Ignoring the Lessons of Past Mistakes

Wars are a sink hole for tax dollars. This is well known and one would think Congress would take steps to prevent waste, fraud and corruption with spending on Ukraine. But this is not the case. In July, Senate Democrats blocked creating an inspector general to oversee spending for the war in Ukraine.

Congress has so far authorized $113 billion in spending for Ukraine. John Sopko, the former Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, says “If that much money is coming in, you know some of it is going to be stolen…” Even more of it is going to be wasted or simply disappear in to the fog of war.

The Pentagon’s has an abysmal record for lax financial accountability. There is no reason to believe they will do better in Ukraine than we did in other wars. The military contractors, weapons manufacturers, and various merchants of death will reap the bounty. One has to be ignorant or naive to really believe the war in Ukraine is about defending freedom, democracy or opposing Russian aggression in Ukraine. Its about making money.

We should not forget the human costs of war. The New York Times reports the total number of Ukrainian and Russian troops killed or wounded is around 500.000. This does not include civilian deaths and injuries. The estimated number of killed in action is 120,000 Russian and 70,000 Ukrainian soldiers.

On a related issue Guantanamo still open after 21 years. Amnesty International says the military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba represents grave violations of human rights by the U.S. government. Erika Guevara-Rosas, director for the Americas, says, “It’s tragic that 21 years after the opening of an offshore detention facility specifically designed to evade the rule of law, the US government continues to detain 35 men (as of October 2022) …Most have never even been charged with a crime. None has had a fair trial. Many of the detainees were tortured.”

We should be ashamed. We certainly have no room to criticize other governments for human rights abuses.