Let’s see…..we’re still in Afghanistan, and we’ve left God knows how many “private contractors” (mercenaries) to fight on in Iraq, while our drone attacks continue inside Pakistani territory. Those that we know about.
The no-fly zone over Lybia may be old news, but our warplanes are still on the ground in Jordon, awaiting orders. With a cloud of secrecy hanging over much of what the federal government does, who really knows what’s being done or contemplated in our names? The eagerness of some on the right to invade Iran, continues unabated by reason, need or legitimacy. Hey, we invaded Iraq based upon the assumption that one day (who knows when) they might (or might not) get out of bed in the morning and decide to attack us. We’ve already used the preemption doctrine of a massively intellectually challenged former president once, so why not use it again? International law? Who needs it? Doesn’t apply to us. If we wanna invade, then we’re gonna do just that. Screw you. Bring it on.
As of September 30, 2011, the United States had active duty military personnel stationed in nearly 150 countries. That’s one-hundred and fifty countries. Including the troops Mr. Obama recently sent to Australia and Uganda. Because, as I’m sure you know, Uganda, represents a clear and present danger to the United States and the Aussies are incapable of defending themselves. We also have more than 300 troops in Dijbouti. Have you ever even heard of Dijbouti? Neither had I, but we’re paying for it.
Our military budget for 2013 is $672.9 billion. That’s more than the defense spending of the the next ten nations combined. All this in a country with no universal health or dental care, while our wealthiest citizens continue demanding greater austerity, more spending cuts to social services and increased privatization, giving the many (the peasants) less and the few (the new ruling class) more than they already have because greed knows no limit and the war machine needs to be fed. They are apparently seeking to turn us into another example of austerity-torn Greece, where the cradle of Democracy is being crushed by corrupt politicians and Capitalism run amok. They are doing it by extracting our wealth, something Dylan Ratigan, repeatedly alerted us to on MSNBC, until he apparently grew weary of sounding the same alarm over and over again with almost no one willing or perhaps intelligent enough to listen to what he had to say. Of course had they listened and admitted he was right, they then would have been forced to at least think about taking action to fix the problem. And we can’t have that.
Extracting the wealth works this way: A few high-rollers get together and come up with a plan for say…a new war or a new pro baseball team. They then convince all those less than wealthy regular folks out there of the need for a specific war (WMD’s!)….or a baseball team with a shiny new stadium. Since the war will be fought to protect the peasant class it’s only reasonable that the peasants should pay for it with their tax dollars and then pick up guns to go fight it. Right? In the case of a new professional baseball park, who will be the chief beneficiaries of all that fun? It’ll be the peasantry. So why shouldn’t the peasant-class pay for the new ballpark by chipping in with their tax dollars? It’s just good Capitalism, and nothing more. Particularly so for the syndicate that will actually own the ballpark, charging more than $100 for the good seats and $10 for a hotdog before making piles of money by selling the “club” to another syndicate of rich guys who have no care or concern for the peasants whose tax dollars paid for the project in the first place. Thing is, with baseball, nobody gets killed. Usually. In war they do, and at some point we need to have a national discussion about whether we are more interested in preventing or sustaining warfare because of its profitability.
Could it be that our wealthiest citizens benefit from ongoing warfare through their investments in companies (Wall Street) that provide the military with the oil their mechanized effort runs on, not to mention all the other tools of the military trade? That’s presuming there’s another war to fight, something we seem to have no problem with as this current administration appears hell-bent on continuing George W. Bush’s need to “democratize the Middle East” by invading or supplying every Muslim nation with an ongoing conflict or an anti-American point of view. Pulling out of Iraq? No problem. The rebels in Syria, some of them aligned with Al Qaeda, need support, so let’s stick our big fat national nose into that burgeoning civil war.
And the money goes round and round.
It’s one thing to be isolationist. It’s another to police the entire world. President Dwight Eisenhower’s warning about the dangers of the “Military Industrial Complex” have never been so pertinent. Poverty in America is nearing a 50-year high. Nearly 50-million Americans are living in poverty. Another 50-million are near the poverty level. Our infrastructure is crumbling, schools are closing and millions of Americans can’t afford to see a dentist. But we’ve got 300 troops on the ground in Dijbouti, wherever the hell that is.