- Noted trends analyst Gerald Celente said it, and it's
true. In fact, America's business is war, more war, multiple wars, permanent
wars, pillaging one nation after another for wealth, power, and dominance,
while homeland needs go begging.
- America never was and isn't now the "land of the
free and home of the brave." In fact, it's become a "Let 'em
eat cake" society.
- Whether or not Marie Antoinette actually said it, France's
1789-99 revolution was very real, delivering guillotine justice, not promised
"Liberte, Egalite, and Fraternite," a status now destroying what's
left of American freedom, heading for the trash bin of history if not
- Earlier articles discussed Washington's wars against
Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya and Yemen, as well as numerous proxy
ones in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, and at home against Muslims,
Latino immigrants, and working households.
- Combined, they represent a shocking contempt for rule
of law justice, democratic values and humanity, notions now mere artifacts
long ago abandoned to advance America's imperium.
- As previous articles explained, out-of-control imperialism
is heading America for tyranny and ruin. In her 1951 book, "The Origins
of Totalitarianism," Hannah Arendt said it's "never content to
rule by external means, namely, through the state and a machinery of violence;
thanks to its peculiar ideology and the role assigned to it in this apparatus
of coercion, totalitarianism has discovered a means of dominating and terrorizing
human beings from within."
- She called it dictatorship based on:
- "(1) an elaborate ideology;
- (2) a single mass party;
- (3) terror;
- (4) a technologically conditioned monopoly of communication;
- (5) a monopoly of weapons; (and)
- (6) a centrally controlled economy."
- Duplicitously called a democracy, today's America nearly
- (1) Its ideology is concentrated wealth and power.
- (2) It's governed by a two-party duopoly - the money
or property party, excluding alternative choices.
- (3) It's the world's leading purveyor of state terrorism,
waging global wars against nations, groups or individuals, including targeted
assassinations of its own citizens.
- (4) Major media managed news gives it dominant (not
monopoly) communication control, but efforts to subvert Internet discourse
and debate may undermine its free and open content.
- (5) Corporate-run society makes it centrally controlled
for bottom line priorities, excluding other choices.
- In her book, "Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on
the Banality of Evil," Arendt said crimes of state aren't committed
by fanatics or sociopaths, just "terrifyingly normal" (people)....neither
perverted or sadistic....who accepted the premises of their superiors and
their state" to continue current and/or longstanding policies.
- In his book, "On the Justice of Roosting Chickens,"
Ward Churchill agreed, explaining what he called the "technocrats
of empire," functioning as "little Eichmanns," banally serving
imperial interests, no matter how lawless or evil. They could say "no,"
of course, but go along to get along, including at the highest levels.
For them, it's to share spoils, no matter the harm or human misery globally.
- Churchill's many books and writings discussed 500 genocidal
years against America's indigenous peoples, as well as its global imperial
apparatus. Touching the right nerves persuasively, the University of Colorado
disgracefully fired him in summer 2007, a pattern repeated elsewhere against
other activist professors, notably targeting Israeli critics like Norman
Finkelstein, Joel Kovel, Denis Rancourt, and Sami Al-Arian among others.
- Al-Arian was also lawlessly arrested, tried, acquitted,
imprisoned, brutalized, then freed, but remains under house arrest awaiting
dismissal of spurious charges against him.
- Imperial America's War Machine
- The empire never sleeps or tolerates anti-war activism,
threatening its quest for unchallengeable "full spectrum dominance"
over all land, surface and sub-surface sea, air, space, electromagnetic
spectrum and information systems with enough overwhelming power to fight
and win global wars against any adversary, including with nuclear weapons
- September 11, 2001 served as pretext to consolidate power,
destroy civil liberties and human rights, and wage permanent wars against
invented enemies for global dominance over world markets, resources, and
cheap labor - notably at home and throughout
- Eurasia, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia
at the expense of democratic freedoms and social justice.
- In its 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), the Pentagon
called it the "long war." Dick Cheney said wars won't end in
our lifetime, and former CIA Director James Woolsey said America "is
engaged in World War IV, and it could continue for years....This fourth
world war, I think, will last considerably longer than either World Wars
I or II did for us."
- In his 1990 address to a joint session of Congress, GHW
Bush called it a "New World Order," preparing the public for
Operation Desert Storm and years of war and occupation of Iraq, perhaps
knowing Serbia/Kosovo, Afghanistan, and other targeted states would follow.
- Obama is America's latest warrior president, succeeding
numerous past ones, including Washington, Madison, Jackson, Lincoln, T.
Roosevelt, Wilson, F. Roosevelt, Truman, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, GHW Bush,
Clinton, and GW Bush preceding him.
- Today's stakes, however are far greater and riskier because
of Pentagon grand plans, including militarizing space as a platform for
future wars. A previous article explained, accessed through the following
- It discussed plans to position nuclear, other state-of-the-art
weapons, and delivery systems to wage multiple wars from space anywhere
on short notice. Under Obama, the policy remains in place. His May 2010
National Security Strategy:
- "reserve(s) the right to act unilaterally if necessary
to defend our nation and our interests." In other words, to wage preemptive
wars, using first-strike nuclear and other destructive weapons "to
keep the American people safe (and advance the nation's) values and ideals,"
pursuing unchallengeable global/space dominance, ruling by intimidation
and war, making the world safe for capital.
- During the Cold War, MAD (mutually assured destruction)
held both sides at bay. Today's strategy includes "more flexible options
(for) a wider range of contingencies (with weapons) to optimize performance."
It means destroy an adversary's capabilities preemptively, then target
others to eliminate all challenges to US dominance.
- With America on a nuclear hair-trigger, it reinvented
MAD in new form, threatening potential global nuclear winter, defined as
"a long period of darkness and extreme cold that scientists predict
would follow a full-scale nuclear war, a layer of dust and smoke in the
atmosphere cover(ing) the earth and block(ing) the rays of the sun, (causing)
most living organisms (to) perish."
- Anti-nuclear expert Helen Caldicott says "one single
failure of nuclear deterrence could end human history (quickly). Once initiated,
it would take one hour to trigger a swift, sudden end to life on this planet."
Only nuclear disarmament and abolition of nuclear weapons can stop it,
what's never discussed or considered.
- On January 17, 1961, Dwight Eisenhower coined the phrase
"military industrial complex" in his farewell address, saying:
- "....we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted
influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex.
The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will
- As he prepared to leave office, he could hardly imagine
the difference 50 years would make, transforming fortress America into
a colossus, waging permanent global wars, spending unconscionable amounts
on militarism and threatening planetary survival in the process.
- On April 17, 2010, Independent Institute analyst Robert
Higgs said annual "defense-related spending greatly exceeds the amounts
budgeted by the Department of Defense," presenting FY 2009 data, the
most recent figures available.
- The official $636.5 billion spent way understated a growing
annual total even Higgs can't fully identify, given enormous black budgets
and hidden add-ons, likely totaling hundreds of billions of dollars. What's
known for FY 2009, however, in billions of dollars includes the following:
- -- Department of Defense: $636.5
- -- Department of Energy (nuclear weapons and environmental
- -- Department of State: $36.3
- -- Department of Veterans Affairs: $95.5
- -- Department of Homeland Security: $51.7
- -- Department of the Treasury (for Military Retirement
- -- Half of NASA's budget: $9.6
- -- Net interest attributable to past-debt-financed defense
- Total: $1,027.5 trillion
- Moreover, the National Priorities Project's analysis
of FY 2010 discretionary spending showed 62% spent for military-related
purposes, including 4% for veterans' benefits.
- For FY 2012, the House approved $690.1 billion, an 8.4%
increase (though below the $725 FY 2011 budget, a temporary drop, likely
compensated for with add-ons). The Senate will approve a similar amount.
If the entire $1,027.5 trillion increases by the same amount, it raises
known FY 2012 defense-related spending to $1,113.8 trillion.
- In fact, with supplemental and hidden add-ons, as well
as Pentagon, intelligence, and other unknown amounts, the grand total likely
exceeds $1.5 trillion, a figure rising most years while popular needs go
- Higgs also cites the unreliability of official numbers.
He believes it's more accurate to take the Pentagon's basic budget and
double it because as much as 40% of it is black or hidden. Moreover, as
Pentagon power grows, more spending accrues to congressional districts.
As a result, Congress willingly goes along as jobs are allegedly created.
In addition, generous campaign contributions follow - bribes to keep funding
the war machine.
- Congressional Affirmation of Permanent War
- The current House bill, HR 1540 includes a worrisome/duplicitous
Sec. 1034: Affirmation of Armed Conflict with Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and
Associated Forces, affirming:
- "(1) the United States is engaged in an armed conflict
with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces and that those entities
continue to pose a threat to the United States and its citizens, both domestically
- (2) the President has the authority to use all necessary
and appropriate force during the current armed conflict with al-Qaeda,
the Taliban, and associated forces pursuant to the Authorization for Use
of Military Force (Public Law 107-40);
- (3) the current armed conflict includes nations, organization(s),
and persons, who --
- (A) are part of, or are substantially supporting al-Qaeda,
the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against
the United States or its coalition partners; or
- (B) have engaged in hostilities or have engaged in hostilities
or have directly supported hostilities in aid of a nation, organization,
or person described in subparagraph (A); and
- (4) the President's authority pursuant to the Authorization
for Use of Military Force....includes the authority to detain belligerents,
including persons described in paragraph (3), until the termination of
- In September 2001, Congress approved the Authorization
for Use of Military Force (AUMF) for "the use of United States Armed
Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against
the United States." Still in force today, it began the "war on
terror," giving George Bush carte blanche authority to wage global
wars in violation of international and constitutional laws. A 2002 AUMF
against Iraq followed.
- The House (and likely the Senate) FY 2012 Defense Authorization
bill affirms that authority, letting Obama as commander and chief, wage
wars anywhere at his discretion. He's taking full advantage, duplicitous
congressional posturing notwithstanding.
- On June 24, in fact, House Republicans and 70 Democrats
rejected support for Obama's Libya war, but defeated a measure to defund
it. In other words, they authorized war at the same time symbolically rejecting
it, exposing their gross hypocrisy.
- America's Permanent War Agenda
- In inflation adjusted dollars, annual defense spending
more than doubled under George Bush and keeps rising under Obama despite
growing budget cutting pressures, given a much greater national debt burden
- Officially it's nearly $14.3 trillion (headed for an
estimated $15.5 trillion by September 30), exceeding 100% of GDP at that
time. Omitted, however, is another $7.6 trillion owed by Fannie Mae, Freddie
Mac and other government agencies, besides future trillion dollar or more
amounts added annually.
- It hardly matters, given the military/industrial complex's
power to demand what it wants and get it. Today, in fact, it comprises:
- -- defense, technology, energy, financial, private military
contractor (PMCs), and other corporate interests;
- -- Congress;
- -- America's media;
- -- prominent think tanks and other pressure groups;
- -- various others benefitting from militarism; and
- -- the Pentagon colossus, a frightening power unto itself,
threatening humanity's survival.
- The Defense Department's FY 2010 Base Structure Report
shows how large it's become, even with important information omitted:
- DOD is the world's largest landlord with over 539,000
facilities (buildings, structures, and linear structures) located on nearly
5,000 sites, covering more than 28 million acres and over two billion square
feet of space in America, its territories and overseas. In fact, these
numbers way understate much higher totals as many Pentagon facilities are
secret and/or unreported.
- They include over 1,000 overseas bases in 150 or more
countries, as well as additional secret ones shared with or leased from
host countries. As of April 2009, Congressional Research Service data includes
1,402,000 total active duty US military personnel worldwide, 73,000 National
Guard, and 208,000 Selected Reserves, for a 1,683,000 total.
- Add to them America's private military contractor (PMC)
army, corporate mercenaries profiting from US imperialism. They perform
a wide range of functions from combat to consulting to logistics, virtually
anything once done by the Pentagon. Moreover, America's intelligence agencies,
State Department, Homeland Security, and other branches also use PMCs.
- Overall, they're unregulated, unaccountable, and often
out-of-control, involved in some of the most controversial aspects of war
from over-billing to ritual slaughter of unarmed civilians. Yet they're
not prosecuted, convicted or imprisoned, just rewarded with fat contracts
costing far more for services military personnel once performed. Moreover,
the more they're used, the greater they influence war making, sustaining
their bottom line priorities at the expense of a free society and vital
- America's New Military Industrial Complex
- On March 1, 2003 Business 2.0 magazine writers Ian Mount,
Matthew Maier and David Freedman headlined, "The New Military Industrial
Complex" for digital age war, describing the Pentagon's "revolution
in military affairs (RMA)," comprised of "faster, lighter, smarter"
cutting-edge technology warfare. Readying for it, they're building an unchallengeable
high-tech arsenal, more advanced now than then.
- The old one remains and gets huge contracts for new and
more traditional weapons. The result is an influential "iron triangle"
of Congress, the Pentagon and defense industry. Besides major media support,
conservative think tanks also like:
- -- the Project for a New American Century (PNAC); its
"Rebuilding America's Defenses" scheme promotes US global hegemony;
- -- the Center for Security Policy (CSP) headed by super-hawk
Frank Gaffney endorses a policy of "Peace through Strength" and
perpetual wars for perpetual peace;
- -- the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD) composed
of hard right leaders and members, "fighting terrorism and the ideologies
that drive it;"
- -- the National Institute for Public Policy (NIPP), focusing
on defense issues, tied to the nuclear weapons industry; and
- -- the Center for Strategic and International Studies
(CSIS), emphasizing national security and "advancing (US) global interests;"
specializing in crisis management, it's connected to the highest levels
in government and the Pentagon.
- The nation's 16 intelligence agencies, including CIA,
NSA, DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency), FBI, Army, Navy and Air Force Intelligence,
DHS (Department of Homeland Security), and Department of State comprise
another component destroying a free society. They comprise a multi-billion
dollar funded, largely off-the-books, clandestine anti-democratic network.
Interconnected with thousands of private contractors, they're tied to world
governments and their intelligence services.
- Moreover, they comprise a government/military/industrial/intelligence
service/media/think tank colossus, waging global wars, bankrupting the
nation, wrecking the remnants of a free society. Plagued by the same dynamic
that doomed past empires unwilling to change, they also pursue the misguided
notion that militarism sustains growth.
- In fact, it erodes it by sacrificing industrial America,
shifting production and other high-paying service operations abroad to
focus on war making. As a result, essential homeland needs go begging,
including healthcare, education, job creation, and the nation's infrastructure,
crumbling from years of neglect.
- In his farewell address, Eisenhower said:
- "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."
- In his November 2003 Harper's article titled, "The
War Business," Chalmers Johnson said:
- "(M)unitions and war profiteering have (become)
the most efficient means for well-connected capitalists to engorge themselves
at the public trough." Even Wall Street profits hugely. "To call
these companies 'private,' though, is mere ideology. (Weapons and) munitions
making in the United States today (and related industries profiting from
them are) not really private enterprise. It is state socialism."
- They also destroy constitutional freedoms, what George
Washington in 1796 warned about, saying "overgrown military establishments
(are) inauspicious to liberty." Johnson called it America's future,
now more the present, saying, "When war becomes the most profitable
course of action, we can certainly expect more of it," sacrificing
a free society for private interests reaping short-term gains.
- In his book titled, "Washington Rules: America's
Path to Permanent War," Andrew Bacevich discussed America's "trinity,"
its global military presence, power projection, and intervention, creating
a "permanent national security crisis....propell(ing) the United States
into a condition approximating perpetual war." However, "(no)
evidence exists - none - to suggest that US efforts advance the cause of
global peace," just the opposite. As a result, "(o)ver the horizon,
a shipwreck of epic proportions awaits."
- It's coming perhaps when least expected. Nations that
live by the sword, die by it. America is no exception, nor any other.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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