THE HIGH COST OF WAR

The New York Times recently reported that the United States and Iran have agreed to private talks and negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. While this account was immediately denied, it suggests that back room discussions are going on. Certainly, Iran is feeling the squeeze and President Ahmadinejab is in big trouble over their economy. Merchants are screaming while America and its European allies continue to tighten the noose. It increasingly appears that Obama’s plan is working. We will see no clear indications of change until at least a week after the election process is completed.

The American move to settle the Iranian problem through sanctions and negotiations is not to be sheered at. The United States should be well aware of the high cost of war. The Korean war cost America dearly and Viet Nam proved worst. President Bush crusaded into Iraq and Afghanistan as if we could wrap up both struggles in a short time. The cost in lives is now off the scale. Two unpaid for wars have taken a staggering toll on the economy.

We must remember the painful, excruciating price wars exacts.

While America has withdrawn from Iraq, the killing has not stopped. Recently, a bomb detonated near playing children killed 18 people. Another blast in Baghdad near playground equipment killed four children, four adults, and wounding 25. Elsewhere, pilgrims were headed to a Muslim shrine when a bomb exploded under the bus. Five Shiites died and nine were wounded.  Meanwhile in the city of Mosul, gunmen attacked two houses, killing a boy and his parents in one as well as a mother and daughter in another. Just another day when Shiites and Sunnis disagreed.

Yes, the cost of war was enormous.

A recent report of Iraqi auditors reveals as much as $800 million American dollars were being drained illegally out of the country every week. Widespread money laundering also suggests that Iraq’s central bank as well as a former governor and top officials are involved. While customers are required to provide documentation, auditors found most transactions to be fraudulent. Iraq’s top auditor Abdul-Basit Turki expressed a deep concern about what he called a triangle of sectarianism, corruption, and violence that could threatened the existence of the nation.

In Syria at least 36,000 have been killed to date as both rebels and government troops kill indiscriminately. Mothers regularly rush their children down the steps into bomb shelters, hoping they will all survive, but knowing that the chances continue to diminish.

The survivors who have lost parents, children, spouses, and friends would instantly tell us the cost of war remains unbearable.

America rightly laments the victims of Hurricane Sandy on the eastern cost line. We have seen our tragedies, but none compare with the killing that goes on day after day in the Middle East. To avoid thinking, we can turn off our televisions or switch to a comedy sit.com. at the flip of a finger. How quickly we forget the horrendous cost of a war.

We must not.

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Filed under middle east, Muslims, United States History, War

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