Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Don’t Call It a ‘Defense’ Budget

Don’t Call It a ‘Defense’ Budget by Norman Solomon

" "Unless miraculous growth, or miraculous political compromises, creates some unforeseen change over the next decade, there is virtually no room for new domestic initiatives for Mr. Obama or his successors," the New York Times reports.

The word "defense" is inherently self-justifying. But it begs the question: Just what is being defended?

For the United States, an epitaph on the horizon says: "We had to destroy our country in order to defend it." "

We're defending Middle East policies, particularly those of arrogant, belligerent, paranoid Israel supporters who have a lot of money and thus influence in Washington and the media. The results are amazing. Proof positive that Big Lies can in fact be spun as truth, and elephants can be made to hide in living rooms.

It's not OUR behavior that caused this disaster, it's that of people who bought and otherwise got into positions of power and pulled our country's strings, and they continue through this day, behind a succession of masks, currently the Obama mask, but that will change when he wears thin of it all.

A reminder of the numbers involved comes from:

The US Can No Longer Afford Its Empire by Ivan Eland

"According to Winslow Wheeler of the Center on Defense Information, the annual U.S. security budget – including spending on the wars, the Defense Department, the Department of Energy nuclear weapons programs, homeland security, veterans compensation, international affairs, non-DoD military retirement payments, and interest on the national debt accounted for by defense programs – is well over $1 trillion per year."

That's TRILLION. A number so large that we can't even reasonably imagine a trillion of anything. That's how many of our dollars will flow into their cause PER YEAR.

US: Al-Qaeda Certain to Attack in Next 3-6 Months by Jason Ditz

"According to the Wall Street Journal, several top US intelligence officials have determined that an al-Qaeda attack against the United States within the next three to six months is absolutely “certain.” "

Leave it to the Wall Street Journal to be scaring the public, just enough to keep the war machine running smoothly. Whether or not this particular threat happens or disappears like most of them, they will just move on to the next Big Threat. There's always something that can be puffed into a monster while the truth and proper proportion are snuffed. That's how it works - until we replace our information supply, and put the WSJ and their cohorts out of business.

Budgets, War and Blind Ambition: The Limited Minds of the American Elite by Chris Floyd

"What is most interesting here, of course, is not Sanger's noodle-scratching over imaginary numbers projected into an unknowable future, but his total and apparently completely unconscious adoption of the mindset of militarist empire. For as he puzzles and puzzles till his puzzler is sore on how in God's name the United States can possibly find any money at all to spend on bettering the lives of its citizens over the next 10 years, it becomes clear that Sanger -- like the rest of our political and media elite -- literally cannot conceive of an end to empire. Our elites and their courtiers literally cannot imagine life without a permanent war for global dominance, fueled by a gargantuan war machine spread across hundreds and hundreds of bases implanted in more than 100 countries.

And so this consideration, this possible outcome, does not figure in Sanger's "analysis" because it cannot: it lies far outside the scope of his consciousness. The only possible alternative he can conceive to the empire's bloody and bankrupting business as usual is some kind of divine intervention, "miraculous growth" or some "miraculous political compromise."

And make no mistake: the "miraculous political compromise" he is talking about has nothing to do with ending or even trimming the empire. A "compromise" on this issue could only be posited if there was some present conflict over it. But both parties are deeply committed to increasing spending on the wars and the war machine. "

I wonder if Chris Floyd has read Walt & Mearsheimer's report on AIPAC's strangehold on Congress to see why both parties are so deeply committed to the war machine.


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