Perpetual War And America’s Military-Industrial Complex 50 Years After Eisenhower’s Farewell Address

220px-Eisenhower_in_the_Oval_Office220px-B-2_spirit_bombingBelow is my article this weekend in Al Jazaerra on the powerful lobby and industry supporting our various conflicts abroad as well as counterterrorism efforts. I previously testified before Congress on this industry and the government’s inflation of counterterrorism numbers to justify huge domestic budgets at the Justice Department FBI, and other agencies. I wrote the article for the anniversary this month of Eisenhower’s famous Military-Industrial Complex speech.

In January 1961, US President Dwight D Eisenhower used his farewell address to warn the nation of what he viewed as one of its greatest threats: the military-industrial complex composed of military contractors and lobbyists perpetuating war.

Eisenhower warned that “an immense military establishment and a large arms industry” had emerged as a hidden force in US politics and that Americans “must not fail to comprehend its grave implications”. The speech may have been Eisenhower’s most courageous and prophetic moment. Fifty years and some later, Americans find themselves in what seems like perpetual war. No sooner do we draw down on operations in Iraq than leaders demand an intervention in Libya or Syria or Iran. While perpetual war constitutes perpetual losses for families, and ever expanding budgets, it also represents perpetual profits for a new and larger complex of business and government interests.

The new military-industrial complex is fuelled by a conveniently ambiguous and unseen enemy: the terrorist. Former President George W Bush and his aides insisted on calling counter-terrorism efforts a “war”. This concerted effort by leaders like former Vice President Dick Cheney (himself the former CEO of defence-contractor Halliburton) was not some empty rhetorical exercise. Not only would a war maximise the inherent powers of the president, but it would maximise the budgets for military and homeland agencies.

This new coalition of companies, agencies, and lobbyists dwarfs the system known by Eisenhower when he warned Americans to “guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence… by the military-industrial complex”. Ironically, it has had some of its best days under President Barack Obama who has radically expanded drone attacks and claimed that he alone determines what a war is for the purposes of consulting Congress.

Investment in homeland security companies is expected to yield a 12 percent annual growth through 2013 – an astronomical return when compared to other parts of the tanking economy.

Good for economy?

While few politicians are willing to admit it, we don’t just endure wars we seem to need war – at least for some people. A study showed that roughly 75 percent of the fallen in these wars come from working class families. They do not need war. They pay the cost of the war. Eisenhower would likely be appalled by the size of the industrial and governmental workforce committed to war or counter-terrorism activities. Military and homeland budgets now support millions of people in an otherwise declining economy. Hundreds of billions of dollars flow each year from the public coffers to agencies and contractors who have an incentive to keep the country on a war-footing – and footing the bill for war.

Across the country, the war-based economy can be seen in an industry which includes everything from Homeland Security educational degrees to counter-terrorism consultants to private-run preferred traveller programmes for airport security gates. Recently, the “black budget” of secret intelligence programmes alone was estimated at $52.6bn for 2013. That is only the secret programmes, not the much larger intelligence and counterintelligence budgets. We now have 16 spy agencies that employ 107,035 employees. This is separate from the over one million people employed by the military and national security law enforcement agencies.

The core of this expanding complex is an axis of influence of corporations, lobbyists, and agencies that have created a massive, self-sustaining terror-based industry.

The contractors

In the last eight years, trillions of dollars have flowed to military and homeland security companies. When the administration starts a war like Libya, it is a windfall for companies who are given generous contracts to produce everything from replacement missiles to ready-to-eat meals.

In the first 10 days of the Libyan war alone, the administration spent roughly $550m. That figure includes about $340m for munitions – mostly cruise missiles that must be replaced. Not only did Democratic members of Congress offer post-hoc support for the Libyan attack, but they also proposed a permanent authorisation for presidents to attack targets deemed connected to terrorism – a perpetual war on terror. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) offers an even steadier profit margin. According to Morgan Keegan, a wealth management and capital firm, investment in homeland security companies is expected to yield a 12 percent annual growth through 2013 – an astronomical return when compared to other parts of the tanking economy.

The lobbyists

There are thousands of lobbyists in Washington to guarantee the ever-expanding budgets for war and homeland security. One such example is former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff who pushed the purchase of the heavily criticised (and little tested) full-body scanners used in airports. When Chertoff was giving dozens of interviews to convince the public that the machines were needed to hold back the terror threat, many people were unaware that the manufacturer of the machine is a client of the Chertoff Group, his highly profitable security consulting agency. (Those hugely expensive machines were later scrapped after Rapiscan, the manufacturer, received the windfall.)

Lobbyists maintain pressure on politicians by framing every budget in “tough on terror” versus “soft on terror” terms. They have the perfect products to pitch – products that are designed to destroy themselves and be replaced in an ever-lasting war on terror.

The agencies

It is not just revolving doors that tie federal agencies to these lobbyists and companies. The war-based economy allows for military and homeland departments to be virtually untouchable. Environmental and social programmes are eliminated or curtailed by billions as war-related budgets continue to expand to meet “new threats”.

A massive counterterrorism system has been created employing tens of thousands of personnel with billions of dollars to search for domestic terrorists.

With the support of an army of lobbyists and companies, cabinet members like former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, are invincible in Washington. When citizens complained of watching their children groped by the TSA, Napolitano defiantly retorted that if people did not want their children groped, they should yield and use the unpopular full-body machines – the machines being sold by her predecessor, Chertoff.

It is not just the Defense and DHS departments that enjoy the war windfall. Take the Department of Justice (DOJ). A massive counterterrorism system has been created employing tens of thousands of personnel with billions of dollars to search for domestic terrorists. The problem has been a comparative shortage of actual terrorists to justify the size of this internal security system.

Accordingly, the DOJ has counted everything from simple immigration cases to credit card fraud as terror cases in a body count approach not seen since the Vietnam War. For example, the DOJ claimed to have busted a major terror-network as part of “Operation Cedar Sweep”, where Lebanese citizens were accused of sending money to terrorists. They were later forced to drop all charges against all 27 defendants as unsupportable. It turned out to be a bunch of simple head shops. Nevertheless, the new internal security system continues to grind on with expanding powers and budgets. A few years ago, the DOJ even changed the definition of terrorism to allow for an ever-widening number of cases to be considered “terror-related”.

Symbiotic relationship

Our economic war-dependence is matched by political war-dependence. Many members represent districts with contractors that supply homeland security needs and our on-going wars.

Even with polls showing that the majority of Americans are opposed to continuing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the new military-industrial complex continues to easily muster the necessary support from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress. It is a testament to the influence of this alliance that hundreds of billions are being spent in Afghanistan and Iraq while Congress is planning to cut billions from core social programmes, including a possible rollback on Medicare due to lack of money. None of that matters. It doesn’t even matter that Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called the US the enemy and said he wishes that he had joined the Taliban. Even the documented billions stolen by government officials in Iraq and Afghanistan are treated as a mere cost of doing business.

It is what Eisenhower described as the “misplaced power” of the military-industrial complex – power that makes public opposition and even thousands of dead soldiers immaterial. War may be hell for some but it is heaven for others in a war-dependent economy.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University and has testified in Congress on the massive counter-terrorism budgets and bureaucracy in the United States.

94 thoughts on “Perpetual War And America’s Military-Industrial Complex 50 Years After Eisenhower’s Farewell Address

  1. When I read some of Orwell’s 1984 book a few decades ago it was more fiction than fact to me with the underlying thought that: ‘things can’t get that nutty’. They have of course done just that.

  2. In the early 70’s. 3% of Congress members leaving office became lobbyist. Currently, 48% become lobbyist and the number has probably passed 50% as I write this. An incestuous, insular pig trough.

  3. If you go back to 1933 this all began with the Reichstag Fire when Goerring burned down the German Parliament building, the President, named von Hindenburg, blamed the Communists, issued the Reichstag Fire Decree and itShay ran downhill from there. Now, all I can say is that Goering was dead when the Twin Towers went down so we can not blame it on him or the Communists. Why wont my boomerang come back?

  4. Almost all wars have been a racket and central banking leads the way for building the military industrial complex that supply the wars. I believe that only our Revolutionary War was a just war and that all others were unjust, designed specifically to make those that control the military industrial complex wealthier. When you can lend money to companies that are guaranteed contracts to provide military hardware and supplies, and the taxpayers get the bill, a guaranteed payment, it is the ultimate no risk loan. Do you wonder why so many Wars are so popular with the ruling oligarchy and why they make up reasons or create reasons for engaging in them?

    Severing the ties between banking and government policies, i.e. the military industrial complex for national defense, is very difficult to do. To many Politicians, Wall Street and banksters have their hand in the till. Every time someone pays an income tax, we are contributing to the delinquency of government and making the ruling oligarchy even wealthier.

    From research I did, I found one consulting company that had 2,800 ongoing government contracts in place. The primary reason we give Foreign Aid to various counties is for them to in return, buy our hardware and supplies from the various military contractors.

    If we could get rid of the military industrial complex, not only in the U.S. but throughout the world, it would forever change our world. How do you think guys like Putin, remain in power, even though he is the ultimate thug. One acquaintance from Russia I spoke to the other day, called him the leader of the Russian mafia.

    There was a specific reason and this is it, why the founding fathers gave us the principles of a well regulated militias being necessary for the security of a free state. We have allowed our Constitution to be unlawfully abrogated, and we are today paying the price for it.

  5. War of the prophets for profits….. He saw what the Dulles were doing….. Creating unrest in various countries and we just happen to have the appropriate response….. One of the reasons Cuba went communist…. So one would have sole control over the media….

  6. Well written. The government hides its expenditures and actions by palming them off to war/financial contractors. The elected govt., both Democrats and Republicans alike, then claim they are for “small” government. This claim is made, even as they spend literally trillions of dollars in contracts to private corporations for what used to be government services..

    In the meantime, because the work is in the hands of private contractors there is little ability for the public to hold powerful, private entities accountable. Scahill pointed out that having military contractors replace the US army was a disaster because the contractors depended on war to make more money. Therefore, more war would always be inevitable.

    While people starve and go without health care, Boeing received $68,000 and Lockheed Martin received $130,000 per munition just sent to Iraq. Is this in any way a sane allocation of our monetary resources? No. So what can be done?

    The only people substantially within reach of redress by the people are elected representatives. If your guy or gal is involved in this crap, then no exceptions, vote them out of office. Then, it is necessary to replace elected officials with other people who are committed to the common social good. This means voting third party or being very careful about whom one votes for if they are a member of a major party. Do not buy into hype or propaganda, do research before you vote/support/cheer/donate.

    Further, the job of a citizen does not either begin or end with voting. As a group, we have been willing to jettison our Constitution for supposed “safety” from terrorism and/or true belief in a political party leader. It is time to reclaim courage and refuse to yield our rights. Our rights are precious. We need free speech, we need the right of assembly, we need privacy. If we don’t value these things we are stupid and short sighted. We will not regain them from a govt. who is taking them away as we speak.

  7. The seeds of this mess were sown long before the Eisenhower Administration. What we see now is just the logical outcome of bad philosophy.

    The large budget of the federal government allows this to happen, if we had a free economy the cost of war would come directly from the pockets of the citizens and not from some large communal pot of tax dollars ostensibly used for running the government. This hides from the citizenry the actual cost of war.

    War destroys wealth, it does not create wealth. It may create it for a handful of individuals but really what it becomes is a transfer of wealth from the tax payer to the merchants of death. This is made possible by our government, just as the wealth of the middle class was transferred to Wall St., government is also facilitating the transfer of wealth from the citizens to defense contractors.

    The average citizen has nothing to gain and much to lose by going to war, look at Europe post WWII and the destruction caused by that war. What did the average German gain? What is the average American gaining by these misadventures we have found ourselves in for the past 13 years?

    “Statism—in fact and in principle—is nothing more than gang rule. A dictatorship is a gang devoted to looting the effort of the productive citizens of its own country. When a statist ruler exhausts his own country’s economy, he attacks his neighbors. It is his only means of postponing internal collapse and prolonging his rule. A country that violates the rights of its own citizens, will not respect the rights of its neighbors. Those who do not recognize individual rights, will not recognize the rights of nations: a nation is only a number of individuals.

    Statism needs war; a free country does not. Statism survives by looting; a free country survives by production.”

    Ayn Rand

  8. Correction: “ScanEagle drones are manufactured by Boeing – each unit costing close to $100,000…The Hellfire missile is manufactured by Lockheed Martin. Each missile costs $68,000.”

    Also, financial and war contractors and media which has been coopted–please keep leaking! We need the truth!!!

  9. Amazing, that when our politicians call for cuts in spending, they’re targeting pensions and Social Security, food stamps and Head Start. It’s as if cutting back on military expenditures can’t even be discussed.

  10. I can see the picture on the canvas, but I have to ask how many in society can get it, or make the connections to their life such that they would step up. (Not to mention how many may be benefit from the application as is.)
    I would guess, as I am not an expert, that history would show that the size of this rock rolling down the path will not be diverted, much less stopped, in the absence of an influence from outside the norm in order to allow for an understanding that resistance is a valid, if not favored, choice, or the influence makes the complex obsolete. I can only imagine fanciful levels for such an event, but….
    My hope is that the internet continues to provide an exchange of information at a level to which society has never been privy, thought I see the activities of the NSA, powered by the complex, seeks to maintain a dominance that would allow for a suppression of access, except by device beyond most. (Reversion to the status existing throughout history, which keeps awareness suppressed.)
    My hope is that a Snowden like group develops on a surreptitious level to keep the communication free and advanced such that it creates an internal influence that precludes the need for an outside influence, since the trauma of an outside influence would necessarily be significant.
    wow, try that on for size.

  11. You are dead on. However, it might be effective to keep chipping away at the effects of this mindless inclusion of might in what most Americans consider as right. Three million Vietnamese died in what has to be the greatest example of control over the American public by the military industrial complex. We are probably approaching a million in the present twelve year war against terrorism.

    It might make a difference if these incursions, wars, or whatever one wishes to call them, were done in a competent manner. They would still be wars, but the US could have easily replaced Saddam Hussain with another general, just like Hussain replaced the previous leader. The US could have easily closed the airspace, surgically bombed the homes of the leaders, military installations, and palaces until one or a group of generals got the message. Hussain ruled through terror, not popularity. The end result would have been an intact Iraq, a viable counter balance to Iran, and perhaps admiration for a job intelligently done.

    As it is America comes off as the dumbest but strongest kid in the playground. I have lived abroad for many years and it is always interesting to note that the average European gives more thought to what the US does than the average American. The average American will typically sneer that ‘That’s because we’re number one.’

    Americans are xenophobic and the most powerful nation in the world. Leading up to the independence of India from Great Britain, the last big kid in the playground, the citizens of Great Britain were instrumental in forcing the government to change their attitude towards India after British workers met with Ghandi and understood that Indian cotton was being stolen from India, manufactured into clothing and forcibly sold back to the population in India, just so the British textile mills could make money. The British textile workers themselves, when they understood this, took the side of Ghandi and India.

    When will Americans evolve to have the intelligence and morality like that. ‘We’re number one.’ and it lack of newspaper coverage of the effects of America’s ‘big stick’ is the root of the problem.

  12. The basic deficit in the Eisenhower years was the fact that people would put buttons on their shirts that said: I Like Ike. Went in dumb, come out dumb too.

    The only time period when America was smarter was in the anti war years of late sixties to mid seventies. Then America got senile again. A bunch of guys hijack some planes with box cutters. Now its trillions for defense and not one cent tribute. Not one cent tribute, billions in tribute to the likes of that caped schmuck in Afghanistan.

    Chump chump bo bump, bannan fanna fo fump
    fee fi mo mump. CHUMP!

  13. Like RW Nye, I am continually amazed that people believe our citizens must starve, go without healtcare, go homeless and have poor educations. Why do we accept the government’s refusal to invest in infrastructure repair or environmental cleanup? Why accept the refusal to invest in alternative energy, actions which would create high paying jobs for all? I truly do not understand.

    At the moment the president and Congress insist we should cut food stamps, they simultaneously spent the $68,000 and the near $100,000 per missile to repay their political donors. (They were some of Obama’s leading donors. He is a Democrat. He is also the person ordering the missiles purchase and deployed.) Why are we accepting this use of our money? If there really is no money to pay for food stamps, how did those munitions get purchased? Did money fairies appear, but were only able to shower their bounty on political cronies?

    How did that war in Libya get prosecuted? Where did the money come from? It’s not chump change. Why do we accept such incredible lies and horrible malfeasance in office?

  14. It is amazing that for over 50 years, one industry has continually done whatever it takes to maintain its stranglehold on Washington, DC. I submit that until we get rid of money in politics, we will have little or no hope in ending the control moneyed interests have on our legislators and presidents. Have we not learned anything since Eisenhower’s day?

  15. In honor of the great triumph by our forces fighting on the Malabar Front, the monthly ration of Victory Gin has been increased by 50 ml.


  16. I keep hoping someone will focus on the NSA scandal as a part of the MIC fleecing the taxpayers. As Snowden pointed out, we’re enriching defense contractors with trillions to deal with a problem that kills fewer people than bathtub falls (and a tiny percentage of gun violence in the USA).

    The banks also need to be included in the MIC. The reason they aren’t is most people don’t understand that in our corrupt monetary system (which the Founders, Jackson and Lincoln fought against), banks create money as debt via Fractional Reserve Banking. This is the reason “war is good for the economy”, because during war the government goes deeper into debt, enriching the banks as they lend all that money into existence. All that credit flowing into the money supply does stimulate the economy, but in the end since all the money is loaned into existence, as the GDP increases workers and the productive sector still go deeper into debt to the financial sector.

    Watch “The Money Masters” to learn about the hidden history of banks manipulating wars and divisive political movements for their profit.

  17. Platos Cave:

    Banks dont create the money. The FED sets the interest rates.

    The MIC is a government created and controlled monster. The private sector is taking advantage of a government created opportunity.

  18. May Day is May 1st. The people need to arrive in Washington DC and demand an end to all the wars and an end to the war plans for the plans for war on the table. Until the people in this country start protesting and electing protestors we will stay on the same yellow page on the same yellow brick road in the same Chrysler convertible owned by Fiat. And, another thing. Just because college is expensive and Sonnyboy can not get in a good trade union in GA does not mean that you send him off to join the Army so that you can say Thank you for your service.

  19. “War prosperity is like the prosperity that an earthquake or a plague brings. The earthquake means good business for construction workers, and cholera improves the business of physicians, pharmacists, and undertakers; but no one has for that reason yet sought to celebrate earthquakes and cholera as stimulators of the productive forces in the general interest.”

    “War can really cause no economic boom, at least not directly, since an increase in wealth never does result from destruction of goods.”
    (Von Mises Nation, State, and Economy, p. 154)

    “It is certainly true that our age is full of conflicts which generate war. However, these conflicts do not spring from the operation of the unhampered market society. It may be permissible to call them economic conflicts because they concern that sphere of human life which is, in common speech, known as the sphere of economic activities. But it is a serious blunder to infer from this appellation that the source of these conflicts are conditions which develop within the frame of a market society. It is not capitalism that produces them, but precisely the anticapitalistic policies designed to check the functioning of capitalism. They are an outgrowth of the various governments’ interference with business, of trade and migration barriers and discrimination against foreign labor, foreign products, and foreign capital.” (1st Ed. Human Action, p. 680; 3rd Ed. Human Action, p. 684)

    “What has transformed the limited war between royal armies into total war, the clash between peoples, is not technicalities of military art, but the substitution of the welfare state for the laissez-faire state.” (1st Ed. Human Action, p. 820; 3rd Ed. Human Action, p. 824 )

  20. Should May 1 be the day? Or should it be Memorial Day, or the Fourth of July? I wish that all the components of the Occupy and other protest movements could get together on this matter. Washington, DC is a spacious city. Any protest or demonstration involving fewer than 50,000 people is unlikely to garner very much notice. Coalition building is essential: divided we fall. You’ll never get me to come to D.C. for a demonstration unless I know it’s going to be colossal.

  21. “Fifty years and some later, Americans find themselves in what seems like perpetual war. No sooner do we draw down on operations in Iraq than leaders demand an intervention in Libya or Syria or Iran. While perpetual war constitutes perpetual losses for families, and ever expanding budgets, it also represents perpetual profits for a new and larger complex of business and government interests.” -Jonathan Turley

    Beating the drums of war, a couple of years ago…

    …and again, now:

    “Still Time to Attack Iran

    The Illusion of a Comprehensive Nuclear Deal”

    By Matthew Kroenig
    January 7, 2014


    “The most important change in the past two years, however, is that President Barack Obama has come out forcefully on my side of this debate and against the arguments of my critics. As he has stated many times since March 2012, a nuclear-armed Iran “not a challenge that can be contained” and the United States must be prepared to do “everything required to prevent it.” Many outside the Beltway express skepticism when Obama makes such threats, but his closest advisers insist that he is fully committed to preventing a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and is prepared to use force if necessary to keep Tehran from getting the bomb. Fortunately, the situation is not yet at that point. For now, everyone should hope for a satisfactory diplomatic resolution to the crisis. But, if that effort fails, no one, especially not Iran’s leaders, should delude themselves about what should come next.”

  22. rafflaw, There is only one way to take the money out of politics because that is what politics is really about; the money. The only way to take the money out of politics is to stop giving them our money to redistribute. Literally, a tax revolt is the only thing that can ever change this, just as our founders did. They can’t put everyone in jail. However, few American’s are principled enough to do this therefore, we are forever stuck with a corrupt system fascist system, unless it breaks down on it’s own accord, like the USSR did. A strong possibility.

    The idea that you can have your cake and eat it to, is a fallacy, just like democracy or a democratic republic.

  23. JT: “The speech may have been Eisenhower’s most courageous and prophetic moment.”
    Indeed it was. Unfortunately it was a warning that was not heeded, there was just too much money to make in ignoring it.

    It would be nice to see this Blawg posting lifted and dropped as a column n one of the papers you write for, it’s needed as a reminder.

    Another unsavory aspect to the endless war is that military equipment, expensive and quickly obsolete or discarded as unnecessary is being handed off to city and state police departments at negligible cost: half million dollar armored fighting vehicles selling for $2-3000.00, airplanes, surveillance equipment, etc. The police are being turned into a domestic military force.

    “Cops use armored military vehicles to deliver shock and awe during routine police work”

  24. Jill,
    on 1, January 12, 2014 at 11:07 am

    And just imagine what resale price our local police department can snag the overstock for…

  25. President Eisenhower said some very true things about the military-Insustrial complex” — but he said them with one foot out the door as he left the presidency. Hardly “courageous.” During his eiight years in office, howeer, he did little to oppose, and much to aid and abet, the very military-industrial complex that he criticized once it no longer concerned his own political career and became, instead, his successor’s problem. Agian, he said some true things but he said them once it didn’t matter. I just think we ought to remember this.

  26. It seems to me that our entire history is being ignored. Since its conception we have been at war with someone every year of our existence.

  27. Bron,

    “. . . the cost of war would come directly from the pockets of the citizens . . .”

    “. . . not from some large communal pot of tax dollars ostensibly used for running the government.”

    Where’s the difference, Bron?

    Also, shouldn’t “war” be plural, as in “wars”?

  28. People who associate in any way with Al Jazerra give reason enough to keep the U.S. military industrial complex alive.and well.

    I’m a former soldier, not a coward who fires spitballs from my computer. Maintaining this military complex is paramount, for instance, when the need to wipe out radical threats coming out of the “religion of peace.” This is our mission and we will complete it.

    Get used to it.

  29. Lance,

    What exactly is an “islamofascist”?

    Given your avatar and the brief text associated with it you should be able to offer a succinct definition.

  30. Lance

    People who associate in any way with Al Jazerra give reason enough to keep the U.S. military industrial complex alive.and well.

    I’m a former soldier, not a coward who fires spitballs from my computer. Maintaining this military complex is paramount, for instance, when the need to wipe out radical threats coming out of the “religion of peace.” This is our mission and we will complete it.

    Get used to it.
    Are you one of those automaton trolls created by the military to spread propaganda:

    The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

    A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an “online persona management service” that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.


  31. There is some force or power that keeps presidents from being able to do something for the people to stop deadly militarization, a germ, from becoming an epidemic that destroys freedom:

    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; 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 manners and of morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. Those truths are well established. [President James Madison]

    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. [President Eisenhower]

    (Wee The People – 2, emphasis removed).

  32. lottakatz

    It would be nice to see this Blawg posting lifted and dropped as a column n one of the papers you write for, it’s needed as a reminder.

    JT wrote this post for Al Jazerra too (“Below is my article this weekend in Al Jazaerra…”).

    Your request has been granted.😉

  33. This continual war time economy was initiated by the two evil DULLASS brothers and we apparently are unable or unwilling to return to a peacetime economy where all the funds wasted on perpetual wars could be used to improve our own society. I would recommend reading the new book out on the DULLASS brothers

  34. No Win War???

    The New American for November 9, 2009, has an interesting article on General Barry McCaffrey’s statement that the US “faces 10 more years of war in Afghanistan” and that the US should “focus upon a long and expensive nation-building process for Afghanistan’s tribal culture.” There seems to be a mindset in the establishment for the US to maintain a long term presence in the MidEast.

    For a long time, the US has operated in the region through hidden agendas. In his book, The New World Order, Mr. Pat Robertson, states that George Bush 1 suggested that the fate of Kuwait was not the main issue, “launching the New World Order was the main thing.” Mr. Robertson further writes, “By words and by silence, the United States flashed Saddam Hussein a green light” … to move into Kuwait and suggests this was used as a pretext for the 1st Gulf War…the implication is that Saddam was entraped with Green Light Diplomacy but there was a much larger agenda(hidden) for moving against Hussein………..

    For the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the evidence suggests that the US and its allies are not doing all that can be done to win this war and there is some agenda for prolonging this conflict.

    The Advocate quotes Hillary Clinton(Dec. 7, 2009, p. 5A), stating it is “hard to believe” that no one in Islamabad knows where the al-Qaida leaders are hiding and couldn’t get them “if they really wanted to.”

    In the aftermath of 9.11, the bombing of the wrong escape route out of Afghanistan into Pakistan and the nighttime airlift by the US of the Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives that were allowed to escape(The New Yorker, Jan 28, 2002, p. 36); Gary Berntsen, the head of the CIAs team at Tora Bora said they tracked bin Laden and (he) “…could have been caught.”(Newsweek, Aug 15, 2005, p. 5); There is evidence that the Pakistani ISI is funding the Taliban and knows where they live but dont arrest them.(Time, Nov. 29, 2004, p. 44)

    There is a strategy by the Pakistani government “…which pays tribes and insurgent networks to attack each other with a goal of preventing any one group from getting too strong”.(US News, Oct 13/Oct 20, 2008, p. 24)(a strategy used by the Brits) Pakistani Ambassador, Haqqani presents evidence in his book that the Pakistani military and ISI make “…the pretense of arresting militants in order to get funds from Washinton. But it never shut down the networks.”(Newsweek, May 11/May 18, 2009, p. 29)

    The CIA never takes a junior partner role with any of these groups and we have to assume wants this to continue. The New York Times(Oct. 27, 2009) reports that Karzai’s brother is on the CIAs payroll and is a suspected player in the opium trade which finances the Taliban.

    All of this only contributes to a more chaotic situation which feeds a hidden agenda for a “no win war” and prolonged conflict at the expense of American boys and girls lives!!

    woody voinche


    One of the most important issues today is the war in Afghanistan-Pakistan and
    the fact that US
    Military Aid to Pakistan is being used to fund the Pakistani ISI which is in turn funding Taliban
    and Al Quada fighters. While this has been reported sporadically in the media for whatever
    reason political pundits on the left and right have effectively ignored this issue.

    Joe Klein in an article for Time, August 9, 2010, p. 19, has written an article that every American
    citizen should go to their library and read, he writes,

    “The commanders are unanimous in their belief that the ISI is running the show….And so,
    despite professions of alliance with the US by Pakistan’s then dictator Pervez Musharraf, a
    decision was made to keep the Taliban alive. A spigot of untargeted military aid from the George
    W. Bush Administration helped fund the effort. A commander of the vicious Haqqani Taliban
    network tells Waldman that their funding comes from ‘the Americans–from them to the
    Pakistani military, and then to us.’ Waldman reports that the commander receives from the
    Pakistanis ‘a reward for killing foreign soldiers, usually $4000 to $5000 for each soldier killed'”.

    American tax dollars if not directly, then indirectly are being used to fund the Taliban and put
    a bounty on American boys and girls head… Makes one wonder why the establishment right
    or left is not reporting on this? If the right is covering for
    the mistakes of the Bush administration…why is the establishment left not reporting on this???
    …this is the most important issue of the day…we will never win a war where if not directly then
    indirectly the US is funding the opposition!!!!

  36. gbk:

    If you had to fund the war out of your pocket, the actual cost would be known to you. As it is, we just pay a certain amount without knowing exactly how much is going to war and supporting programs.

    I figured war was acceptable to use. I guess I could have used wars. Does it matter? I wasnt talking about a specific conflict just war in general as a concept.

    Please let me know, thanks for pointing that out.

  37. We the people of the USA have had unknown and unelected people running this so-called government since November 1963. And every president since has heard that sound in Dallas. The real power that calls for war is unknown to the citizens of the United States.

  38. “I’m a former soldier, not a coward who fires spitballs from my computer.” — Lance

    Oh, you mean like those soldiers at a military base outside Las Vegas who sit at computer consoles and fire missiles from robot drones at Afghan boys out collecting firewood in the foothills of the Hindu Kush? Speaking of cowardice! And these ass-hats have the colossal gall to insist that they deserve medals of valor for killing anything that moves from half a world away?

    In truth, the United States has many cowardly soldiers: from the bottom ranks all the way up through the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of Defense to the Commander In Brief. Some media outlets in the United States, including Al Jazeera, occasionally report on the wanton destruction our cowardly military has wreaked on impovershed foreign civilians for over half-a-century now. Not as often as these cowardly attacks acutally happen, mind you. But sometimes.

    I can remember sitting in the operations center at our remote ATSB a few kilometers from the southern tip of South Vietnam — Solid Anchor — as the watch officer randomly stuck pins in a large acetate map on the wall. Then an enlisted man would transcribe some co-ordinates from the map for use by the guys manning our base artillery piece. These colleagues of mine woud then fire explosive ordnance out into the surrounding countryside at odd times of the day or night on the theory that any Vietnamese peasants who died or suffered wounds from the explosions “deserved” it because they had no business being out in their own countryside — what we called a “free-fire-zone.” As the base translator/interpreter, I sometimes had to help out in our sick bay when Vietnamese peasants would bring themselves or their kids to us so our doctor could remove the shrapnel from their bleeding bodies. That and other experiences of like kind left open wounds on my soul that will never heal

    Nick Turse has recently written a book about the things we did to the Vietnamese in Vietnam. He entitled it: “Kill Anything That Moves.” He knows from whence he speaks. From what I’ve heard, seen, and read over the past four decades of my life, the American military’s modus operandi in its ongoing wars-to-have-wars-for-“warrior”-careers-and-corporate-profits hasn’t changed much, if at all.

    So I don’t give a rat’s ass about what some “former soldier” — or current one, either — says about needing a behemoth corpoate military establishment just because some news outlets occasionally report on the cowardly, industrial-scale terrorism that America’s military regularly dishes out all over planet earth. The Lunatic Leviathan — as I prefer to call our Pusillanimous Politicians, Vaunted Visigoths, Dogs-of-War Mercenaries, and Corporate Camp Followers — contains legions of cowards, and what few genuinely brave souls do exist within its bloated bowels don’t matter because of their low rank and lack of options for a better life.

  39. Michael Murry,

    It appears my jump boots stepped all over and squished your dainty sensibilities. I’ll just scrap it off my boots like I do dog shit and be on my way.

    Your writing style is so milk soppy and… feminine. I’ll bet you’re one of those “cowardly soldiers.” Takes one to know one. I’ll also bet you’re a voluble conversationalist. I wonder how you’ll reconcile your current ignominy.

    And nobody gives a felch what you think. Go play in traffic and leave the work to the men. Your intransigence isn’t worth my generous retort. Just consider me a glutton for watching sissies spew hyperbole.

    I can’t help myself. I’m just another amaranthine Manchurian Candidate, a quondam soldier, a rube with a high IQ. Can you wrap your peanut shell around this concept?

    You strike me a generic ineluctable libtard.Two things I know for sure: No matter where I go, there I am, and everybody’s gotta be someplace. Right now I’m here.

    BTW: Islamofascist, n., A euphemism for Islamotard.

  40. Lance:

    They think that people who think like you arent real because they dont think that way so it must be fabricated.

  41. I think you meant “scrape,” Lance, and not “scrap,” although that is what I consider you. And if you wear your “jump” boots to bed as I suppose you do — mud and all — just lull yourself to sleep with this little rhyme I wrote specifically for REMFs like you:

    Batman Sleeps with a Nightlight
    (From The Triumph of Strife: an homage to Dante Alighieri and Percy Shelley)

    The fanboy fascist, Prince of Gotham geek,
    Up late at night, both hands beneath the sheets;
    His Batman Bible urging him to seek

    An ideal evil that he never meets:
    A super villain menacing his race
    Within his fearful chest a faint heart beats;

    Vicarious, it ticks a timid pace
    His vaguely apprehended angst demands
    Revenge for all the acne on his face,

    Exacted by some super hero’s hands
    While safe at home, a nightlight by his bed,
    Imaginary navies he commands:

    A vigilante fleet launched in his head
    That cut and ran before the fight he fled

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2006

    You sound just like Five Deferment Dick Cheney and the AWOL Deputy Dubya Bush, about as cowardly as they come, but heroes, no doubt, to the likes of you. You never came any closer to real war than jerking off in the back row of a porno movie theater. So go pound sand with your “former soldier” shit. You don’t fool anyone who has actually served in a war. Back to your “combat action” video game, REMF. About as close to war as cowards like you ever get.

  42. As the late Gore Vidal — a World War II veteran — truthfully said: “Americans are among the most easily frightened people on earth.” This explains why the the United States miliary keeps attacking relatively unarmed, impoverished peasant nations — but keeps losing to them anyway. Hence, sometime this year, we will see:

    Another Catastrophic Success

    With their tails tucked proudly ‘tween their legs
    Advancing towards the exit march the dregs
    Of empire, whose retreat this question begs:
    No promised omelet, just the broken eggs?

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2011

  43. Retired Army Colonel Andrew Bacevich has a new article out detailing the U.S. Army’s frantic efforts to avoid funding cuts — even as those barely armed goat herders in the Hindu Kush drive them out of yet another bungled quagmire in Afghanistan — by getting involved in yet another unspecified quagmire — any one will do — somewhere in East Asia. He calles it The Endless Army. He ought to know. I just call it:

    Custer’s Next Stand

    Fort Apache, Baghdad
    Custer “going in”
    Whack-a-Mole on steroids
    Virtue cured by sin

    Doin’ dumb to dawdle
    Stupid acting smart
    In the trap for good now
    Military art

    Mini-skirted booty
    Cheerleaders in thrall
    “Block that kick!” the girls yell
    When we’ve got the ball

    Burger King on bases
    Pizza Hut in tow
    Mercenary merchants’
    Dog-and-pony show

    One-trick gag a let-down
    Victory not near
    Running out the clock now
    Marching to the rear

    Let’s “fan out” and “get ’em”
    Let’s “go long” on fourth
    Strategy by jargon
    Going South through North

    Making sense to no one
    Maybe that’s the point
    Mystifying madmen
    Let us now anoint

    Custer’s got a plan, though
    Always letter “A”
    Alphabet so simple
    Any one can play

    Next time we’ll do better
    What we’ve botched before
    Southeast Asia, redux
    Vietnam once more

    Colonize the Muslims!
    Crusade in Levant!
    Rounding up “dead-enders”
    Taking what we want

    Israel and us now
    Just the two in chains
    One the other’s patron
    One the patron’s pains

    As in any marriage
    Two have plighted troth
    Master, slave, and inmates
    Adding up to both

    Others see a shack-up
    Lust outside the law
    Married man and mistress
    Fighting to a draw

    Custer says he “can do”
    What he’s never done:
    Occupy the Muslims
    Armed with but a gun

    Inconclusive carnage
    Wages paid to greed
    Custer’s followed order
    Troops from life has freed

    Custer doesn’t like it
    Now that “it” means death
    Still, he says he’ll “win” soon
    With his dying breath

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2007

    Looks like our General Custers can’t wait to get another one of these bloody bungles started again before they’ve even finished losing the last one. If that counts as “courage,” then I certainly want no part of it. Dumber than dirt, or too stupid to stipulate seems more like it to me.

  44. For the non-liberal readers here, I offer the following words of wisdom.

    Liberals are eggheads.

    If you want to be the hit of any party in Beacon Hill, the Upper West Side, Chevy Chase or Marin County, just go on a rant about how stupid Republicans are.

    All my life I’ve heard from Dems and libs that Republicans are idiots.

    Their presidents are idiots.

    Ford was a bumbling idiot, Reagan was a dithering idiot, idiots all except Nixon.

    He was a crook.

    If you try to argue their point you will lose.

    However, Republicans are not idiots because they are uncivilized rednecks, but because they are stupid enough to think they can outflank Democrats by being more liberal.

    This essentially erases the difference between them and makes them just as stupid as the Dems.

    In spite of claiming moral superiority, higher humanity, and more intelligence, the incontrovertible truth is that liberals are the biggest morons on the planet.

    They are too stupid to see the forest through the trees, come out of the rain, or find their own a$$holes with a compass and a funnel.

    Take any issue and the liberal stance defies logic, rational thought, or the intelligence of anything smarter than a sparrow. In fact, if they transplanted a typical liberal brain into a canary, it would likely fly backwards while sh*tting all over itself.

    Their way to create more jobs is to make life unbearable for anyone who wants to hire a worker.

    Their way to preserve forests is to forbid any harvesting so wildfires have more dead-wood kindling to burn uncontrollably.

    Their way to prevent violent crime is make it harder for law abiding citizens to protect themselves.

    Their way to prevent illegal immigration is to make illegal immigrants citizens.

    Have I yet to state anything that is not factual?

    The next time you have a disagreement with a liberal they will not debate the substance of the issue but make accusations against your compassion, tell you you are wrong without backing what they say, call you names, and bring up Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, George Bush, et al.

    Excellent tactics for a four-year-old.

    Don’t despair or take their bait.

    Simply ask them if their head hurts.

    If they say no, tell them it’s because they don’t have a brain.

    If they say yes, just say, “Good”.

    Remind them that conservatives are that way because they have given it thought and that liberals are too stupid to see through the three biggest lies.

    1. The check is in the mail.

    2. I won’t c*me in your mouth.

    3. Obama is not in the Muslim Brotherhood.

  45. I have a poem,too:

    A yellow bird
    With a yellow bill
    Was sitting on
    My window sill
    I coaxed him in
    With a piece of bread
    and then I smashed
    His f**king head!

    Garry Owen. Scouts out!
    Paratus et fidelis.

  46. Lance, sadly, I must admit that I feel the same about so many of our fellow Americans. Believing that any tax, tariff, subsidy or protectionist policy does not, in the long run, raise prices and distorts the competitive benefits and nature of a lassie fare economy goes beyond rational thinking. The question remains how much of these policies, as a society, are we willing to subject ourselves to. A classical liberal was once a person that believed in lassie fare economic policies, sadly that is not the case anymore either.

    The liberals will not admit it, but many embrace Marxist and other authoritarian statist economic policies and than wonder why our system is not providing the solutions to so many of the socio-economic problems we face today. blaming it instead on lassie fare economic policies that no longer even exist. Our money is not even market derived today, but printed at the whim of those in positions of political power. We have placed into our laws the very mecantilistic polices, King George and his aristocracy would have been proud of and wonder why we are treated as subjects rather than sovereigns our Constitution provides. Shame on us all.

  47. Lance w/ a primal rant. Keep it up and welcome to the blog. I live in Madison, Wi. I’m a libertarian so I feel your pain, brother.

  48. And the hits just keep coming. Or as they say in the U.S. military: “Hup, Too,Tree, Fawr.”

    Marching Backwards Through Georgia

    Republicans have done it once again
    And proved that boys do not belong with men,
    Since playing G.I. Joe with little toys
    Leaves idiots undone by their own ploys

    The pundit takes time off from sucking toes
    And thinks he’s had a thought about what goes
    To them who come back in the very door
    Wherefrom they just came out an hour before

    It takes a grasp of history quite slim
    To think invading Russia on a whim
    Makes Hitler and Napoleon look smart
    Or Cheney’s threats a diplomatic art

    Yet still Republicans try chewing gum
    While walking, which for them means looking glum
    As choking, gagging, gasping, they implore
    Someone to tell them time and date and score

    For as the game has ended with such loss
    They only now await the final toss
    As voters whom they’ve lied to and betrayed
    Now plan, with sharpened knives, to have them spayed

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2008

    Could someone please recommend a competent accountant for the Pentagram? At least one?

  49. Bron“They think that people who think like you aren’t real because they don’t think that way so it must be fabricated.”

    Perhaps, but it may be that I’m just too good to be true. I humbly write this fact serving solely to point out the obvious.

    hskiprob – Amen to that.

    annieofwi – I believe high IQs and real intelligence are mutually exclusive.

    nick – I’ve also spent time in the combat TO (Theater of Operations). As long as I’m packing heat and MOPP 4, I’m a happy trooper.

    Another poem for my new friends here at Turley’s:

    We shoot the sick, the young, the lame,
    We do our best to maim,
    Because the kills all count the same,
    Napalm sticks to kids.

    Chorus: Napalm sticks to kids,
    Napalm sticks to kids.

    Flying low across the trees,
    Pilots doing what they please,
    Dropping frags on refugees,
    Napalm sticks to kids.

    Goods in the open, making hay,
    But I can hear the gunships say,
    “There’ll be no Chieu Hoi today,”
    Napalm sticks to kids.

    See those farmers over there,
    Watch me get them with a pair,
    Blood and guts just everywhere,
    Napalm sticks to kids.

    I’ve only seen it happen twice,
    But both times it was mighty nice,
    Shooting peasants planting rice,
    Napalm sticks to kids.

    Napalm, son, is lots of fun,
    Dropped in a bomb or shot from a gun,
    It gets the gooks when on the run,
    Napalm sticks to kids.

    Drop some napalm on a farm,
    It won’t do them any harm,
    Just burn off their legs and arms,
    Napalm sticks to kids.

    CIA with guns for hire,
    Montagnards around a fire,
    Napalm makes the fire go higher,
    Napalm sticks to kids.

    I’ve been told it’s not so neat,
    To catch gooks burning in the street,
    But burning flesh, it smells to sweet,
    Napalm sticks to kids.

    Children sucking on a mother’s tit,
    Wounded gooks down in a pit,
    Dow Chemical doesn’t give a shit,
    Napalm sticks to kids.

    Bombadiers don’t care a bit,
    Just as long as the pieces fit,
    When you stuff the bodies in a pit,
    Napalm sticks to kids.

    Eighteen kids in a No Fire Zone,
    Rooks under arms and going home,
    Last in line goes home alone,
    Napalm sticks to kids.

    Chuck in a sampan, sitting in the stern,
    They don’t think their boats will burn,
    Those damn gooks will never learn,
    Napalm sticks to kids.

    Cobras flying in the sun,
    Killing gooks is lots of fun,
    Get one pregnant and it’s two for one,
    Napalm sticks to kids.

    Shoot civilians where they sit,
    Take some pictures as you split,
    All your life you’ll remember it,
    Napalm sticks to kids.

    NVA are all hard core,
    Flechettes never are a bore,
    Throw those PSYOPS out the door,
    Napalm sticks to kids.

    Gather kids as you fly over town,
    By throwing candy on the ground,
    Then grease ’em when they gather ’round,
    Napalm sticks to kids.

    Military-Industrial Complex, “Napalm Sticks to Kids.”

  50. nick and Elaine M. – You both were quiet as church mice when MM was flinging vitriol and calling this honorably discharged/disabled veteran a coward. Maybe I missed the meeting where you two were appointed blog censors. It’s still mostly a free country last time I checked, albeit waning on a daily basis. Are you two under the mistaken impression that I give a puck about what you think? I couldn’t care less about your sensibilities.

    BTW. It’s not a poem. It’s an old military cadence from the Vietnam era. You know, when MM was purportedly over there serving for the Military Industrial Complex. I appears you missed the irony.

  51. Coming back to this thread, I appreciate the parody and the irony of the literary selections. But the personal invective just distracts from the fact that as a society and a nation we’re in deep s**t and that if we don’t break out of our present ways of doing things we’ll have the Devil to pay.

  52. Wait here folks. I’ll go get my harmonica, build a fire, and we can fire up a Kumbayah session. You guys get the marshmallows. Perhaps we could also take turns quoting from the Qur’an.

  53. Lance,
    Instead of Kumbayah, I have a veteran’s song for you. And before you dismiss me as just another “liberal a..hole,” we are a military family going back hundreds of years. I have already buried one son in a National Cemetery….less than forty yards from his gg..grandfather. You may want to go back and read what I wrote about his cousin, Jimmy Gates. Eisenhower was right, and I am old enough to remember that speech. It made quite an impression on me.

  54. Lance,

    I don’t read every post–nor every comment on this blog. Suggesting that a poem may not bear repeating isn’t censorship. It’s called stating an opinion.

    BTW, I know that it’s a military cadence. You’re the one who called it a poem.

  55. Michael Murry,

    The endless Army
    Is ‘Pacific Pathways’ a necessary pivot, or a military budget grab?
    By Andrew J. Bacevich
    January 10, 2014

    On the scale of outrages emanating from Washington, D.C., which has become a byword for tomfoolery and cockamamie schemes, it barely registers. Yet let us pause for a moment to contemplate the US Army’s new initiative known as “Pacific Pathways,” established to counter threats in the Asia-Pacific region.

    Note that the 21st century has not been kind to the Army. Since 9/11, it has engaged in two protracted and debilitating conflicts. The Iraq war, launched in 2003, finally ended more than eight years later in something other than victory. The Afghanistan war, begun even earlier, shambles toward its own ambiguous conclusion, having become the longest and least popular war in the nation’s history.

    One might think that the soldiers who’ve born the brunt of these wars have earned a breather. But Army generals apparently disagree. Demonstrably uninterested in taking stock of what their exertions in the Greater Middle East have yielded — how much gain for all that pain? — they are hard at work searching for new venues in which to demonstrate the Army’s relevance. For relevance translates into budget share, within Pentagon circles the ne plus ultra. “This We’ll Defend” provides the Army with an appropriately crisp official motto. But the “this” that generals defend most fiercely is their slice of the Defense Department’s budgetary pie.

    One of the top underreported news stories of recent years is this: The United States is done with invading and occupying countries in the Islamic world. Whatever course events in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, or Iran may follow, Washington is unlikely to dispatch thousands of US troops to fix the problem. Done that. Didn’t work.

    Soldiers and their families may view this shift in policy as a welcome development. But for Army generals, it represents a threat far more dangerous than that posed by Al Qaeda or the Taliban.

    As the global war on terror peters out, what does the Army exist to do? For the Army’s top brass, the question has existential implications. They have apparently found their answer by looking East, the Obama administration’s much-ballyhooed “pivot” toward Asia offering the Army a chance to rebrand itself. Goodbye parched desert. Hello steamy jungle.

    In national security circles, “pivot” is a euphemism, shorthand for “payday” as the Pentagon salivates over the implications of China’s rise. In evaluating how China might threaten regional stability (itself a euphemism for US hegemony), Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps planners have had a relatively easy time conjuring up scenarios allotting major roles for their own service. By comparison, the Army has lagged behind. Until now. Pacific Pathways signals the Army’s intention of claiming a piece of the action.

  56. Elaine,
    The leadership behavior of our present military is beginning to look more and more like that of the Axis powers of the 1930s.

  57. maybe because Obama is getting rid of the leadership he doesnt agree with and is keeping the officers he finds more compatible with his ideology.

  58. Endless wars to keep some fat and happy, while military members and their families scrape by, then get ignored as veterans. Our troops should not be any General or Admiral or American’s sacrificial lambs. Every time I hear some ignoramus say “keep our troops there so we don’t get attacked here” I want to scream.

  59. Most people prefer to believe that their political leaders are just and fair, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen acknowledges that the government under which they live is fraught with deception and corruption, the citizen has to choose how he or she will live under such conditions. To take action against a corrupt government entails risks of harm to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To choose to do nothing is to acquiesce one’s self-image of being socially conscious, caring and principled. Most people do not have the courage to face that choice. Hence, most propaganda is “not” designed to fool the critical thinker, but only to give cowards an excuse not to think or do anything at all.

  60. Lance, I don’t know who you mean by MM. I didn’t know that was a Vietnam cadence. One of my best friends and an older kid I really looked up to, Chuck Manarel, died there. My cousin, who was like a brother to me, came back a heroin addict. He was able to kick it but mostly because the heroin in the states was horseshit and it cost too much for him to get high. You said your piece, I said mine. Let’s just shake hands and move on. Thanks for your service, sir.

  61. hskiprob: I think you have put your finger on one of our basic problems. I was well into middle age before I acknowledged the awful truth and made my choice. Before that, I was just about as deluded as anyone else. Once you realize what’s going on and what’s at stake, you can no longer be at ease. What are we to do? I don’t know, but we’ll have to do something sooner, rather than later. Our present course leads straight to perdition.

  62. Sadly, the more you learn and read the more it corroborates the truth. The ruling class/oligarchy has placed our entire society into a sort of economic slavery, and as we are all seeing, it is not easy to get them to change. Almost every single piece of major legislation since the Civil War, was designed, not to enhance the general welfare, but to benefit special interests, to the detriment of the majority and that can be proven.

    If you try to explain that and provide the evidence though, it is not easy to do it in a couple of paragraphs. That is why it is so important to read books like, the Creature from Jekyll Island by Griffin, How Capitalism Saves America by DiLorenzo, The Forgotten Man by Shaels, The Law by Basitiat. There are a host of others, to long to list that go into detail, as to who, what, when, why and “HOW MUCH”. It’s all about the money.

    Even Rand who is being demonized by the anti-capitalists today, was one of the best selling authors of her time. People read back than. Obviously not enough though. You can see from the comments of those that demonize her today, that they obviously have not even read her, since the say the most ridiculous things.

    If I were to give just one book it would be DiLorenzo’s. As well written and extremely well documented as anything I’ve read. He has been able to take what has been researched by all those in the past 300 years and incorporate enough into his book. The level of information is expanding exponentially is recent years which helps so he has incorporated a lot of recent studies as well . I wish it was required reading for all history, economic and political science classes starting from 10 or 11th grade on. In one generation, it’s reading, would change the entire societies undertanding of American economic history.

    If any of you give a damn about our world, and don’t believe what I and others are saying, you will after you read this book. As I said before, I disrespect, distrust and loath all but a few politicians, now more that ever, this book is that convincing. Just wait to you read about FDR and the scoundrels of that period and Shaels book, as well as Griffins backs it up.

    As an example, as noted in Griffin’s book. FDR was Assistant Secretary of the Navy during WWI and Churchill was Secretary of the British Navy. To get America into he war, they sent the Lusitania, despite warning from the Germans, into heavily patrolled waters (U-boats) “unescorted”. The Germans had found out that the passenger ship was being used to transport war supplies, making it fair game for attack under the Geneva Convention, and warned both the government and the Citizens through press releases to all the major newspapers. Only one or two newspaper in the entire country published the warning and the rest is history. Low an behold, both men went on to be Commander and Chiefs of their countries. You talk about the military industrial complex in action?

    It started way before WWII. Yea, it was there during the Civil War as well. Behind every war is a group of political entreprenuers, and politicians as DiLorenzo calls them, promoting war for profit.

  63. America’s Secret War in 134 Countries
    The deployment of US Special Operations forces is a growing form of overseas power projection.
    Nick Turse
    January 16, 2014

    They operate in the green glow of night vision in Southwest Asia and stalk through the jungles of South America. They snatch men from their homes in the Maghreb and shoot it out with heavily armed militants in the Horn of Africa. They feel the salty spray while skimming over the tops of waves from the turquoise Caribbean to the deep blue Pacific. They conduct missions in the oppressive heat of Middle Eastern deserts and the deep freeze of Scandinavia. All over the planet, the Obama administration is waging a secret war whose full extent has never been fully revealed—until now.

    Since September 11, 2001, US Special Operations forces have grown in every conceivable way, from their numbers to their budget. Most telling, however, has been the exponential rise in special ops deployments globally. This presence—now, in nearly 70 percent of the world’s nations—provides new evidence of the size and scope of a secret war being waged from Latin America to the backlands of Afghanistan, from training missions with African allies to information operations launched in cyberspace.

    In the waning days of the Bush presidency, Special Operations forces were reportedly deployed in about sixty countries around the world. By 2010, that number had swelled to seventy-five, according to Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe of The Washington Post. In 2011, Special Operations Command (SOCOM) spokesman Colonel Tim Nye told TomDispatch that the total would reach 120. Today, that figure has risen higher still.

    In 2013, elite US forces were deployed in 134 countries around the globe, according to Major Matthew Robert Bockholt of SOCOM Public Affairs. This 123 percent increase during the Obama years demonstrates how, in addition to conventional wars and a CIA drone campaign, public diplomacy and extensive electronic spying, the US has engaged in still another significant and growing form of overseas power projection. Conducted largely in the shadows by America’s most elite troops, the vast majority of these missions take place far from prying eyes, media scrutiny, or any type of outside oversight, increasing the chances of unforeseen blowback and catastrophic consequences.

  64. Elaine,

    It’s a bit worse than the Nation article states.

    According to a June 3, 2013 Army Times article there are over 60,000 troops performing 5,640 “activities” (the Army’s choice of word) in 162 countries “throughout” fiscal year 2014.

    “And that is just the beginning. Army leadership said another 20,000 soldiers will be involved in 3,000 unspecified activities . . . [i]n the words of one commander, the ‘battle is to prevent battle.’”

  65. Elaine – good work. Many believe this is as much a currency war with central banking as the ultimate achievement. I’ll try to explain. Central banking allows the bankers to have dominant controls over their respective countries.

    With the use of fiat currency, which can literally be printed to satisfy almost any desire, their power becomes almost unlimited. However, central banking also provides unjust benefits to the central bankers and their cronies because of their dominance, to the detriment of the majority both because of cronyism and the inflation it causes. The majority of course are going to fight bank, just as we see the various groups such as libertarians and TeaParty fighting against central banksters, as we like to call them in this country.

    It appears that those governments that do not want to be a part of the international central banking cartel, (the BIS) are the ones being attacked by those countries that are participants in the BIS. They are actually trying to place into power those people who will be inclined to be a part of this central banking system, to what many believe is to the detriment of the majority.

    No taking into consideration what side is right, this appears to be what is happening. Iraq and Afghanistan are no exceptions.

    One of the reasons why gold and silver are so important, as they obviously cannot be printed like fiat currencies, as they retain their values unlike fiat currencies that are continually debased thus causing inflation. India right now is suffering from very high inflation.

    Now here is the interesting and scary thing. Each country or groups such as the EU also are in conflict i.e. as to the value of it’s currency as compared to others. The U.S. right now, because of it’s huge expansion of the money supply over the last 15 years, the greatest of all countries except perhaps Japan, are also trying to force other counties, to maintain the trade value of the USD in the international trade markets. The question is; is this the real reason why we are in these specific countries or is it just a.Coincidence? Most don’t think so.

    That’s why so many investment and commodity brokers and analyst are so concerned, and have been with the continued levels of government and deficit spending by our government. The future is all knowing.

    I hope that I have done this justice in explaining it. If not there are some good books on it as well as many articles.

  66. much of the present day US military supremacy & war preparedness could be justified as a response for the Islam terrorism. What % of this could be justified is again a matter of judgement. any guess as to how much is sufficient and how much is excessive?

  67. Ranapriya – As Ron Paul and many others have pointed out, meddling in the affairs of Arab nations is a plausible reason for Islamic terrorism and the British and Americans have been doing so for over 100 years. Nation building is not part of our Constitution, yet our fearless leaders use our military and the military industrial complex, to the detriment of our nation, both in lives and money. War is a racket and a monetary scheme 99% of the time. Needing a defense system that costs more than the top 7 countries in the world combined and that abrogates our Constitution, is a bit excessive.

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