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 3:57 am

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Schools are run-down and over-crowded. In some inner-city high schools, 80% of the students drop out. More than a fifth of all adults can't read a job application or a street sign. Yet federal education funding per student has declined substantially over the last two decades. [120]

We believe in bake sale financing.

Skyrocketing prices are causing a crisis in health care. 43 million people have no insurance and millions more have inadequate insurance. More and more people don't get the medical care they need because they can't afford it. Yet public hospitals are being closed and the government has failed to enact any serious health care reform. [121]

EXIT. INSURED PATIENTS [thataway]; UNINSURED PATIENTS [thataway]. Reception. [Mom leading boy to exit:] Mom, it hurts!

One-fifth of all expectant mothers do not receive pre-natal care. This is one reason the U.S. has the highest infant mortality rate in the developed world (twice as high as Japan's). Every 50 minutes a child in the U.S. dies as a result of poverty or hunger. Yet Congress has been exceedingly stingy in funding maternal and child health programs. [122]

[Politician kissing baby:] I just love babies! Vote for Me!

[Baby:] Why don't you put your money where your mouth is, mister? Yuck!

With rents rising and wages falling, millions of families are living on the verge of eviction. Millions of people end up living on the streets. Yet when it comes to funding for housing and homelessness, most of Washington seems to have adopted Reagan's attitude. [123]

[Ronald Reagan:] Those people want to live on the streets!
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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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Drug addiction and alcoholism are crippling millions of people, and devastating families and whole communities. Yet there are not enough public treatment centers to handle even a fraction of those seeking help, and many centers are closing their doors for lack of funding.

There's just no money!

Oh yeah?

Somehow you come up with billions of dollars a year to operate 12 aircraft carrier battle groups!

With the $1,000,000,000 it takes to maintain just one of those aircraft carriers for a year, you could build 17,000 homes for 67,000 people. [124]

... or you could provide free prenatal care for 1,600,000 expectant mothers, saving thousands of babies. [125]

... or enroll 384,000 more kids in the Head Start preschool program this year. [126]

... or provide intensive drug or alcohol treatment for 333,000 people. [127]
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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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... or give 500,000 malnourished children in this country three meals a day for a year. [128]

... or you could put a down payment on a brand new aircraft carrier!

U.S.S. Ronald Reagan

Which is exactly what they are doing -- building a new aircraft carrier!

The government can find hundreds of billions for new aircraft carriers and other military hardware ...

But they say they can't find the money to deal with the pressing problems we face! [129]

The price of militarism includes more than high taxes and poor social services. Building nuclear weapons, for instance, has probably been the biggest environmental disaster this country has ever seen. More than 100 nuclear weapons plants owned by the Energy Department have been spewing radioactive waste into the air, dumping it in rivers, and leaking it into the soil and groundwater for decades.

All under the cover of government secrecy.

RESTRICTED AREA. NATIONAL SECURITY. KEEP YOUR NOSE OUT.
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Re: Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism (Upd

Postby admin » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:58 am

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The administrators who run the nuclear weapons plants have knowingly subjected the people who work in them and the people who live near them to deadly radioactive contamination -- without telling them a word about it.

The government now estimates it will take 25,000 workers at least 30 years to clean up the mess at these plants -- at a cost of $300 billion or more. [130]

And guess who's paying the bill!

What's more, nuclear weapons tests have spread deadly plutonium across large tracts of the Southwest and the South Pacific. Many of the 458,000 U.S. soldiers who participated in the atomic testing program are now dying of cancer. [131]

Don't worry, kid. It's perfectly safe. Just wear these goggles!

?

But they're not the only ones. High cancer rates plague the general population in the testing areas. One study estimated that previous nuclear testing would eventually cause at least 430,000 people to die of cancer worldwide. [132]

And plutonium remains highly radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years.
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Re: Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism (Upd

Postby admin » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:58 am

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Meanwhile, at military bases around the country they've been dumping hundreds of thousands of tons of toxic wastes, including chemical warfare agents, napalm, explosives, PCB's, and heavy metals, creating malignant lagoons and contaminating the groundwater of surrounding communities.

There are 11,000 military dump sites that need to be cleaned up. The estimated cost -- $100 to $200 billion. [133]

I say, let's fence 'em all off and call them national security sacrifice zones.

DANGER. KEEP OUT. TOXIC WASTE.

He's serious -- that's what some people are proposing.

Another cost of foreign wars is the retaliation they bring.

If we weren't always bombing other people, we wouldn't have to worry so much about people bombing us!

On the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge admitted that the war would spur more terrorist attacks against the U.S. [134]

"I think we can anticipate ... more threats because of a potential invasion. I mean it's fairly predictable." -- Rom Ridge, March 2003.

In other words, the Bush Administration knew that invading Iraq would bring retaliation, but it decided to go ahead and place us in greater danger anyway!

The "War on Terrorism" opened a new chapter in U.S. foreign wars, a chapter that may be marked by an endless cycle of violence. Some in Washington seem to relish the prospect. Emerging from his secret bunker several weeks after the September 11, 2001 attacks, Dick Cheney predicted that the "War on Terrorism" would go on for a long time. [135]

"It may never end. At least not in our lifetime." -- Cheney, Oct. 2001.
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Re: Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism (Upd

Postby admin » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:58 am

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As part of this endless war, he declared, we have to be prepared for ongoing terrorist attacks.

"For the first time in our history we will probably suffer more casualties here at home than will our troops overseas." -- Dick Cheney, October 2001. [136]

As a result, Cheney warned, we'll have to get used to invasive security measures. [137]

"We're going to have to take steps ... that'll become a permanent part of our way of life." -- Dick Cheney, October 2001.

Which brings us to another cost of militarism -- the loss of our civil liberties.

We never said this war was not going to have costs!

As the United States barricades itself against the world, we all suffer the inconveniences of increased security measures. But some of these measures are not simply inconvenient -- they are dangerous.

FBI: Grrr

"Homeland security" has become a slogan for eliminating civil rights protections long deemed inconvenient by the FBI and other police agencies.

Agencies that often give priority to suppressing political opponents.
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Re: Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism (Upd

Postby admin » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:59 am

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In the name of "Homeland security" ...

You can now be jailed indefinitely without trial.

The police and the FBI -- and even the CIA -- can more easily spy on you, reading your mail and e-mail, listening in on your phone, and breaking into your home.

Thousands of immigrants have been called in for questioning simply because they came from predominantly Muslim countries. [138]

Many have been jailed for long periods on baseless suspicions.

Nearly everyone in this country pays a high price for militarism. But those among us who have paid the highest price are the millions of soldiers who have been sent overseas to fight.

More than 100,000 U.S. soldiers and sailors have died in foreign wars since U.S. troops were sent to Korea in 1950. [139]

Hundreds of thousands more have been wounded, many disabled for life. Many Gulf War veterans are suffering the effects of "Gulf War Syndrome."
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Re: Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism (Upd

Postby admin » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:59 am

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Those who survive continue to be haunted by the wars they fought in. Half a million veterans of the Vietnam War suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder -- caused by memories of the horrors of the war. The number of Vietnam vets who have killed themselves since the war is greater than the number of U.S. soldiers who died in the war. [140]

Hundreds of thousands of military veterans have ended up living on the streets. [141]

And the killing goes on, even between wars.

Every year, more than a thousand U.S. soldiers and sailors are killed in military accidents. They are burned to death in fires at sea, crushed by tanks, and blown up by practice artillery fire.

BOOM -- U.S. NAVY

They break their necks jumping out of planes in high wind, and crash in unsafe helicopters. [142]

?! -- SNAP

These are all victims of Washington's addiction to militarism. And there are more victims ...

Every year, hundreds of active-duty soldiers and sailors commit suicide.

Of course, nobody is born with a desire to be humiliated and treated like a "grunt," much less to be killed. So indoctrination into the culture of militarism starts early.

[Baby with gun:] Bang! Bang! You're dead!
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Re: Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism (Upd

Postby admin » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:59 am

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Television, movies, video games, and toy stores all make killing seem not only glorious, but fun.

[Big guy on TV with big gun:] Eat lead, scumface!

[Boy watching TV:] Cool!

High school principals lock the doors and hire armed guards, supposedly to protect the kids from drug dealers, pimps, and other dangerous characters. But they roll out the red carpet for the most dangerous characters of all -- the military recruiters.

ARMY; NAVY; AIRFORCE; MARINES.

The recruiters, who are not quite as honest as used car salesmen, come armed with slick brochures and glossy promises.

Just sign here and you'll get money for college and we'll train you to be a nuclear physicist!

Cool!

By the time the recruits find out what military life is really all about, they're trapped.

I said lick it up -- you got that, wormhead!

The ones who end up on the front lines are usually kids who can't find a job or pay for college. Almost all of them are from working-class families, and a disproportionate number are African Americans, Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Native Americans, and other national minorities. As a result, it's mostly the poor who die on the battlefield.

That's why 22% of U.S. casualties in Vietnam were Black soldiers.

Even though Blacks only make up 12% of the U.S. population. [143]
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Re: Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism (Upd

Postby admin » Fri Jun 10, 2016 4:00 am

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The greatest injustice is that the people who start the wars are not the ones who fight and die.

[Rich nerd playing golf:] My daddy told me I could serve my country better by going to law school!

Maria Cotto spoke out against this injustice. Her brother was killed in the Persian Gulf War:

"I saw them on television saying they were spending billions on this. I saw them on Wall Street and they were cheering. It was sick, they were cheering like it was a game ..."

"Don't they know it means people will die? Not them. Not their families. Not their kids. People like my brother." [144]

Ismael Cotto, 27 years old, Bronx, New York. Killed in Saudi Arabia, Jan. 1991.

For some people war means handsome profits and overseas investment opportunities.

STOCK PRICES; DAILY NEWS; IT'S WAR!; U.S. WILL PREVAIL -- PRESIDENT

For others the price of war is high.

Mission accomplished!

Unfortunately, the costs of wars are paid by people who have little to do with starting them!
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