Hell’s Endless Trails from the USA

Hell is probably one of the most universal concepts of our species. In this article I describe “Hell at Home” and “Hell Away.”

Hell at Home

Gazette Sampler

Beware of Your Medicine Cabinet

Several years ago, I collected many descriptions of incidents of wrongdoing in industry and government. Here is a small sample of wrongdoing in “Big Pharma:”

Big Pharma gouges prices in the absence of Government’s price controls. Uses improper techniques to test drugs. Intimidates and threatens their in-house scientists. Fabricates drug safety data and lies to the FDA. Routinely bribes doctors with luxury vacations and paid speaking gigs. Provides drugs to doctors at a discount so they can be sold to patients at a big profit. Markets a drug that is more expensive than alternative drugs and deadly among adults and children. Raises drug prices before new legislation passed seeking to curb drug prices. Aware for at least a decade of animal studies linking breast implants to cancer and other illnesses but waits years before telling women the risks. Dilutes cancer drugs to boost profits. Sells to other countries a drug taken off the U.S. market because of concerns about the drug’s adverse effects.  Blocked state legislation designed to lower drug prices for state residents without insurance coverage.

Some Selective “Sadtistics”

In no Particular Order:

U.S. has highest infant mortality of comparable OECD countries.

17 million children in poor families don’t get nutritious food regularly.

Consumer fraud cost Americans 8.8 million dollars in 2022.

About 3.6 million are jobless.

37.9 million Americans live in poverty.

Over one-half million are homeless and living outdoors.

About 13 million Americans work two jobs to make ends.

Roughly 5,000 die annually from workplace accidents.

About 26 million do not have health insurance.

Over 324,000 home foreclosures in 2022.

In 2021 48,830 people died from gun-related injuries in the U.S.

Enough is Enough

Some Unmeasurable Harms Done

Unfulfilled Potential

Due to denied opportunities, few people have the means to reach their fullest potential.

Denial of Universal Huan Rights

Ordinary Americans are denied their universal human rights declared by the United Nations in 1948; rights such as a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of everyone, including food, clothing, housing, medical care and necessary social services, or the right to economic security during crises beyond the person’s control.

Lost Peace and Democracy

The two biggest lost opportunities stolen from us are the chance for worldwide peace and to create a true democracy. My guess is that converting our entire national security budget every year into a peacetime budget would be more than enough to rebuild America into a civilized land of fulfilled people and to end our scavenging of the world. A peacetime budget would force weapons makers into making things useful for all of America, a conversion that could be made since the weapons makers know how to make things.

Had we not lost the opportunity, had our government, as prescribed in the Constitution “provided for the general welfare” and not the welfare of the corpocracy, America would be a very different America today, an America in which its citizenry share power and wealth more equally, an educated America, an employed America, a healthy America, a happy America, and an America at peace with the world. Call this different America the “People’s America.”

The Loss of Privacy

Americans have lost their Constitutional right to privacy and live in the land of the watched. The National Security Agency is the government’s master spy agency that probably spies on us daily.

The Loss of Trust and Faith. How much trust or faith do you really have that the products and services you acquire have no faults given the “Gazette Sampler.”

The Burden of Fear. Living in a police state and a gun spiked state like America is tantamount to living fearfully for most everybody but the power elite (except the latter’s fear of an uprising may be a repressed or guarded one). Think twice about joining a protest movement, going to a theater, a major outdoor event, or even to the shopping mall?

USA Hell Away

Counting sand would be easier than tallying the total number of casualties and property destroyed from US overt and covert military operations since 1776. So, I decided to share with you the tally made by S.B. Wilson of the deaths and destruction from one war alone, the US war waged against the Southeast Asian people in Viet Nam, Laos, and Cambodia – what is known as the Viet Nam War. Mr. Wilson, now a lawyer, lost both legs crushed by an oncoming munitions train he had attempted to halt. Seventy-five percent of South Viet Nam was considered a free-fire zone (i.e., genocidal). Here is his tally:

–Over 6 million Southeast Asians killed.

–Over 64,000 US and Allied soldiers killed.

–Over 1,600 US soldiers, and 300,000

Vietnamese soldiers remain missing.

–Thousands of amputees, paraplegics, blind, deaf, and other maiming’s created.

–13,000 of 21,000 of Vietnamese villages, or 62 percent, severely damaged or destroyed, mostly by bombing.

–Nearly 950 churches and pagodas destroyed by bombing.

–350 hospitals and 1,500 maternity wards destroyed by bombing.

–Nearly 3,000 high schools and universities destroyed by bombing.

–Over 15,000 bridges destroyed by bombing.

–10 million cubic meters of dikes destroyed by bombing.

–Over 3,700 US fixed-wing aircraft lost.

–36,125,000 US helicopter sorties during the war; over 10,000 helicopters lost or severely damaged.

–26 million bomb craters created the majority from B-52s (a B-52 bomb crater could be 20 feet deep, and 40 feet across).

–39 million acres of land in Indochina (or 91 percent of the land area of South Viet Nam) littered with fragments of bombs and shells, equivalent to 244,000 (160 acre) farms, or an area the size of all New England except Connecticut.

–21 million gallons (80 million liters) of extremely poisonous chemicals (herbicides)  applied in 20,000 chemical spraying missions between 1961 and 1970 in the most intensive use of chemical warfare in human history, with as many as 4.8 million Vietnamese living in nearly 3,200 villages directly sprayed by the chemicals.

–24 percent, or 16,100 square miles, of South

Viet Nam sprayed, an area larger than the states of Connecticut, Vermont, and Rhode Island combined, killing tropical forest, food crops, and inland forests.

–Over 500,000 Vietnamese died from chronic conditions related to chemical spraying with an estimated 650,000 still suffering from such conditions; 500,000 children have been born with Agent Orange-induced birth defects, now including third generation offspring.

–Nearly 375,000 tons of fire balling napalm

dropped on villages.

–Huge Rome Plows (made in Rome, Georgia), 20-ton earthmoving D7E

Caterpillar tractors, fitted with a nearly 2.5-ton curved 11-foot-wide attached blade protected by 14 additional tons of armor plate, scraped clean between 700,000 and 750,000 acres (1,200 square miles), an area equivalent to Rhode Island, leaving bare earth, rocks, and smashed trees.

–As many as 36,000,000 total tons of ordnance expended from aerial and naval bombing, artillery, and ground combat firepower. On an average day US artillery expended 10,000 rounds costing $1 million per day; 150,000-300,000 tons of UXO remain scattered around Southeast Asia. 40,000 have been killed in Viet Nam since the end of the war in 1975, and nearly 70,000 injured; 20,000 Laotians have been killed or injured since the end of the war.

–7 billion gallons of fuel consumed by US forces during the war.1Wilson, S.B.  “Remembering All the Deaths from All of Our Wars.” Counterpunch, May 27, 2016.

In Closing

“Forever War”

The murdering and destruction ever since by America’s evil power elite has never stopped and will not stop unless and until. Nick Turse calls this grizzly phenomenon, “Forever War.”2Turse, N. “Forever War Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry.” LA Progressive, January 30, 2024. See also his book, The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives. Metropolitan Books, First Edition (March 3, 2009). He is a journalist, winner of a 2009 Ridenhour Prize for Reportorial Distinction as well as a James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, book author and currently a fellow at New York University’s Center for the United States and the Cold War.

What if the tables were turned and the US became the target of the “Forever War?”


  • 1
    Wilson, S.B.  “Remembering All the Deaths from All of Our Wars.” Counterpunch, May 27, 2016.
  • 2
    Turse, N. “Forever War Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry.” LA Progressive, January 30, 2024. See also his book, The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives. Metropolitan Books, First Edition (March 3, 2009).
Gary Brumback, PhD, is a retired psychologist and Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science. Read other articles by Gary.