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Friday, August 24, 2012

The Human Cost of War on Iran | Elizabeth Murray, Consortiumnews

As Israel threatens to bomb Iran, U.S. pundits are again pontificating about the necessity of war and opining about military tactics. Left out of their frame is the certainty of mass human suffering, a reality forgotten since the days of the Vietnam War.
That's the synopsis of this article by former U.S. intelligence analyst Elizabeth Murray.

She refers to a "thought-provoking" paper commissioned in 2009 by the Center for International and Strategic Studies:
The study says that “any strike on the Bushehr nuclear reactor will cause the immediate death of thousands of people living in or adjacent to the site, and thousands of subsequent cancer deaths or even up to hundreds of thousands depending on the population density along the contamination plume,” adding that “Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates will be heavily affected by the radionuclides. ”
In other words, the paper acknowledges that since the spread of nuclear radiation does not stop at national borders, civilian populations throughout the region, including those of U.S. allies, will be forced to suffer the horrific consequences of any Israeli military adventures in Iran.
She asks several essential questions under this heading: Human Empathy, Casualty of a War Culture?
Why is it that U.S. policymakers and those in the intelligence agencies and think-tank communities who support them seem to have so little compassion for the victims of their political and military decisions?

Have they become too far removed from suffering, as they are shuttled from meeting to meeting in their chauffeur-driven SUV’s and Town Cars? ...

Does the mainstream news media encourage a culture of war that conditions its citizens not to think about the human suffering of foreign citizens?

Could it be that our corporate-controlled media do not want Americans to care about the fact that the bodies of men, women and children in Iran will be torn apart by the massive bombings, air attacks, or deteriorate slowly and painfully from radiation-related sicknesses that will accompany exposure to depleted uranium from “bunker buster” bombs?

When was the last time that footage of the dead and wounded from the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan came across the television screen? ...
And she concludes:
As the stakes rise for U.S. involvement in a reckless and ill-advised Israeli military adventure against Iran, let us not forget that those who advocate such wars are almost always comfortably ensconced in locations and lifestyles that ensure they will never have to see a battlefield, a mangled corpse, or a deformed child in their lifetime.
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This article is featured today (Aug. 24) in Beyond Child's Play: Peace Now--available at the Peace Now tab above and by free email subscription.

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