Who will pay? [Archives:2003/689/Viewpoint]

November 27 2003

Looking back to how the Iraq war started, and seeing the devastating costs so far, a question arises: “who will pay for the consequences?”
Let us assume all the plans made before the war turned to ashes, none of the objectives were met, and the US has failed to reconstruct Iraq, and that it had to withdraw after painful attacks, one after another. Who will pay for all this mess?
First of all, let us see what is there to be paid.
Yes indeed, the lives of hundreds of US servicemen and billions of US dollars spent. Then the most important of all, the cost that the war has caused to the reputation of the US around the world. Such are among the things that need to be paid.
But wait. Other nations lost a lot too. Who will pay for the inflicted damage on them?
Looking at Iraq alone, tremendous losses were seen in lives and property. This makes Iraq a victim of false decisions committed by the US administration and supported by the US public opinion. Who is to bare the expenses of rebuilding Iraq? Who will make up for the thousands of Iraqis who died in the war, and for the thousands who are now impaired or handicapped, and who have had their lives destroyed by US bombs and missiles?
That is not all. There are the prices to be paid for the so-called allies who supported the US-led war. Those include the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Poland, and other countries. Those have had their soldiers killed and injured, and have spent a lot of money in terms of military and politics to support the war.
If the war doesn’t achieve its objectives, who will pay for their losses?
The situation is quite complicated, and the overall estimated amount could reach hundreds of billions of dollars. The world has become, according polls and surveys, a more dangerous world after Bush’s war on terror started in Afghanistan and Iraq. The whole world now suffers. And the world’s losses cannot be calculated.
So who will pay? “The US administration” could be answer of some readers. Yes, that may be correct. The US administration decided to go to war, and it is the one who decided to send troops and get approvals for funds for the war and its aftermath construction period.
Nevertheless, the administration didn’t do it alone. It was done with the help of various bodies that are called ‘intelligent’ bodies such as the FBI and CIA. They all participated in bringing about the illusion about Iraq’s alleged WMDs and so called ‘threat to world peace,’ and sometimes called ‘danger facing the free world’. Shouldn’t they at least partially pay for what happened?
But then again, there are more who who paved the way. They are the congressmen in the US senate. They are also to blame. However, one needs not to forget that they are merely representatives of the people, who supported the war from the first glimpses of it. I remember times I would watch Americans chanting on TV that Saddam must go because he is a threat to the world. Others suggested that Saddam is the sponsor and financer of Al-Qaeda, so terminating him means destroying the terrorist organization’s basis. There were millions of Americans who thought that Saddam and al-Qaeda were related, and that’s what polls said. But where did they get this information from?
A simple answer: The media. The US media was able to picture things in a different way and bring sympathy and support of US citizens to the war. I remember times when the Fox News Channel (the highest rating channel during the war in the USA) used to interfere when anyone criticized the war and tried to show how “naive” that person is.
Hence, in my opinion, the American media is to blame for most of what happened. But then we come to the fundamental question about the media. Who owns and controls the media in the USA? Which group owns most of the US networks?
This is the question I want to leave to our readers to research and figure out an answer for. When they get the right answer, then they would have found the missing part of the chain.

Next week: Lessons we should learn