Tag Archives: Military budgets

Biden’s Lawless Bombing of Iraq and Syria Only Serves the Weapons Industry Funding Both Parties, by Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald challenges the most sacred of sacred Washington cows—endless wars and humongous military budgets. From Greenwald at greenwald.substack.com:

U.S. citizens derive no benefit, but instead suffer great loss, from endless war in the Middle East. But their interests are irrelevant to decisions of bipartisan Washington.

US President Joe Biden salutes along with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin before delivering an address at the 153rd National Memorial Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day in Arlington, Virginia on May 31, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

For the second time in the five months since he was inaugurated, President Joe Biden on Sunday ordered a U.S. bombing raid on Syria, and for the first time, he also bombed Iraq. The rationale offered was the same as Biden’s first air attack in February: the U.S., in the words of Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, “conducted defensive precision airstrikes against facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups in the Iraq-Syria border region.” He added that “the United States acted pursuant to its right of self-defense.”

Embedded in this formulaic Pentagon statement is so much propaganda and so many euphemisms that, by itself, it reveals the fraudulent nature of what was done. To begin with, how can U.S. airstrikes carried out in Iraq and Syria be “defensive” in nature? How can they be an act of “self-defense”? Nobody suggests that the targets of the bombing campaign have the intent or the capability to strike the U.S. “homeland” itself. Neither Syria nor Iraq is a U.S. colony or American property, nor does the U.S. have any legal right to be fighting wars in either country, rendering the claim that its airstrikes were “defensive” and an “act of self-defense” to be inherently deceitful.

The Pentagon’s description of the people bombed by the U.S. — “Iran-backed militias groups” — is intended to obscure the reality. Biden did not bomb Iran or order Iranians to be bombed or killed. The targets of U.S. aggression were Iraqis in their own country, and Syrians in their own country. Only the U.S. war machine and its subservient media could possibly take seriously the Biden administration’s claim that the bombs they dropped on people in their own countries were “defensive” in nature. Invocation of Iran has no purpose other than to stimulate the emotional opposition to the government of that country among many Americans in the hope that visceral dislike of Iranian leaders will override the rational faculties that would immediately recognize the deceit and illegality embedded in the Pentagon’s arguments.

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MSM Wastes No Time Using Senate UFO Report To Promote Arms Race, by Caitlin Johnstone

If they substitute the term “potential Chinese and Russian flying things we can’t match” for the term UFO, you might be able to scare a lot of people into clamoring for even bigger defense budgets. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

The New York Times has published an article on the contents of the hotly anticipated US government report on UFOs, as per usual based on statements of anonymous officials, and as per usual promoting narratives that are convenient for imperialists and war profiteers.

Together with one voice, the anonymous US officials and the “paper of record” which is supposed to scrutinize US officials assure us definitively that the mysterious aerial phenomena that have reportedly been witnessed by military personnel are certainly not any kind of secret US technology, but could totally be aliens and could definitely be a sign that the Russians or Chinese have severely lapped America’s lagging military development.

“The report determines that a vast majority of more than 120 incidents over the past two decades did not originate from any American military or other advanced U.S. government technology,” NYT was reportedly told by the officials. “That determination would appear to eliminate the possibility that Navy pilots who reported seeing unexplained aircraft might have encountered programs the government meant to keep secret.”

Oh well if the US government has ruled out secret US government weaponry programs, hot damn that’s good enough for me. Great journalism you guys.

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War Doesn’t Make Sense Anymore, by Tom Streithorst

Any defenders of the US warfare state who wish to answer the following question, write to your heart’s content in the comment section below. The question: what has been the purpose of the last seventy years of US warfare? From Tom Streithorst at theamericanconservatie.com:

It’s become obsolete, the days of conquest are behind us, yet the military-industrial complex grinds on all the same.

America spends more on its military than all its enemies put together yet it still can’t win wars. Failed adventures in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan have drained America’s power and diminished its prestige. The bloated Pentagon budget actually makes us weaker.

Here’s the weird bit: nobody seems to care. If any other government department spent as much and accomplished as little, the populace would be in arms, complaining about wasteful government spending. Instead we mumble “Thank you for your service” and increase defense appropriations.

War has always been brutal and destructive, but once upon a time it had a purpose. William of Normandy invaded Britain knowing victory would make him rich beyond dreams of avarice. Soldiers followed Genghis Khan, Hernan Cortes, and Napoleon Bonaparte for the opportunity to steal gold, land, or slaves from their defeated enemies. Loot captured in war could transform a man’s life, give him the money he needed to buy land or start a business. For thousands of years, the opportunities inherent in battle gave many men their only chance to escape their impoverished origins. Success in war could turn a brigand into a king.

Today it is trade and technology, not conquest, that makes us rich. It is a cliché of the left that America went to war in Iraq to take their oil. This is a serious misreading of history. For one thing, had George W. Bush told Saddam to either share his oil wealth with ExxonMobil or face invasion, Saddam would have certainly complied. For another, Korean, Russian, Angolan, and Chinese companies all control more Iraqi oil fields today than do American firms. Had we gone to war to steal Iraqi oil, we might have done a better job of it.

At least in the developed West, conquest is profitable no more. This has been true for over a century. Back in 1910, Norman Angell wrote “The Great Illusion,” a pamphlet proclaiming that war was obsolete. He noted that the intertwined nature of the global economy made war almost as destructive to the victor as the vanquished. Should they go to war, Angell observed, Germany and England would be slaughtering potential clients, not capturing prospective slaves. And victory in the Franco-Prussian War hadn’t made Germany richer: “When Germany annexed Alsatia, no individual German secured Alsatian property as the spoils of war.”

To continue reading: War Doesn’t Make Sense Anymore

“The Wicked Russians are Coming” by Eric Margolis

From Eric Margolis at lewrockwell.com:

A striking example of how dangerously Americans are misinformed and misled by the war party was featured in a major article on 24 December, New York Times.

In “Russia Rearms for a New Era,” the authors assert Russian military spending is growing and has risen $11 billion from 2014 to 2015. Lurid maps and diagrams of weapons make it seem that Stalin’s 210-division Red Army is again on the march – and headed into Europe.

A professor at Columbia’s Harriman Institute was actually quoted claiming that President Vladimir Putin is trying to “provoke the US and NATO into military action” to bolster his popularity.

What unbelievable rubbish. This dimwitted lady believes that Putin, whose popularity ratings rise over 82% in Russia, needs to court nuclear war to gain a few more points? Shame on the NY Times.

Let’s look at the true figures. The US so-called “defense budget”(it should be called “offense budget”) is in the range of $600 billion, 37% of total world military spending by a nation that only 5% of world population.

Some studies put the true figure at $700 billion.

Not included in this figure are “black” projects, a lot of handouts to foreign military forces, and secret slush funds for waging small wars in Afghanistan, the Mideast, Africa and Asia. The US has over 70 military bases around the globe, with new ones opening all the time.

The US spends more on its armed forces than the next nine military powers – combined. America’s wealthy allies in Europe and Japan add important power to America’s global military domination.

Russia defense spending is roughly $70 billion, and this in spite of plunging oil prices and US-led sanctions. France and Britain each spend almost as much; Saudi Arabia spends more. A French admiral ruefully told me the US Navy’s budget alone exceeded that of France’s total armed forces.

To continue reading: The Wicked Russians are Coming

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