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Posts Tagged ‘Perpetual War

The traveling salesman (of death)

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by Charles Davis March 20, 2011           false dichotomy

The United States is the world’s biggest arms dealer — guns and bombs are the only thing America really makes anymore — and Barack Obama is the national-salesman-in-chief, jetting across the globe to sell foreign governments on how, with no down payment and low APR financing, they can be the proud owners of a U.S.-made weapon of mass murder. He’ll even throw in a free undercoating.

While those who fetishize political power and the cult of the presidency would like us all to believe the American head of state meets with his counterparts abroad to engage in weighty, high-minded discussions about John Rawls and the burden of maintaining the social contract, the reality is Obama — like Bush, like Clinton, like Reagan — is little more than a well-dressed shill for the military-industrial complex. But don’t take my word for it.

“President Barack Obama made a strong pitch for the Boeing F-18 jet fighter in a meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff,” the White House announced on Sunday, according to Reuters.

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Chris Hedges: ‘The Left Has Nowhere to Go’

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Jan 3, 2011           TruthDig

By Chris Hedges

Ralph Nader in a CNN poll a few days before the 2008 presidential election had an estimated 3 percent of the electorate, or about 4 million people, behind his candidacy. But once the votes were counted, his support dwindled to a little over 700,000. Nader believes that many of his supporters entered the polling booth and could not bring themselves to challenge the Democrats and Barack Obama. I suspect Nader is right. And this retreat is another example of the lack of nerve we must overcome if we are going to battle back against the corporate state. A vote for Nader or Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney in 2008 was an act of defiance. A vote for Obama and the Democrats was an act of submission. We cannot afford to be submissive anymore.

“The more outrageous the Republicans become, the weaker the left becomes,” Nader said when I reached him at his home in Connecticut on Sunday. “The more outrageous they become, the more the left has to accept the slightly less outrageous corporate Democrats.”

Nader fears a repeat of the left’s cowardice in the next election, a cowardice that has further empowered the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party, maintained the role of the Democratic Party as a lackey for corporations, and accelerated the reconfiguration of the country into a neo-feudalist state. Either we begin to practice a fierce moral autonomy and rise up in multiple acts of physical defiance that have no discernable short-term benefit, or we accept the inevitability of corporate slavery. The choice is that grim. The age of the practical is over. It is the impractical, those who stand fast around core moral imperatives, figures like Nader or groups such as Veterans for Peace, which organized the recent anti-war rally in Lafayette Park in Washington, which give us hope. If you were one of the millions who backed down in the voting booth in 2008, don’t do it again. If you were one of those who thought about joining the Washington protests against the war where 131 of us were arrested and did not, don’t fail us next time. The closure of the mechanisms within the power system that once made democratic reform possible means we stand together as the last thin line of defense between a civil society and its disintegration. If we do not engage in open acts of defiance, we will empower a radical right-wing opposition that will replicate the violence and paranoia of the state. To refuse to defy in every way possible the corporate state is to be complicit in our strangulation.

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We must abandon the language of war

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First, the Wehrmacht. Then, the Red Army. Now, al-Qaeda. Thus were a few thousand lightly armed religious fanatics transformed into the equivalent of a military force that very nearly conquered civilization and another that could have annihilated it in less time than it takes to watch a sit-com.


By Dan Gardner, Ottawa Citizen December 8, 2010

On Sept. 12, 2001, George W. Bush said something he had avoided saying the day before. “The deliberate and deadly attacks which were carried out yesterday against our country were more than acts of terror,” he told reporters. “They were acts of war.”

The decision to frame the response to 9-11 as a “war” was a fateful one. Before that moment, western democracies would never have sent their soldiers to fight endless battles in distant and obscure deserts.

Imprisonment without charge or trial would never have been advocated by leading politicians. Torture would never have been supported by much of the population. And calls for the assassination of a man who leaked documents would never have been heard from leading journalists. It was George W. Bush’s statement on Sept. 12, 2001, that made all this possible.

“We are at war,” wrote the conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer last week. “A hot war in Afghanistan where six Americans were killed just this past Monday, and a shadowy world war where enemies from Yemen to Portland, Oregon, are planning holy terror. Franklin Roosevelt had German saboteurs tried by military tribunal and executed. (Julian) Assange has done more damage to the United States than all six of those Germans combined.”

The conclusion is obvious. “We are at war.” That statement appears in virtually every call for more spying, more torture, more killing. War is an emergency. An existential struggle. To the extent that the ordinary rules get in the way of victory, they must be suspended — just as Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War. “The constitution is not a suicide pact,” as the saying goes.

Occasionally, this stuff is disingenuous, as when Mitch Daniels, Bush’s budget director, justified the ballooning deficit by saying “it’s a wartime budget” and then turned around and justified tax cuts by claiming “Americans are being taxed at the highest peacetime rates in history.”

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Written by laudyms

December 20, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Two Party Charade Threatens Liberty

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Will Liberty Continue To Have A Home In America?

I found this article above which is freely sprinkled with Christian references at another site. Even so, the author Chuck Baldwin seems more concerned about liberty than dogmatism and at another part of his site clearly distinguishes Neocons as “hiding amongst our supposedly conservative politicians.”  In the Liberty piece he writes: “I think it is safe to say that many Americans today are not only unwilling to fight for their own liberty (and I am not talking about fighting unconstitutional, unprovoked wars in the Middle East), they do not even seem to be able to discern what true liberty is.”

Extreme pro-life attitudes aside, it is very interesting that “fringe” parties agree on reasonable policies while the so-called mainstream parties conversely agree on perpetual war, corporate domination, and perks for the few.  The Dems are just the wimpy wing of the GOP.

From the Wikipedia article about him http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Baldwin :

On September 10 [2008], [Ron] Paul held a National Press Club conference at which [Constitution Party candidate] Baldwin , Green Party nominee Cynthia McKinney, and independent candidate Ralph Nader all agreed on four principles—quickly ending the Iraq war, protecting privacy and civil liberties, stopping increases in the national debt, and investigating the Federal Reserve—and on their opposition to the Democratic and Republican parties ignoring these issues.[36]

Now that corporate contributions to electioneering are unlimited and non-transparent, politics will only get more ridiculous. It’s time to forge an alliance between freedom lovers and produce a real choice instead of this tedious (and dangerous) two-party charade which offers no choice at all.

Juan Cole: Gates wants Europe to beggar itself on War Expenditures the Way the US Has

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February 24, 2010         

Informed Comment

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates decries Europe for general anti-war sentiment, unwillingness to beggar itself with expenditures on war.

But as far as I can tell, Europe is the world’s largest economy and got there without any recent substantial wars except those the US dragged it into. Moreover, the fastest-growing economy for the past nearly 30 years has been China, which spends a fraction on their military of what the US spends on its, and, aside from a skirmish with Vietnam in the early 1980s, has been at peace. Apparently massive war expenditures are unrelated to economic growth or prosperity.

In contrast, the US has been at war for 19 of the last 47 years (not counting US-backed insurgencies such as 1980s Afghanistan, on which we spent billions) but has not grown faster than the other two economically. Moreover, the increasingly unwieldy US national debt, deriving from the US government spending more than it took in in recent decades, would not exist if the US military budget had been the same as that of the European Union since 1980. The US overspent on its military because Washington mistakenly thought the Soviet economy was twice as big as it actually was, and vastly over-estimated Soviet military capabilities. The bloated military budgets continue now, apparently because of a couple thousand al-Qaeda operatives hiding out in caves in the Hadhramawt and Waziristan.

Some statistics to ponder:

US Military Budget 2009: $711 billion
European Union Military Budget 2009: $289 billion
China Military Budget 2009: $122 billion.

US GDP 2009: $14.4 trillion
European Union GDP 2009: $16.5 trillion (PPP)
China GDP 2009: $8.8 trillion (PPP)

US economic growth 2009: 0.2%
European Union economic growth 2009: -4%
China economic growth 2009: 8.7 %

The real military-related expenditures of the US are closer to $1 trillion. If the US cut those back to the level of the European Union and spent the money on promoting solar energy and making it inexpensive, America would have a chance of remaining a great power in the 21st century. If it goes on rampaging around the world bankrupting itself by invading and occupying other countries, the Chinese will laugh at us all the way to world dominance.

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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The myth of al qaeda

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BBC now admits al qaeda never existed

US launches Cruise Missiles on Yemen

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dead Yemeni child

How many wars do we need?  What possible ‘self-defense’ justification can we offer from thousands of miles away?

Cruise Missile Attacks in Yemen

By Glenn Greenwald

December 21, 2009 – “Salon” — Given what a prominent role “Terrorism” plays in our political discourse, it’s striking how little attention is paid to American actions which have the most significant impact on that problem.  In addition to our occupation of Iraq, war escalation in Afghanistan, and secret bombings in Pakistan, President Obama late last week ordered cruise missile attacks on two locations in Yemen, which “U.S. officials” say were “suspected Al Qaeda hideouts.”  The main target of the attacks, Al Qaeda member Qasim al Rim, was not among those killed, but: “a local Yemeni official said on Sunday that 49 civilians, among them 23 children and 17 women, were killed in air strikes against Al-Qaeda, which he said were carried out ‘indiscriminately’.”  Media reports across the Muslim worldthough, not of course, within the U.S. — are highlighting the dead civilians from the U.S. strike (one account from an official Iranian outlet began:  “U.S. Nobel Peace Prize laureate President Barack Obama has signed the order for a recent military strike on Yemen in which scores of civilians, including children, have been killed, a report says”)………

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Politicians now pose as managers of modern life

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and they promise to protect us from nightmares………..

Part II Part III

The Power of Nightmares assesses whether the threat from a hidden and organised terrorist network is an illusion. In the concluding part of the series, the programme explains how the illusion was created and who benefits from it.

This is a must watch documentary – Broadcast 11/03/04 BBC 2 – Written and produced by Adam Curtis

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