Ron Paul: The Terrible Cost of War





by Ron Paul

This month Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced the addition of some 1,900 mental health nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers to its existing workforce of 20,590 mental health staff in attempt to get a handle on the epidemic of suicides among combat veterans. Unfortunately, when presidents misuse our military on an unprecedented scale – and Congress lets them get away with it – the resulting stress causes military suicides to increase dramatically, both among active duty and retired service members. In fact, military deaths from suicide far outnumber combat deaths. According to an article in the Air Force Times this month, suicides among airmen are up 40 percent over last year.

Considering the multiple deployments service members are forced to endure as the war in Afghanistan stretches into its second decade, these figures are sadly unsurprising.

Ironically, the same VA Secretary Eric Shinseki was forced to retire from the Army by President Bush for daring to suggest that an invasion and occupation of Iraq would not be the cakewalk that neoconservatives promised. Then Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, who is not a military veteran, claimed that General Shinseki was “wildly off the mark” for suggesting that several hundred thousand soldiers would be required to secure post-invasion Iraq. Now we see who was right on the costs of war.

In addition to the hidden human costs of our seemingly endless wars are the economic costs. In 2008, Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz wrote “The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict.” Stiglitz illustrates that taking into account the total costs of the war, including replacing military equipment and caring for thousands of wounded veterans for the rest of their lives, the Iraq war will cost us orders of magnitude greater than the 50 billion dollars promised by the White House before the invasion. Add all the costs of Afghanistan into the mix, wrote Stiglitz, and the bill tops $7 trillion.

Is it any wonder why our infrastructure at home crumbles, healthcare is more expensive and harder to come by, and unemployment together with inflation continue their steady rise? Imagine the productive power of that seven trillion dollars in our private sector. What could it have done were it in private hands; what may have been discovered, what diseases might have been cured, what might have been built, how many productive jobs created?

With the bills coming due for our decade of reckless military action, the cuts rarely come from the well-connected military industrial complex with their lobbyists and powerful political allies. In President Obama’s 2013 budget, troop strength is to be cut significantly while enormously expensive and largely superfluous weapons systems emerge essentially unscathed. As defense analyst Winslow Wheeler wrote this month, costs of the “next generation” fighter, the F-35, will increase by another $289 million. This despite the fact that the fighter is badly designed and already outdated, a “virtual flying piano” writes Wheeler.

The military contractors building monstrosities like the F-35 are politically connected and thus protected. Unfortunately, returning military veterans are less so. In the same 2013 budget, the White House proposes to increase medical and pharmaceutical costs paid by veterans while reducing their cost of living increases. And how many years of increasingly alarming mental illness and suicide statistics has it taken for the modest increase in resources to be made available?

Those who predicted the real costs of our decade of global military conquest were ridiculed, scoffed at, and fired. History has now shown us that much of what they warned was correct. America is clearly less secure after a decade of unnecessary wars. It is more vulnerable and closer to economic collapse. Its military is nearly broken from years of abuse. Will we come back to our senses?



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49 Comments:

  1. French Canadian

    Ron Paul is so right and I agree with him 100%. This speech reminds me of one of Bob Dylan's song. It is worth putting the lyrics here:

    MASTERS OF WAR :

    Come you masters of war
    You that build the big guns
    You that build the death planes
    You that build all the bombs
    You that hide behind walls
    You that hide behind desks
    I just want you to know
    I can see through your masks.

    You that never done nothin'
    But build to destroy
    You play with my world
    Like it's your little toy
    You put a gun in my hand
    And you hide from my eyes
    And you turn and run farther
    When the fast bullets fly.

    Like Judas of old
    You lie and deceive
    A world war can be won
    You want me to believe
    But I see through your eyes
    And I see through your brain
    Like I see through the water
    That runs down my drain.

    You fasten all the triggers
    For the others to fire
    Then you set back and watch
    When the death count gets higher
    You hide in your mansion'
    As young people's blood
    Flows out of their bodies
    And is buried in the mud.

    You've thrown the worst fear
    That can ever be hurled
    Fear to bring children
    Into the world
    For threatening my baby
    Unborn and unnamed
    You ain't worth the blood
    That runs in your veins.

    How much do I know
    To talk out of turn
    You might say that I'm young
    You might say I'm unlearned
    But there's one thing I know
    Though I'm younger than you
    That even Jesus would never
    Forgive what you do.

    Let me ask you one question
    Is your money that good
    Will it buy you forgiveness
    Do you think that it could
    I think you will find
    When your death takes its toll
    All the money you made
    Will never buy back your soul.

    And I hope that you die
    And your death'll come soon
    I will follow your casket
    In the pale afternoon
    And I'll watch while you're lowered
    Down to your deathbed
    And I'll stand over your grave
    'Til I'm sure that you're dead

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    • Watch how easily Ron Paul dismantles the dogma of "Professor" Krugman (from Princeton...no-one can possibly claim the REAL title of Legitimate Professor from this Nest of Political Correctness Indoctrination "School")?!

      By extrapolation (since one of the most venomous creatures in America --- Krugman --- was so easily disposed of) Ron Paul will make mince-meat out of BO (who can hardly speak coherently without a teleprompter)!

      Share this as an assurance that Ron Paul will destroy in any debate the current occupier of the White House --- the BO!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a62dNGqQfNM&feature=player_embedded

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  2. Ron PAUL 2012!!"

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  3. Ron PAUL 2012!!"

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  4. Ron PAUL 2012!!"

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  5. The #OccupyWallStreet Deception
    watch?v=tMNHDM-PCkc
    watch?v=mCcqOKQR0BY

    American Autumn Was An Inside Job
    watch?v=v7KKYIBAcFc
    watch?v=_7F94Y4m1dU

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  6. The #OccupyWallStreet Deception
    watch?v=tMNHDM-PCkc
    watch?v=mCcqOKQR0BY

    American Autumn Was An Inside Job
    watch?v=v7KKYIBAcFc
    watch?v=_7F94Y4m1dU

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  7. LOOOOOL mitt romney weekly update:" i like trees. cars. and i jhust made a cool 200 thousand in the time it took for me to write this, AND ILL TEACH YOU ALL THE SECRET AFTER IM PREZ!"

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  8. LOOOOOL mitt romney weekly update:" i like trees. cars. and i jhust made a cool 200 thousand in the time it took for me to write this, AND ILL TEACH YOU ALL THE SECRET AFTER IM PREZ!"

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  9. LOOOOOL mitt romney weekly update:" i like trees. cars. and i jhust made a cool 200 thousand in the time it took for me to write this, AND ILL TEACH YOU ALL THE SECRET AFTER IM PREZ!"

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  10. LOOOOOL mitt romney weekly update:" i like trees. cars. and i jhust made a cool 200 thousand in the time it took for me to write this, AND ILL TEACH YOU ALL THE SECRET AFTER IM PREZ!"

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  11. Save the nomination.. Save the world...

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  12. Save the nomination.. Save the world...

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  13. Where is Mitt Romney's weekly update?

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  14. Where is Mitt Romney's weekly update?

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  15. just pray and hope he gets the Nomination first....the Mainstream news has been ignoring him like nothing else...if it goes the way its going so far it will be the Lesser of Two evils crap again with Romney & Obama...I dont want either of them Romney is just as bad as Obama

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  16. RON PAUL

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  17. RON PAUL RUUUUUUUUUUUULLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEESSSSSS!!!! HE WILL WIN!

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  18. I signed up my parents as Republicans to vote for Ron Paul in California.

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  19. I signed my parents as re

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  20. Ron Paul the only candidate that supports the troops.

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