Letter: War on terror is nation's latest failed war

War on terror is our latest failed war

To the editor:

Have you noticed? America is always at war. The strange thing about these wars is that they're not really meant to be won. We haven't won a war since 1945. They're meant to go on forever.

It's nothing more than the military establishment diverting money from the nation to itself. But in no way does it defend the nation. How many meaningless wars will we have to lose before the public awakens?

Our wars have not always been lost on the battlefield. In 1920, the War on Alcohol, called Prohibition, cost $20 billion and failed. When it was repealed in 1933, the result was increased drinking and increased crime.

The War on Drugs began in 1971 and has cost a trillion dollars and failed. Prescription drug abuse and opiate addiction is up.

The War on Poverty, begun in 1964, has cost $22 trillion and has also failed. There are now ten million more impoverished souls living in the USA.

The War on Global Warming, which began in 1989, has cost us $23 trillion. And yet again, we are losing that war. Scientists state that global warming continues to accelerate.

The War on Business Cycles and Bear Markets. which began in 1990, has cost over $4 trillion and has failed. The biggest credit (debt) bubble in history still gets larger.

And, of course, in 2001, the infamous War on Terror. So far, we've spent $2.3 trillion and yes, we've failed. Today there are more terrorists and more terrorist groups than ever. Let's take a close look at this war where there is no concrete enemy.

Americans are running scared, having been fed a steady barrage of propaganda by the mainstream media, which got its "facts" from the neocons, who run our foreign policy. Our citizens gladly give up their civil liberties guaranteed to them by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Yet, if you are seeing the War on Terror clearly, you will note that millions of Americans have died of natural causes, medical incompetence, police shootings, mass murder, fires, allergies, bathroom falls, and so forth in the last 200 years, but a Google search was unable to turn up a single American, in any of these 50 states, who was decapitated by brutal Islamists. If you even include 9/11, Muslims do not constitute a significant risk factor.

By contrast, the risk to a Muslim of being killed by bomb-dropping Americans is over the top. Several studies have put the number of Muslims killed during the U.S.-led War on Terror at 4 to 8 million during the last three decades.

Even after 14 years and trillions spent to stimulate attacks, an American's risk of being killed by a terrorist is still only 1 in 4 million. Since 2001, 40 U.S. citizens have been murdered by people who were arguably "Muslim terrorists." In that same period, 450,000 were killed in the U.S. in acts of violence perpetrated by Lutherans, Jews, atheists, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, Baptists, Buddhists, artists, plumbers, postal employees — you name it.

Protecting America has become a major theme of the presidential race, even though the country faces no significant threats. Most likely, if U.S. forces just plain withdrew from the Middle East, the threat to the homeland would evaporate completely. But that won't happen. We must remain at war, for that is what we do.

Charles Steinhacker, Great Barrington


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