Category "Perpetual War For a Perpetual Piece of The Action"

Banking On War

William Rivers Pitt takes on the heart of the problem with this essay on the power and influence of what Eisenhower termed “The Military-Industrial Complex” (actually, his original statement referred to it by it’s more appropriate moniker of “Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex”).

Only the dead, said Plato, have seen the end of war. As true as this may be, it does beg the question: why? Why is there so much conflict in the world? Why are there so many wars? Ethnic and religious tensions have been casus belli since time out of mind, to be sure. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War ruptured a framework that held for almost fifty years, bringing about a series of conflicts that are understandable in hindsight.

There is a simpler answer, however, one that lands right in our back yard here in America. Why so much war? Because war is a profitable enterprise. George W. Bush and his people can hold forth about the wonders of democracy and peace, and can condemn worldwide violence in solemn tones. Until the United States stops being the world’s largest arms dealer, these words from our government absolutely reek of hypocrisy.

As Chalmers Johnson stated in Eugene Jarecki’s film “Why We Fight” in reference to the dramatically increasing profits being reaped by the weapons manufacturers in the last couple years, “When war becomes that profitable, you’re going to see a lot more of it.”

Read The Full Essay

The Warmongers: Americans Calling For US To Push The World Over The Brink

The Neo-Cons are at it again. But then, when have they ever not been. Cenk Ugyur outlines, in their own words, how America’s warmongers are openly calling for the U.S. to push for enlarging the fighting in the Mideast into full-scale war.

It is sometimes the realm of over-heated rhetoric to call people ‘warmongers’, but in this case, it is the exactly correct terminology. Of particular note is the violent insanity of the likes of Limbaugh and the white-collared brown shirts of Fox. There is a special level of hell for these so-called ‘conservatives’ and their molestation of Christ and Christianity for their bloodlust and war fever.

I guess we are supposed to just forget about that ‘wimp’ Jesus and his “blessed are the peacemakers” thing.

“All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.” - George Orwell

Read Cenk Ugyur on The Huffington Post

Ted Koppel: Time To Form An Army of Mercenaries

Now we’re talking. Good to see some of the major media voices starting to point out the facts at hand and bring some much-needed awareness to this issue.

Little known to the American public, there are some 50,000 private contractors in Iraq, providing support for the U.S. military, among other activities. So why not go all the way, hints Ted Koppel in a New York Times op-ed on Monday, and form a real “mercenary army”?

Such a move involving what he calls “latter-day Hessians” would represent, he writes, “the inevitable response of a market economy to a host of seemingly intractable public policy and security problems.”

Koppel points out what is in essence the only conclusion possible under the current trajectory national defense policy (or any policy, for that matter) is going these days.

“So, what about the inevitable next step — a defensive military force paid for directly by the corporations that would most benefit from its protection? If, for example, an insurrection in Nigeria threatens that nation’s ability to export oil (and it does), why not have Chevron or Exxon Mobil underwrite the dispatch of a battalion or two of mercenaries?”

The only thing I would point out here, though, is that the Cheney administration already has formed that corporate army. In fact, the real power elites in this nation have regularly used their own private police forces to enforce their own control (Pinkerton strike breaking to name just one example). The CIA running cladestine armies and covert operations to protect corporate interests around the world is certainly another.

Read the report in Editor & Publisher Here

Bush Administration Outsourcing U.S. Intelligence Work

Guess it was only a matter of time. Can we really be surprised, considering this is the regime that has sold out our defense to private contractors, our port security to foreign government owned operations, our nation’s wealth to foreign creditors, etc… The privatization scam is reaching critical mass in absurdity.

“Once cleared, they can get a higher salary outside and they are gone,” the official said. “We’re leasing back our former employees.”

The phenomenon is partly the result of Congress’s approving large funding increases for intelligence activities but not increasing the limit on the number of full-time persons that agencies can hire. “We don’t have the billets,” the official said, so the surge is taken care of by contracting out the jobs.

Retired Maj. Gen. Paul D. Eaton, who ran Iraqi military training from 2003 to 2004, describes the hiring of civilians to do jobs previously done by the military as a “shell game” created by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to keep the “force strength static on paper.” In an op-ed piece in yesterday’s New York Times, Eaton wrote, “This tactic may help for a bit, but it will likely fall apart in the next budget cycle with those positions swiftly eliminated.”

“The Pentagon ramped up so fast, it had to turn to contract personnel to have continuity,” said another former senior intelligence official who now does contract work. He pointed out that some jobs are so complex, military personnel on three-year rotations are facing reassignment just as they master their jobs.

The trend toward contracting for intelligence analysts will hurt the ability of the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency to retain and keep high-quality people, said a former senior intelligence official who helped supervise the rebuilding of the CIA’s case officer and analyst corps. “It takes time to get the young up to snuff, and you need 10 to 20 years to get the value for that investment,” this former official said, asking for anonymity because of his past role in government.

Wonder if they even have to be American citizens?

Read The Full Article

$100 Billion of Pentagon Waste - Where’s The Oversight?

Here it is, the untold tale of the latest Pentagon budget is the wastage and overpricing that continue to lard it up to the tune of perhaps $100 billion - with Congress scarcely paying attention.

Lard for the pig. They call it defense spending, but who is defending our wallets?

Wanna know whose paying for this ’security’? Here’s a clue.

The Resistance Is Gaining Strength

In regards to the Independent UK report on the insurgency and increasing conditions of civil war in Iraq, I admit to having a slightly cynical view of the situation. It turns out that if you’re a country or a multinational corporation (and that distinction is getting blurry for the U.S.) then it’s actually cheaper and easier to exploit the resources of a country that’s in the middle of a civil war.

Rather than paying taxes or tarriffs, you just play both sides against the other, supply some old weapons and maybe give a fraction of the processed resource back to the hosts. Sure, there are periodic interruptions of the resource, let’s say when a pipeline gets bombed. But with every attack, the “legitimate” government gets more desperate for outside help until the situation develoves to what you have today in some countries where the only thing an oil company has to do to stay in the country and continue taking the oil is to protect, monitor, and repair the oil pipeline.

What people forget about Iraq (because the media has been relentless in trying to force them to forget) is that, before our invasion it was a SECULAR country. Most people in Iraq did not pay that much attention to the Mullahs under Saddam. After the invasion, after their existing society was completely destroyed, and after two years of occupation when U.S. policies ensured that there would be no jobs for the Iraqis except military, the people have, predicictably, turned to religion.

The most frequent victims of murder and assassination in Iraq for the past two years have been the professional class–Educated men and women who were the doctors, engineers, and educators in the old regime. Our occupation forces have not investigated these murders (even before the ‘insurgency’ got going), which commenced immediately with our occupation, because these voices of reason needed to be silenced before the civil strife could really get going.

In other countries, the reasons given for the conflict may be different, Maosim, Communism, Independence, but if you look at the situation strictly in terms of cash and resource extraction, you can’t make a sweeter deal than the one you can make with a rebel group–no taxes, no tarriffs, no environmental or labor regs, just pure profit.

So, yes, Iraq is heading towards civil war, but no that’s not a failure of Bush policies, it’s a success. The Busheviks have probably been tearing their hair out that it’s taken this long to get some really serious civil strife going. Remember, before they started fighting each other, the Sunnis and the Shiites were united to fight us. It must have taken a lot of agents a lot of effort to turn them away from us and towards each other.

As to the meltdown of Bush’s credibility, the oligarchs running the country have successfully shifted us to a British-style system. In Britain, poll numbers for the ruling party are typically very low in between elections. Then, just before the election, some manufactured crisis like the Falklands or mad cow disease comes along, and for just a few months people feel so insecure that they don’t dare change their government. Of course, eventually the ruling party does get ousted, but by then the opposition is so thoroughly infiltrated and comprimised that it doesn’t really matter. In England that translates to Tony Blair–a “labor” leader who has slashed labor protections and health care. In the U.S. that was Bill Clinton, a “liberal” whose welfare and trade policies did more to impoverish people and destroy the environment world-wide than any previous president.

Essential to this, of course, is absolute control of the media. We see that in the New York Times waiting until AFTER the mid-term election cycle to release the wire-tapping story. We saw it again this week as the media focused on the delightful Katrina tapes as the Senate was debating and passing the permanent Unpatriotic Act. We saw it after the 2004 elections as NPR stations carried gavel to gavel coverage of some bush appointment or another as the black congressional caucus desperately tried to contest the election results. Etc. Etc. Etc.

However, having said all that, I do agree that there is reason to hope. At least there IS a resistance. At least the black caucus DID try to contest the vote. Ten Senators DID vote against the Unpatriotic Act. The U.S. is not Britain with its history of oligarchy, slavery and servitude. We won’t settle for what they’ve got. I agree that the resistance is gaining strength and I love it.

- Posted by ‘Joe From Buffalo’ for USTV Media

Iraq: Pure War, Pure Crime

David Swanson argues that this this is a pure war, but the vote for more funding will not be a pure vote. It will include nothing that the Iraqi people need, unless you think they’re longing for larger prisons. But, it will include crumbs for all sorts of noble excuses to vote buckets of taxpayers’ money for war - things like Hurricane Katrina relief, VA benefits, etc.

The Iraq War is a pure war, a war for the sake of war. Congress is debating whether to spend another fortune on it, another fortune that could completely remake this nation if spent on useful projects, and Congress has no reason for the war. The reason is purely that the media won’t like you if you vote against a war, but there’s no actual reason for the war - not the weapons of mass destruction that Bush always knew weren’t there, not the ties to 9-11 that Bush always knew did not exist on behalf of a ruler who, anyway, is no longer in power, not reducing terrorism which has been increased by this war, not improving global relations when this war has driven global opinion of the US to a record low, not preventing a civil war which the US attack and occupation have created, not supporting the troops when most of the troops want to come home - and almost half of them openly admit to pollsters that they don’t know why they’re there.

Read the full statements

The Neo-Cons: Interview with Karen Kwiatkowski

February 23rd, 2006 by Andy in Perpetual War For a Perpetual Piece of The Action

Dahr Jamail interviews American patriot Karen Kwiatkowski, who states that the neoconservatives are not new; during the Reagan era, the “Cold War” was their vehicle for credibility - this evil enemy that we must face, or else the end of the world is coming. They cannot work without this global enemy, almost a kind of class warfare. You can’t just have a mere enemy; it has to be a monstrous enemy, something that can destroy us. They’ve found that, or rather cultivated it, in what is called “Islamic Fascism.” Unfortunately this doesn’t exist.

The intellectual fathers of neoconservatism-what shapes their approach internationally-are the Bolsheviks. International revolution, international change-radical change, global revolution. And these same terms, these same ideas-of international change, revolution, transformation-these are the words of Michael Ledeen and some of the other articulators of neoconservatism. And the actual people, and they’re not ashamed to really say this, but guys like Irving Crystal and other intellectuals of the 30s had actually been Bolsheviks.

One of the characterizations of neocons today is that they are neo-Jacobins-philosophically, this idea that people are the same, all want the same thing, and should have the same thing. That ’same thing’ in a modern neoconservative view is this idea of ‘democracy.’ But is it really democracy that they want, or is democracy simply a trojan horse. Certainly for Iraq, George Bush has been left with one story as to why we went in

If they had democracy, they’d take a vote, and we’d be kicked out of there immediately.

Certainly we don’t want them to have democracy, because then they’ll make us leave. So it’s unclear that democracy is a goal, but that’s what they talk about: the God of Democracy. So it’s not like Trotskyism in the sense that they’re not advocating global communism but they are advocating universal, radical-and in effect, catastrophic-change. And this is kind of a clear thread for many years.

So the neoconservatives are not new; during the Reagan era, the ‘Cold War’ was their vehicle for credibility-this evil enemy that we must face, or else the end of the world is coming. They cannot work without this global enemy, almost a kind of class warfare. You can’t just have a mere enemy; it has to be a monstrous enemy, something that can destroy us. They’ve found that in, or rather cultivated it, in what is called ‘Islamic Fascism.’ Unfortunately this doesn’t exist. No one advocates it. No one articulates it. In the 1930s, Hitler had fascism and he talked about it. Islamic Fascism is a made up thing. But it doesn’t matter: what matters is that it’s useful in generating fear, and serves that same larger purpose-providing a platform from which to operate.

Now you can follow the money too. The neocon philosophy provides a construct within which we can-’we,’ being the establishment, corporatism-can move. So you have this construct that talks of ‘fear’ ‘protection,’ ’security.’ Which are used to advocate intervention-intervention for security, what Iraq was effectively sold as: ‘intervention for American security.’

Read The Complete Interview

Is Osama bin Laden Winning After All?

February 22nd, 2006 by Andy in Perpetual War For a Perpetual Piece of The Action

Here’s something from Simon Jenkins’ blog on Huffington Post.

This has seemed clear to me since at least the initiation of the Iraq War, which distracted the US from bin Laden and, along with tax cuts, sucked the financial resources out of the nation’s treasury. What is not mentioned here is that bin Laden would also like to see the US go broke, in an expensive domestic conflagration, which is merely fighting shadows on the wall. Once weakened by tied-up forces in Iraq, and deeply in debt, it would be easy to come back and pick a weak spot for attack. The culture of jihad measures revenge by the century, when Americans forget who shot who last week (it was Dick Cheney). Waiting 10 years (from 9/11) for a major attack on a weakened adversary would not be a long time for them. Since then, our political “leaders” have done all the heavy lifting for bin Laden, reducing our civil liberties (remember those freedoms the enemy supposedly hated?) to ashes of the Constitution, which Bush, the American president himself, recently called “just a goddamned piece of paper.” In my view, bin Laden won decisively at that point. Our government is clearly no longer of the people.

There never was a “terrorist threat” to western civilisation or democracy, only to western lives and property. The threat becomes systemic only when democracy loses its confidence and when its leaders are weak, as now. Terror attacks are for the police. For Bush and Blair to demand a “long war” against bin Laden and, by implication, a long suppression of civil liberty is ludicrous. Western civilisation is not some simpering weakling that cowers before a fanatic’s might, pleading for leaders to protect it by all means, however illegal. It has been proof against Islamic expansionism since the 15th century. It is not at risk.

The American president and the British prime minister have spent half a decade exploiting bin Laden for political ends, in thrall to their security/industrial complex. They have relied on terrifying their electorates with new and bloodcurdling threats, with what Runciman calls “spook politics”. But they will pass. The half-baked “message” laws passed by Britain’s limp parliament last week will fall in disuse. The vitality of British and American democracy has always been its ability to produce antibodies when truly challenged by an internal or external menace. The west will rediscover its self-belief and restore the liberalism, properly defined as freedom, it once exemplified to the world.

Read the complete article

- Posted by Pete for USTV Media

Ready For Another War?

What do you want to bet the Bush administration will reverse themselves on the issue of the military draft if this actually happens.

Ray McGovern, is a former veteran CIA analyst turned outspoken opponent of American fascism and founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, recently exclaimed: “This is what our German forbearers in the 1930s did NOT do. They sat around, blamed their rulers, said ‘maybe everything’s going to be alright.’… That is something we cannot do. Because I don’t want my grandchildren asking me years from now, ‘why didn’t you do something to stop all this?’”

Here he unravels the same M.O. at work yet again with this administration dedicated to perpetual war.

Read His Essay

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