Paul Craig Roberts is a former editor and columnist for The Wall Street
Journal. During the Reagan administration, he was Assistant Secretary of the
Treasury for Economic Policy.
He wrote an essay "What the Iraq War Is About"
for an anti-war website "Antiwar.com." 1 Because of copyright restrictions we
cannot reprint his essay here; however, we are allowed to paraphrase parts of
Roberts lists some of the personal costs of the war in Afghanistan and Iraq
at the start of the sixth year of conflict:
Official government sources list:
4,538 U.S. soldiers killed
29,780 U.S. troops wounded in
The government does not publish official estimates of Iraqi and
A RAND Corporation report estimated that "some 300,000 U.S. troops are
suffering from major depression or post-traumatic stress from serving in the
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan..."
"Expert studies" estimate up to:
1.2 million Iraqis killed -- almost all civilians.
2 million Iraqis have fled the country.
2 million Iraqis are internally displaced within Iraq.
Afghan casualties are unknown.
An Email from Gen. Michael J. Kussman, undersecretary for health at the
Veterans Administration, to Ira Katz, head of mental health at the Veterans
Administration allegedly stated that an average of 126 veterans commit
suicide weekly. To the extent that this number exceeds the normal suicide
rate, it would be appropriate to add the surplus to the number of combat
Massive levels of damage to housing, infrastructure and the environment.
Added to the above are economic costs. U.S. Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz
estimates that the full cost of the Iraqi war will eventually be between three and five
trillion dollars. The war has been responsible for part of:
The tripling of the cost of oil and gasoline.
The dramatic decline in the value of the U.S. dollar in comparison with
Finally, Roberts suggests that the:
"... moral costs are perhaps the highest. The moral costs are perhaps the highest. All of the deaths, injuries, and
economic costs to the U.S. and its victims are due entirely to lies told by
the president and vice president of the U.S., by the secretary of defense,
the national security adviser, the secretary of state, and, of course, by
the media, including the 'liberal' New York Times. All of these lies
were uttered in behalf of an undeclared agenda. 'Our" government has still
not told 'we the people' the real reasons 'our' government invaded
Afghanistan and Iraq."
"Instead, the American sheeple [sic] have accepted a succession of transparent
lies: weapons of mass destruction, al-Qaeda connections and complicity in
the 9/11 attack, overthrowing a dictator and 'bringing democracy' to Iraqis."
"The great, moral American people would rather believe government lies
than to acknowledge the government's crimes and to hold the government