War According To Soldiers!!!

War According To Soldiers!!!

A journalist friend of mine once told me that the media only covers “what’s new”!! Thus, since wars have been here for ages, i was not surprised that most of us are not very well informed about “wars” and their impact to those who get caught in them. With everything going on in Mali at the moment, I’ve once again found myself revisiting this particular question. What happens after our news networks have found a “new story”?. As an example, has anyone heard of Libya recently! Does it mean Libya is without war today! If i had asked a similar question on Libya a while ago, wouldn’t everyone have an opinion! Isn’t it “right” how we only hear of the situation in Iraq or Afghanistan when an American/Canadian or British soldiers die!! Anyone know how many civilians have lost their lives, or they don’t “count”! Does anyone know the current state of Darfur! Kosovo! Abidja! Sierra Leone! So what happens when a war starts and goes on for a who decade! Do people care for that long! Does the media keep us informed throughout! Should we even be relying on the media today! Do we get both sides of the story, or we only get our information about conflicts from politicians! Have you ever spoken to a soldier about a war he was involved in! If you haven’t, you should enjoy the following videos

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A summary of the Iraq war and some key figures.

Human Costs
Coalition deaths totaled 4,803, of which 4,484 (93 percent) were American. The number of Americans wounded was 32,200. At least 463 non-Iraqi contractors were killed.
Iraqi civilian deaths are estimated to total between 103,674 and 113,265.
The UNHCR says the war resulted in 1.24 million internally displaced persons and more than 1.6 million refugees.

Financial costs
The Congressional Research Service puts the dollar cost of Operation Iraqi Freedom at $806 billion.
In their book “The Three Trillion Dollar War,” Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes estimate the projected total cost of veterans’ health care and disability payments to be between $422 billion and $717 billion.

Veterans
More than 2 million US service members have served in Iraq or Afghanistan (many in both wars).
The total number of Iraq/Afghanistan veterans eligible for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care is 1,250,663, half of whom (625,384) have used VA health care since 2002.
The number of Iraq/Afghanistan veterans diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is at least 168,854 – more than a quarter of those who have used VA health care.
The suicide rate for Iraq/Afghanistan veterans using VA health care in FY 2008 was 38 suicides per 100,000 veterans – more than three times the national suicide rate for the previous year. source; Iraq war by numbers.

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…………………………………………………………………………………………… The impact of war can be horrendous even to soldiers. To date, since the start of the Iraq war, over 1000 people in the military have committed suicide!!

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. I hope this gives you another perspective on what has transpired during this mission or invasion wherever you might call it. From the African perspective, what we ought to take out of the above videos is that, “its never our war” and that theres always different sides to what the popular media preaches to us. At the end of the day, its the people who end up paying the biggest price; loss of loved ones, family members, orphaned, refugees without forgetting that war makes us even more poor while in enriches those who sponsor it. World renown philosopher, Albert Einstein once noted that “nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war”. Obviously, he lived in the pre-drones era but he was right, if we all come together, we can end all the violent wars. Enjoy the videos.

@Rasmutabaruka

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