by Sherwood Ross May 24, 2010
The fighting in Afghanistan this week has resulted in the deaths of Canadian Colonel Geoff Parker, 42, of Oakville, Ontario, and U.S. Colonel John McHugh, 46, of W. Caldwell, New Jersey. It also claimed the lives of Lieutenant Colonels Paul Bartz, 43, of Waterloo, Wis., and Thomas Belkofer, 44, of Perrysburg, Ohio. Other fatalities were Staff Sgt. Richard Tieman, 28, of Waynesboro, Pa., and Specialist Joshua Tomlinson, 24, of Dubberly, La.
The four officers were killed in Kabul, The New York Times reported May 21, when “A suicide bomber in a minibus drove into their convoy (of armored sports utility vehicles), killing the four officers, two other American servicemen and 12 Afghan civilians in a passing bus.” The total number of U.S. service member deaths since the U.S. invaded Afghanistan eight years ago now stands at 1,064. The number of contractors killed in the fighting has been put at around 300. And in 2008 alone it is estimated that nearly 4,000 Afghan civilians perished.
This writer deeply regrets each and every one of those deaths, especially those of the 12 innocent Afghan civilians this week. They likely would all be alive today if President George W. Bush had not chosen to invade a country that never attacked America and which the U.S. oil industry has long coveted for a pipeline route. They would be alive if President Barack Obama had withdrawn U.S. troops. Instead, he has escalated the conflict and increased “defense” spending to a record $708 billion for fiscal 2011—a step which will only make the U.S. military-industrial complex(MIC) more powerful. For those associated with MIC, however, “defense” spending means jobs and prosperity.