Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism (Updated

"Science," the Greek word for knowledge, when appended to the word "political," creates what seems like an oxymoron. For who could claim to know politics? More complicated than any game, most people who play it become addicts and die without understanding what they were addicted to. The rest of us suffer under their malpractice as our "leaders." A truer case of the blind leading the blind could not be found. Plumb the depths of confusion here.

Re: Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism (Upd

Postby admin » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:53 am

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Resistance drove up the costs of occupation. Keeping over 135,000 troops in Iraq cost over one billion dollars a week. Every day U.S. soldiers returned home in coffins or disabled for life. But politicians and generals in Washington continued to insist that they would never back down, no matter what the cost. [96]

Our credibility as a military superpower is on the line now!

The U.S. occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, together with continued U.S. support for the Israeli occupation of Palestine, have added fuel to simmering anti-American sentiments across the Middle East.

USA -- THE REAL TERRORIST

By invading and occupying Muslim countries, the U.S. is only inviting more attacks on U.S. soldiers and other American targets. The Pentagon has promised to respond with more violence.

"We will export death and violence to the four corners of the earth in defense of our great nation!" -- U.S. Special Forces officer, Afghanistan, February 2002.

The spiral of bloodshed is escalating dangerously. America's long-time addiction to war has reached a new level, creating greater dangers for people in this country and around the world.

Unfortunately, there are some people who profit handsomely from this addiction ...
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Re: Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism (Upd

Postby admin » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:53 am

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Chapter 5: The War Profiteers

[Three weapons manufacturers are dancing and singing:] There's no business like war business...

In the front lines of the pro-war crowd you'll find an assortment of politicians, generals, and corporate executives. If you ask them why they are so eager to go to war they'll give you noble and selfless reasons.

Democracy. Freedom. Justice. Peace.

But what really motivates them to go to war are somewhat less lofty aims:

Contracts! Markets! Natural resources! Power!
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Re: Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism (Upd

Postby admin » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:54 am

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For most people, the huge Pentagon budget means less money in their pockets.

IRS

PENTAGON

But for some people, just the opposite is true.

War Profits.

Over 100,000 companies feed at the Pentagon trough. But the big money goes to a handful of huge corporations.

Outa the way! I was here first!

1999 Pentagon Contracts

United Technology: $2.4 billion

TEXTRON: $1.4 billion

NORTHROP GRUMMAN: $3.2 billion

BOEING: $11.6 billion

Raytheon: $6.4 billion

GE: $1.7 billion

GENERAL DYNAMICS: $4.6 billion

LOCKHEED MARTIN: $12.7 billion

TRW: $1.4 billion

As they watch missiles flying and the bombs dropping in the Middle East, top executives of the big weapons manufacturers are adding up their profits, their brains working like cash registers gone haywire.

ch-ching $$$$ ch-ching

For weapons makers, wars mean more orders -- not only from the Pentagon, but also from overseas. After the first Gulf War demonstrated that their weapons can truly kill on a massive scale, foreign sales by U.S. weapons manufacturers skyrocketed. [99]

We've got a real deal on F-16s this week -- buy 100 and we'll throw in 1,000 cases of napalm free!

FREE NAPALM OFFER! We overstocked! Gulf tested! Gulf proven! Kill like you never have before! Our weapons kill: more, better, faster.
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Re: Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism (Upd

Postby admin » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:54 am

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Who are the war profiteers?

Let's take a look at some of the men in Washington who are most gun ho about war ...

Dick Cheney: Few politicians can match Dick Cheney's enthusiasm for war -- or his record of wanton destruction. As George H.W. Bush's Secretary of Defense, he presided over wars against Panama and Iraq, and then as Vice President under George W. Bush, he led the war drives against Afghanistan and Iraq.

Between wars, Dick has turned his attention from destruction to construction -- that is post-war reconstruction. In 1995, he was named CEO of Halliburton, the world's largest oil services company and a major military contractor. After the first Gulf War, Halliburton was hired to help rebuild the Kuwaiti oil industry. Then after the second Gulf War, the company was back to clean up the mess again -- for a healthy fee. [100]

You've gotta hand it to Dick. He's got an innovative business strategy -- first bomb it, then clean it up, then bomb it again, then clean it up again!

Halliburton is raking in hundreds of millions of dollars for feeding and housing U.S. troops in Iraq and it got the biggest post-war reconstruction prize -- a secret no-bid contract to rebuild Iraqi oil facilities that will likely be worth billions. [101]

It's nice to have friends in Washington!

As Halliburton's CEO, Cheney was rewarded handsomely, pocketing millions in salary and stock options every year. He ended up as Halliburton's largest individual stockholder, with a $45 million stake. [102]

Dick Cheney: I earned every penny of it.

Cheney got draft deferments five times to avoid fighting in Vietnam. But he's eager to send others to fight and die, and then reap the benefits. He's served on the boards of several huge war contractors, and his wife -- Lynne -- joined the board of Lockheed Martin. After Cheney returned to the White House in 2001, Lockheed got the biggest plum in Pentagon history -- a contract worth hundreds of billions to make the next generation of fighter jets.

Lynne and Dick Cheney: We're just doing our patriotic duty! [103]
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Re: Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism (Upd

Postby admin » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:55 am

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Richard Perle: As head of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, Richard Perle was a chief architect of both the war on Iraq and Donald Rumsfeld's efforts to "revolutionize" military technology. In 2001, Perle joined Henry Kissinger and other Washington insiders to form a company called Trireme Partners. Trireme raises venture capital from wealthy individuals and invests it in weapons companies, betting on those it expects will get lucrative government contracts. [104]

Henry Kissinger: Insider trading? We prefer to call it guaranteed speculation!

Perle has also served as an advisor to the Israeli government. Whether in Washington or Jerusalem, his advice is always the same ...

War is the answer!

Perle has particularly pushed for war against three countries he considers Israel's main enemies -- Iraq, Iran and Syria.

Richard Perle: One down, two to go! [105]

Cheney, Perle and their friends go back and forth through a revolving door that connects jobs at the Pentagon, the White House, Congress and corporate military contractors. Lots of money changes hands in Washington as weapons manufacturers make generous contributions to politicians and politicians hand out fat Pentagon contracts to weapons manufacturers. This leads to all kinds of shady agreements and overpriced goods.

Here's to the Pentagon -- the only place you can sell a 13 cent bolt for $2,043! [106]

The "War on Terrorism" has led to a tremendous windfall for the military contractors. The Army, Navy, and Air Force (and the contractors they represent) are lining up to get money for expensive new weapons systems, now packaged as indispensable for fighting terrorism.

We can't afford to be without it! It's vital for homeland defense! We have to close the window of vulnerability!
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Re: Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism (Upd

Postby admin » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:55 am

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In fact, under the banner of funding the "War on Terrorism," Congress has abandoned efforts to avoid budget deficits. Instead, every year it gives the Pentagon what amounts to a blank check.

For whatever it takes ...

PAY TO THE ORDER OF PENTAGON $________

__________________________________ DOLLARS

U.S. CONGRESS

After the end of the Cold War, many in Washington were reconsidering the humongous size of the military budget, which had converted the U.S. from the world's biggest lender into the world's biggest debtor.

Uncle Sam: Bonds, anyone? T-bills?

Military Budget: Ouch! That hurts!

In an effort to balance the federal budget, politicians were beginning to trim the Pentagon's toenails.

After September 11 all this changed. Bush and the Congress started to pump up the Pentagon's bloated budget without restraint.
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Re: Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism (Upd

Postby admin » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:56 am

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Even Congressional opposition to the far-fetched "missile defense program" collapsed.

Beep Beep

Missile defense, like the "War on Terrorism," promises to protect Americans from danger while actually creating a much more dangerous world. If other countries think there is any chance the U.S. could block their missiles, they will feel vulnerable to U.S. attack. China has already promised to build more and better missiles which could overwhelm the U.S. "missile shield." This will spur a nuclear arms race in Asia.

If China builds more nuclear missiles, then India will. If India does, then Pakistan will. If Pakistan ...

In 1972, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. signed the ABM Treaty to try to avoid this kind of arms race. In order to pursue missile defense, the U.S. unilaterally scrapped the treaty. But that didn't bother missile defense proponents.

Hey, the world's changed. We can win an arms race with anyone!

In this spirit, Congress rejected the nuclear test ban treaty (which has been signed by 164 countries) and it continues to finance nuclear weapons research and production. In fact, the Pentagon is eager to develop a new arsenal of small "battlefield" nuclear weapons. [108]

The U.S. is keeping enough nuclear firepower to wipe out most of humanity.

Just to be safe!

As potential nuclear targets in Russia have declined, the Pentagon has been retargeting its missiles at "every reasonable adversary."

Which makes other countries feel like they better hurry up and get nuclear weapons themselves. [109]
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Re: Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism (Upd

Postby admin » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:56 am

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In the post-Cold War world order, the U.S. does not seem to want to be bound by any arms treaties. It refuses to sign a new protocol to the 1972 biological weapons treaty because it would require international inspections of its biological weapons research facilities, where it is creating deadly jnew strains including highly lethal powdered anthrax. U.S. officials say they are only creating germ weapons in order to study how to defend against them. [110]

Of course we would never use them ourselves!

But can other countries trust a government that bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki and actually developed plans to use smallpox and other biological weapons against Vietnam and Cuba? [111]

Would you?

And U.S. "weaponized germs" not only represent a threat to people in other countries.

What if some of the Pentagon's powdered anthrax got into the hands of some fanatic here in the United States?

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union was a serious military competitor for the United States. Today, the U.S. maintains a huge war machine despite the lack of any serious competition. The U.S. military budget is now larger than the next 25 biggest spenders put together! It makes up a full 36% of total global military spending. [112]

United States: $399 billion

Annual Military Expenditures, The world's four biggest spenders: Russia: $65 billion; China: $47 billion; Japan: $43 billion.

Being the world cop and all, we do have certain responsibilities!
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Re: Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism (Upd

Postby admin » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:56 am

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Chapter 6: The High Price of Militarism

Maintaining this huge military machine is not cheap. Every year the U.S. spends hundreds of billions of dollars on the military. [113]

$399,000,000,000 military budget 2004 fiscal year.

This figure does not include tens of billions spent on the military occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq.

2001: $308 billion; 2002: $351 billion; 2003: $396 billion; 2007: $470 billion (proposed)

Since 1948 the U.S. has spent more than $15 trillion to build up its military might. Just how much is $15,000,000,000,000 worth? [114]

Lemme see.

My God!

It adds up to more than the cumulative monetary value of all human-made wealth in the U.S.! [115]

In other words, the government has spent more on the military over the last four decades than the value of all the factories, machinery, roads, bridges, water and sewage systems, airports, railroads, power plants, office buildings, shopping centers, schools, hospitals, hotels, houses, etc., in this country put together!

Wow! Vote Duke. Buy Coke. ConEd. Park $9. Texaco. ConAgra.
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Re: Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism (Upd

Postby admin » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:57 am

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If we add up the current Pentagon budget, the nuclear weapons budget of the Energy Department, the military portion of the NASA budget, foreign military aid, veterans' benefits, interest payments on debt incurred by past military spending and other military-related expenses, the U.S. spends over $776 billion a year to feed its addiction to war. [116]

That's more than a million dollars a minute!

This costs you plenty. An average American household "contributes" over $4,400 in taxes every year to the cause of building up the world's most powerful military. [117]

Now I know why we can't ever seem to make ends meet!

Mom -- could we get...

If you need anything else, just give a holler!

Because Congress is so generous to the Pentagon...

Social programs get short-changed.

That's all we can afford -- we can't bust the budget, you know.

Bridges, roads, sewers, and water systems are crumbling because the government fails to provide the money needed to maintain them. [118]

Bus fares are rising and service is being slashed as the Federal Government has eliminated financial support for mass transit operating costs. [119]

[RTD bus with signs on the side saying:] Be all you can be in the Army! [and] NOT IN SERVICE. [99]
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