Today, March 19th, 2013, marks the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Ten years later, the dust has not settled but the cost for this war is becoming clear. In a report released by CostsofWar.org it is estimated that 134,000 Iraqi civilians and over 4,000 American soldiers lost their lives due to the war in Iraq. They also estimate that the Iraq war will have cost the U.S. over 6 trillion dollars. In the end, it is hard not to ask ourselves, what is it that we achieved?
Currently, the pentagon is spending billions of dollars on defense contractors, wasteful projects such as the billion-dollar-a-plane F-35, and wasting billions in Afghanistan. Is this where our country’s priorities lie? Is this how we want to spend our tax dollars? Killing innocent civilians and waging wars based on lies and deceit? For the past 10 years, Robert Greenwald and Brave New Foundation have tried to address these questions.
Since 2004, Brave New Foundation has released several full-length documentaries and dozens of short videos to reveal the truth about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Films like Uncovered: the Whole Truth About the Iraq War, Iraq for Sale and Rethink: Afghanistan have connected the dots and presented the facts so viewers could decide whether or not this course was right for our country.
Yet, ten years later and we're still asking the same questions. In September, we released a video to accompany a report by human rights law experts at Stanford and New York University law schools. The report, entitled “Living Under Drones” presented a first-hand testimony from Pakistani civilians on the humanitarian and security costs of escalating drone attacks by the United States. The report uncovered civilian deaths and the psychological/social costs of this policy - where people are literally scared to leave their homes because of drones flying overhead 24 hours a day.
It is a hard fact to swallow that after 10 years, we’re seeing the same policies, the same wasteful spending, and the same failed philosophy that we can kill our way to safety.