By Anna DeVries
The United States is preparing to go to war against Iran. While increasingly desperate conditions for the majority of the American population get worse and worse. Growing mass unemployment, poverty, indebtedness, declining wages and fear of becoming homeless threatens the previous thriving middle class. While some 15 percent of Americans live in poverty American militarism continues to grow. It will literally cost billions of dollars to enter into a new war. And millions of Americans continue to suffer due to severe budgets cuts for social services.
Department of Defense annual military spending exceeds 1 trillion dollars. The United States has over 700 military bases around the world. Because the richest people in the world make billions of dollars from arms contacts and monopolizing oil resources. The “war on terror” or wars of aggression are just a way for America’s elite to secure the oil rich gulf to expand their profits even more. President Eisenhower warned of the growing “military industrial complex” and he was no liberal or radical at the time. He knew and warned that the military power would grow as long as the military contracts continued to make the elite rich. The rich people in turn finance the democratic and republican campaigns with millions of dollars; the elected government then owes these rich people favors. This has been the never ending cycle since WWII.
The US media is lying to the American people telling us that Iran is a “clear and present threat” and is months away from building a nuclear weapons. The truth is Iran’s nuclear facilities are monitored by the Atomic Energy Agency and the enriched uranium stockpiles are not weapon-grade. Similar propaganda of “weapons of mass destruction” was used to go to war in Iraq.
An invasion in Iran, like the invasion to Iraq, will be an illegal war of aggression. The same crime the Nazis were tried and convicted for after World War II. The US and allies have already imposed economic sanctions on Iran crippling its economy. The US and European Union imposed sanctions that reduced Iran’s oil export by half. The value of the currency has decreased, many have become unemployed and millions face hardship. These sanctions are designed to weaken Iran, a definite step towards waging war on Iran.
Starting another war will have devastating consequences. Over 7,600 America troops have died for a cause that is anti-democratic. Various sources say over 100,000 people in Iraq have died since United States invaded. Millions of Iraqis and Afghans are refugees because of a war we have created.
Ideally, we need to immediately withdrawal our troops and shut down military bases around the world. Those responsible for planning wars of aggression need to be held accountable. This will free up huge amounts of resources that would enable America to support its people and make America a great country again. Instead of spending mass amounts of money on a war that will make the elite wealthier, we need to invest back into our country. Not only that but Americans need basic rights; the right to a job, education, health care, secure retirement, a decent standard of living, a world without war. This can happen with the support of the working class people in massive nonviolent social movements. The working American people have the power, we give it to our government, and it is time to take it back. The unfortunate thing is not enough Americans have hit rock bottom, enough to demand change. If we go into another war desperate conditions for the American people will continue to get worse.
Anna DeVries is a fourth year sociology student at Sonoma State. She currently works two part time jobs in the food industry and attends SSU full time.