Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/02/13/war-addicts-inc
Pretty reprehensible how Repubs and Dems have come to accept the new Space Force. With 3/4 of a trillion dollars for the US War department, I’m now hearing people advocate for a steep jump in War department funds given that the number of military branches will go up from 5 to 6.
Of course, what makes all of this reprehensible situation possible, is the near complete apathy of the U.S. public when it comes to foreign policy and war.
Not many Americans seem to care very much about the lives of the innocent people under our bombs. When politicians do occasionally bring up the subject of war, it is usually concerning the amount of taxpayer money wasted on it, or the number of American soldiers who are effected, not an appeal to peoples’ humanity for the suffering of the people in the countries themselves.
Very sad. America’s karmic debt, if such a thing exists, is immense.
And the DHS expands to become “The Department of Homeland Containment”.
Don’t worry. The “Resistance” is on the case…
It’s an impossible war to win.
The problems can only be solved through changing beliefs .That’s the fast track way.
These ships costs over 700 million each to build and they already want to scrap them and replace them with a new design. Something like a half dozen have already been bought and paid for (4.2 billion!)
They have barely completed their trial runs. Talk about pissing money away. Meanwhile Medicaid and Social Security on the chopping block.
Meanwhile , the people of Syria want the US forces OUT of the Country. The US Military recently fired on a group of protestors who were throwing rocks at US Military vehicles killing one civilian.
Turkey is backing Al Queda in Idlib province. The US is fully aware that the remaining peoples resisting the Government in Id Lib province are al Queda . Turkey recently got into an exchange of artillery fire with the Syrian Government forces which are trying to re-establish control over their territory by driving out Al Qaeda. The US Government has openly proclaimed it would come to the defense of Turkey as a NATO member.
The US is openly supporting terrorist groups! In fact they are openly backing the same group the US Government claimed responsible for 9/11 which they used to justify all of these wars.
The answer to all six questions, in one way or another, can be summed up in one word: PROFIT.
Since the end of WWII, wars have been “fought” to keep the MIC and Wall Street fat. A seemingly secondary goal is to make sure that US capitalism (and of course its massive profits stemming from its dominance) remains hegemonic. That is the job of the National Security State. If that is an addiction, it is one that the dominant capitalist imperialist nation must have; it is not something that it can be cured of.
Military spending is a redistribution of wealth upward to the 1%. That’s why more weapons (that don’t even have to work!) and more wars (that they don’t even have to win!) is a boon to them.
Like, you know, It’s bad enough having to listen to supposedly educated “journalists” on national T-V resort to empty filler words while they figure out how to gloss over their ignorance when asked unexpected substantive questions, but to put up with this crap in a written article is an insult up with which
I shall not put. I quit reading after the first word of the fourth paragraph . . .
of the need to rant on Trump’s “peace” switchbacks (and the new coronavirus strain)
At this stage it’s amazing Russiagaters will not wake up to what’s happening in regard to the “puppet” and his regime…
"Rather than prioritizing limited resources to defend vital U.S. interests, he has haphazardly inflated Pentagon spending, mistaking militarism for strategy.
"Rather than pushing NATO allies to take responsibility for their own defense, he has expanded U.S. military commitments abroad and unfairly claimed credit for increases in our allies’ defense expenditures which began before he took office.
“And rather than deal with troublemaking nations like Iran and North Korea—the latter of which was a glaring omission from this year’s SOTU—with realistic, patient diplomacy, Trump has adopted a dangerous ‘maximum pressure’ policy that has consistently proven counterproductive for U.S. interests and detrimental to the welfare of the very innocent civilians in these countries whom the president claims to support.”
Donald Trump’s Erratic Foreign Policy Is a Failure, Kristian, 2/10/20 ttps://nationalinterest.org/blog/skeptics/donald-trumps-erratic-foreign-policy-failure-121886
“troublemaking” up there I DO NOT buy…still, point taken.
Digression, but related IMO. China has acted very proficiently and as best they can in regard to the Corona Virus; I give that take a 90% on veracity [how bout limiting numbers of species for sale…and crowding…at markets?]. All in all these days I am seeing certain “old” frames bearing themselves out as most salient. Industrial consumerism…launched and/or maintained by whomever…really screws things up. The proliferation of oil hegemonies (energy hegemonies (Per Klare))…wherever…really tends to screw things up. These are patterns with a lot of inertia (akin to the nationalistic trends we see) the like of which I was reminded of listening to a 5 hr youtube of an AI text reader reading selections from a Jacques Ellul book. "Loud & Clear"s effort to make sense of things, for example, is monumental, but things are getting hairy. And right where they’re hairyest is where you could have some real trouble. The things energy hegemonies do at present seem only to make sense (to me at this moment) if you conjecture that 1) each have multiple ploys in motion, 2) those involved in one “school”/ploy perhaps cannot see as many overall contradictions as a well informed western reader [I’d guess there are many at the grass roots level in Russia too, + scattered], 3) the latter no-seeing state of affairs must be accepted because the schools-of-thought (strategems) are each too big themselves to control, and 4) the lack of sense discernable in terms of what will develop next puts not only enemies off balance, but also the priorities/timing of human activists by the millions.
It all makes you pretty pro-downward-mobility.
Russia bombs Turkish troops but sells Turkey the S-400. Russia fights for Syria while trying to align Syria with KSA and its Gulf allies, while Saudis and allies have been trying to overthrow Syria. Russia works with Syria against Israel’s interests, Russia works with Israel against Iranian interests. Russia works against Syrian interests, particularly the Golan and right of Syria to take it back. Israel engineers destruction of Russian aircraft, Putin and Netanyahu are great pals.
It’s f___ing confusing.
Posted by: NoOneYouKnow under a Moon of Alabama piece you should have read
[I may be wrong, but it appears to me other comments under this piece have been made invisible. Right now there’s also an interesting one from DannyC + one from David Wooten]
See also “Russia and Iran’s Clashing Visions for Syria’s Future,” Mint Press News 2/7/20
My response to Tom up there might be along the lines of what you mean. We should hope, pray, and work IMO for speeded up changes in beliefs. Maybe perceptions come first?
In our avaricious capitalist monopoly so-called ‘wars’ are merely a means to an end . . . your accurately identified ‘PROFIT’.
This is a project not the USA. Much like the middle-east>globalization>world hegemony project>all with jingo like immediate lethality. To many men buying their own coffins>Or filling them with $$ for the life of others.
I think it is interesting that I see almost no mention of Israel and the Zionist project in any of this. I would think that under Cui Bono at least Israel and its agenda have to be considered. Is it still verboten to risk cries of “anti-semitism” to mention or consider how much influence and power the Israel Lobby and allies have in the US and Western world.
Tom, the answer to all your above questions is a simple one: THESE ENDLESS WARS HAVE NEVER BEEN ABOUT WINNING!
Tom, here goes:
- The invasion of Aghanistan had been planned before 9/11/01, a fact that was known even to the Taliban and reported by them to Johan Galtung in spring of that year.
The plan to invade 7 Middle Eastern countries in sequence had already been mentioned by US officials, as per General Wesley Clark.
On the basis of a lot of circumstantial evidence, the 9/11 attack itself was probably in some sense an false flag operation, an inside job. Were it not, it was certainly used by multiple administrations as though it were, to the extent that who planned the attack is probably not the most germane point to be taken, though it might wake some folks up.
The state of war has been accompanied by a steady reduction of rights and income to US citizens. Incidentally, none of this was a great change from the last decades of the 20th century. Count out the invasions!
So yes, we are as a consequence getting over the “exceptionalism” thing. It’s been slow.
- The question of “winning” a war is no longer coherent, has not been in US warfare since Korea, and was probably mostly an artifact of old-fashioned thinking for a generation prior. Wars are not productive: some profit; most lose. But “winning” as people of your generation and mine conceived it involves one government attacking another governmen, then holding and occupying the land that had been under the other government’s sovereignty. That is mostly no longer done because it is not generally profitable: the US, for instance, was not trying to staff Vietnam with peasants to grow rice. Part of the reason it has become unprofitable is that most profit involves tricks of money manipulation and the direction of goods and manufacturing rather than the cultivation of fields of agriculture. This has been true since the early part of the 20th century, and the US is the primary large empire to develop since.
So no, the US is the first. But no, it does not make much difference. The question is passé.
The particular ideology of the nationalist and local forces that oppose international neoliberal empire are relatively irrelevant to the ends of that empire. So the wars continue regardless of the attendant vocabulary. Moreover, post-Stalinist Soviet or post-Maoist communism really never did have much to do with “from each according to his [sic] ability to each according to his needs,” did it? There were very conservative, closed, autocratic systems that had plenty of relationships with right-ist religious plutarchies. Check out V.I. Lenin’s piece on Left-wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder. These were right-wing governments.
NATO and particularly the US could stop preparations for war except that the societies are too ignorant to do so. The major reason for this is active campaigns of disinformation and propaganda involving current events, but far more profoundly entwined with deeper and less articulated social fantasies–like good whisky is a good reward for a life misspent or that it is unrealistic to imagine that people can mostly collaborate instead of mostly competing or that financial iniquity has some positive correlation with liberty. A lot of the propaganda is believed by its perpetrators, so the layers of misinformation, disinformation, lack of information, and personal insanity are dense and complicated. They are also reinforced by monetary relationships, which seems to leave the impression that they promote decisions that are realistic and practical.
The Fed can keep producing money by fiat because of agreements with the international banking system at the end of WWII and Richard Nixon et al’s move off the gold standard in '68. Debts get waived into non-existence and re-invented, perhaps surprisingly, because control over the narrative is not complete. It has to be repeatedly re-adjusted to continue to manipulate populations as the grand economic begins to lose coherency again and again, in retractions and inflations. But think about it: you cannot just blink more corn into existance, but you can do that with currency–albeit consequences, since people do respond to the narrative.
Truth is sinking in, but very slowly, because the disinformation has become more sophisticated. Concerned agencies release various sorts of competing stories that appeal to various sorts of partial skeptics.
A good example of this is the so-called “Russian hacking” hoax. This occupied a good deal of attention for a couple years and stopped prosecution for DNC-related fraud, likely murder (of Seth Rich), and apparent relationship of at least some particulars to the business dealings.
To extend this a bit, though, most of us who lived through a good deal of the 20th century have failed to recognize that the old system of news reporting has died, leaving a sort of undead press that feeds off of the living media.
What I mean is this. The old business model (as per Chomsky and Herman in the late 80s, was this: publication gets attention of an audience and sells that attention to advertizers.
The way that those of us who were in academia supported all of that was to tell succeeding generations of students that publications like the NYT had a vested interest in providing some level of assurance to their audience that the news was to some extent accurate.
That model worked for a few decades, albeit with problems beyond those that we mostly remember. But between the 1990s (and embedded reporting) and the early 2000s, with PHP and Python-driven Web sites (like this one) with two-way exchanges, newspapers, news magazines, and news television became largely defunct as such.
To maintain finances, these enterprises began increasingly to accept pre-done content from better funded agencies with public relations concerns: government, military, political parties, so-called “intelligence” agencies. So, basically, MSM is trying to be entertaining by introducing personality and cutting costs on reporting by accepting Beltway lies. They are losing credibility over time (which relates to your questions above). And yet even so extraordinary and extensively educated a mind as Noam Chomsky can continue to refer to the NYT as “the paper of record,” a statement that really has very little to do in a contemporary context with what he quite accurately expressed the first time he made the statement, decades ago.
Therefore, we all, collectively, have some sort of opportunity. The system of disinformation is, for the moment, broken up pretty badly and mostly outside of any sort of central control, even though it is still quite extensive and still, collectively, carries at least the effect of dissuading populations from alternatives that make sense, even if it does not appear to be able to sell a particular ideology to everyone any more.
That does leave us working amidst a lot of confusion, and there are indications that we will soon be confronted by more systems falling apart more quickly than we have been.