|May 27, 2012
By Jim Quinn
The Burning Platform
“We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security.” -Dwight D. Eisenhower
“How far can you go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without?” -Dwight D. Eisenhower
Generals gathered in their masses
Just like witches at black masses
Evil minds that plot destruction
Sorcerers of deaths construction
In the fields the bodies burning
As the war machine keeps turning
Death and hatred to mankind
Poisoning their brainwashed minds, oh lord yeah!
Black Sabbath – War Pigs
As Americans mindlessly celebrate another Memorial Day with cookouts, beer and burgers, the U.S. war machine keeps churning. As we brutally enforce our will on foreign countries, we create more people that hate us. They don’t hate us for our freedom. They hate us because we have invaded and occupied their countries. They hate us because we kill innocent people with predator drones. They hate us for our hypocrisy regarding democracy and freedom. Just when we had the opportunity to make a sensible decision by leaving Iraq and exiting the Middle East quagmire, Obama made the abysmal choice to casually sacrifice more troops in the Afghan shithole. We have thrown over $1.3 trillion down Middle East rat holes over the last 11 years with no discernible benefit to the citizens of the United States. George Bush and Barack Obama did this to prove they were true statesmen. The Soviet Union killed over 1 million Afghans, while driving another 5 million out of the country and retreated as a bankrupted and defeated shell after ten years. Young Americans continue to die, for whom and for what? Our foreign policy during the last eleven years can be summed up in one military term, SNAFU – Situation Normal All Fucked Up. These endless foreign interventions under the guise of a War on Terror are a smoke screen for what is really going on in this country. When a government has unsolvable domestic problems, they try to distract the willfully ignorant masses by proactively creating foreign conflicts based upon false pretenses. General Douglas MacArthur understood this danger to our liberty.
“I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.”
“You can’t say civilization don’t advance… in every war they kill you in a new way.” – Will Rogers
Any doubt that the Military Industrial Complex is as strong as ever should be removed after examining Obama’s 2012 Budget which has $900 billion dedicated to our military machine. We spent $370 billion in 2001, $620 billion in 2006, and now this liberal anti-war Democrat from Illinois is spending 45% more than that war monger Bush who was burned in effigy by the anti-war Democrats during Iraq War protests. It seems both parties are war pigs.
The Soviet Union collapsed in 1989, leaving the United States as the only remaining superpower on earth. Since 1990, the United States has depleted the U.S. Treasury of $11.5 trillion for spending on War. With no military on earth capable of challenging us why would there be a need to spend this much on the military? Over this same time frame the U.S. spent $500 billion on science, space & technology and $70 billion on energy, a mere 6% of the spending on invading sovereign countries. Military expenditures benefit humanity in no way. If these trillions had been invested by the private sector or devoted to energy and scientific research, our economy might not be a hollowed out shell, dependent on China for financing and oil exporting countries for energy. Neo-Cons argue the Arms Industry employs millions and benefits the country. These companies employ brilliant engineers and scientists who spend their days developing weapons that kill people more efficiently. If they had been employed manufacturing high tech goods to export around the world, inventing new technologies that didn’t obliterate human beings, newer safer nuclear power plants, a more efficient electric grid, upgrading our deteriorating infrastructure, or finding a cure for Alzheimer’s, would the United States be better off today?
The National Debt in 1990 was $3.2 trillion. Today, it is $15.7 trillion. This is a 500% increase in twenty-two years. What benefit has $11.5 trillion of spending on War produced for the United States or the world? In 2001, spending on Defense was 17% of total governmental spending. In 2012, Defense, Homeland Security, and war spending account for 25% of government spending. In the meantime, major cities experience blackouts due to an overloaded electrical grid, our 156,000 structurally deficient bridges crumble, one hundred year old water pipes burst under our streets every day, and we transfer over $300 billion per year to foreign countries for our precious oil. The 19 terrorist hijackers who implemented their plan with box cutters, spent less than $500,000 to pull off their 9/11 acts of terror – not war. The United States will directly spend at least $3 trillion on our wars of choice in response, while turning our country into a prison camp and stripping our citizens of their freedoms and liberties for perceived security and safety.
You would think we must be trying to keep up with our enemies by spending $900 billion per year on past and present military adventures. But one look at the following chart reveals the United States is spending almost as much as the rest of the world combined. The two countries considered potential rivals, China and Russia, spent $200 billion combined in 2010. This is 22% of U.S. spending. From a foreign viewpoint, one must wonder why the U.S. is spending such vast sums on our military. They can only conclude that it is for offensive intentions rather than defensive. The United States soil has not been attacked by a foreign power since December 7, 1941. Prior to that surprise attack, a foreign power hadn’t attacked the U.S. since the War of 1812. With this stupendous level of wasteful spending, our leaders feel compelled to interfere in the business of sovereign states and dictate how they should govern their nations . When you have an enormous hammer, every country looks like a nail.
Laughably, the neo-con hawks and Fox News pundits declare that our military is a hollow shell and needs much greater funding to insure our safety from attack by our many enemies. Other countries, such as China and Russia, feel they have no choice but to increase their expenditures on the military. On a percentage basis, they have more than doubled their expenditures in the last ten years, and still are a drop in the ocean compared to American Empire spending. The fact is that the U.S., China and Russia all have enough nuclear weapons to obliterate the world – mutually assured destruction. The United States could realistically protect itself from attack with only the 18 ballistic missile nuclear submarines we have in commission.
When did Americans lose their ability to distinguish between intellectual and moral pygmies like George Bush, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney versus statesmen like Dwight D. Eisenhower? The Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive war when our country was not threatened has proven to be financially and diplomatically disastrous and his blueprint is being followed by our Nobel Peace Prize President in his saber rattling with Iran. Following this policy puts them in fine company.
“Preventive war was an invention of Hitler. Frankly, I would not even listen to anyone seriously that came and talked about such a thing.” -Dwight D. Eisenhower
The U.S. borrowed $807 billion from China, Japan and oil exporting countries to wage a war in Iraq that was based on false pretenses. None of the terrorist hijackers on 9/11 were Iraqis, they had no links to Al Qaeda, and Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. Historian Barbara Tuchman description of “war as the unfolding of miscalculations” was never so fitting. In 2002, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld estimated the costs of the war in the range of $50 to $60 billion, a portion of which he believed would be financed by other countries. The United States invaded Iraq to secure the 115 billion barrels of oil reserves, pure and simple. We traded the blood of young Americans for oil because we chose to not develop a cohesive logical energy policy in the last 30 years. Americans, not in the military, sacrificed nothing in the last 11 years of war. We bought BMW SUVs, 6,000 square foot McMansions, flat screen HDTVs, iPads, iPhones and Rolexes while less than 1% of Americans fought and died, with the cost passed to future unborn generations. We are a country of chickenhawks, willing to sacrifice the few so the ruling class can comfortably relax on their decks sipping wine, believing Fox News propaganda about terrorists lurking behind every bush, and filling up their Mercedes convertibles for their excursions to the summer cottage in the Hamptons.
“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.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
As we spend $900 billion per year on instruments of destruction, 49 million Americans live in poverty, with 46 million on food stamps. There are 3 to 4 million people homeless in any given year. Military Veterans, who make up 13% of the population, account for 23% of the homeless. This is another example of Federal government politicians using young Americans to fulfill their agenda and then tossing them away like pieces of garbage. With the country supposedly three years into an economic recovery, tent cities of homeless dot the landscape across the nation. We pour billions into killing technology while millions of American families are forced to live in tents or sleep in their cars.
As the world spends $1.7 trillion per year on new methods of killing, millions die the old fashioned way.
What kind of a civilized society allocates 44% of the taxes taken from its people to war? Only 2.5% of your taxes go to science, energy, and environment. Only 2.2% of your taxes go to education and jobs. You produce the results that you would expect from your investments. A full 13% of our population doesn’t have a high school diploma (20% of African Americans & 43% of Latinos) and only 30% have a college degree. How do we expect to lead the world in technology and research with these figures? We do lead the world in government issued student loan debt with $1 trillion and rising.
Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor
Time will tell on their power minds
Making war just for fun
Treating people just like pawns in chess
Wait till their judgment day comes, yeah!
Black Sabbath – War Pigs
George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Barack Obama are cowardly politicians who never had the “pleasure” of coming under fire in battle. The brilliant anti-war novel Catch-22 describes these men perfectly.
“Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them. With Major Major it had been all three.”
The world has been a huge game of Risk for these warmongers, with young Americans as the game pieces. Instead of conquering Kamchatka in a board game, these non-veterans sent 6,470 Americans to their deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan for a false cause. Their ideology of empire convinced them they could change the world into their image of how it should be, and their re-election campaigns were funded with millions from the purveyors of death – the arms industry.
“In modern war… you will die like a dog for no good reason.” – Ernest Hemingway
Another 47,545 Americans have been badly wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. Three of these despicable politicians have written their memoirs, raking in millions for telling lies and half-truths. The 6,470 dead Americans won’t have a chance to write their memoirs or get rich. They will never get a chance to see their kids’ graduate college or walk their daughter down the aisle at her wedding. Their children will grow up with a giant hole in their hearts. Their widows will never recover from their endless heartache.
Politician chickenhawks who send our young people to their deaths for oil and ideology will receive their reward on judgment day if there is a just God.
As National Guard troops have been deployed over and over again to Iraq and Afghanistan, they must realize that Catch-22 is alive and well in today’s military.
“There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.”
”That’s some catch, that catch-22,” he observed.
”It’s the best there is,” Doc Daneeka agreed
American soldiers, who have completed their duty to country, have been lied to and had the rules of the game changed again and again. Their politician leaders have reneged on their promises by sending men and women back to the war zone or not letting them come home on the timeline that was agreed to. Meanwhile, their families have gone bankrupt, lost their houses, and saw their marriages dissolve. Politicians started these wars and are too cowardly and prideful to accept failure.
“The military don’t start wars. Politicians start wars.” – General William Westmoreland
Over 1,300 more Americans died needlessly when Barack Obama, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, chose to double down in Afghanistan to prove he was as tough as Bush and McCain. Another man who has never been under fire needed to prove his manliness to his opponents and his constituency. He should have studied the words of former Presidents who were under fire.
“I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower
“My first wish is to see this plague of mankind, war, banished from the earth.” - George Washington
President Obama follows the standard Presidential game plan and dutifully gives patriotic speeches at military bases proclaiming the bravery and sacrifice of our troops. These are the words of politicians. The brutal reality for troops is much different. Representative Ron Paul in November 2003 described the early mistreatment of our soldiers:
The Humvees that soldiers were forced to drive did not have enough protective armor. In December 2004, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld was giving one of his usual inspirational speeches when Army Spc. Thomas Wilson of the 278th Regimental Combat Team, a unit that consisted mainly of reservists from the Tennessee Army National Guard asked him a question:
“Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles?”
This set off what the AP described as “a big cheer” from his comrades in arms. Rumsfeld paused, asked Wilson to repeat the question, then finally replied, “You go to war with the army you have.” Besides, he added, “You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and it can be blown up.” I’m glad Donald Rumsfeld has a clear conscience. History will not be kind to this despicable excuse for a human being.
Rumsfeld also sent Americans into battle without protective body armor. Only after bad publicity did the proper protection reach the troops. The blood of dead soldiers is on Rumsfeld’s hands. While President Bush sacrificed by not golfing, terribly wounded soldiers were sent to Walter Reed Hospital to recover. Instead they entered hell on earth. Outpatient mistreatment was reported in 2004, but nothing was done. In 2004 and 2005, articles appeared in the Washington Post and in Salon interviewing First Lt. Julian Goodrum about his court martial for seeking medical care elsewhere due to poor conditions at WRAMC. A Washington Post expose in 2007 finally revealed the horrible mistreatment of our brave wounded soldiers. These reporters uncovered the following conditions:
There was a tremendous surge in suicides by soldiers who have been pushed beyond their limits as they increased by 80% between 2004 and 2008. There are almost as many deaths by suicide as deaths in combat:
Nearly 20% of military service members who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan — 300,000 in all — report symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or major depression, yet only slightly more than half have sought treatment, according to a RAND Corporation report. Many service members said they do not seek treatment for psychological illnesses because they fear it will harm their careers. But even among those who do seek help for PTSD or major depression, only about half receive treatment that researchers consider “minimally adequate” for their illnesses. Recent studies expect PTSD to affect 30% of all returning veterans.
For all the glory and accolades of dying for chickenhawks like Dick Cheney, enlisted soldiers make between $17,000 and $32,000 per year. The military evidently does not prepare them well for the outside world as their unemployment rate is 12.1% versus the national rate of 8.2%. The pandering Obama gives speeches and the criminal bankers at JP Morgan have their PR maggots create TV commercials about hiring veterans, but the numbers don’t lie. A country can be measured by how well it treats its veterans. Our leaders talk a good game, but their actions prove they don’t care about the human costs of war. They are busy planning their next move in their game of Risk.
Now in darkness, world stops turning
As the war machine keeps burning
No more war pigs of the power
Hand of God has struck the hour
Day of Judgment, God is calling
On their knees, the war pigs crawling
Begging mercy for their sins
Satan, laughing, spreads his wings
All right now!
Black Sabbath – War Pigs
Omar Bradley, the last five star General in the U.S. military, was known as the “soldier’s general” during World War II. He was portrayed by Karl Malden in the movie Patton as a thoughtful man who cared about his troops. He was one of the key architects of the Normandy invasion and led the 12th Army Group consisting of 900,000 men until the end of the war. After the war, Bradley headed the Veterans Administration for two years. He is credited with doing much to improve its health care system and with helping veterans receive their educational benefits under the G.I. Bill of Rights. He ultimately rose to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Contrast the words of the fictional Colonel Kilgore from the movie Apocalypse Now, with the words of General Bradley:
Kilgore: I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn’t find one of ‘em, not one stinkin’ dink body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like
[ sniffing, pondering ]
victory. Someday this war’s gonna end…
[ suddenly walks off ]
“The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living.” - Omar Bradley
We need giants like Omar Bradley and Dwight D. Eisenhower to lead our country through the difficult times ahead. These men knew the horrors of war and didn’t act like it was a game of chess. Instead we will be led by intellectual and ethical infants, Obama or Romney. There are no wise men with a conscience and high moral standards in power today. Only those with no conscience and a willingness to lie are able to gain power in today’s world. General Bradley understood that morality was ultimately more important than power and strength in determining the progress of a country. His words are those of someone who knew we had failed in our moral duty:
“We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount.”
Peacemakers are ridiculed and shunned in America today. Those who preach diplomacy and non-interventionism, like Ron Paul, are scorned and ignored. Old men who care more about their own power than the human race are willing to sacrifice the blood of young people for precious oil, phony nationalism, their own strategic interests or corporate interests disguised as philosophical agendas. The world is a game for these old men. They care about their personal legacy and rigid ideologies. War and militarism are a failure of passion over reason. Albert Einstein, whose discovery brought about this age of potential world destruction, had no love for these blind warriors.
“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.”
The overwhelming cost of maintaining a global empire eventually bankrupted Rome and Great Britain. Treasures were wasted, young men were needlessly sacrificed in the name of the flag, and the morality of leaders sank to unprecedented levels. The U.S. had advanced financially and technologically for more than a century, but since the takeover of our economic system by private banking and corporate interests in 1913 we have seen continuous war, continuous currency debasement, and continuous moral decay. How far will we decline before a sufficient number of Americans are outraged enough to lead a new American Revolution?
Our current situation reminds me of the movie Planet of the Apes. The apes are divided into a strict class system: the gorillas as police, military, and hunters; the orangutans as administrators, politicians and lawyers; and the chimpanzees as intellectuals and scientists. Humans, who cannot talk, are considered feral vermin and are hunted and used for scientific experimentation. The United States is now in the control of gorillas and orangutans. If we continue down the current path of financial and moral decay, allowing the Military Industrial Complex, criminal bankers and corrupt politicians to push us into further world conflicts, we will experience the shock and horror that George Taylor, played by Charlton Heston, displayed in the final scene of Planet of the Apes .
George Taylor: Oh my God. I’m back. I’m home. All the time, it was… We finally really did it.
[ screaming ]
You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!
The War Pigs must be stopped before it’s too late. The Military Industrial Complex, with the unwavering support of central bankers printing unlimited amounts of fiat currency, while controlling the scoundrel puppets in Washington DC, will destroy this country in their never ending quest for power and profits. One man fights a lonely battle against these forces of oppression. We must join his legion and take this country back from the war pigs.
“As many frustrated Americans who have joined the Tea Party realize, we cannot stand against big government at home while supporting it abroad. We cannot talk about fiscal responsibility while spending trillions on occupying and bullying the rest of the world. We cannot talk about the budget deficit and spiraling domestic spending without looking at the costs of maintaining an American empire of more than 700 military bases in more than 120 foreign countries. We cannot pat ourselves on the back for cutting a few thousand dollars from a nature preserve or an inner-city swimming pool at home while turning a blind eye to a Pentagon budget that nearly equals those of the rest of the world combined.” – Ron Paul