War

US Spent a Staggering $4.3 Trillion on Wars Since 9/11 (11/9/2017)

Weapons do not defeat an ideology. War is a last resort, a total failure of diplomacy, an irrational activity, and its technology can easily destroy us all.

The Trump administration and Republicans are massively funding weaponry, but dismantling the State Department.

What you prepare for will surely come to pass.

World War III is Coming (3/10/2017)

Jobs Not War
"American-style war doesn't work. Just ask yourself: Are there fewer terrorists or more in our world almost 13 years after the 9/11 attacks? Are Al Qaeda-like groups more or less common? Are they more or less well organized? Do they have more or fewer members? The answers to those questions are obvious: more, more, more and more. In fact, according to a new RAND report, between 2010 and 2013 alone, jihadist groups grew by 58 percent, their fighters doubled and their attacks nearly tripled." Tom Engelhardt
The so-called “War on Terror” should be seen for what it really is: a pretext for maintaining a dangerously oversized U.S. military. The two most powerful groups in the U.S. foreign policy establishment are the Israel lobby, which directs U.S. Middle East policy, and the Military-Industrial-Complex, which profits from the former group’s actions. Since George W. Bush declared the “War on Terror” in October 2001, it has cost the American taxpayer approximately 6.6 trillion dollars and thousands of fallen sons and daughters; but, the wars have also raked in billions of dollars for Washington’s military elite. GARIKAI CHENGU
Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind" John F. Kennedy.
the War Party is ascendant. It controls Congress. The president is visibly, if with his usual reluctance, placing his bets on war. The military is riding high. The end of all calls for serious Pentagon budget cuts is clearly in sight. And more of the same is undoubtedly in the works, no matter who wins the 2016 election." Tom Englehardt (12/4/2014)
"Do we need weapons to fight wars ? Or do we need wars to create a market for weapons ? After all, the economies of Europe, the United States, and Israel depend hugely on their weapons industry. It's the one thing they haven't outsourced to China." Arundhati Roy: Capitalism, a Ghost Story.
"One might even argue that capitalism often resolves systemic economic crises through war. After all, a war economy with militarisation, mobilisation, full employment and jingoism can be viewed as the ultimate solution to economic woes and social unrest. The transition of Western democracy to oligarchy and the descent into soft fascism is under way. Citizens will need to participate actively, rather than as passive consumers, to demand an end to this cycle of violence from governments and to defend the assault on democratic processes. We can only hope that British foreign secretary Sir Edward Grey's refrain on the commencement of First World War - "The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time" - will not be repeated in ours. But the omens are not good. As the late Eric Hobsbawm put it, the old century has not ended well." World war 3 is coming...
"War is politics by other means" Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831)
"The century beginning with the first world war and running through to the trillion-dollar quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan has seen countless demonstrations that, under modern conditions, war is almost invariably an economic disaster for all concerned. That fact hasn’t stopped these wars, and preparation for wars, being considered an essential part of a national economic strategy, and it seems unlikely to do so in the future." John Quiggin
Of all the enemies of true liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manner and of morals, engendered in both. No nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement. In war, a physical force is to be created; and it is the executive will, which is to direct it. In war, the public treasuries are to be unlocked; and it is the executive hand which is to dispense them. James Madison April 20, 1795
If the West had judged the then US government which marched into Iraq without a resolution by the UN and without proof of the existence of “WMDs“ by the same standards as today Putin, then George W. Bush would have immediately been banned from entering the EU. The foreign investments of Warren Buffett should have been frozen, the export of vehicles of the brands GM, Ford, and Chrysler banned. The American tendency to verbal and then also military escalation, the isolation, demonization, and attacking of enemies has not proven effective. The last successful major military action the US conducted was the Normandy landing. Everything else – Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan – was a clear failure. Moving NATO units towards the Polish border and thinking about arming Ukraine is a continuation of a lack of diplomacy by the military means. The West on the wrong path: Gabor Steingart 8/8/2014
"Americans are now almost alone in believing that war is a progressive force. There were fewer wars being waged by nation-states in 2006 than at any time since 1945. In fact, there was only one - the war in Iraq. Yet mired in the Iraqi morass, the United States continues to put its faith in military power as it struggles to defeat the Iraqi insurgency and prop up a weak government located mainly within an American military base - the Green Zone - and shielded from Iraq's people by American troops. As is commonplace across the Third World, this is a government that exists only on television. The real power in Iraq will therefore remain in the mosques." (from Geoffrey Perret's book 'Commander in Chief')
“Naturally, the common people don’t want war… That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship… the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked… It works the same way in any country.” Hermann Göring
Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes … known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

James Madison, Political Observations, 1795

War has taken 200 million lives in the past 100 years, costs the world $2 trillion a year and the United States half of that. It is the top destroyer of our natural environment and undergirds all the removal of our civil liberties and the creation of mass surveillance. Military spending produces fewer jobs than other government spending or even tax cuts. Numerous top officials say it produces more enemies than it kills. David Swanson
The Soviet Union may be gone, but the Cold War never really ended. This is a nation that needs an enemy, and beneath the bright blue ceiling of another September day thirteen years ago, a new one was established. Our haywire economy requires a state of permanent war; we lost it for a time when the Wall fell, but found it again when the Towers fell. The savage irony is that those Towers came down thanks to the chesswork of Cold Warriors who thought they could control the beast they created in Afghanistan in their desire to undo the Soviets. By any measurable standard, the United States of America, its people, its politics and its profiteering ethos stand as a bent monument to that era, which never really ended, but only metastasized into the so-called "War on Terror." William Rivers Pitt
Between the beginning of the Cold War in Europe and the present war in Afghanistan, a period has passed that included the Korean War; the Vietnam War and the Cambodian invasion; U.S. interventions in Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador (indirectly), and Somalia (in connection with a UN operation, followed by sponsorship of an invasion of Somalia by Ethiopia); and two invasions of Iraq and one of Afghanistan. None except the Gulf War deserves to be called a victory. The United States' millenarian notions of a national destiny and the militarism that has infected American society have been responsible for a series of wars from which Washington has gained little or nothing, and suffered a great deal, while contributing enormously to the misfortune of others" William Pfaff: Manufacturing Insecurity 140
"The U.S. military budget exceeds what the rest of the world’s nations combined spend on defense. Nor can it be justified as militarily necessary to counter terrorists, who used primitive $10 box cutters to commandeer civilian aircraft on 9/11. It only makes sense as a field of dreams for defense contractors and their allies in Washington who seized upon the 9/11 tragedy to invent a new Cold War. Imagine their panic at the end of the old one and their glee at this newfound opportunity. Ike was right: Robert Scheer"
A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny. -Alexander Solzhenitsyn
"That U.S. military budget exceeds what the rest of the world’s nations combined spend on defense. Nor can it be justified as militarily necessary to counter terrorists, who used primitive $10 box cutters to commandeer civilian aircraft on 9/11. It only makes sense as a field of dreams for defense contractors and their allies in Washington who seized upon the 9/11 tragedy to invent a new Cold War. Imagine their panic at the end of the old one and their glee at this newfound opportunity. Ike was right: Robert Scheer
"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." Albert Einstein

Today, every inhabitant of this planet must contemplate the day
when this planet may no longer be habitable. Every man, woman, and child
lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads,
capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or madness.


John Fitzgerald Kennedy

"The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved its doomsday clock up a couple of minutes to “five minutes to midnight.” Even conservatives like George Shultz and Henry Kissinger are warning that the nuclear threat is serious and getting more serious. In part, the threat comes from nuclear proliferation. But a lot of the cause of the proliferation is right here. Washington’s bellicose, aggressive militarism is causing proliferation." Noam Chomsky: What We Say Goes.
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron." -- Dwight Eisenhower, April 16, 1953
...Some women are, of course, as violent as almost any man. But speaking of averages -- central tendencies, as the statisticians call them --we can have little doubt that we would all be safer if the world's weapons systems were controlled by average women instead of by average men. The Tangled Web: Melvin Konner. pg 126.
"Blessed are the peacemakers." (Matthew 5:9)
"Love one another as I have loved you." (John 15:12)
"As Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, one of his followers drew a sword and struck the servant of the High Priest. Jesus immediately said to him, "Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. (Mathew 26:52)"
"War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses. . . " Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933 by General Smedley Darlington Butler, USMC. General Butler was the recipient of two Congressional Medals of Honor - one of only two Marines so honored.

"I spent 33 years in the Marines. Most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenue in. I helped in the rape of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street...." - Smedley D. Butler (1881-1940) Major General (U.S. Marine Corps)

"I believe that the killing of human beings in a war is no better than common murder; but so long as nations lack the determination to abolish war through common action and find means of solving their disputes and safeguarding their interests by peaceful arrangements according to existing laws, they will continue to consider it necessary to prepare for war. They will feel compelled to engage in the manufacture of even the most detestable weapons in their fear that they may lag behind in the general arms race. Such an approach can only lead to war, and warfare today would mean universal annihilation of human beings.

There is little point, therefore, in opposing the manufacture of specific weapons; the only solution is to abolish both war and the threat of war. That is the goal toward which we should strive. We must be determined to reject all activities which in any way contradict this goal. This is a harsh demand for any individual who is conscious of his dependence upon society; but it is not an impossible demand.

Gandhi, the greatest political genius of our time, indicated the path to be taken. He gave proof of what sacrifice man is capable once he has discovered the right path. His work in behalf of India’s liberation is living testimony to the fact that man’s will, sustained by an indomitable conviction, is more powerful than material forces that seem insurmountable." Einstein on Politics, Rowe and Schulmann.


In ways big and small, direct and indirect, crude and subtle, war - the quintessential government activity - has been the mother's milk for the nourishment of a growing tyranny in this country, and it remains so today." Robert Higgs: Neither Liberty or Safety pg 139 (2007)

“But now that war has become seemingly total and seemingly permanent, the free sport of kings has become the forced and internecine business of people, and diplomatic codes of honor between nations have collapsed. Peace is no longer serious; only war is serious. Every man and every nation is either friend or foe, and the idea of enmity becomes mechanical, massive, and without genuine passion. When virtually all negotiation aimed at peaceful agreement is likely to be seen as 'appeasement,' if not treason, the active role of the diplomat becomes meaningless; for diplomacy becomes merely a prelude to war or an interlude between wars, and in such a context the diplomat is replaced by the warlord......In other words 'the morale of the State Department is so broken that its finest men flee from it, and advise others to flee.' C Wright Mills

If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight. Martin Luther King about the Vietnam War

"Critics of the arms race have focused on the strong belief held by weapons professionals, that nuclear weapons will never be used. Robert J. Lifton, the great antinuclear psychiatrist, has talked about it s a form of denial." Hugh Gusterson quoted in Loving This Planet, Helen Caldicott

It is estimated that the world will spend a combined US $1 trillion on nuclear weapons from 2011 to 2021. At roughly a $100 billion a year.., we are spending about forty times more a year on unnecessary nuclear weapons than on necessary UN expenses. All these confirm that humanity at large is behaving absurdly in many ways in managing our planet. Kishore Mahbubani: the Great Convergence pg 108

America’s Spiral Into Permanent War Seems More Foolish Than Ever (11/19/2016)

The Doctrine of Armed Exceptionalism (10/25/2016)

Killing People, Breaking Things, and America's Winless Wars (9/27/2016)

Want National Security ? Dismantle the War Machine (9/22/2016)

Provoking the Russian Bear: NATO Is “Cannon Fodder” for the American Empire (6/5/2016)

Silencing America as It Prepares for War (5/27/2016)

Escalations in a New Cold War (5/14/2016)

GOP Candidates up ante, Promise 4 Major Ground Wars, murder of Innocents, Large Genitalia (3/4/2016)

Bernie's Policy: No Wars For the Billionaire Class (2/23/2016)

Why WWIII is on the Horizon (12/29/2015)

Which War Did Republican Candidates Serve In ? (12/18/2015)

Beyond ISIS: The Folly of World War IV (12/5/2015)

The Republican Juggernaut Marching Us to War

The Coming of Cold War 2.0 (6/30/2015)

The 5 worst chicken hawks in the GOP (6/6/2015)

Republican Hawks Already Have a War Plan for ISIS, Ukraine, and Obama (11/5/2014)

War Impoverishes US

How the Pentagon is Hiding the dead

War Makes Us Poor (4/18/2014)

The West's Reckless Rush towards War With Russia (7/31/2014)

Why the Hawks Are Winning the Iran Debate 7/24/2014

The Path to a New 1914? How America Chose War After 9/11: Jonathan Schell (7/22/2014)

Don't Listen to Republican Warmongers (3/5/2014)

The Business of America is War (10/20/2013)

The True Test of American Resolve: Not Attacking Syria But Living Up to Our Ideals at Home (9/1/2013)

The Eternal War: Andrew Bacevich (5/28/2013)

AUMF Repeal: Obama Once Again Stands Up For Democracy (5/24/2013)

Russian Roulette With Nuclear War (10/16/2012)

What if Republicans had a debate on Military Spending ? (8/28/2012)

Who Benefits From The Organized Violence of War (4/1/2012)

Energy Wars 2012 (1/10/2012)

Lessons From Lost Wars 2012 (1/3/2012)

After Iraq, War is US (12/20/2011)

Secret War in 120 Countries (8/4/2011)

GOP Insists on New Nuclear Weapons (8/11/2011)

Special Ops: the New Face of War (8/14/2011)

The Link Between War and Big Finance (4/7/2011)

So Please Tell Me Again: What's The War About? (8/5/2010)

The U.S. War Addiction: Funding Enemies to Maintain Trillion Dollar Racket (6/16/2010)

How the War Machine is Driving the US Economy

Why We Fight (important video. Watch it on-line.)

The American Way of War

Is the War Coming Home? (5/15/2010)

America's Secret War (8/26/2010)

War

Republicans are always ready to go to war, but not to pay for them. They claim to be fiscally responsible, but cutting taxes and putting the cost of the war on the tab, financed by third world countries, puts an unconscionable burden on the next generation. The War in Iraq was financed by supplementals. Joe Stiglitz has excellent suggestions for reform in his book The Three Trillion Dollar War: (He has since revised his estimate: it was a Four Trillion Dollar War.)

Your Tax Dollars at War: More than 53% of Your Tax Payment Goes to the Military (4/13/2010)

Where your taxes go. See the explanation why percentages vary.

War is profitable. It is also regressive since many people suffer for the benefit of a very small group. (See Empire.)

The US has the world's largest military. It is bankrupting us, it is motivating a new arms race, it is terrorizing many countries of the world, and it is clearly a making us less safe. We have, in our boastful, arrogant claim to be the world's superpower, created determined enemies and no one will be surprised if we are ourselves subject to attack from outside. Most US tax dollars go to pay for empire.

The US military is often a security force for multi-national corporations. These corporations are, by Supreme Court ruling, dedicated to making money. They are not particularly patriotic, so will offshore jobs to the lowest wage, least regulated, lowest tax, lax environmental countries (or states if they absolutely must be in this country) or a combination of countries that maximizes their profits. Their profits are not repatriated to avoid U.S. taxes. That is how the market propels us to the bottom. That is the Republican agenda.

Lessons

We should learn from our pointless wars: Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, ... They have been horrendously expensive in life, limbs, and treasure for which there not only has been no benefit, but has left chaos and destruction behind. Pretexts for these wars were lies from ideologues.

War on an abstraction, like 'terrorism', is going to be endless....and pointless.

Most U.S. wars have had a religious component: (godless Communism, Islamophobia) which is one of the reasons that Republicans favor war. It also explains why we excused Israel for development of a nuclear arsenal and why the US cannot stand down its nuclear weapons.

Secrecy suppresses public discussion, and enables war based on false pretexts. Harsh punishment for whistle-blowers makes it rare that the public can find out what government is really doing. Daniel Elsberg revealed the lies underlying the pretext for war in Vietnam. Chelsea Manning is serving -- years in prison for -- Edward Snowden made surveillance of everyone public. They are heroes who should be rewarded for their patriotism. They took huge personal risks to make the truth public.

U.S. 'intelligence' agencies are unaccountable and engaging in activities that qualify as war crimes: torture, assasinations, renditions, terrorism,

History richly illustrates, we cannot have both a republic and an empire.

War breeds even more war...and terrorism. We are NOT safer.

Republicans represent war profiteers.

War Profiteering

Well connected Republicans made a lot of money from the Iraq War. KBR, Blackwater, Dyncorp, and others profited from the privatization of formerly military functions.

James Risen in his book, Pay Any Price, points out "... at least $11.7 billion of the approximately $20 billion ...sent to Iraq from New York is either unaccounted for or has simply disappeared.

War profiteering should be a crime. Any attempt to investigate widespread corruption by Iraq contractors was voted down by Republicans.

You can get an idea from this movie, Iraq For Sale, which you can watch on-line.

Profligate spending for war.

How much are we spending on the US military ?

How much are we spending on the war in Iraq ?

How much longer can we afford to be the "World's Policeman"? We are spending over $500B per year for defense, homeland security and nation building. Investments we are making in developing new democracies are draining our domestic programs such as health care, stifling the education of our young people and limiting research and development in valuable commercial technologies. The largest corporations selling to our government are no more than extensions of our government in the cloak of industry. They are not in the business of making money for the stockholder. They are in the business of spending money for the government. As a result they are some of the poorest growth stocks on Wall Street. Recent consolidation in the Defense Industrial Complex has dramatically reduced competition. Only public laws mandating a twenty per cent allocation of Federal Contract Funding to small business have kept diversification in the mix. Even then, much of the moneys that flow to small business go through a select group of large business prime contractors who add their respective overhead and general administrative expense to the small business cost and pass it on to the government. Ken Larson from the book, "Odyssey of Armaments, My Journey Through the Defense Industrial Complex"

The US is spending more on its military than the rest of the world combined.

Your Tax Dollars at War: More than 53% of Your Tax Payment Goes to the Military (4/13/2010)

It is time the US broke its dependency on war. As a jobs program it is, to say the least, counterproductive, although that is what sustains it. It seems the US is not only providing security for multi-national corporations, it is building an empire. It is profitable. It will self-destruct.


Iraq demonstrated that we learned nothing from Vietnam. These wars were alike in that they were based on lies, and each was a pointless failure...except for the war profiteers. They were expanded by Presidents who were surrounded by sycophants, their actual policy was secret and quite the opposite of what the public was told, outside contractors who valued their jobs could not disagree and neither could apparatchik insiders, media was complicit or misinformed, public dissent was suppresed and so were civil liberties.

When Bush took office, Republicans no longer could use the big red scare as a pretext for war. Russia no longer appeared to be a credible threat, so it became necessary to demonize the Muslim world. There was a serious concern that peace would break out. But a religious war, for some people, became possible. This could be a new crusade, and invading Iraq had the further benefit of acquiring vast new oil wealth. Afghanistan had the potential to be a new pipeline route, as it turned out, it also has prospered as the drug trade has flourished. Real men, neocons who mostly never served, wanted to invade Iran.

There was the possibility that peace would break out, but W solved that problem. Since the US has been mostly deindustrialized, it is important to preserve our remaining industries: armaments and the military. Jobs in the military have many benefits that are increasingly unavailable in the private sector including health care, clothing, weapons, food, housing, training, and job security. Industry has moved to low-wage countries, so the military is the only job choice for many.

So early in his administration, Bush and his team worked on various pretexts for war in Iraq. Although 'intelligence' agencies did not agree that Iraq was a threat, through a process of bureaucratic interference, media manipulation, and intimidation, the Neocons were able to arrive at their desired conclusions. Interestingly, these were some of the same people who, in the Reagan administration, told us that Russia was 10 feet tall and required a vast new arms buildup. It didn't seem to matter that some were convicted Iran/contra felons, they were promoted to senior positions. Immense new debt was required to fund all of this, but, as Cheney remarked, they had 'won' the election, and they had the right.

Still, as Chicago economists pointed out, it would take "a new pearl harbor" to make this dream a reality. Then 9/11 provided the crisis needed to implement the Bush agenda. The mysterious outbreak of militarized anthrax powder also helped. Now there was justification for the Patriot Act, for the Military Commissions Act, for revoking the FISA Act, for curtailing civil liberties, for thorough new surveillance both of foreign and domestic activities, for a hugely profitable privatized national security state, and for a breathtaking expansion of Presidential power.

The AUMF made the entire world a battlefield, and granted the President dictatorial power. Obama continued it.

Bush used these new powers to create secret prisons, imprison people using renditions, and to extract information from prisoners using torture. This required abrogating quaint international agreements like the Geneva Conventions, and thumbing their noses at international law. With his new war powers, Bush in many ways acted as if he were above the law. It is difficult to find justification for it in the Constitution, but the Bushies announced their intention to remake the Middle East. What is the Constitution but another piece of paper ?

Not to miss any opportunity though, by expanding NATO into the former eastern European countries, Russia again was made to feel threatened. To be sure, it took a new expansion of the 'Star Wars' program to place a ring of missiles around Russia thus assuring that there would be a provocation for their action. Sure enough, they are promising new military action in response. Media announced that Russia invaded Georgia, when according to Gorbachev, just exactly the reverse had happened. Putin has opined that the war in Georgia was staged for the US Presidential elections...a September surprise.

As Russia and Georgia clashed, Elliott Kalan, producer for the Daily Show with Jon Stewart wrote:

"Luckily, John McCain made it clear he wouldn't have let this war pass us by. If McCain was in charge we'd be attacking Russia right now, and maybe China, Iran, and Italy just to be safe. That's because he knows the only way to get America back into fighting shape is to keep America fighting. Then, we'll be so busy battling that we won't have time to worry about anything else, and those problems will go away. It's a solution that's beautiful in its simplicity. McCain's proven he's the only candidate who has his priorities straight. We may not have enough jobs, gasoline, or medicine to go around, but under President McCain there'll be war enough for everybody !

Although the Ballistic Missiles (star wars) weren't really working, the Bushies were keen to deploy it in Eastern Europe. Putin went ballistic, and now we are seeing Russian military preparations with Venezuela, and the Russians have helped Iran to bring their nuclear reactor on-line.

We were promised 'endless war' and election of Republicans will pretty much guarantee it. We now have two chances to engage in a new world war, one from the Middle East, and another with Russia. China, as it grows economically stronger, could have potential also.

Where your taxes go. See the explanation why percentages vary.

Time is long overdue to engage the conversation about how to move from a permanent war economy to a permanent peace economy. Seymour Melman’s 2003 article “In the Grip of a Permanent War Economy

The Nuclear Bombshell that never went off. (10/18/2007)

Ex-Army official says fired over KBR audit 17 Jun 2008 A former high-ranking civilian U.S. Army official says he was fired in 2004 when he questioned the Iraq war expenditures of military contractor KBR. The official, Charles Smith, said he was ousted from his position as the top civilian overseer of KBR's lucrative contract to supply services to U.S. troops when he refused to sign off on more than $1 billion in questionable spending, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Georgia War a Neocon Election ploy ? (8/12/2008)

Global arms race is picking up speed.

By announcing a policy that we would 'remake the middle east' Bush assured that there will be a new generation of dedicated soldiers for Islam ready to fight at all costs for a new crusade. Religious war, resource war, cultural war have all been enlisted to be sure that the US can remain a militarized state with a strong man President. By taking on war powers, Bush demonstrated that the President can disappear people, torture would be routine policy, that secret prisons are possible, and that additional wars can be waged at the Presidents will. Some traditional American commitments are quaint: such as the Geneva Conventions, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, real elections, and the Constitution. Habeas Corpus may have been the rule since 1210 AD, but, in the face of new threats, why worry about it.

But that's not all. We all felt a loss when the cold war ended. There almost were budget cuts for the military, and we contemplated the possibility of a 'peace dividend'. Much of the war profiteering elite might have suffered a loss too. Bush has taken care of these concerns as well. First, even though the Star Wars program was known to be a dysfunctional money pit, he revived this program and fought hard to deploy it to sensitive countries in central Europe. As their surrounding countries started to join NATO, and star wars installations began to be deployed, Russia again feels threatened. So you can be assured that the arms race will continue, the Military-Industrial complex will remain strong. (Get over it, you will not get health care, better education, pensions, good transportation, better infrastructure, or any real domestic improvements. Don't whine about the elections that are now so thoroughly rigged..)

Nuclear Weapons Obsolescence by Manuel Garcia Jr. / December 11th, 2008

War Crimes Watch

World Policy Institute

Amnesty International on Arms Control

Use of Nuclear Weapons need to be avoided at all costs

U.S. Atomic Bomb test unreported

Hypocrisy of Non Proliferation

Cluster Bomb Disarmament

* Our never ending "war on terror" is designed to do just what James Madison warned of... destroy our freedom a little bit at a time. Just look at the laws that are being passed these days. Congress passed (September 2006) the "Military Commissions Act of 2006" into law. Military Commissions Act Rep. Nancy Johnson, Chris Shays, Rob Simmons and Sen. Lieberman all voted for the Military Commissions Act and it passed. It allows Bush to imprison anyone he chooses and abuse them as he sees fit. It places Bush above the law, our first American monarch. http://informationclearinghouse.info/article15169.htm

Posse Comitatus Act of 1878

War zealots should send their kids to Iraq .

Chalmers Johnson makes a clear statement of it in Harper's Magazine for December 2006.

The Man Behind Irregular Warfare Push: Mike Vickers

What gives them the right ?

War (see Arundhati Roy's comments)

Are you safer ?

www.ussliberty.org

The US is preparing to replace the nuclear arsenal with new hydrogen bombs.

Transforming the US Military.

Support the campaign to repeal the overbroad "authorization for use of military force", adopted by a panicky congress in 2001, which gives Bush carte blanche to start wars anywhere.

U.S. FLUNKS THE GLOBAL PEACE TEST; RANKS 96 OUT OF 121 COUNTRIES

The Economist Intelligence Unit, in conjunction with an international team of academics and peace experts, has compiled an innovative new Global Peace Index which ranks 121 nations according to their relative peacefulness. The Global Peace Index is composed of 24 indicators, ranging from a nation’s level of military expenditure to its relations with neighboring countries and the level of respect for human rights. The index has been tested against a range of potential “drivers” or determinants of peace—including levels of democracy and transparency, education and material wellbeing… http://democracyrising.us/content/view/947/164/

A listing of US military involvement on foreign soil.

Empire

Vermont Calls for Withdrawal

(2/14/2007) The Vermont State Legislature made headlines yesterday when lawmakers passed resolutions in both the House and Senate calling for the immediate and orderly withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. Vermont has lost more soldiers per capita than any other state in the nation, and is the first state to pass a resolution calling for troop withdrawal. The majority of Democrats supported the resolution. Most Republicans opposed it, contesting a passage that suggested the presence of US troops would not bring stability to Iraq, or security to the United States.

What about Iran ?

John Cusack: Outsourced Warfare Represents a

John Cusack: Outsourced Warfare Represents a "Radical, Dangerous, Disgusting Ideology"

An interview with Cusack about his latest film, War Inc., which takes the outsourcing of military operations to the absurd. Read more »

Unknown terror: What is DU?: Video

The president of the United States, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, and the prime minister of Israel must acknowledge and accept responsibility for the willful use of uranium munitions-their own "dirty bombs"-resulting in adverse health and environmental effects. It also leaves behind a fine radioactive dust with a half-life of 4.5 billion years.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8703746205082819717&pr=goog-sl

UN Declares Sexual Violence a Tactic of War

UN Declares Sexual Violence a Tactic of War

Rape officially recognized as weapon. Read more »

Handing taxpayer money to the Permanent War Economy

By Mary Beth Sullivan
Bath, Maine

In the words of the great economist and engineer Seymour Melman, we live in a “permanent war economy.” Since the end of World War II, the federal government has spent more than half its tax dollars on past, current and future military operations. It is the largest single sustaining activity of the government. Melman pointed out 25 years ago that, at the time, the Pentagon was paying for 37,000 industrial firms, which oversaw over 100,000 subcontractors. Then and now, Pentagon contracts come with 1) guaranteed profits (because the products are typically sold before they are produced); 2) institutionalized cost-escalation (cost overruns are business-as-usual); and 3) products that are neither goods nor services the citizenry produces and consumes. Balance sheet calculations are not relevant to weapons manufacturers and military corporations. The Pentagon is not playing by the economic rules of producing goods, selling them for a profit, then using the profit for further investment and production. The managers at the Pentagon know their financial capital – American’s taxes – is a cash cow waiting to be milked.

Or should we say bilked? American’s hand over their hard-earned dollars to the deciders in Washington who protect the permanent war economy. The military industrial complex has tentacle that spread throughout the Congressional districts in the country. Military installations, private contractors and weapons manufacturers employ people to build cluster bombs, unnecessary war planes, naval destroyers, the next generation of nuclear weapons, “kill vehicles” for space missiles, and more efficient spy satellites. Congress continues to appropriate funds to create weapons systems that range from being obsolete, to those having no hope of ever functioning, to those promising to kill more efficiently, to those promising to allow the U.S. to be the “Masters of Space” through military domination by space-based weapons.

This work often provides union jobs and health benefits (both of which are “endangered species” in America) and the false hope of job security. Local communities defend the jobs (if not the corporations) when there is a threat of loss, knowing that America has few other industrial jobs, and the service sector doesn’t provide the same standard of living.

Meanwhile, military contractors’ CEO compensation is unregulated and obscene.[1] The door revolves between the halls of Congress and the military industrial complex’s “private sector” boardrooms. [Question: If a CEO’s compensation comes primarily from the taxpayers of America, can it still be stated that he works for the “private” sector?] It’s a sweet deal as long as Americans stay afraid of an enemy, there is minimal oversight of cost overruns or failed weapons systems, and questions of ethics, morality, and effective foreign policy are ignored.

Lax oversight is a tired, old issue. Melman reported twenty-five years ago that in 1978, the Pentagon’s top management misplaced, lost track of, or misappropriated $30 billion in one of its “auxiliary operations.” News of the missing funds got almost no public or media notice. There was no public outcry. Fast forward to $100 billion lost by Paul Bremer in the early months of the war in Iraq. Again, the loss of this obscene amount received little media attention and no public outcry. Meanwhile, those of us who bear witness to the plight of the homeless people in our communities, who join the growing numbers of citizens without health insurance, who watch our elderly friends make choices between food and medicine to stay alive, who watch the states struggle to cut basic support from our vulnerable neighbors… faithfully make the lists (with no small amount of outrage) to educate our neighbors about what we could have done with that $100 billion Paul Bremer chose to toss to the winds.

The Democrats in Congress have begun oversight hearings on some aspects of the abuse of federal dollars by military contractors since we invaded Iraq. Unfortunately, their response to President Bush’s next appropriation to continue the occupation of Iraq is to recommend $5 billion more than the $93 billion requested! [2]

A project the Democrats will not investigate is also one of the clearest examples of continued funding of a failed system. President Bush deployed the missile “defense” system in Alaska and California in spite of the fact that the series of ($100 million each) tests prove they don’t work! There is controversy about whether Boeing misled Congress in its report about the actual results of testing the “kill vehicle” component of the system, and recently questions emerged about whether the oversight report by the General Accounting Office is completely credible. Nevertheless, the systems and the infrastructure are in place to keep the research, development, and production dollars flowing for the next two decades – effectiveness be damned! The current estimates say this system will cost $250 billion over twenty years.

A recent Military Industrial Complex scandal appeared in the media in December 2006 criticizing – of all groups – the U.S. Coast Guard! It’s modernization program called Deepwater has been called “a mistake of colossal proportions, with …billions in cost overruns, suspended programs and ships that are downright unsafe to be at sea…” The contractor is a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman, two of the most profitable military corporations in the world. (Robert Stevens, the CEO of Lockheed Martin was compensated $15.7 million in 2006). The estimated $17 billion cost of Deepwater ballooned to $24 billion, and “not one of the 24 ships, 12 lanes and eight unmanned vehicles that were supposed to have been delivered by now is available for service.” In editorializing about this fiasco, our local newspaper reported that the private contractors routinely ignored or overruled the concerns of Coast Guard engineers; that the Coast Guard did not seek help from Congress for oversight fearing they would lose funding; “but the biggest error was ceding almost total control of this vital national security effort to the companies that make money from it.”

The corruption and depletion of our resources – indeed our souls – must come to an end. Time is long overdue to engage the conversation about how to move from a permanent war economy to a permanent peace economy. Seymour Melman’s 2003 article “In the Grip of a Permanent War Economy” clarifies this reality (http://www.swans.com/library/art9/melman01.html). He then tells the story of the New York City Transit Authority effort to spend between $3 billion to $4 billion on subway cars. City government put out a request for bids and not a single American company responded. The industrial base in this country no longer manufactures what is needed to maintain, improve, or build our infrastructure. Instead, the city contracted with companies in Japan and Canada to build its subway cars. Melman estimated that such a contract could have generated, directly and indirectly, about 32,000 jobs in the U.S. Imagine an American production facility and labor force that could deliver six new subway cars each week, 300 subway cars each year, replacing in 20 year cycles the 6,000 rail car fleet of the New York subway system. Why can’t that happen here in the U.S.A.?

Another story: A shipyard in the town of Ringkobing, Denmark went broke in 1999. Vestas Wind Systems, a private company, moved in and converted the facilities to make windmills. In April of 2001, Business Week Online reported that the company had doubled its initial workforce, and that all the shipyard workers had become employed making windmills. Vestas leads a cluster of companies that have made Denmark, with a population of 5 million people, the world’s top producer and exporter of windmills. Wind industry supplies about 13 percent of Denmark’s power, and in 2001 controlled about 50 percent of the $4.5 billion global wind market. The company sees that wind is gaining ground over other renewable sources, and may very well become the green power of choice for the 21st Century.

It is possible to create industries, here on our own soil, that build something other than weapons. Other countries can figure out how to make consumer goods that serve the greater community, keep their workforce productive, and work to prevent global warming. The U.S. can surely do the same.

It is time for us in the peace and justice communities, in our religious and spiritual communities, in our workplaces, on the streets of our neighborhoods, and walking through the halls of Congress to demand to put an end to the permanent war corporate welfare state. It is time that we build an industrial base in our country that rebuilds our physical infrastructure (roads, bridges, public transportation, schools), pays a living wage, and provides for the health and welfare of our citizens. Time is long overdue to convert from a war economy to a peace economy. Read Seymour Melman. His research will help show the way.

Mary Beth Sullivan is a social worker in Maine working as a community organizer with homeless people. She also serves as the administrative assistant for the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
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[1] See http://www.faireconomy.org/reports/2006/ExecutiveExcess2006.pdf for the Institute for Policy Study’s 13th Annual CEO’s Compensation Survey titled “Defense and Oil Executives Cash in on Conflict.” It notes that since 9/11, the average pay for the 34 top military contractors has increased from $3.6 million to $7.2 million. While the average army private makes $25,000/year, the average military contractor CEO makes $7.7 million.
[2] On March 23 the Democrats voted in the House to give George W. Bush $124 billion in the Iraq occupation supplemental.

Iraq casualty count.

Report on US war crimes.

Research and facts about biological weapons. "Nationally, very few organizations actively file FOIA requests on biological and chemical weapons issues. Some government agencies attempt to conceal potentially controversial materials by exaggerating exemptions - trying to keep secrets that they are not legally entitled to maintain. This unwarranted secrecy is detrimental to biological weapons control and makes our job more difficult."

Nuclear Proliferation

Nukes

Countdown to Zero’—or Apocalypse, Whichever Comes First: Film Review (See the trailer.)

War in Space

See Star Wars

Council on Foreign Relations notes on Defense and Homeland Security

Nuclear Freeze (what they think in New Zealand.)

Demonizing China

American Terrorism

University of Louisville (Resources)

War Made Easy

Norman Solomon
July 9, 2007

Thanks to the radio/TV program “Democracy Now,” hundreds of thousands of people across our country recently heard and watched a sneak-preview excerpt from the documentary film based on my book War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.

Narrated by Sean Penn, and produced by the superb independent filmmakers at the Media Education Foundation, War Made Easy is a powerful indictment of the current U.S. warfare state and a call to action. I’m hoping it will inspire a nationwide surge of antiwar activism.

The 73-minute film reaches into the Orwellian memory hole to exhume remarkable archival footage. It exposes a 50-year pattern of deception that has dragged the U.S. into one war after another. And the film zeroes in on the current historical moment – the techniques of propaganda that are preventing an end to a horrific war effort based on lies.

War Made Easy, a book by Norman Solomon, makes it clear that neither the press nor the government can be trusted.

Video

Dirty Wars: Jeremy Scahill

Watch War Made Easy on-line.
War Made Easy is now available on DVD. To order the DVD and book your own screening, visit www.WarMadeEasyTheMovie.org. [more]

War Made Easy

Who would JESUS bomb?

Support: Antiwar.com

William Hartung

Danger Room

Control Arms

Win Without War

Adopt a Minefield at Landmines.org

The War Stops Here

War Resisters League

War-Times

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Law of War Links

Bibliography

War is a Lie: David Swanson

Tomorrow’s Battlefield: U.S. Proxy Wars and Secret Ops in Africa: Nick Turse

Wired For War: P.W. Singer

How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Rosa Brooks and Aryeh Neier

The Shadow World, Inside the Global Arms Trade, Andrew Feinstein

The American Way of War: Eugene Jarecki

Betraying Our Troops: The Destructive Results of Privatizing War: Dina Rasur and Robert Baumann

Wrong Turn: America's Deadly Embrace of Counterinsurgency: Gian P. Gentile

Dreaming War, Blood For Oil and the Cheney-Bush Junta: Gore Vidal

The Deaths of Others: John Tirman

Making a Killing: The Business of War (2003) by The Center for Public Integrity

Superpower Syndrome: America's Apocalyptic Confrontation With the World: Robert J Lifton, Nation Books, 2003.

10 Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military by Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg and Cindy Sheehan

The Three Trillion Dollar War: Joseph E. Stiglittz (Nobel Prize in Economics) and Linda J. Bilmes

Blackwater The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army (paperback edition): Jeremy Scahill

War Made Easy, Norman Solomon.

Nemesis: the Last Days of the American Republic: Chalmers Johnson

Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, How We Got To Be So Hated: Gore Vidal

Cold War II: Noam Chomsky

High Priests of War: Michael Collins Piper

War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier By Smedley D. Butler

The New American Militarism: How Americans are Seduced by War. Andrew J. Bacevich

Price of Liberty, Robert Hormats

War Is A Racket, Maj. Gen Smedley Butler

Pretensions to Empire, by Lewis H. Lapham

Notes on the Criminal Folly of the Bush Administration
$24.95 (hardcover) + shipping