FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Casualties and the Stock Market

by JASON LEOPOLD

 

I hope the stock market gets hammered. I hope the Iraqis set fire to as many oil fields as possible. I hope oil prices in the United States surge and shortages persist. I hope the antiwar protestors become disobedient. I hope the economy never recovers. I hope Iraq doesn’t have weapons of mass destruction. I hope our troops make it home alive.

This is the only way to drive home the point that war is brutal no matter who the enemy is. After the bombs dropped on Baghdad and hundreds of Iraqi soldiers surrendered to U.S. and British troops, the pundits on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC reported that the war could end within a month.

“Nonsense,” I said.

This war would be an easy victory for the U.S. and its allies, the cable news outlets said. Kind of like watching the Los Angeles Lakers pummel the Los Angeles Clippers. Reaction here to the commentaries and the real-time images was swift. The stock market soared. Oil prices plummeted. It appears that the outcome of the war is measured by how well the Dow Jones Industrial Average performs

Since last Wednesday, I have been glued to the television, watching in shock and awe how the pundits on the cable news outlets reported on the conflict like it was some sort of sporting event. The television and print reporters covering the war failed to ask any questions about Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction and where they were hidden. It’s as if the media forgot the reasons the Bush administration said we were invading Iraq in the first place.

Then last weekend, the realities of war set in. A few military helicopters crashed. U.S. and British soldiers died. On Saturday, a dozen American soldiers were captured and may have been executed in an ambush by Iraqi soldiers, which was aired on an Arab news station. President Bush warned that if U.S. soldiers were executed it would violate the Geneva Convention and that those responsible would be prosecuted for war crimes.

Excuse me for being cynical, but for a president who only last week promised to eradicate Saddam Hussein’s regime and everyone who fights on behalf of it, why would Iraqi soldiers abide by the rules of war? What’s the incentive? The way they see it they’re dead men walking.

Reaction here to the two-dozen U.S. and British casualties in the four-day war has been anger, frustration, even disbelief. And the ground war against Iraq’s elite Republican Guard—which promises to bring even more U.S. and British combat deaths—hasn’t even started yet.

What this proves is that the public can’t and won’t accept the loss of U.S. life in exchange for the Bush administration’s goal of overthrowing Saddam and liberating the Iraqi people. Nor should they.

Sure, the U.S. will prevail. We will win this war. Saddam will be history. Iraqi’s will be free. But it will come at a cost. Only when the reality of war sets in, when mothers lose their sons, wives lose their husbands and children lose their fathers and mothers will people start to question the motives of invading a country that so far has proved to be nothing more than a nuisance to the U.S., not a threat.

Yesterday’s Features

David Lindorff
Peacekeepers at Ground Zero

Diane Christian
Blood Sacrifice

Kathy Kelly
The Morning After Shock and Awe

John Stanton
US Bombs Iran

Wayne Madsen
How to Live with a Rogue Superpower

Anthony Gancarski
Iraq and the Death of the West

David Vest
Earth vs. Bush

Ahmad Faruqui
The Liberation of Iraq in Perspective

Robert Fisk
We Bomb, They Suffer

Website of the War
Iraq Body Count

Keep CounterPunch Alive:
Make a Tax–Deductible Donation Today Online!

home / subscribe / about us / books / archives / search / links /

JASON LEOPOLD is the former Los Angeles bureau chief of Dow Jones Newswires where he spent two years covering the energy crisis and the Enron bankruptcy. He just finished writing a book about the crisis, due out in December through Rowman & Littlefield. He can be reached at: jasonleopold@hotmail.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
December 09, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nasty As They Wanna Be
Henry Giroux
Trump’s Second Gilded Age: Overcoming the Rule of Billionaires and Militarists
Andrew Levine
Trump’s Chumps: Victims of the Old Bait and Switch
Erin McCarley
American Nazis and the Fight for US History
Lewis Lapham
Hostile Takeover
Joshua Frank
This Week at CounterPunch: More Hollow Smears and Baseless Accusations
Paul Street
The Democrats Do Their Job, Again
Vijay Prashad
The Cuban Revolution: Defying Imperialism From Its Backyard
Michael Hudson - Sharmini Peries
Orwellian Economics
Mark Ames
The Anonymous Blacklist Promoted by the Washington Post Has Apparent Ties to Ukrainian Fascism and CIA Spying
Conn Hallinan
India & Pakistan: the Unthinkable
Andrew Smolski
Third Coast Pillory: Nativism on the Left – A Realer Smith
Joshua Sperber
Trump in the Age of Identity Politics
Brandy Baker
Jill Stein Sees Russia From Her House
Katheryne Schulz
Report from Santiago de Cuba: Celebrating Fidel’s Rebellious Life
Nelson Valdes
Fidel and the Good People
Norman Solomon
McCarthy’s Smiling Ghost: Democrats Point the Finger at Russia
Renee Parsons
The Snowflake Nation and Trump on Immigration
Margaret Kimberley
Black Fear of Trump
Michael J. Sainato
A Pruitt Running Through It: Trump Kills Nearly Useless EPA With Nomination of Oil Industry Hack
Ron Jacobs
Surviving Hate and Death—The AIDS Crisis in 1980s USA
David Swanson
Virginia’s Constitution Needs Improving
Louis Proyect
Narcos and the Story of Colombia’s Unhappiness
Paul Atwood
War Has Been, is, and Will be the American Way of Life…Unless?
John Wight
Syria and the Bodyguard of Lies
Richard Hardigan
Anti-Semitism Awareness Act: Senate Bill Criminalizes Criticism of Israel
Kathy Kelly
See How We Live
David Macaray
Trump Picks his Secretary of Labor. Ho-Hum.
Howard Lisnoff
Interview with a Political Organizer
Yves Engler
BDS and Anti-Semitism
Martha Durkee-Neuman
Millennial Organizers Want to See An Intersectional Understanding Of Gun Violence
Adam Parsons
Home Truths About the Climate Emergency
Brian Cloughley
The Decline and Fall of Britain
Eamonn Fingleton
U.S. China Policy: Is Obama Schizoid?
Graham Peebles
Worldwide Air Pollution is Making us Ill
Joseph Natoli
Fake News is Subjective?
Andre Vltchek
Tough-Talking Philippine President Duterte
Binoy Kampmark
Total Surveillance: Snooping in the United Kingdom
Guillermo R. Gil
Vivirse la película: Willful Opposition to the Fiscal Control Board in Puerto Rico
Patrick Bond
South Africa’s Junk Credit Rating was Avoided, But at the Cost of Junk Analysis
Clancy Sigal
Investigate the Protesters! A Trial Balloon Filled With Poison Gas
Charles R. Larson
Review:  Helon Habila’s The Chibok Girls: the Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria
December 08, 2016
John W. Whitehead
Power to the People: John Lennon’s Legacy Lives On
Mike Whitney
Rolling Back the Empire: Washington’s Proxy-Army Faces Decisive Defeat in Aleppo
Ellen Brown
“We’ll Look at Everything:” More Thoughts on Trump’s $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail