US naval vessels, including the gigantic nuclear powered aircraft carrier George Washington have joined South Korean military forces in a joint naval exercise off the coast of that country. North Korea has responded by threatening “sacred war” and nuclear retaliation.
This massive show of force is a response to the March sinking of a South Korean naval vessel near a disputed region in the oceans off the Koreas. Originally it was unclear whether a mine sank the warship, or an explosion. Then a panel of international experts decided that the boat was sunk by a North Korean torpedo.
Why would North Korea want to sink a South Korean naval vessel? Since the 1960s there have been a series of attacks on South Korean Presidents, on airliners bound for Seoul, South Korea, or on South Korean naval vessels by North Koreans. A bitter enmity exists between the two countries.
So now we are doing war-games near the coast of North Korea and that country is talking nuclear war.
At the same time, there is more talk about Iran and its nuclear weapons program. Some people are seriously talking about attacking Iran. Iran is seriously talking about defending itself against such attacks.
Has the whole world gone mad?
We have been involved in two wars for seven years. The end--let alone victory--is not in sight. We are spending hundreds of billions of dollars on these wars while we do not have enough money to pay unemployment to those left jobless by the economic crisis. We don’t have enough money to pay for our schools, for health care, or even, in some communities, to to turn on the street lamps. We are broke and we owe $ 4 trillion to other nations.
The US casualties in these wars have been high, so have been the casualties for some of our allies. Estimates of civilian casualties in Iraq alone range from 100,000 to 800,000. Damages to houses, streets, water and sewer installations, to schools and mosques have been enormous.
Two wars, poorly if at all justified, causing damages that will not be repaired for decades. Many of these damages--the human lives taken prematurely; the lives of the survivors marked indelibly--will never be repaired.
And still we talk more war?
Wake up, America!