In the summer of 2006, I began a thread on my real estate investors’ forum called “The future of real estate,” in which I argued that if we didn’t take global warming seriously, we would be losing our investments: the land itself as well as the properties on it. Parts of New York State need to think about this very seriously (“…with sea level rise, New York City faces an increased risk of hurricane storm surge“), yet despite all the evidence that was easily and publicly available, there were those on that forum who, in 2006, still believed global warming was some kind of hoax. One year later, it is an accepted reality, but that much more difficult to fix because we delayed so long in opening our eyes to what was going on.
The same can be said now for the threat of war with Iran. We just can’t believe that we could be faced with yet another war. Yet we need only look to our own or our neighbors’ sons and daughters, cousins, brothers and sisters – perhaps some reading this blog – to know the devastating impact the war in Iraq has had on us “little people.” Those who are making these wars need their cannon fodder and will continue to lie about the reason for sending our young people into horrific and needless danger.
Now we see that the current administration, less than a year from being out of power, is still doing what it has frequently done: the wrong thing. From today’s Washington Post:
The abrupt resignation yesterday of the top U.S. commander in the Middle East, Admiral William J. “Fox” Fallon, has sparked a new round of speculation that President Bush and Vice President Cheney have some sort of plan in the works to attack Iran before their time is up.
Stop to think for a moment: you know what the war in Iraq has cost us in dollars, in lost opportunities, in deaths and lifelong injuries, in psychologically ruined people in the prime of life and ruined families unable to stand the strains. Who will pay for decades of veteran medical care, estimated in one study to reach $660 billion?
A new study from Harvard University reports that the hidden financial costs of war in Iraq and Afghanistan will overwhelm the Department of Veterans Affairs for decades. The study, titled “Soldiers Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan: The long-term costs of providing veterans medical care and disability benefits,” finds that the Veterans Administration is both under-funded and under-equipped to deal with the current and future costs of veterans’ health care. (democracynow.org)
We can’t even cover the costs of the Iraq war. Where are we going to get the funds for the cost of war with Iran?
I return to quoting from the Washington Post article, which is well worth a read to its conclusion (bolding mine):
Now it turns out that what Thomas P.M. Barnett, a former Naval War College professor, wrote in that profile was eerily prescient: “How does Fallon get away with so brazenly challenging his commander in chief?
“The answer is that he might not get away with it for much longer. President Bush is not accustomed to a subordinate who speaks his mind as freely as Fallon does, and the president may have had enough.
“Just as Fallon took over Centcom last spring, the White House was putting itself on a war footing with Iran. Almost instantly, Fallon began to calmly push back against what he saw as an ill-advised action. Over the course of 2007, Fallon’s statements in the press grew increasingly dismissive of the possibility of war, creating serious friction with the White House.
“Last December, when the National Intelligence Estimate downgraded the immediate nuclear threat from Iran, it seemed as if Fallon’s caution was justified. But still, well-placed observers now say that it will come as no surprise if Fallon is relieved of his command before his time is up next spring, maybe as early as this summer, in favor of a commander the White House considers to be more pliable. If that were to happen, it may well mean that the president and vice-president intend to take military action against Iran before the end of this year and don’t want a commander standing in their way.
“And so Fallon, the good cop, may soon be unemployed because he’s doing what a generation of young officers in the U. S. military are now openly complaining that their leaders didn’t do on their behalf in the run-up to the war in Iraq: He’s standing up to the commander in chief, whom he thinks is contemplating a strategically unsound war.”
Syracuse has a long history of standing up to the status quo when it is simply wrong. We are proud of the participants in the Jerry Rescue who risked jail time and the resulting devastation to their families. We have the oldest, continuously active locally autonomous peace organization in the country. We recall the moral conscience and actions of the Berrigan brothers and the many anti-war activists who to this day remind us to question those in power when they are not sending their own children into harm’s way.
I challenge my neighbors to take notice of this potential new war and plan to take action. The time for a wait-and-see attitude is past. As Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and progressives, we can tell when we’re being fooled again. It is time for grandmothers and high school students and working people and little children each to do at least one thing to say no to war. Bush and Cheney may remove a commander standing in their way, but they cannot remove us. Long after they have reaped their war fortunes, we will still be here, paying for their lies, misdeeds and calculating calculations.