Nov 162018
 

The Cost Of Post 9/11 Wars Hit $5.9 Trillion
By Claudia Grisales

November 15, 2018 “Information Clearing House” – WASHINGTON — The price for America’s longest wars has surpassed more than $5.9 trillion and at least 480,000 lost lives, according to a new study released by the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University.

The figures highlight the toll of U.S. war operations around the world since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and the study projects the numbers could rise.

“It’s important for the American people to understand the true costs of war, both the moral and monetary costs,” said Sen. Jack Reed, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, who helped introduce the report Wednesday at a meeting on Capitol Hill. “Our nation continues to finance wars and military operations through borrowing, rather than asking people to contribute to the national defense directly, and the result is a serious fiscal drag that we’re not really accounting for or factoring into deliberations about fiscal policy or military policy.”

The study’s death estimates include nearly 7,000 U.S. service members, nearly 8,000 U.S. contractors, more than 100,0000 military and police members from other countries, more than 244,000 civilians and more than 100,000 opposition fighters.

The $5.9 trillion U.S. cost includes Pentagon spending through fiscal year 2019, such as direct and indirect spending as well as future war-related costs for post-9/11 war veterans. It represents U.S. spending in the war zones of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other locations designated as “overseas contingency operations.”

It also includes war-related spending by other agencies, such as the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, costs of veterans care as well as debt used to pay for the wars.

“Veterans benefits and disability spending, and the cost of interest on borrowing to pay for the wars, will comprise an increasingly large share of the costs,” said Neta Crawford, a political science professor at the institute, who authored the study.

The institute’s “Costs of War” project, with 35 scholars, legal experts, human rights practitioners and physicians, began tracking the costs of the post-9/11 wars in 2011 and continues to release updated reports. The group, which does its work through Brown University, said it uses research and public data to facilitate greater transparency of the actual toll of the wars.

Even if the wars were to end by 2023, the United States is on track to spend an additional $808 billion, bringing the overall tally to at least $6.7 trillion, according to the study. That doesn’t include future interest payments on the spending.

War appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan are funded by deficit spending and borrowing, and not new taxes or war bonds, the study notes. This adds to interest costs, it concludes.

Those interest payments could shift with the winds of the economy and other factors, with some pundits estimating those fees alone could total trillions.

“The U.S. continues to fund the wars by borrowing, so this is a conservative estimate of the consequences of funding the war as if on a credit card, in which we are only paying interest even as we continue to spend,” Crawford said.

Tracking an overall cost for the post-9/11 wars is challenging because different departments take part in the spending.

In March 2018, the Defense Department estimated it had spent $1.5 trillion in war-related appropriations, but that only includes a portion of all war spending, the study argued.

With no single number for the budgetary costs of the wars, it makes assessing costs, risks and benefits difficult, Crawford said. Because taxpayers tend to focus on direct military spending, it discounts the larger budgetary costs of the wars and underestimates its greater significance, she added.

“In sum, high costs in war and war-related spending pose a national security concern because they are unsustainable,” Crawford said. “The public would be better served by increased transparency and by the development of a comprehensive strategy to end the wars and deal with other urgent national security priorities.”

The study also tallied the number of soldiers and sailors injured in the wars. Since 2001, more than 53,700 U.S. servicemembers have been injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of those injuries, 62 percent were hurt in Iraq, while 38 percent were injured in Afghanistan.

Though the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq has been less intense than in recent years, the toll of civilians killed in Afghanistan in 2018 is on track to be one of the highest death tolls of the war, Crawford said in her study.

Most of these war deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have been caused by militants, but some of them are at the hands of the United States and its coalition partners, Crawford said.

Yet, the tally remains incomplete, and there are efforts by the United Nations to track and identify perpetrators of those deaths and injuries, she noted. Other organizations, such as the Congressional Research Service and the news media, are also attempting to track these figures.

“Indeed, we may never know the total direct death toll in these wars,” she said.

In addition, this tally does not include “indirect deaths” — people harmed as a result of long-term damage left in the war zones, such as lost access to food and water.

“This update just scratches the surface of the human consequences of 17 years of war,” Crawford said. “There are a number of areas — the number of civilians killed and injured, and the number of U.S. military and veteran suicides, for instance — where greater transparency would lead to greater accountability and could lead to better policy.”

grisales.claudia@stripes.com – Twitter: @cgrisales

BY THE NUMBERS
A Brown University study has found the human and financial costs of the post-9/11 wars continue to rise. These are some statistics highlighted in the report:

The U.S. government is conducting counterterrorism activities in 76 countries
More than 244,000 civilians have been killed as a result of the fighting
More than 480,000 have died due to direct war violence, and several times as many indirectly
The wars have created 10.1 million refugees and displaced persons
The U.S. cost for the post-9/11 wars is more than $5.9 trillion

Nov 152018
 

War Criminals in High Office Commemorate the End of World War I

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

November 14, 2018 “Information Clearing House” – In a bitter irony, several of the World’s leaders who were “peacefully” commemorating the end of World War I in Paris including Trump, Netanyahu, Macron and May are the protagonists of war in Afghanistan, Palestine, Syria, Libya, Iraq and Yemen.

To put it bluntly they are war criminals under international law.

They have blood on their hands.

What on earth are they commemorating?

In the words of Hans Stehling: “As We Honour the 15 Million Dead of 1914-1918, a Demented US President Flies into Paris with Plans to Attack Iran” [with nuclear weapons] (Global Research, November 12, 2018)

Lest we forget: War is the ultimate crime, “The Crime against Peace” as defined under Nuremberg.

The US and its allies have embarked upon the ultimate war crime, a Worldwide military adventure, “a long war”, which threatens the future of humanity.

The Pentagon’s global military design is one of world conquest.

The War to End all Wars???

One hundred years later: What’s happening NOW in November 2018?

Major military and covert intelligence operations have been launched in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. The U.S. military agenda combines both major theatre operations as well as covert actions geared towards destabilizing sovereign states, not to mention economic warfare.

In the course of the last seventeen years, starting in the immediate wake of 9/11, a series of US-NATO led wars have been launched: Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Yemen, resulting in millions of civilian deaths and countless atrocities. These wars have been led by the US and its NATO allies.

It is all for a good cause:

“Responsibility to Protect”(R2P),

“Going after the bad guys”,

Waging a “Global War on Terrorism”.

It just so happens that “Outside Enemy Number One” Osama bin Laden was recruited by the CIA.

And the Bush and the Bin Laden families are friends.

Confirmed by the Washington Post Osama’s brother Shafiq bin Laden was meeting with George W Bush’s Dad, George H. Walker Bush at a Carlyle business meeting at the Ritz Carleton in New York on September 10, one day before 9/11:

It didn’t help that as the World Trade Center burned on Sept. 11, 2001, the news interrupted a Carlyle business conference at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel here attended by a brother of Osama bin Laden. Former president Bush, a fellow investor, had been with him at the conference the previous day. (WaPo, March 16, 2003)

Now does that not sound like a “conspiracy theory”? While Osama was allegedly coordinating the attack on the WTC, his brother Shafiq was meeting up with the President’s Dad, according to the Washington Post.

In turn, according to the Wall Street Journal “The bin Laden family has become acquainted with some of the biggest names in the Republican Party…” (WSJ, 27 September 2001)

Here is a rather “believe it or not” concept: if the US were to boost defence spending to go after Osama bin Laden (Enemy Number One), the bin Laden family would benefit so to speak because (in September 2001) they were partners of the Carlyle Group, one the World’s largest asset management companies:

Waging War on The Bad Guys

Amply documented, the “Bad Guys”, namely Al Qaeda and its various affiliates including ISIS-Daesh are constructs of Western intelligence (aka so-called “intelligence assets”).

In recent developments, the US and Israel are threatening Iran with nuclear weapons. U.S. and NATO ground forces are being deployed in Eastern Europe on Russia’s immediate doorstep. In turn, the U.S. is confronting China under the so-called “Pivot to Asia” which was launched during the Obama presidency.

The US also threatens to blow up North Korea with what is described in US military parlance as a “bloody nose operation” which consists in deploying “the more usable” low yield B61-11 mini-nukes which are tagged as “harmless to civilians because the explosion is under ground”, according to scientific opinion on contract to the Pentagon.

The B61-11 tactical nuclear weapon has an explosive capacity between one third and twelve times a Hiroshima bomb.

Flashback to August 6, 1945, the first Atomic Bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Up to 100, 000 people were killed in the first seven seconds following the explosion.

But it was “collateral damage”: In the words of President Harry Truman:

The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians.

What is at stake is a global criminal undertaking in defiance of international law. In the words of the late Nuremberg Prosecutor William Rockler:

The United States has discarded pretensions to international legality and decency, and embarked on a course of raw imperialism run amok.” (William Rockler, Nuremberg Tribunal prosecutor)

We will recall that the architect of Nuremberg, Supreme Court Justice and Nuremberg Prosecutor Robert Jackson said with some hesitation:
“We must never forget that the record on which we judge these defendants is the record on which history will judge us tomorrow. To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well.”

Does this historical statement apply to Donald Trump, Benjamin Netanyahu and Margaret May?

In defiance of Nuremberg, the US and its allies have invoked the conduct of “humanitarian wars” and “counter-terrorism” operations, with a view to installing “democracy” in targeted countries.
And the Western media applauds. War is now routinely heralded in news reports as a peacemaking undertaking.
War becomes peace. Realities are turned upside down.
These lies and fabrications are part of of war propaganda, which also constitutes a criminal undertaking under Nuremberg.

The US-NATO led war applied Worlwide is a criminal endeavor under the disguise of “responsibility to protect” and counter-terrorism. It violates the Nuremberg Charter, the US constitution and the UN charter. According to former chief Nuremberg prosector Benjamin Ferencz, in relation to the 2003 invasion of Iraq:

“a prima facie case can be made that the United States is guilty of the supreme crime against humanity — that being an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign nation.”

Ferenz was referring to “Crimes against Peace and War” (Nuremberg Principle VI): which states the following:

“The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:

(a) Crimes against peace:
(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).
(b) War crimes:
Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory; murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the Seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.
(c) Crimes against humanity:
Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.”
“(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;

(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).”

The original source of this article is Global Research
Copyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2018

read article here

Oct 192018
 

By Kristen Breitweiser, one of the four 9/11 widows – known as the “Jersey Girls” – instrumental in forcing the government to form the 9/11 Commission to investigate the 2001 attacks. Follow Kristen Breitweiser on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kdbreitweiser.

Road to Damascus Conversion: Derived from the Biblical story of Paul, the term “Damascus road conversion” is commonly used to refer to an abrupt about-face on a serious issue of religion, politics or philosophy. In this type of change, a single, dramatic event causes a person to become aligned with something he or she previously was against or support a position that he or she previously opposed. https://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-damascus-road-conversion.htm#didyouknowout
As a 9/11 widow who has spent the last 17 years fighting for accountability with regard to the 9/11 attacks that killed my husband and 3,000 others, I find the recent uproar over Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance and alleged murder interesting and out of character for many of those decrying his disappearance and demanding an investigation and accountability.

Frankly, 9/11 Family members keep a running list of all those in Washington who have proved by their past actions to be against U.S. victims of terrorism and in support of nations like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a nation with a long history of supporting global Wahhabist terrorism. As victims of terrorism, we are ever vigilant and watchful about all those named on our lists. We follow these folks actions, their speeches, their legislation, because we know that they are never looking out for our best interests as U.S. victims of terrorism. As a group, our institutional memory is broad and long. And we never forget.

That’s why we all happened to notice the uncharacteristic behavior of so many of those on our lists with the advent of Jamal Khasoggi’s disappearance. And it made us wonder why so many people, who had previously always blindly supported the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, were now so vociferously jumping Saudi ship.

What had caused this Road to Damascus conversion?

Take for example those who fought against the release of The 28 Pages of the Joint Inquiry of Congress(JICI) that detailed the Saudi role in the 9/11 attacks for fear that The 28 Pages public release might harm the Saudi’s reputation and its very special relationship with the United States. A relationship, in large part, based on oil, weapons, money, and shared intelligence operations—things that have little to do with keeping American citizens safe. https://www.hsdl.org/?view&did=27164
Regarding The 28 Pages, CIA Director, John Brennan once said, “releasing a classified section of the congressional investigation into the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States would be a mistake. A reason to keep them under wraps is they contain “unvetted information” that some could use to unfairly implicate Saudi Arabia in the terror attacks.” https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/278313-cia-director-28-pages-contains-inaccurate-information

Read article here

Sep 162018
 

american trajectory divine or demonic?“David Ray Griffin has done it again. His new book should be read as a prequel to the seminal Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined America and the World. Supported by extensive research, Griffin thoroughly debunks the myth of an American Empire as a benign, exceptionalist, divinely ordained historical agent. Instead of Manifest Destiny, what reality- based Griffin charters is the ‘malign’ ways of US foreign policy since the 19th century; a trajectory founded by slavery and genocide of indigenous peoples and then imperially expanded, non-stop. ‘Malign’ happens to be a term currently very much in vogue across the Beltway—but always to designate US competitors Russia and China. Griffin consistently challenges Beltway gospel, demonstrating that if the US had not entered WWI, there may have been no WWII. He unmasks the lies surrounding the true story of the Pearl Harbor attacks. He asks: If the US was really guided by God, how could it ‘choose’ to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki, knowing that ‘the atomic bombs were not necessary to end the war?’ Griffin also shows how the Cold War was actually conceptualized several years before the 1950 National Security Council paper 68 (NSC- 68). He revisits the origins of irrational hatred of Iran; the demonization of Cuba; the lies surrounding the Vietnam debacle; the false flags across Europe via Operation Gladio; the destruction of Yugoslavia; the decades-long evisceration of Iraq; and the ramifications of the Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine. This sharp, concise history of the American Empire ultimately demonstrates, in Griffin’s analysis, the ‘fraud’ of endorsing self- praising American Exceptionalism. A must read.” —Pepe Escobar, Asia Times/Hong Kong

Order book here

Sep 162018
 

corbettreport
Published on Sep 11, 2018
TRANSCRIPT AND MP3: https://www.corbettreport.com/911warg…

Little did we know at the time, 9/11 was not a normal day of blue sky aviation. On the contrary, it was one of the busiest days in the history of American aviation, a dense forest of live fly exercises, drills, simulations, fake radar injects and utter confusion. And that was before the attacks even began. This is the story of 9/11 that you didn’t watch unfold on your TV that fateful day in 2001. This is the story of the 9/11 War Games.

Sep 022018
 

The New Bobby McIlvaine Ad Campaign: Make It Go Viral this September 11th!

Today, as we approach the 17th anniversary of 9/11, we are honored to release our new Bobby McIlvaine campaign ad.

Based on our seven-minute video, 9/11 Father Seeks Justicewhich now has nearly two million views on Facebook, this brand new 37-second spot will be our primary vehicle for raising awareness of the Bobby McIlvaine Act during the upcoming 9/11 anniversary — when everyone is thinking about 9/11.

More about the campaign here

Sep 022018
 

New book by David Ray Griffin and Elizabeth Woodworth due to be released on September 11, 2018.  9:11 Unmasked

 

A panel of experts highlight the problems with all major claims of the official account of the 9/11 attacks.

Many Americans have been embarrassed by the Trump presidency. But Americans should also be embarrassed by the fact that this country’s foreign policy since 2001, which has resulted in millions of deaths, has been based on a complex deception.
9/11 Unmasked is the result of a six-year investigation by an international review panel, which has provided 51 points illustrating the problematic status of all the major claims in the official account of the 9/11 attacks, some of which are obviously false. Most dramatically, the official account of the destruction of the Twin Towers and World Trade Center 7 could not possibly be true, unless the laws of physics were suspended that day. But other claims made by the official account including the claims that the 9/11 planes were taken over by al-Qaeda hijackers, that one of those hijackers flew his plane into the Pentagon, and that passengers on the planes telephoned people on the ground are also demonstrably false.
The book reports only points about which the panel reached consensus by using the best-evidence consensus model employed in medical research. The panel is composed of experts about 9/11 from many disciplines, including physics, chemistry, structural engineering, aeronautical engineering, and jurisprudence.

Order here

Aug 222018
 
Today we released our official Project Due Diligence video. In one hour and fifteen minutes, it provides a comprehensive critique of the World Trade Center reports issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as well as a critique of the progressive collapse theory published by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
This video will serve as one of the main vehicles for our outreach to the civil engineering profession in the months and years ahead.
We’re asking you to get involved personally and put this tool to use by forwarding the video to every engineer and technical professional you know. You can also contribute by helping to arrange live presentations at local chapters of engineering associations, at college engineering departments, or at engineering firms.
The goals of this initiative are to facilitate a process of due diligence with respect to the official WTC reports and build support from the ground up until the profession’s leading institutions have no choice but to endorse the call for a new investigation.
More here