Posts Tagged ‘wars’

Someone has to say it.  This week I briefly endured the undiscernable excuse of “war coverage” on national TV channels.  I also watched Governor Rick Perry preaching to room of New Hampshire Republicans how the American people seem to deserve and are somehow entitled, by birthright or by God, to march into a sovereign nation like Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iraq. They want to continue bombing raids and drone campaigns; which separate civilians from their lives, their families and their livelihoods.

I think empathicaly in these instances what it might feel like to be an American citizen making a living to suddenly be struck by a drone, losing all I had, including family because someone was “inspired” by entitlement rhetoric. I can’t think of one reason in the world why I would harm anyone in these countries.  Nor can I think of any adequate, qualified reason why we are in the middle east bombing, terrorizing and destabilizing entire governments inconvenient to “national security interests”.  I was never given a solid excuse, and I’m an American citizen.

Can you imagine looking into the eyes of a Pakistani and telling them how helpless you feel to stop the American government from bombing their country? Can you imagine facing someone from Afghanistan, looking them in the eyes and telling them you did nothing to stop careless arbitrary hellfire campaigns?  They don’t want to look into your impotent face. They don’t want your crying confusion. They want the bombs to stop.

MORALITY & SECULAR CIVIL GOVERNANCE

I think Republican political morality is make believe. Democratic indignation over repressed “others” is precisely hollow and fraudulent. Both serve themselves at the taxpayers table, getting issues lost trying to hang onto power that isn’t power. Political partisans use the ancient art of religious identification & represented “greater good” to recruit for their cause centers. They use ideals to justify culling unconditional loyalty of those whose power they depend on, until they are no longer useful.

Remember when they lied to you? That was the moment when your interests were discarded. The lesson is to not entertain vanity or tolerate its escalation by people who love secular power more than the divinity of life.

Secular political agitators easily dispatch the most inconvenient of the 10 commandments related to the semitic religions: Thou shall not kill, Thou shall not covet and Thou shall not steal.

If you believe you are so divinely entitled by “God” to to escalate a war conflict you may as well be marauding Vikings at sack.  No one will hail Amen at Gov Perry’s secular preaching of US defense of pork troughs unless they are Lockheed Martin or people who are bottomless pits of sheer fear and insecurity.  They go hand in hand.  One feeds the other.  They go to the same church. (What church is that?) The Communal Divine Right of Meddle Eastern Poison. Their doctrine is endless gaping hole of war pits and dead bodies. They make mistakes all the time, crowning themselves in the place of God to take the lives and property of others. They show the world the antithesis of spiritual leadership.

For this reason, I have a new-old idea, keep civil interests objective and separate from religious hysteria.  Political magnets aren’t qualified holy men. They don’t use religion for anything other than making themselves a war for conquest of stuff that doesn’t belong to them.  ISIS is mimicking a model that is tried and true by ancient institution of governance.  They get themselves an angry army, covered in religion and go on the take. It is not different from other governments.

I can’t even say the American economy benefits from our wars’ take home sack. The US government won’t let the oil market fail. So they make the ancient world a degraded squalor for bombs, intrigues and bloodlust so they can make themselves as fat and insane as Roman Emperors.  We Americans do not get much anything out of that deal, except receipts and mutilated soldiers covered in Middle Eastern dirt.  I don’t even think God is getting anything out of it.

FEAR GOD

People of faith understand that the Afghanis, Iraqis and other helpless civilians want God to save them from arbitrary firepower into their homes. They need God’s peace to help them survive the pain of losing home, family and basic security. They need the American people to be released from the shroud of ignorance of what is done both in their name and the name of God. They need American “help” to help escort themselves and their military heap right onto a jumbo jet back to whence they came. They need an intervention from real God, not the pale presuming, incompetent presence recklessly inserted into their lives.

There is one other commandment that is being overlooked, “Thou shall not take the Lord’s name in vain”.

When you kill and steal and lie and covet what is not yours against innocent poor people in nations far away in God’s name, you have baited God in the worst way.  You can only skate on such credit as insanity for so long.  Then God will show up.

You may fear God much more than falling into the hands of US soldiers or political machinery. If so, may God have mercy on all Americans for the poorly chosen rhetoric used to position us as whole for war in the Middle East.

ZILLAMOD – Doublespeak is hitting the human rights arena as an Orwelllian hydra may change the meaning of  “human rights” to be interoperable with genocidal and militarized bloodshed.  Such is the case now that Amnesty International has decided to try to regulate … the International arms to Banana trade?  [WTF?! Left field?]

No, really – Neo-liberalist left field.

According to sources Collen Rowley and Anne Wright, murmurs of infiltration at Amnesty International have lead to claims the organization is wedging the legitimate face of humanitarian interests against militarized trade conflicts started with the hiring of former State Dept. strategist, Suzanne Nossel.

“Under Nossel’s leadership (only since Jan, 2012), Amnesty-USA apparently invited US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford, a Negroponte protégée, who is reported to be a major figure responsible for having incited the civil war in Syria (according to the long-planned neo-con strategy for the Mid-east) to speak at a big annual conference in Denver.  Instead of supporting Kofi Annan’s peace plan, Ford was recalled from Syria and is still inciting and propagandizing.”

Again, Nossel was cited for a role in agitating conflicts with Iran in Mondowiess:

Amnesty International Collapse:  new head is former State Dept. official who rationalized  Iran sanctions, Gaza onslaught.” 

Meanwhile, Syrians continue to duck & run for their lives evading complete annihilation by their own Godzilla government.  Kofi Annan  continues trying to move ahead with a coalition to complete a cease fire in.  FOLLOW more news of  SYRIA on AL JAZEERA.

AS ART IMITATES LIFE….

How the two faced role humanitarian aid or “revolutionary” interests in foreign affairs is played out in savage policy conflicts is illustrated here by The Chemical Brothers’ Out of Control.   Trust no one.

I dedicate this Gestalt open letter to 1 Eduardo Saverin, who is currently being persecuted by this government for trying to escape the tax slavery of this nation. May you find happiness apart from the implied US threat of imprisonment and fiscal insolvency.

I assure you there are many, many reasons for Eduardo to want to expatriate from the US in a big hurry and take the blessings of his wealth and ingenuity elsewhere.

It was originally drafted August 10th, 2011.  It has been updated with links.

Dear America,

I love you.  You’re my country but I’m considering leaving you.

There’s lots of reasons why, but the most important ones are that you’ve become abusive, controlling and unreasonable.

You have a problem. You’re bottoming out right now. It’s a good thing because maybe you’ll reconsider the way you do things.You don’t listen to us, your people. In fact, you keep these ridiculous lists and demand that your gangster buddies keep tabs on us when we are at our jobs, running to the bank and at home on our computers.

You’re broke. You spent all our money on your addiction to foreign wars.  After awhile you didn’t care if it was just or unjust you…kept making war happen.  No matter what we said or did, how many people petitioned you or who emptied into the streets, you can’t stop paying for the wars. You’ve fleeced us to death.  You’ve borrowed us into bankruptcy.

Now that we’re all broke- you blame and cast aside the poor for their poverty, the sick for their illness and the migrant for their quest for opportunity.

Your enablers, your crooked money laundering mobsters on K Street robbed us, your kids, and your grandmother while you watched.  You didn’t care.  As long as Afghanistan could keep it going so you and your buddies could sport kill civilians.

Now the world blames us because we can’t control you.  You are so far gone.  People still show up to work in government, but they are all numb and half crazy because none of this has any meaning or makes any sense.   They fight each other to distract themselves from the fact that this government threw its internal compass into the abyss and there’s isn’t a whole lot that can be done.  The egg is broken and scrambled.

I thought you should know I’m not going to wait around while you try to figure out how to put me in a cage so you can keep it all going.  As you are reading this letter, I may be calculating a move as a despised refugee.

I’m not a criminal but if I hang around you will manufacture something I did wrong so you can trap me and keep me in place.  You don’t care about any of our  rights.  You don’t even see us.  All you see is war. Your countrymen who oppose this are your enemy. Anyone in the way of your fix is the problem.  So you dispatch your thugs to watch us “for our safety”.

You need us, but some of us are inconveniently opposed to your way of life; which happens to be sucking anyone in your reach down a dark hole.

I can count on the fact that I will be hated for your selfish, shortsighted ways with the world and steering everyone, including us, by the butt of a gun.  Yeah, you were powerful, but now we can’t care.

We have to take care of ourselves.  We are are all out of money. We have kids and sick, elderly parents who need our help.  You are going to take care of your wars until it kills you and everyone around you.

We would reach out to you, but you’re not *really* there.  You’re just not who you used to be.

America, who are you and what have you done with my country?

Don’t worry I’m not waiting around on you to find out.  

Sincerely,

An American Citizen

Thousands of Americans Are Sending IOUs to Washington, D.C. Protesting the Outrageous Sums of Income Going Towards the War in Afghanistan; I.O.U.s Part of Rethink Afghanistan Campaign

What: April 14 Press Conference A bipartisan group of Members of Congress will discuss the thousands of I.O.U.s they have received from constituents on the war in Afghanistan and the escalating costs of the war to the American taxpayer. Members of Congress will be accompanied by participating organizations and veterans. This press event in reaction to  Rethink Afghanistan’s War I.O.U. campaign (www.RethinkAfghanistan.com). Rethink Afghanistan is a project of Brave New Foundation. 

Who: Members of Congress include:
  • Walter Jones (R-N.C.),
  • Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.),
  • John Conyers (D-Mich.),
  • Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.)
  • Mike Honda (D-Calif.),
  • Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas),
  • Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), and
  • James McGovern (D-Mass.)
  • Others TBD
Organizations and veterans attending include:
  • Jacob Diliberto (Veterans for Rethinking Afghanistan),
  • Bruce Fein, Author and Columnist,
  • Matthew Hoh (Afghanistan Study Group),
  • Michael Ostrolenk (Liberty Coalition),
  • Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer (Center for Advanced Defense Studies), and
  • Rev. Jim Wallis (Sojourners)
When: Thursday, April 14, from 2:30-3 p.m.
Where: 441 Cannon House Office Building

Online Action: Rethink Afghanistan’s new Afghanistan War Tax Calculator    (http://rethinkafghanistan.com/iou) lets users see the impact of the Afghanistan War and other out-of-control military spending on their pocketbooks. Users can enter the amount of income they earned this year and receive an „I.O.U.‰ for the amount of their income taxes that get spent on war. The tool lets them forward their I.O.U. to Congress, urging representatives to rethink the excessive levels of war spending on the Afghanistan conflict and other ventures that are wrecking our federal budget.

More than 54,000  people have used the calculator to date.

Background: Tax Day is just around the corner (April 18), and the costs to the taxpayer from the Afghanistan War have never been higher. Total direct costs just for 2011 alone are expected to exceed $107 billion.

Rethink Afghanistan, together with a variety of other groups and elected   officials from across the ideological spectrum (see below) is working to focus Americans‚ attention on excessive military spending on Afghanistan and other ventures and to put them in touch with their representatives in Congress.
Brave New Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to use video and new media to amplify stories that inform the public, change attitudes and motivate people to make a difference. To find out more, please visit www.bravenewfoundation.org.

COMMENTARY c/o Downsize DC.org, Inc.

CAN YOU AFFORD WARS OF CHOICE?

by  James Leroy Wilson

The U.S. is fighting three wars — in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya — even though we’re going broke.

Each is a “War of Choice,” not necessity. None of these countries threatens us. Afghanistan did host Al Qaeda, but that crime was punished years ago.

So how does the U.S. end up fighting “wars of choice?” Other countries don’t do this.

It’s true that Britain and France want to enforce a no-fly zone in Libya, but why do we have to participate? Britain and France have a combined population of 128 million, and rank 3rd and 4th in military spending –ahead of Russia.

By comparison, Libya has a population of only 6.4 million, the same as Indiana. Did we really need to be involved?

The world treats the U.S. like Daddy Warbucks because of the following disparities . . .

Although Britain and France have a large population density, combined they have only a little more than 40% of the U.S. population, and they spend only 2.5% and 2.3% percent of GDP on their military, compared to 4.3% for the U.S. In 2008, Britain and France combined spent less than a quarter of what we spent on the military.

In fact . . .

Our biggest “competitor,” China, spends barely 1/7 of our military budget, and less than half in terms of GDP. China and India combined — with one-third of the world’s population – spend less on their military than Britain and France combined, which is less than a quarter of what the U.S. spends.

In fact, the United States accounts for 48% of the entire world’s military spending!

While other countries may have large armies – a man with a gun is cheaper than the sophisticated hardware U.S. politicians like to buy — they do NOT have the means to impose their will on other countries. They can provide manpower and equipment for auxiliary roles to support U.S.-led wars, or for UN peace-keeping missions, but they lack the ability to wage Wars of Choice on other countries. They can’t afford it. Well . . .

We Americans must now realize that we can’t afford it either.

But even if we could afford it, we shouldn’t do it, because the results are so bad. There’s little evidence these wars are making us more secure, but they’re definitely making us poorer.

Last week, the Hoover Institution’s George Schultz, Gary Becker, and John B. Taylor proposed a “Budget Game-Changer.”

Their proposal didn’t even talk about Defense, but their evidence applies as much to defense as to any other area of federal spending . . .

  • Higher federal spending is NOT associated with higher employment rates
  • When federal spending fell as a share of GDP in the 1990s, employment rose!
  • And higher federal spending since 2000 has been associated with job losses, NOT increased employment.

The reasons for this should be obvious. Federal spending is less efficient than private spending, because the The State pays no penalties for waste and failure. This means that inefficient government spending crowds out more efficient private spending, resulting in a net loss of jobs and wealth.

In short, increased federal spending decreases both jobs and social affluence. And this applies to defense spending just as much as any other kind of statist spending.

In December, I used the Independent Institute’s MyGovCost.org tool to measure some of the negative impact.

I learned that for persons of median age, education level, and income, statist spending could cost $500,000 in lost wealth over a lifetime. $85,000 of that will be lost due to so-called defense spending, and wars of choice, like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya.

These numbers are deliberately conservative. The younger you are, the more The State and its wars of choice will cost you. And the more you earn the more you’ll pay. But for someone with 40 years to live, every dollar that the Federal State takes from you could have created $5 in increased wealth, if saved and invested.

It’s easy to say that the Federal State is needed for some things, and that defense is at the top of this list, but how much “defending” do we actually need? After all . . .

  • The U.S. has no hostile neighbors
  • We have oceans to protect us
  • No other nation on Earth has offensive capabilities that can reach us (other than with ICBMs that are relatively cheap to deter)
  • It’s fundamentally impossible for any nation to invade and conquer the United States, even if we abandoned our large defense establishment entirely, and went to a Swiss-style reserve army instead.

If we had just one-third of the current defense budget, the $400 billion saved could increase private job and wealth creation dramatically. This would be the best “stimulus” we could have, because this money would be available for the private sector to use as it sees fit, instead of as the politicians prefer.

Even then, the U.S. would still spend more than twice what China does. That’s more than enough to keep America safe.

What it likely wouldn’t permit is for U.S. politicians to station troops in wealthy countries like South Korea or Germany.

And, more importantly, it wouldn’t be enough money to bomb, invade, or occupy countries like Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya.

This means we’d benefit even more . . .

  • Fewer war dead
  • Lower costs and less emotional turmoil due to fewer disabled veterans
  • Better relations with more countries as we intervene less
  • No more Wars of Choice

So what’s your verdict? Can you afford more wars of choice? Do you want to continue funding a bloated defense establishment, or would you like to keep more of your money to pursue your own goals and benevolent purposes?