Refugees, War and Toxic Waste – Who Have We Saved

Every time we bomb a country we create refugees. And then we cry foul and no one wants them. So who have we saved?

The absurdity of the cycle is that we supposedly enter a country to rid it of the bad guys, destroy the country, leave cities in rubble, and then wipe our hands, “Whew, glad we saved all those people!” Really? In actuality, what we accomplished was a tally of refugees that has grown to such devastatingly high proportions that they now have absolutely nothing and will die of hunger and disease.

In Syria, the number of refugees is now over 3 million. In Iraq since the beginning of the Iran-Iraq war and through the Gulf War, there have been over 4 million displaced Iraqi refugees. Yemen is the new Syria with estimates of 250,000 refugees, although a large number of Yemen refugees are Somali’s who sought refuge in Yemen from Somalia and now want to come back. In South Sudan, 700,000 have been displaced while 150,000 have fled and are refugees.

The UN has stated that there are currently about 50 million people worldwide displaced, seeking asylum or of refugee status. It is the largest number in history and yet we continue to add to that with every bomb we drop. We are supposed to be teaching respect and freedom, and democracy, but instead we are teaching war and destruction and devastation.

Solution: If you want to curb the number of refugees seeking asylum, stop bombing their country.

Granted, we aren’t responsible for every internally erupting country in the world. But the main categories of refugees include: Afghantistan, Syria, Iraq, Palestinian, and Somalis.

In the 1980’s, a number of European countries took advantage of the internal instability of Somalia to negotiate the disposal/dumping of 10 million tonnes of toxic waste along Somalia’s shoreline in exchange for $80million. Radiation related diseases have since become a major issue. Humanitarian?

In Syria, the chemical weapons were confiscated and then dumped. Where? Why in the Mediterranean of course where UN officials state that by adding chlorine the toxicity will be somewhat diffused. What is the impact of these chemicals and chlorine on sea life? That wasn’t considered.

In Afghanistan, the Bagram military base has a huge pit where they burn everything from televisions to computers, to all forms of electronics, waste, rubber, plastics, etc… Huge green and black plumes hover in the sky 24 hours a day. The gases are said to be causing respiratory illnesses, chronic allergies and various cancers among the Afghans as well as the military troops.

In Iraq, some estimates claim that 11 million pounds of hazardous waste was left behind when the US pulled out in 2010. What was the solution? To form a committee to analyze the problem. Ta-da! The National Defense Authorization Act ordered studies. So what the heck is this Act? It is a law that specifies the expenditures and budget for the Defense Department. So who is solving the hazardous waste problem? Not a clue, they are still assessing whether it exists while lawsuits begin pouring in.

But the burn pits took their toll and huge numbers of civilians and military are now claiming that the ‘Iraqi crud’ is causing lung cancer, anemia, and liver, kidney, and heart problems.

Solution: Stop starting wars. Let them solve their own problems while we concentrate on ours.

My father was an experiment in the Army. In the 1950’s he was ordered to Nevada to witness the nuclear tests. Officers were required to stand in the frontline while radiation consumed them. Soldiers were allowed to get some cover in bunkers but were still exposed. Decades later, my father contracted lung cancer which expanded to bone cancer, stomach cancer, a brain tumor and ultimately a very painful death.

So who did we save?

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