Even after the official withdrawal of its forces, the United States never totally leaves any country which it has invaded, and its occupations do not cease, Cindy Sheehan, a renowned anti-war activist and the mother of an American serviceman who was killed in combat during US operations in Iraq, told Sputnik.
After twenty years of direct Washington involvement in Afghanistan, the death of over 2,300 American servicemen, deaths and injuries of hundreds of thousands of Afghans, and US military expenditures that, according to an analysis by Brown University, exceeded $2 trillion – President Joe Biden decided in mid-April to terminate operations in the Islamic republic. However, the US announced that Washington would explore possible basing options in the countries neighboring Afghanistan to support future counter-terrorist operations.
“As we all know, or should know, the U.S. never leaves any country and occupations or wars never end,” Sheehan, who received worldwide media attention in 2005 after she led a weeks-long antiwar rally at a makeshift camp outside the range of then-President George W. Bush, said.
According to the activist, the only exception was Vietnam, where resistance to the US effectively ran the American military out of the country. The US war in Vietnam lasted 19 years and became the second-longest invasion carried out by the American military in its history, after the operation in Afghanistan.
“But the landmines and defoliant called Agent Orange [used by the US military in Vietnam] have remained, causing deaths, illness, and continuing problems for the people of Vietnam, where over 3 million were killed during the active war,” she said.
She also recalled that even though the US announced the end of the war in Iraq during Barack Obama’s first year in the presidency, the Middle Eastern country was still reeling from the consequences.
“The lasting effects of depleted uranium and other toxic poisoning is harming especially children and unborn babies. And of course, some places in Iraq have become bases for resistance to the U.S. and Israel,” Sheehan, who was a vocal critic of Obama’s foreign policy, said.
She noted that a huge percentage of homeless in the US are war veterans.
“Obviously, the cost of wars go far beyond those who were killed for the lies of Empire and the profit of a few people,” Sheehan, who gained the label of “Peace Mom” in the wake of the Crawford protests, said.