning nuclear war–an expres-
sion that was considered blaspheme in the 1960s.
What has also changed for the worse is the pri-
vatization and profitability of war. The military in-
dustrial complex, President Eisenhower warned us
against a half century ago, is upon us. Huge no-bid
contracts involving billions of dollars go to a few
hand-picked corporations, sharing profits with war
investors. Privatized contractors that work for
these privileged companies make ten times the
salaries that our soldiers–our sons and daughters
do, inflating the cost of war.
Decision to go to war is no more than collusion.
Through insider trading, our representatives make
incredible windfalls from war. Take John Kerry,
a democrat, who makes $2 million a year from
his investments. Our representatives vote for
war, then determine who gets the contracts so
they can profit off of those they voted for. It’s a
corrupt system which perpetuates war. This
nepotism between our legislators and the mili-
tary industrial complex entices the inevitabil-
ity of war–and usually for the wrong reasons.
This nepotism renders regulatory bodies,
which account for war costs, ineffective. A
clear example is the war contractor Halliburton.
Halliburton is responsible for its negligence in
electrocuting 13 soldiers while installing faulty
wiring, while allegedly committing war crimes
in Iraq against its citizens. Halliburton also mis-
placed, or lost $8 billion from the U.S. treasury.
Halliburton continues to get war contracts,
while all wrongdoing has been archived and is
not available for public scrutiny until some
thirty years from now.
Another thing that has changed is that we no
longer pay for war as we go. We borrow money
from China or outside sources. The interest
rates increase the cost of war. It is no wonder
that the ten year war in the Middle East is now
more expensive than WWII or about $4 trillion.
And who benefits? Bankers from outside our
country, investors in war, and corrupt compan-
ies and legislators that profit from war.
Who doesn’t benefit is the rest of us. For
the poor and the destitute, for civilians, women
children, and the disabled, war is abortion–the
cutting short of lives, of our own flesh and blood,
of our sons and daughters, of our namesakes,
and the future of our families.
During the near decade long Vietnam war,
3-4.5 million Vietnamese were killed. 80% of
that atrocity were innocent civilians, women
In our current war with Iraq, even counting
the war-dead has changed. General Tommy
Franks blurted out honestly, “We don’t do body
counts.” So physicians from Harvard went out
into the battlefield, and discovered over 900
thousand death certificates by 2005. That
body count continues to rise, while 3.5 million
Iraqis have been displaced. This means that
at least one in every five Iraqis have been dev-
astated by the war for “liberty” or “freedom.”
When casualties total 5,000 on one side,and nearly a million on the other, it becomes obvious that it is not a war, it is David vs Goliath, it is an ethnic cleansing, it is a Holocaust.
As women, children, the disabled, the poor
suffer abroad, similar populations suffer at
home. One needs only to reflect the cost of
war for oil at the gas pump. The poor, who
have to drive farther to work for less pay,
suffer the greatest from rising prices.
Middle class and poor soldiers’ families
suffer as well. Most of us are aware of the
numbers of dead, but how many are aware
of the 755,000 veterans who have filed claims
for service related disabilities because of the
war? Many because of the use of depleted
uranium from our own weapons of mass
destruction. That’s one in every two vets!
Immoral, aggressive wars, fought for oil
and the profits of war contracts have their
emotional consequences. In a war involving
episodes of sexual deviance, torture, the
murder of journalists, renditions, Guantana-
mo and black sites, and now, our daily drone
attacks–Our ethical values are all but sacri-
ficed. We can see that when our children
finally make it back home, only to commit
There is a direct link between the war
and our downturned economy. There are
not only less civilian jobs available, our
debt has decreased the dollar value. Half
of every tax dollar goes to war, and the
preparedness for war. Because of war, we
no longer have the revenues for social pro-
grams. President, Eisenhower reflected
this sad story long ago when he said:
“Every gun that is made, every warship
launched, every rocket fired signifies in the
final sense, a theft from those who hunger,
and are not fed, those who are cold, and
are not clothed…”
And yet you can turn on any Sunday
television evangelist, and watch the pound-
ing fists of hatred on the pulpit, as they ex-
press the continued need for a Christian
crusade. Fanaticism v. fanatacism. It
would be religulous except for the rest of
us suffering in the middle of the beast of
One can only assume what the
“Prince of Peace” would say about the
war. On the back of one war protester’s
shirt is the question, “Who would Jesus
Beyond our covert wars against Lybia
and Syria, is our impending “Armagedon”
in Iran. This war will be far more costly
to life, to our troops and to the region. We
cannot afford yet another nuclear deluge
in our history. Americans must begin to
rise up and say enough is enough. No
more blood for oil. No more costly wars
for corporations. No more immorality.
One soldier a day commits suicide.
This should be the sign that tells us the
immorality of our conquests. It is time
to end this eternal war on terror, if for
the only reason that war, too, is terror.
Grant Marcus, Ventura, 93001
- Conservatives Struggle To Escape Iraq’s Shadow (huffingtonpost.com)
- Analysis of a quagmire (cmplxntcmplctd.wordpress.com)