- Previous articles discussed America's culture of violence
at home and abroad. Its entire history, in fact, is blood-drenched, glorifying
conflicts in the name of peace, waging them every year in US history against
one or more domestic and/or foreign adversaries.
- Moreover, since WW II, America's had a permanent war
agenda for unchallengeable global dominance throughout decades without
enemies since Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945.
- The Pentagon calls it a "long war." Obama is
the latest warrior president following Washington, Jefferson, Madison,
Jackson, Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, Wilson, F. Roosevelt, Truman, Johnson,
Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II preceding him, as well as all
others in between.
- In his 2002 book, "Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace,"
Gore Vidal said:
- "(O)ur rulers for more than half a century have
made sure that we are never to be told the truth about anything that our
government has done to other people, not to mention our own."
- Rhetorically resisting tyranny, supporting free peoples,
and promoting democracy, in fact, masks a destructive, immoral agenda to
subjugate and control, no matter the cost in dollars, public welfare, or
- America's Permanent War Economy
- It's how Seymour Melman (1917 - 2004) characterized it
in his books and frequents writings on America's military-industrial complex.
On March 15, 2003, one of his last articles headlined, "In the Grip
of a Permanent War Economy," saying:
- "(A)t the start of the twenty-first century, every
major aspect of American life is being shaped by our Permanent War Economy."
Its horrific toll includes:
- -- a de-industrialized nation, the result of decades
of shifting production abroad, leaving unions and communities "decimated;"
- -- government financing and promoting "every kind
of war industry and foreign investing by US firms;" war priorities
take precedence over essential homeland needs;
- -- America's "permanent war economy....has endured
since the end of World War II....Since then the US has been at war - somewhere
- every year, in Korea, Nicaragua, Vietnam, the Balkans - all this to the
accompaniment of shorter military forays in Africa, Chile, Grenada, Panama,"
and protracted ones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Palestine, Somalia,
Yemen, Central Africa, Libya, and increasingly against perceived homeland
- -- "how to make war" takes precedence over
everything, leaving no "public space (for) how to improve the quality
of our lives;"
- -- "Shortages of housing have caused a swelling
of the homeless population in every major city (because) State and city
governments across the country have become trained to bend to the needs
of the military....;" the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH)
estimates nearly 90,000 homeless Chicagoans during the 2009-10 school year
through June 1910, a 19.9% increase over the previous year; the National
Coalition for the Homeless estimates about 3.5 million nationwide;
- -- the result is a nation of growing millions of poor,
disadvantaged, uneducated, and "disconnected from society's mainstream,
restless and unhappy, frustrated, angry, and sad;"
- "State Capitalism" characterizes America's
government - business partnership, running a war economy for greater power
and wealth at the expense of a nation in decline, corrupted leadership,
lost industrialization, crumbling infrastructure, and suffering millions
on their own, uncared for, unwanted, ignored, and forgotten to assure steady
funding for America's wars, no matter the cost.
- Melman stressed that:
- "Further evasion is out of order. We must come to
grips with America's State Capitalism and its Permanent War Economy."
Re-industrialization is essential "to restore jobs and production
competence - industry by industry."
- "Failing that, there is no hope for any constructive
exit," for the nation or its people.
- Dwight Eisenhower's January 17, 1961 Address to the Nation
- His farewell address came 30 years to the day before
Operation Desert Storm, in which he warned about the "military-industrial
complex," citing the "grave implications" of a "coalition
of the military and industrialists who profit by manufacturing arms and
selling them to the government."
- He stated "we must guard against the acquisition
of unwarranted influence....by the military-industrial complex. The potential
for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."
- He added that:
- "Every gun that is made, every war ship launched,
every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who
hunger and are not fed, from those who are cold and not clothed."
- It results from what analysts call the "iron triangle"
of Congress, the Pentagon, and war industry, including weapons and munitions
makers, as well as producers of sophisticated technology for digital age
warfare of a kind Eisenhower never imagined.
- Today, militarism consumers over 40% of the national
tax revenue at the expense of unmet human needs. It's parasitic, unjustified
economically, inefficient, ineffective, self-destructive, immoral, and
illegal in all US wars since WW II. It redistributes income and resources
to the wealthy, undermines physical and human capital, increases internal
vulnerability to natural disasters, is too costly to be sustained, erodes
civil liberties and democratic values, and heads America for tyranny and
- America's FY 2011 National Defense Authorization Act
- In December 2010, Congress unanimously passed a FY 2011
$725 billion war budget, erroneously called defense.
- In April 2010, Independent Institute analyst Robert Higgs
broke it down in billions of dollars for 2009 as follows:
- -- Department of War - $636.5
- -- Department of Energy (nuclear weapons and environmental
remediation) - $16.7
- -- Department of State (plus international aid) - $36.3
- -- Department of Veterans Affairs - $95.5
- -- Department of Homeland Security - $51.7
- -- Department of the Treasury (for the Military Retirement
Fund) - $54.9
- -- NASA (half its budget) - $9.6; in fact, NASA is a
de facto military operation, space the new war frontier; and
- -- military-related debt service - $126.3
- Sub Total - $1,027.5
- Add to it regular supplemental foreign war authorizations
as well as black CIA, other intelligence, and Pentagon budgets totally
at least another $500 billion for a grand total exceeding $1.5 trillion
- Moreover, since 1998, Pentagon spending doubled. Since
2006, it rose 20%. America spends half or more than the rest of the world
combined, and Obama (the peace candidate) spends more than any previous
president, waging twice as many wars as George Bush despite no prospect
of winning any of them. The idea isn't always to win. It's to fight, the
longer the better for huge profits.
- At the same time, we're broke, cutting back, slashing
public services like education, healthcare, and other social needs, as
well as ignoring America's crumbling infrastructure.
- America's Addiction to War
- Noam Chomsky called Joel Andreas' 2004 book, "Addicted
to War: Why the US Can't Kick Militarism:"
- An indictment of "the curse of the people - the
attackers and the victims. (It) brilliantly tell(s) us why and how we must
rid ourselves of this curse, quickly, or else descend to barbarism and
- Howard Zinn said it's a "devastating portrait of
US military policy," and
- Helen Caldicott called it "an addiction that could,
in (the) nuclear age, destroy all life on earth, creating the final epidemic
of the human race."
- The book chronicles over two centuries of war, now menacing
nations globally. It explains who benefits, who pays, who loses, who dies,
and why militarists fear peace so create enemies when none exist.
- In his 1966 book, "How the World Really Works,"
Alan B. Jones included a chapter on the "Report from Iron Mountain:
On the Possibility and Desirability of Peace," later published in
1967 by The Dial Press. It became a bestseller, then disappeared. Now few
copies are available, but when circulating in the 1960s, it concerned Johnson
administration officials enough to downplay it, saying it had nothing to
do with policy. In fact, it very much did then and now.
- It explained the elements of war and problems of peace,
saying conflicts are an economic, political and ecological necessity, important
to continue indefinitely. In contrast, peace "would almost certainly
not be in the best interest of (a) stable society" and might be "catastrophic."
- In fact, general disarmament would require "scrapping....a
critical proportion of the most highly developed occupational specialties
in the economy."
- Diverting an arms budget to a "non-military system
(is) remote (in a) market economy." Replacing it with public works
is "wishful thinking (and) unrealistic."
- War is "the basic social system, within which other
secondary modes of social organization conflict or conspire. (It's) the
system (that's) governed most human societies of record, as it (does) today."
- No other control mechanism approached its effectiveness.
War-making potential doesn't result from threats. In fact, "threats
against the national interest are usually created or accelerated to meet
the changing needs of the war system."
- Significant nonmilitary war functions and benefits were
claimed to exist, including economic protections against depression, and
stimulus contributing to the rise of gross national product and individual
productivity. Nothing else devised "can remotely compare to it in
effectiveness." It's the "essential economic stabilizer."
- In addition, war's political importance is crucial. It
defines and enforces relations with other nations. National sovereignty
and the traditional nation-state depend on it. The war system is essential
to internal political stability. "Without it, no government has ever
been able to obtain acquiescence (to) its legitimacy, or right to rule
- A nation's authority over its people "resides in
its war powers," including local police to deal with "internal
enemies in a military manner."
- Military service has a patriotic purpose "that must
be maintained for its own sake."
- Wars also serve an ecological purpose - "to reduce
the consuming population to a level consistent with the survival of the
species," but mass destruction is inefficient, and nuclear weapons
are indiscriminate, removing physically stronger members important to save.
- Because of medical and scientific advances, pestilence
no longer can control populations effectively, balancing them with agriculture's
potential. As a result, other measures are needed to control "undesirable
- An effective political substitute for war requires "alternate
enemies....of credible quality and magnitude, if a transition to peace
is ever to come about without social disintegration." Most likely,
"such a threat will have to be invented."
- Other extreme considerations were also reviewed, the
report concluding that:
- Permanent "war is the foundation for stable government.
It supplies the basis for general acceptance of political authority."
It lets societies maintain class distinctions, ensuring subordination of
citizens to the state, run by elites with "residual war powers,"
to unleash at their whim. In other words, for militarists and profiteers,
war is good, the more the better. Winning doesn't matter, just waging them.
- Libya - America's Latest "Big Muddy"
- Highlighting Lyndon Johnson's Vietnam quagmire, Pete
Seeger's "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy" condemned "the big
fool say(ing) to push on." Today it's Eurasia, Libya Obama's latest
entanglement, promising more protracted war against another non-belligerent
illegally, menacing world peace, stability, national solvency, and democratic
- Like his predecessors, Obama glorifies conflicts and
the righteousness of waging them, packaged as liberating ones for democracy,
freedom, justice, and the best of all possible worlds. He's just the latest
in a long line of warrior leaders, waging war for peace, justifying them
by bogus threats, and calling pacifism unpatriotic to further an imperial
agenda for greater wealth, power, and unchallengeable global dominance
- a national sickness heading America for tyranny and ruin.
- As a candidate, he campaigned against imperial militarism,
promised limited escalation only, and pledged to remove all combat troops
from Iraq by August 31, 2010. He lied. War in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan
continue unabated, now another in Libya to control the entire Mediterranean
Basin, then on to another, and still more ad infinitum, no matter the cost
or social consequences.
- On March 30, New York Times writers Mark Mazzetti and
Eric Schmitt headlined, "CIA Agents in Libya Aid Airstrikes and Meet
- "....CIA operatives have been working in Libya for
several weeks as part of a shadow force (Obama) hopes can help bleed Colonel
- In fact, CIA agents have been in Libya and throughout
North Africa and the Middle East for years along with UK MI 6 officers.
Moreover, "current and former British officials said that (hundreds)
of British special forces and....intelligence officers are working inside
Libya. (They've) been directing airstrikes from British jets and gathering
intelligence about the whereabouts of" Gaddafi's forces and heavy
- On March 30, Reuters headlined, "Exclusive: Obama
authorizes secret help for Libya rebels," saying:
- He signed a secret "finding" in recent weeks
"authorizing covert US government support for rebel forces,"
including CIA and special forces aid, as well as weapons, though officially
"no decision has been made about providing arms...." On March
29, Secretary of State Clinton tacitly confirmed it, saying:
- "It is our interpretation (of SC Resolution 1973
to include) a legitimate transfer of arms (to rebel forces) if a country
should choose to do that."
- UK Prime Minister Cameron concurred, saying:
- "Our view is that this (resolution) would not necessarily
rule out the provision of assistance to those protecting civilians in certain
- In other words, when America and Britain wage war, anything
goes, in fact, whether or not any UN resolution authorizes it. Washington
especially has its own rules of engagement, concerned only about defeating
adversaries by any means, within or outside the law.
- The CIA declined comment on involvement in Libya, including
about Khalifa Hifter. Once a top Libyan military officer, he spent the
last two decades in suburban Virginia. Reportedly he has longstanding CIA
ties. On or about March 24, he was appointed top military commander for
Libya's rebel forces.
- In other words, CIA's man is running insurgent belligerence,
directing cutthroat killers, terrorizing areas they control, exposing Washington's
disdain for humanitarian intervention, as well as its direct involvement
against a sovereign leader, whether democrat or despot.
- A Final Comment
- On March 28, Global Research published the testimony
of Russian doctors in Libya, confirming the bombing of civilian targets,
what, in fact, America does in all wars, civilians as fair game as combatants
the way they've been waged in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan with no major
media discussion, airbrushing truth from all reports.
- An open letter from Russian doctors to Russia's president
- -- "blatant (US and NATO) aggression (is ongoing)
against (another) sovereign country - Libya;"
- -- "....bombing of Tripoli and other cities in Libya
is aimed not only at the objects of air defense and Libya's Air Force and
not only against the Libyan army, but also the object of military and civilian
- -- bombing around "densely populated residential
areas" is ongoing;
- -- "bombs and rockets struck residential houses
and fell near the hospital;" a wall in the maternity ward collapsed;
10 miscarriages resulted; the women are in intensive care, doctors fighting
to save them;
- -- they've been dozens of deaths and injuries; and they
call this "protecting the civilian population?"
- -- "With full responsibility as witnesses and participants
of what is happening, we state that the United States and its allies are
thus carrying out genocide against the Libyan people - as was the case
in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq."
- Clearly, America and co-belligerents France and Britain
plan replacing Gaddafi with a subservient puppet, serving Western, not
popular, interests. Libya's corpse will be divided and controlled, its
people exploited, their freedoms given no chance to materialize, their
land irradiated by toxic munitions, harming their lives and futures irreparably.
- April 1 marks two weeks of war, the start of months or
perhaps years of protracted conflict, assuring widespread death, injuries,
disabilities and destruction. A previous article explained it's assured
when America arrives - on depleted uranium cruise missiles, bombs and shells,
not white horses for humanitarian intervention, peace and democratic values,
notions all US administrations disdain.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the
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