Thursday, September 19, 2019

We are ‘Buying Into’ Continuous War at a Very Steep Price

It can no longer be denied that the business-plan of the Military-Industrial Complex is continuous, unwinnable, savage wars across the globe.

Diplomacy, to the extent that we actually have any in this century gave up on statesmen decades ago. There are no Winston Churchills or George Marshalls on the scene these days. Most Americans living today don’t even remember who the hell they were.

Anyway, that’s a bit of a wander from the conversation as advertised.

America has been at pretty much continual war since WWII and every time we get anywhere close to peace, Lockheed, Boeing and Ratheon wind up the terror-clock by lining the pockets of our congressional warmongers.

Keep in mind that a large part of what we spend on the military is in a black budget, its size unknown. Keep further in mind that our beloved Pentagon has simply misplaced over $13 trillion in spending, even though by law it is required to annually have its books audited. It has attempted (and failed) to ever complete such an audit.

Too big to fail has now been superseded by too big to even understand or be held accountable.

But we do know this: the US military and its vast complex of suppliers outspends the next thirteen largest militaries on the planet on an annual basis. That list includes China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, India, the United Kingdom, France, Japan and Germany.

Hmmm, something to contemplate.

Well, that certainly ought to buy us world supremacy. The facts would dispute that. America has not participated in a win since WWII. I say participated because we had many allies in that war and it was judged a moral rather than political war.

We lost in Korea to larger forces, far less well-equipped. The same in Vietnam, although those two adventures killed nearly 200,000 American troops and permanently ruined the lives of god-knows how many others.

Iraq, is an example of where we destroyed a country, but failed to win their hearts at the cost of over 4,000 American lives and 32,000 wounded. Yet we and still maintain a military support structure. Our adversary? Civilians with nothing more than car-bombs, ambushes and perseverance.

Afghanistan, going on now for four times the length of WWII. 2,400 American dead and 24,000 wounded, with no end in sight. Hannibal and his elephants, the then-great British Empire and most recently the Russians all had sense enough to turn their elephants or tanks toward home and withdraw.

What all of these wars had in common was that not one of these military encounters had the approval of the United States Congress, as is required by the Constitution.

And these are simply the major events.

Since WWII we have been militarily involved (cherish the thought) in
·       The Bay of Pigs (Cuba) 1961
·       Laos 1962–1975
·       Invasion of the Dominican Republic 1965
·       Laos & Cambodia 1968
·       Cambodian Campaign 1970
·       Lebanon 1982–1983
·       Grenada 1983
·       Chad 1983
·       Libya 1986
·       Panama 1989–1990
·       Iraq: Operations Desert Storm and Desert Sabre 1991
·       Somalia: Battle of Mogadishu 1993
·       Bosnia 1995
·       Kuwait 1996
·       Iraq: Operation Desert Fox 1998
·       Afghanistan and Sudan 1998
·       U.S. deploys drone strikes to aid in the War in North-West Pakistan 2004–present
·       al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen 2010–present
·       Military intervention in Libya 2011
·       Drone strikes on al-Shabab militants in Somalia 2011
·       American-led intervention in Syria 2014–present

We’ve been busy, while you thought we only had one or two wars at a time. But other than the arguable politics of these various interventions, they have been enormously profitable to the military-industrial crowd.

Keeping the world unbalanced is a money-maker and no one values money-makers more than those who are making it.

The absolutely amazing thing is how cheaply our legislators in Washington can be bought.

In 2019 (which ain’t over yet), a total of 204 people you and I sent to represent us pocketed $56,677,580. That’s just a tad over $277,000 each—about what Jeff Bezos earns in a single minute. That’s simply to put in some kind of understandable context the military-industrial guys’ cost out-of-pocket for keeping us constantly at war.

It’s very cheap for them to keep themselves very rich. But we citizens are burdened by other costs such as our kids in VA hospitals, military returnee suicides, schools not built, roads unpaved, bridges collapsing and a whole lot else.

Eisenhower said, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone.”

Well said, Ike and I have one thing to add before sitting down to dinner:

Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, an inspirational idea that could change the face of America, is being fought tooth-and-nail by just such legislators as those in the pocket of business and military lobbyists. “It’s too costly,” they scream. “We simply cannot afford a $13 trillion program.”
Well maybe, maybe not.

That’s exactly how much the Pentagon lost in the small-change drawer. We seem to have survived that debacle and keep on thirsting for another war.

So maybe we can

Perhaps we simply have our priorities wrong in our small-change minds.

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