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Posts Tagged ‘Militarism

Defense Spending Is Much Greater than You Think: more than $1Trillion a year

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Adding this… to the previous all-agency total, the grand total comes to $1,027.8 billion, which is 61.5 percent greater than the Pentagon’s outlays alone.

That’s right: more than $1TRILLION a year.

By Robert Higgs on Apr 17, 2010  The Independent Institute

When President Obama presented his budget recently for fiscal year 2011, he proposed that the Pentagon’s outlays be increased by about 4.5 percent beyond its estimated outlays in fiscal 2010, to a total of almost $719 billion. Although many Americans regard this enormous sum as excessive, few appreciate that the total amount of all defense-related spending greatly exceeds the amount budgeted for the Department of Defense.

In fiscal year 2009, which ended last September, the Pentagon spent $636.5 billion. Lodged elsewhere in the budget, however, other lines identify funding that serves defense purposes just as surely as—sometimes even more surely than—the money allocated to the Department of Defense. On occasion, commentators take note of some of these additional defense-related budget items, such as the Department of Energy’s nuclear-weapons program, but many such items, including some extremely large ones, remain generally unrecognized.

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Reactionary in Blackface

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Excerpt from:

Remembering Obama

Reflections on Race, Class, Empire, and the First Black President (and a Comment by Allan Nairn*)

By Paul Street ZNet

……As the brilliant Left author, filmmaker, and columnist John Pilger noted last July 4th in San Francisco:

“The clever young man who recently made it to the White House is a very fine hypnotist, partly because it is indeed exciting to see an African American at the pinnacle of power in the land of slavery.  However, this is the 21st century, and race together with gender and even class can be very seductive tools of propaganda.  For what is so often overlooked and what matters, I believe, above all, is the class one serves. George W. Bush’s inner circle from the State Department to the Supreme Court was perhaps the most multiracial in presidential history.  It was PC par excellence. Think Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell.  It was also the most reactionary”. [17]

Pilger anticipated this important insight with a powerful and all-too accurate prediction at the end of May 2008: “What is Obama’s attraction to big business?  Precisely the same as Robert Kennedy’s [in 1968].  By offering a ‘new,’ young and apparently progressive face of the Democratic Party – with the bonus of being a member of the black elite – he can blunt and divert real opposition.  That was Colin Powell’s role as Bush’s secretary of state. An Obama victory will bring intense pressure on the US antiwar and social justice movements to accept a Democratic administration for all its faults.  If that happens, domestic resistance to rapacious America will fall silent.” [18]

Nearly two years later and more than fourteen months into the not-so antiwar Obama presidency, the “peace movement” inside Superpower’s “homeland” is a feeble joke.  Some of its leading organizations (most notably the laughable co-opted group MoveOn.org) have subordinated themselves almost beyond belief to the first black president [19] and through him to the U.S. foreign policy establishment. There is little if any meaningful opposition to Obama’s corporatist record and agenda. The often pathetic so-called radical Left feels compelled to accept the supposedly “progressive” administration (“for all its faults”) and to defend it against vicious and preposterous attacks from the significantly racist, “socialism”-charging Right. MoveOn even enlisted in the cause of Obama and the corporate Democrats’ health “reform” by picketing the occasionally progressive Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s office to pressure him to go against his initial promise to reject a bill that did not contain a public insurance option. [20]

Unpleasant thought it may be to acknowledge, Obama’s race is part of the story behind this sorry surrender. As Aurora Levins Morales noted in Z Magazine in April of 2008:

“This election is about finding

a CEO capable of holding domestic constituencies in check as they are further disenfranchised

and [to] make them feel that they have a stake in the military aggressiveness that the ruling class believes is necessary.  Having a black man and a white woman run helps to obscure the fact that …decline of empire is driving the political elite to the right. Both [Obama and Hillary Clinton] represent very reactionary politics…Part of the cleverness of having such candidates is the fact that they will be attacked in ways that make oppressed people feel compelled to protect them.”[21]……

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Same speech, different day

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false dichotomy by charles davis

April 1, 2010   – In a stunning betrayal of his base that comes as a surprise to all, Barack Obama this week chose to side with wealthy oil and gas interests over the environmentalists that helped get him elected and who — despite the president’s call for the same environmentally destructive offshore drilling they denounced in apocalyptic terms under the Bush administration — will undoubtedly help elect him again when confronted with the specter of a Palin-Beck ticket in 2012. Truly, no one could see this coming.

In justifying his decision to open much of the East Coast and Alaska’s shoreline to new oil and gas drilling on the basis of U.S. “energy security” — one that, naturally, was announced in front of the militaristic backdrop of an Air Force base, as all important national decisions must — Obama cast himself as the sensible moderate, the non-ideological centrist whose only real concern is what works best for America. It’s a familiar approach for the president, and one that grows no less irksome over time.

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Take your pick- Military going Rogue, or Obama too Weak to Manage?

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Interesting article here by a thoughtful writer and former Army Public Info Officer.  Perhaps when she asserts the military is not following orders, we ought to pay attention. Whether they are going rogue, or our president is weak, we’ve got a big problem.

Walk a Mile…

By Sheila Samples
I know you need your sleep now,
I know your life’s been hard.
But many men are falling,
where you promised to stand guard.
~~Leonard Cohen

February 06, 2010 Information Clearing House — My friend Bernie says he’s suffering from Afghanistan information exhaustion. “During all those months that Obama was dragging his feet about escalating the war in Afghanistan, did you ever get the impression,” he asked, “that foxes were in the hen house, chickens were squawking and running around crazily, wolves were tearing the foxes to pieces, and farmers were shooting wildly into the coop with no regard for the innocent?”

I stared at him, mouth agape, my mind trying to shore up all that activity. “Well … I –”

“And that’s just the generals — David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal — and their boss, or cohort, defense secretary Robert Gates. They were everywhere — everywhere!” Bernie said, rolling his eyes. “And still are. Turn on the TV, pick up a newspaper, open a magazine, check out Congress, look under a rock — peek behind a tree — and there they are. They’re a three-man brigade — “we’re going in, we’re coming out — we’re winning, we’re losing. Or maybe not. We won’t know for 15 years…20 years…or until it’s over –”

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“Counterterror”- what the US calls its brand of state terrorism

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Tom Engelhardt and Anand Gopal explore the practices of our military and mercenary forces in Afghanistan in the Tomgram article “Obama’s Secret Prisons: Night Raids, Hidden Detention Centers, the “Black Jail,” and the Dogs of War in Afghanistan”:

“You don’t know what counterterror is?  Not so surprising.  The truth is, if you’re not a complete news jockey, you probably don’t know much about targeted assassinations, night raids, secret detention centers, disappearances, and other acts of counterterror (which is really terror in uniform or at least under state orders).  Of course, the Afghans know well enough.  For them, it’s not a secret war, particularly in the southern parts of the country, where the Taliban is strongest; it’s but one particularly frightening aspect of everyday life.

It’s just we Americans who are ignorant. Our secret war is essentially kept secret from us.  Our Special Forces operatives, along with the CIA (and possibly private contractors), have long been involved in the “night raids” that Anand Gopal describes below.  And regularly enough, if you’re reading closely, you’ll see news bubbling to the surface about their results — like those eight students in grades 6-10, who were taken from their beds by “Americans” in a night raid in Kunar Province, handcuffed, and then evidently executed. (A statement from Afghan President Hamid Karzai says that they were “martyred” and the UN has confirmed that they were students.)  Or consider the recent night raid in Ghazni Province that killed at least four Afghan villagers, including an 11-year-old.  Both incidents led to angry protests; both resulted in denials by the U.S. military that the dead were anything but “insurgents” or “bomb-makers.” ”

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An Introspective Look at the Future of America: Systemic Fraud, Corruption and Financial Instability

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by Craig Harris            

Global Research, Jan. 2, 2010

As we close out 2009 and look forward into 2010 and beyond, this has been a year of near financial catastrophe and monumental change, none of which benefited America or ordinary Americans. Late in 2008 and throughout 2009, events have happened in the US which would have been labeled unfathomable just a few short years ago, and yet already these monumental changes are expected to be filed into the memory hole and Americans are expected to believe nothing has changed.

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Afghanistan doesn’t exist (except on the map)

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Cadets wait for Obama speech to begin.

President Obama made his case for war.

To a  room full of kids.  And a half hour of gobbledygook followed based on the assumption that Afghanistan is a “country”- which it is not. It’s at best a loose confederation of tribal groups and at worst a huge rugged wilderness lightly populated with villagers, overrun by warlords who barely know there’s a world outside.

They call Karzai the “mayor of Kabul” because few out of town even know who he is. Where is this Afghan army supposed to come from? Who is going to arm and supply them?  (China is supposed to lend us the money for that too???)

Obama said:  It is easy to forget that when this war began, we were united — bound together by the fresh memory of a horrific attack, and by the determination to defend our homeland and the values we hold dear. I refuse to accept the notion that we cannot summon that unity again.

Well “It’s easy to forget” that those who supposedly attacked us on 9-11 were from Saudi Arabia. Not Iraq. Not Afghanistan. And the Taliban were being  feasted in Texas about the same time.

Addendum: see The Hashish Army: Afghanistan

Army’s 101st Airborne Division “invades” Tennessee county

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apache gunship

The US Army practices invading an American community. The people turn out to watch all the fun.  Ah, the joys of militarism until one day the “invasion” turns out to be real?

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Private contractors replacing troops in Iraq, Afghanistan

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BlackwaterJenny Kakasuleff      July 15, 2009

If you thought the end of American intervention in foreign wars was nearing, think again. President Obama has been replacing soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan with private contractors—some 250,000 are currently deployed overseas—including Black Water (operating under another alias.)

Contractors are not subject to the same guidelines as our soldiers, and thus, have not been held accountable for the misdeeds they have afflicted upon civilian populations in the past.

read more  Video also at site

Written by laudyms

July 15, 2009 at 12:20 pm

Meet Fred

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FredThanks to Information Clearinghouse, I have now discovered Fred Reed.  It may be an age thing (we were born the same year) or that we were both Navy brats, or just that he’s written a damn good column on AIPAC.  See for yourself:

Islamo-fascism, Judaeo-fascism, Bapto-fascism, and Why We Need More Bars

… I loathe America’s militarism, the carnage it wreaks in its wars against Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan, and earlier in Southeast Asia. Why am I supposed to approve of identical behavior by Israel? Am I to have one morality for Israel and another for my own country and the rest of the world? Am I to believe that gratuitously bombing Baghdad and Hanoi is wrong, but gratuitously wrecking Beirut is right?

or try this one:

Mowing the Sward of Damocles

……OK, a brief excursion into cosmic truth. First, socialism. Hard-line conservatives with little grasp of economics refer to anything they don’t like—Hillary, national health care, regulation of anything if it might cost them money—as “socialist.” It’s a utility pejorative, devoid of meaning, as “racist” and “elitist” are for political south-paws.  Socialism is of course a system in which the government owns the means of production. Check your dictionary.

Ah! But in America, the means of production own the government. Inverted socialism it is.

Yes, and the textbook definition of Fascism.  Glad to meet you, Fred!

Written by laudyms

June 24, 2009 at 12:13 pm