Terror And The Military Industrial Complex

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[Speaking Truth To Power]

The death of Osama bin Laden, two weeks ago, raises the question: will his demise change the fight against terror and, or, Washington’s war policies?

America, and the world, celebrated the killing of the Al-Qaeda mastermind whose handiwork was indiscriminate wholesale death and destruction.

Given this dramatic turn of events, many people are asking: will the Obama Administration end the counter-productive and costly war in Afghanistan? Truthfully, that’s unlikely. War, not peace, is big business and politicians are controlled by big business robber barons. The great Wall Street swindle—where no one has been held accountable for the largest thievery in world history—attests to that.

According to the National Priorities Project, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost the nation well over $1 trillion dollars, since 2001. The Iraq War cost is tabulated at $789 billion and the Afghan War is at $403 billion. Others, like one-time World Bank and Nobel Prize economist Joseph Stiglitz, argue the true figure for these two wars is closer to $3 trillion.

Adding to that is the fact that the Libya War is projected to have already cost the American taxpayer around $750 million. Also, the Pentagon estimates the Libya War will cost $40 million each month. And who knows how long that conflict will rage on? Into whose unseen pockets is all this money going?

In 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of the war profiteers when he said “we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” Unfortunately, America didn’t listen then and now this entity is wreaking havoc and chaos globally.

The military industrial complex is now so powerful that no one—especially, in government—is willing to challenge these men who make profits on blood money. After all, these people are heavily invested in an industry that specializes in the efficient killings of humans. No wonder some people even blame them for the death of giants like President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King whom were, presumably, seen as threats to insatiable appetite to expand wars, which are required for the military money-making machine.

For years now, some Americans have lamented the downsizing of America’s once large manufacturing base. Americans watched with concern as many industries, like car manufacturers, downsized and outsourced, leaving behind higher domestic unemployment and economic devastation. America was once known for its ingenuity and industrial manufacturing. Those days are gone. But, America is still dominant in building war machinery.

Here are some sobering facts to consider. Firstly, America has, by far, the biggest military budget in the world averaging more than half-a-trillion dollars a year ($500 billion). This accounts for over 41 percent of the world’s annual military expenditures—some argue the true figure is 47 percent. To put this in perspective, China, which is second in the world in military expenditures, spends $84 billion per year. France and the United Kingdom each spend around $65 billion per year.

America is also the world’s largest arms dealer, according to a U.S. Congressional report, controlling 42 percent of the arms market. And six of the world’s top-ten arms producing companies are American.

hey are: (1) Lockheed Martin, with sales averaging $30 billion. (2) Boeing, $29 billion in sales. (3) Northrop Grumman, $26 billion in sales. (4) General Dynamics, $22 billion in sales. (5) Raytheon, $21 billion in sales. (6)  L-3 Communications, $12 billion in sales.

Along with this is the high number of military contracting that exists. Halliburton, Blackwater, Bectel and KBR (Kellogg, Brown and Root) made untold millions due to the devastation caused by the Iraq invasion launched by the Bush Administration. Given this picture, is there any wonder America is always engaged in war in some form or fashion? Sure there are real villains in the world. But, to feed the war profiteering beast, isn’t it obvious some “villains” are being hyped, and or, created?

Currently, “austerity,” which is fermenting massive social upheaval in Europe, has arrived in America. The Republicans, now running the House of Representatives, are lecturing us about the need to reduce spending.  Curiously, they claim, to spur growth and create jobs, pink slips must be given to hard-working civil-servants. So, recently, these Republicans and the White House, agreed to spending cuts totaling $38 billion that will lead to job losses for teachers, firefighters, etc. Yet, not one single penny was taken from the Pentagon’s budget, which is actually being increased.

Why are these same Republicans, who pretend to care about the American people, so stunningly silent about the bloated military budget which is now averaging annually half a trillion and bleeding the national treasury? According to the Congressional Budget Office, military spending accounts for 20 percent of the annual budget. But, others, like the War Resisters League, insist the government is tricking us. They say the true figure is around 50 percent of the budget.

In the final analysis, America spends too much on military expenditures. Fear-mongers claim any military reduction will put the nation at risk. Yet, America has more than enough firepower to destroy life on the planet. But those who profiteer on human suffering and death control Washington. Only “we the people” can stop those who enrich themselves through war.

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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