Home | About | Donate

Rethinking The Cost of War


Rethinking The Cost of War

Mike Hixenbaug, The Virginian-Pilot, and Charles Ornstein, ProPublica

This story was co-published with The Virginian-Pilot.


There is only one answer to this madness: NO MORE WAR!!!


About twenty years ago, an acquaintance of mine died from Cancer traced to his exposure to Agent Orange, while serving in Viet Nam.

His widow told me that her recompense from the Government was a check for about a Hundred Dollars, or so.

I don't remember the sum exactly, but it was somewhere in that neighborhood.

I suggested that, maybe, she should have framed it, as a testimony as to how she was treated by the Government.

She told me that she had cashed it, because they (she and their two children) needed the money.


The late, great John Lennon said: "War is over if you want it". Sadly, then as now, not enough
Americans want it, actually even fewer of them now! More than ever, our nation's default answer
to every foreign problem is more war.


Is it really true that most Americans want war? Or is that what we infer from the MSM? Here in deep red North Idaho, very few people I know think we should be expanding our warmongering. Or even continuing it. And a new nuclear arms race is seen as ludicrous. Our wars of choice are bankrupting us.

As Peter, Paul and Mary sang: "Oh when will they ever learn?"


How can we attain world peace?

Conferences that consider that question are a waste of time, because the answer is obvious.

It is always the heads of states themselves, often on the advice of their 'advisors' (controllers) that start wars.
The common man is never to blame.

World peace will be attained when these dimwitted warmongering heads of state are properly dealt with by a strengthened International Court of Justice, or some other more effective organization.


And the present and future generations of the victims of Agent Orange and DU, citizens of those countries to which the US brought Freedom and Democracy? They are every bit as deserving of, and entitled to, recompense as the US forces who delivered those poisons, imo.


" Is it true that most Americans want war?"
Only the war profiteers and the brainwashed Americans really want wars!

I would change the lyrics of the Peter, Paul and Mary song to: WHEN WILL THE OLIGARCHS AND THEIR TRILLION $ WAR PROFITEERS EVER LEARN.


Here in arguably deeper red North Florida, the military, defense contractors, and the "corrections"
business are so dominant in the economy that the status quo of these things is rarely questioned,
at least not publicly, especially not by politicians. However people really feel about perpetual war
and the glorification of all things military, they will not risk being ostracized and/or unemployed. This
will be very slow to change, I fear. By dispersing so many military contractors over so many states
and congressional districts, they have created a very profitable feedback loop. So many jobs in
so many areas are so dependent on perpetual war/militarism, that this has become the actual "3rd rail" of our national politics. Ike warned us.......we didn't listen.


One of my friends,"Red", son was one of the first to be acknowledged as an Agent Orange victim. After the recognition his son passed in a couple years.
When will, We The People ever learn? Actually I think We know. The Fourth Reich is in $$$ denial.
Now is the time to organize and gear up the War on War, to save a dwindling planet. I believe it may be the last chance.


Put the blame where it Belongs: Congress.
Billions for Weapons the Pentagon doesn't even Want.

Cheapskates when it comes to the People they claim to "Support".

The VA is used to working with a budget that doesn't cover their Current responsibilities. I think that, as an institution, they are afraid that admitting to any More responsibilities will be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Particularly with a congress that would like nothing better than to sell out Veterans by turning the entire VA over to "Private" Corporate hands which sees Veterans Health Care as a "Cash Cow" they don't own. YET...


There never can be adequate compensation for the victims of "our" criminal government's wars, whether the veterans themselves, their children, or the untold millions of Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians, or Iraqis, Afghans, Libyans, Syrians, Pakistanis, Yemenis, or Somalians whose lives were snuffed out, or whose children were born sick or deformed, or whose environment still includes chemical residues, or unexploded ordnance, or depleted uranium. Not to mention the myriads of Latin Americans raped, tortured or murdered by "our" criminal government's wars.

Just the other day some 18,000 Germans were evacuated so a just-discovered WW2 bomb could be defused and removed. How many mines and cluster bomblets still await the hapless child at play, to blow his hands or feet away?

"Our" criminal government's $600+ billion "defense" budget would go a long way to cleaning up the mess it's left all over the planet, if redirected to that cause.


How self-centered this article is. All about the suffering of our vets. Yes, the author is correct about the damage incurred by modern warfare, but no where does he address the millions of innocent victims born at the wrong place at the wrong time - the Vietnamese children directly dosed with Agent Orange, the insane percentage of birth defects there, all the children dead as a result of Iraq wars and the list never ends. Yes, this government owes our vets for this and other kinds of endless suffering but there is also a liability for the other victims. Maybe if there was a accountability for all of this war might be seen as the unaffordable horror it is and finally be stopped.


Thanks for 'howling' out, sharing this. Most US citizens get whipped into a frenzy of false, so-called, "patriotism" by the MSM/NPR government propaganda machine, not realizing the long term, multi-generational suffering of those involved (our loved ones and those of the people which bear the direct burden of our undeclared wars) or the direct multigenerational costs to our treasury. Are we all insane to keep allowing this?


Thank you -- this is one thing that bothers me about too much anti-war sentiment. It isn't just about "our vets."


We don't care what flag you're waving
We don't even want to know your name
We don't care where you're from or where you're going
All we know is that you came

You're making all our decisions
We have just one request of you
That while you're thinking things over
Here's something you just better do

Free the people now
Do it do it do it now

Well we were caught with our hands in the air
Don't despair paranoia is everywhere
We can shake it with love when we're scared
So let's shout it aloud like a prayer

Do it do it do it now
Do it do it do it now

We don't care what rules you're playing
We don't even want to play your game
You think you're cool and you know what you're doing
And 666 is your name

So while you're jacking off each other
You better bear this thought in mind
Your time has come you better know it
But maybe you can't read the signs

Free the people now
Do it do it do it now

Well you were caught with your hands in the kill
And you still got to swallow your pill
As you slip and you slide down the hill
On the blood of the people you killed

Stop the killing now
Stop the killing now

Do it do it do it now
Do it do it do it now

~ John Lennon


" Ike warned us..... we didn't listen."

Now all these years later we have built this Frankenstein monster; the trillion$, military, congressional, industrial, war profiteering complex that has become the Fourth Reich that needs the blood of innocent people and manufactured enemies, in order to keep this monster alive.

The business of America, is the trillion $ war business and if this monster is not stopped it could end up killing us all.

The fate of the Nazi Third Reich could very well be the fate of the fascist, Fourth Reich, but I would fervently hope that I am wrong because I love what American ideals professes to be and I love the American people; but what I do not love is what Amerika has become..a military dictatorship, with no accountability! That has been conducting a bogus, offensive, wars somewhere, in the world, during my whole lifetime.


Driving on the Number 1 highway out of Vancouver and towards Cache Creek there the foundations of an old twon on one side of the road. This town was of a substantial size in 1912 having a concert all, hockey and curling rink and the like before that war started.

It had the highest rates of volunteers for that war in the british Empire. Over 90 percent of the eligible men joined the war. Over 80 percent of these were killed. The town was left with now single mothers trying to raise children on their own and they simply could nto cope with running the farms and buildings. They picked up and left and the town vanished.


Our government and by proxy vote our wars. I will repeat it, "are we all insane for allowing this?"


We can start with George W Bush and move forward. That little 'twit' will squeal out lots of follow-up names. As Leonard Cohen said, first we take Manhatten, then we take Berlin. After that, we start with the Obama Administrationn. The ones we don't find here in the US can probably be located at the Bush estate in Paraguay.