Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger
Our nation has become a military empire analogous to ancient Rome, another Republic that lost its bearings because it became the mightiest fighting force of its time. That we owe this to having spectacularly won what could be called “The Last Just War”, World War II, merely ironically underlines our descent into become the World’s most bellicose nation. This bellicosity has been masked by propaganda that makes us out to be the one nation responsible for ensuring “freedom and safety”. In this strife torn Earth, that idea cannot be supported since the truth is that we are the chief threat to peace in the world today. Now in truth, the use of the United States military to intervene in this Nation and other Nation’s affairs is not simply a phenomenon that began with World War II as you can see from this timeline linked here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_United_States_military_operations . What World War II marked though was the absolute dominant position in world military power which our country attained during our participation in that war. Given the magnitude of its scope it is easy to forget that for the United States World War II lasted only a brief four years. However, the incredible mobilization of troops and the supporting materiel of war were accomplished via a total mobilization that in the end fully turned the vision of Corporate America towards the great profits and benefits to be derived by American military dominance. Indeed, for generations to come there was a fluidity of personnel between leading corporate entities and the Department of Defense.
Since 2001 our Armed Forces have been totally engaged in two major, unjustified wars and various minor “peace actions”. A child born in 1990 in the U.S. grew up in a world where there has been constant warfare and warfare’s necessary companion glorification of military service. The admixture of America’s warlike behavior and the faux glorification of the nobility of our military has become a constant in that young persons mind, only to better make them future cannon fodder for our dominant Corporate/Military Industrial Complex. Sadly, the less educated that young person is the more they are gullible to the siren call of that propaganda of military glorification. As the Great U.S. General Smedley Butler said so long ago: “War is a racket”.
In truth we honor our soldiers far more in words than in deeds. “America’s Greatest Generation” as establishment mouthpiece Tom Brokaw put it, was also the one generation of military personnel that was actually very well treated in the aftermath of their service. The World War II returning troops were educated via the generous G.I. Bill, had their homes financed through special discount programs and entered the marketplace at a time of phenomenal growth of the U.S. economy due to our country’s new position as the World’s dominant power. Every generation of returning veterans before and after World War II was treated rather shabbily in comparisons, despite the lavish praise given them for their service. The huge backlog in receiving benefits and medical treatment for our latest generation of returning veterans is masked by our presumed “honoring of the troops”, which is constantly accomplished merely in words, with a paucity of actual services delivered.
The reality is that the only real bi-partisanship that exists in our politicians today is that the overwhelming majority of both Democrats and Republicans are enthusiastic supporters of American military hegemony and bought stooges of the Corporate/Military Industrial Complex. That many beyond their corporate donors are indeed true believers in American military supremacy is no doubt true. The fact is that if you were born after let’s say 1960, your view of the world was shaped by American interventionism and American military supremacy. Barack Obama was born in 1961 and one can count him as one of those who for the most part supports America’s military interventionism. The proofs of my assertions are simple. In this time of supposed budgetary crisis, there is barely minimal support for cutting anything out of our Military and Intelligence budget. I lump Military and Intelligence together because there has been such a blurring of the lines between these two formerly discrete government entities, that today it is impossible to distinguish boundaries.
When it comes to my premise for this piece which is that this country will soon be involved in its “next” war, let me explain my reasoning. First of all there is the eight hundred pound gorilla in the room of American politics that almost no one that I’m aware of talks about. We are mired in a recession with countless American unemployed. If we bring our troops home and cut our defense budget we will add hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people to our jobless rolls. Truly, the military has been the escape for many with otherwise poor employment prospects into obtaining a respectable job and the semblance of a future career. By cutting the military/intelligence budget, as things now stand economically in this country, we will recede from “recession” into “depression”. However, without something to justify the existence of our military budget, the U.S. spends more on our military budget than the next thirteen countries combined military expenditures, the truth that we are squandering the riches of this country to support the profits of private corporations becomes obvious. Therefore we need something to justify this unnecessary expense and that is another war.
As I see it there are three good prospects for that coming war, though I won’t preclude that we might fight all three at once. The first prospect is that ever handy, oil rich, example Iran. The justification would be similar to that of Iraq, which is “weapons of mass destruction”. The idea is that we can’t allow a country as unstable as Iran to have nuclear capacity. Underlying this justification is that Iran has a massive supply of oil riches and so would be a prize similar to Iraq and the oil leases we forced Iraq to agree to. Naturally, a partial excuse would be its threat to Israel, but in truth that is merely a convenient overlay for Saudi Arabia’s competition with Iran for dominance in the Muslim world.
A second possibility is intervention in Syria for humanitarian reasons. The Syrian dictator Assad is no doubt a brute, but we live in a world where a great many country’s are ruled by brutes. The “humanitarian” interest in Syria is its strategic location, the presence of American military bases close by and the various economic benefits to be supplied by controlling that country.
Now a third possibility rearing its ugly head comes from the clownish dictator of North Korea. Again we find a nuclear threat involved and also this is paired with the “humanitarian” need to rid this unfortunate country of its hereditary dictator. That North Korea is a failed state, unable to feed its people and geographically located next to one of the World’s great powers China may be ignored because the silly posturing of its’ “dear Leader” can be propagandistically twisted into a “threat” to our country.
It must be noted that possibly the most unstable country to possess nuclear capability in the World today is Pakistan, yet that ill-governed country is somehow never cited as a threat to the U.S., even with its harboring of Osama Bin Laden and of the Taliban, next door to the country we are currently deeply involved in.
These are my reasons for my believing that quite shortly our country will be involved in another war. Unless thinking by both parties in Washington changes drastically, which I don’t see as likely given the gravy train our politicians are on, we will receive the same propagandist buildup as a preparation of the American people for yet another war. We will squander the lives of our troops and the wealth of this country maintaining our role as the “Leader of the World”. We will move ever closer to Rome’s example as a republic turns to empire and the empire is ruled by military heroes and so it goes.
The reader will note that I used no links to back up my suppositions and in truth this guest blog was my meditation on the militaristic character that has prevailed in our nation. However, my musings are not merely the product of a fevered brain this morning, but actually a continuation of an ongoing theme of a portion of my guest blogs. The links below supply the information and detail that have influenced my feelings and a the combination of work that both Gene Howington and myself have produced in the past year or so.
Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger