Friday, March 22, 2019

Truth in Trouble

Robert Preston, Meredith Willson's, Ya Got Trouble (in River City), The Music Man

The trouble with telling lies about oneself and others is that after a while of “truth miss-telling” one tends to lose connection with reality and unable to remember which statements are true and which are lies. Sadly, miss-tellers often tend to believe their own lies and make decisions based upon them.

While outright lying seems to be in fashion today, the person telling the tall tales is of critical importance. No problem if just the average guy is full of BS. But, if it’s the person in charge of everything, The President, well, that’s when “Trouble in River City”(please see below) becomes a seriously real problem.

This time I’m not referring to the King of "Alternative Facts" and misdirection, Mr. Trump. No, this time I’m remembering another King of Lies… George W. Bush.

You may recall that 16 years ago, on 20 March 2003, President George W. Bush launched our war on Iraq. He told us a whole bunch of lies to win our support for unleashing the U.S. brand of death and destruction on the people of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The cost of those lies? Here's a partial accounting... posted last year…

“First, the economic costs: According to estimates by the Costs of War project at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, the war on terror has cost Americans a staggering $5.6 trillion since 2001, when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan.”

“$5.6 trillion. This figure includes not just the Pentagon’s war fund, but also future obligations such as social services for an ever-growing number of post-9/11 veterans.”

“It’s hard for most of us to even begin to grasp such an enormous number.”

“It means Americans spend $32 million per hour, according to a counter by the National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies.”

“Put another way: Since 2001, every American taxpayer has spent almost $24,000 on the wars — equal to the average down payment on a house, a new Honda Accord, or a year at a public university.”

“As stupefying as those numbers are, the budgetary costs pale in comparison with the human toll.”

“As of 2015, when the Costs of War project made its latest tallies, up to 165,000 Iraqi civilians had died as a direct consequence of U.S. war, plus around 8,000 U.S. soldiers and military contractors in Iraq.”

“Those numbers have only continued to rise. Up to 6,000 civilians were killed by U.S.-led strikes in Iraq and Syria in 2017 –– more civilians than in any previous year, according to the watchdog group AirWars.”

“In addition to those direct deaths, at least four times as many people in Iraq have died from the side effects of war, such as malnutrition, environmental degradation, and deteriorated infrastructure.”

“Since the 2003 invasion, for instance, Iraqi health care has plummeted — with hospitals and clinics bombed, supplies of medicine and electricity jeopardized, and thousands of physicians and healthcare workers fleeing the country.”

“Meanwhile, the war continues to spread, no longer limited to Afghanistan, Iraq, or Syria, as many Americans think. Indeed, the U.S. military is escalating a shadowy network of anti-terror operations all across the world — in at least 76 nations, or 40 percent of countries on the planet.”

Truth has been in trouble for a long, long time. The problem is, a whole lot of people have paid the ultimate price for the "alternative fact" lies.

Costs of War: the Human Toll of the Post-9/11 Wars

 Robert Preston - "Ya Got Trouble" (In River City) - The Music Man - 1962

#downriverusa #rondbaker

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