Wednesday, January 26, 2011

'US Wars to Continue Until its Economy Busts'

By Chris Hedges

January 21, 2011 "Press TV" -- American wars will continue until the country's giant corporations, which pay the politicians in Washington's corridors of power, become financially unsustainable, says senior fellow at the Nation Institute, Chris Hedges.

Hedges told Press TV's U.S. Desk in a Wednesday interview that the economy will fail "because we're paying for it through debt, through borrowing."


"Well the fact is like that ... like most wars this is the business. Unlike previous wars we have privatized many of the functions that the traditional military used to do and whether the wars go badly, we're certainly losing the war in Afghanistan," he pointed out.

"And I think it ultimately has been covered in the New York Times that [the Afghan] war is also unwinnable. It doesn't really matter. There are huge corporations whose profits [have] swollen four by four," Hedges said.

"The continuation of these conflicts is good for their bottom-line. That's why we're seeing very little reticence on the part of the government which knows how drastic the situation is in Afghanistan to pull back because the people who hold the ultimate power in the United States, which are corporations want these wars to continue," he went on to say.

Hedges named a number of corporations including Halliburton and Blackwater/Xe and argued that the big firms have obtained substantial profits, saying, "These corporations are doing very, very well. All you have to do is look at the difference in their stock price before 1991 and now."

He said that U.S. President Barack Obama spoke tactically during his presidential campaign "when he said he would withdraw the combat troops from Iraq."

"Even during the campaign if you look at the fine print, Obama wasn't promising" what many expected, he noted.

"There was an acknowledgment that occupation troops would remain in Iraq for many, many years," Hedges concluded.


Roughly 48,000 American troops are still based in Iraq seven years after the start of the war, according to the Washington Post.

Since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, 4,435 U.S. troops have been killed and more than 31,827 wounded in Iraq, according to the media.

The total cost of the Iraq war has been estimated to be over $3 trillion, according to

Since 2003, more than 1,300,000 Iraqi civilians are estimated to have been killed.

An estimated 4.7 million Iraqis have been displaced as a result of the war, according to

In October 2001 when U.S. forces attacked Afghanistan they had no authorization from the United Nations Security Council. It was only later on, in December, that the UNSC authorized the forces to be present in that country. As such, the Afghanistan war was not authorized by the United Nations Security Council from the start and many experts call it illegal under international law.

There are about 97,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan who, under Washington's plan, were supposed to start withdrawing in July ahead of the scheduled transfer of responsibility for security to Afghan forces in 2014. WSJ

Since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, more than 34,000 Afghan civilians have been killed in the country as a result of the war.

By the end of 2010, the war had resulted in 2,281 coalition casualties, including 1,445 American deaths. U.S. fatalities in 2010 (711) accounted for nearly half of all U.S. deaths since the war began over nine years ago. iCasualties

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