(MintPress) – “I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives,” writes dying veteran Thomas Young in a […]
(MintPress) – “I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives,” writes dying veteran Thomas Young in a letter to former President George W. Bush this week.
With growing opposition to U.S. wars abroad, including within the ranks of the U.S. military, conservative warmongers have launched a new campaign to drum up public support for U.S. military actions past, present and future.
The primary target is the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.— set to open a new exhibit called, “The Price of Freedom: Americans at War,” linking U.S. wars abroad and freedom in the United States.
The exhibit begins with the line “Americans have gone to war to win their independence, expand their national boundaries, define their freedoms and defend their interests around the globe.”
With an emphasis on the attacks of 9/11 and the Civil War, the exhibit will reportedly leave out facts and statistics showing high levels of civilian casualties.
“But overwhelmingly the lying is done in this exhibit by omission. Bad past excuses for wars are ignored, the death and destruction is ignored or falsely reduced. Wars that are too recent for many of us to swallow too much B.S. about are quickly passed over,” writes David Swanson, a columnist for Veterans Today.
The exhibit, funded by an anonymous billionaire, will feature photographs, videos and teaching guides that critics claim offer a jingoistic, myopic approach to explaining the history of U.S. imperialism.
“September 11 was a modern-day tragedy of immense proportions. The devastating attacks by al-Qaeda terrorists inside the United States killed some 3,000 people and sparked an American-led war on terrorism. The repercussions of that day will impact domestic and international political decisions for many years to come,” claims one part of a teaching guide, omitting any mention of the more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians who died as a result of the U.S. “War on Terror.”
As one of the most visited museums in the world, the exhibit is likely to reach a large audience of U.S. and non-U.S. citizens. According to Travel and Leisure Magazine, the National Museum of American History was the 12th most popular museum in the world with roughly 4.2 million visitors in 2011.
Public opinion polling shows that U.S. citizens stand decidedly against armed conflict in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. According to a March 2012 opinion poll conducted by the New York Times and CBS News, 69 percent of respondents thought that the United States should not be at war in Afghanistan.
On the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq last week, 53 percent of U.S. citizens now believe that the invasion was a mistake, according to a March 2013 Gallup poll.
A major factor driving opposition to these wars has been the large number of fatalities, injuries and tax dollars spent. According to the Brown University Costs of War project, the U.S. has spent $4 trillion on wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan since 2001.
Of the more than 330,000 people who have died in these conflicts, at least 201,000 have been civilians.