You are hereMilitary Industrial Complex

Military Industrial Complex


Military developing anti-suicide nasal spray as deaths hit record numbers

Don't ask what horrors you've done for your country.  Ask what chemicals you can squirt up your nose.

We Don’t Need No Bloody Treaties: Britain Blows a Fuse over Ecuador’s Asylum Grant to Wikileaks’ Assange

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

The concerted and orchestrated campaign to capture Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and ultimately to hand him over to the tender mercies of a kangaroo court in the US, where he would likely be tried for spying and other possibly capital offenses, continues as Britain threatens the Ecuadoran Embassy with a police assault.

 

Demilitarization Is Not a Dirty Word

HUMAN SECURITY FOR GLOBAL SECURITY: Demilitarization is not a dirty word, nonviolence is not inaction, and building sustainable peace is not for the faint of heart

by Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (1997)

The political, social and economic changes we all face are serious.  Some might call the state of the world today chaos.  The ongoing, dramatic changes in technology and communications are other elements adding to uncertainty and the feelings of insecurity that people around the globe are confronting.  No one can predict the future but we can work hard to shape the outcomes.

Democracies Don't Start Wars, But Fake Democracies Sure Do!

 

 

By Dave Lindorff


We’ve all heard it said by our teachers when we were in school, we’ve all heard it said by politicians, including presidents: “Democracies don’t start wars.”


Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Forgetting Fukushima

I had a dream in early summer, one I suspect I'll always remember. I was the passenger in a car with an old high school friend at the wheel, which might explain why he was humping my leg and I was pushing him away in the opening scene. Next the car began to roll forward carelessly, and I perceived that we were at the edge of a grand canyon vista of reddish layers of earth, eroded, beautiful and vast. I called out in alarm and my classmate applied the brake; he wasn't much concerned, he had it under control.

Best Southern Corporate Editorial Ever

One cannot always count on words of wisdom from the editorials published by corporate newspaper chains in the Southern United States, or anywhere else.  This one is far from perfect, but remarkably great.  This was published by the Charlottesville Daily Progress on Tuesday and adapted by them from their corporate sister the Richmond Times Dispatch.  Possibly numerous other Media General (Warren Buffet) newspapers printed the same or similar:

"Would cuts in defense spending be a bad thing?

"Gov. Bob McDonnell suggested President Obama hold Congress in session until it hammers out a deal to avert what is known as sequestration — whose effects on Virginia could be profound."

Note that this editorial is about to challenge the claims of the state's Transvaginal Governor who is also trying to get himself nominated for U.S. Veep on the Romney ticket.  Not only that, but a gang of U.S. Senators including the previous Republican presidential nominee John McCain recently stopped in Virginia on a tour of swing states hyping the danger to the U.S. economy of any cuts to the military budget.  This editorial does not name those senators but does handily reject their bogus claims.

"Sequestration is the term applied to automatic budget cuts that will take effect Jan. 2 unless Congress acts now to prevent them. They are the result of last year’s Budget Control Act. That law tasked a special committee with finding $1.2 trillion in budget cuts over the next decade. If it failed, automatic cuts — half of them in defense spending, half in domestic discretionary spending — would kick in. The committee failed."

Of course "defense" is code for military, even while few would pretend that attacking Libya or Syria or continuing in Afghanistan or drone bombing Pakistan or Yemen, etc., is defensive.  The code is well understood and virtually unavoidable in a corporate newspaper.  You'll recall that there was huge public pushback against the Super Congress, that the public told pollsters we favored taxing the rich and cutting the military.  The Super Congress failed to push through a deal to enlarge the military and continue tax cuts on the wealthy.  And rightly so.  But Congress is intent on accomplishing post-2012-election what the Super Congress couldn't do.

"Without action soon, the first of $600 billion in defense spending cuts will start to bite. That could mean the loss of tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of jobs here in the commonwealth — which is the No. 2 recipient of federal defense outlays. That is a frightening prospect indeed."

Note, however, that dollars don't translate simply and predictably into jobs.  When the military had less money several years ago, it also produced more jobs. Also, the $600 billion is "over 10 years," and might as well be called $1200 billion "over 20 years" for all such monkeying with the numbers enlightens us.  It's $60 billion "over one year," but reduced from that in order to put more of the cutting later in the 10-year period. $50 billion or less, cut from $1.2 trillion or so in total military spending can only frighten people who are truly intent on being frightened.  Of course, fear is what allows military spending on this kind of scale to begin with.

"But it is not in itself a sufficient reason to oppose the cuts. National defense is not a jobs program. Many of the very arguments conservative Republicans have made with regard to government spending over the years — about inefficiency, about the displacement of private investment, about gargantuan bureaucracies doling out contracts to the politically connected — might apply just as well to the Pentagon as to any other government agency."

This is a stunning bit of honest sanity.  Reflect on the earthshattering, "debate" crashing, impoliteness of introducing this bit of truth to the public.  Of course it's also the understatement of the year.  Spending on the military produces fewer jobs than spending on education, energy, infrastructure, or even tax cuts for working people, because it is so incredibly wasteful.  How wasteful?  We don't know, since it's the only department that is never audited.  But we know that it routinely misplaces billions -- with a b -- of dollars, something no other department is allowed to do.  We also know that in much of the world spending money on killing in order to generate jobs would be viewed as sociopathic.

"What’s more, the alarms being rung about the hollowing out of the military sound considerably less grim when put in context. For example, ask yourself this: Was the U.S. military on the brink of collapse in 2007? Few people would answer yes. Yet if sequestration occurs, then military spending would revert to — you guessed it — 2007 levels. That doesn’t sound quite so horrible."

Again, this is simple and obvious but staggeringly new.  It renders ludicrous countless "news" reports that have been published by these papers.

"Even after adjusting for inflation, Pentagon spending is now almost double what it was in 2000. And that leaves out the billions lavished on Homeland Security. And the further billions spent on ongoing military operations abroad, which add more than another hundred billion to the tab."

This too is new and different, pointing out that the "Homeland Security" budget is added on top of the Pentagon's.  But let's not forget State, Energy, CIA, and all the other departments that include military spending, plus the expense of caring for the veterans our wars keep producing.  The total cost of the military is about $1.2 trillion per year, many times what any other nation spends, more than all other nations combined, and more than half of federal discretionary spending.

"True, federal defense outlays are smaller as a share of the federal budget than they have been in many years,"

Oops.  That's not true, not when all military ("defense") expenses are counted.

"and they are smaller as a percentage of gross domestic product than at any time since World War II. But this is not a very useful comparison. It implies that whenever Washington creates a hugely expensive new entitlement program, or whenever the economy booms, Pentagon spending should be jacked up just to keep the proportions steady."

Wow.  This is amazingly decent and dismissive of an entire genre of public "discourse."  The Congressional Budget Office has repeatedly stressed to Congress that military spending is low as a percentage of GDP.  Even though it's high and has been rising each of the past 15 years as a dollar amount adjusted for inflation, as a percentage of the federal discretionary budget, and as a percentage of global military spending, the theory indeed seems to be that if we have more money we should buy more weapons because we can.  This requires a psychiatrist, not an economist.

"The real question is how much the U.S. needs to spend to maintain military dominance. To help answer it, consider a more useful comparison: For every dollar the world spends on military outlays, America accounts for 46 cents. China, a distant second, comes in at about 7 cents."

Hmm.  Is that the real question?  Isn't the real question how the United States can best keep its nation safe?  Isn't it at the very least an open question whether striving to dominate the globe is making us safer or putting us at risk? The answer above to the wrong question is dramatically understated, and yet hugely important and worldview shattering for many potential readers.  I hope they read it.

"Gov. McDonnell is right to worry about the effect of defense spending cuts here in Virginia. Congress should pass legislation to stave off the sequestration meat ax. However, it needs to make judicious cuts to the defense budget. Overseas bases, redundant weapons systems, even force structures should all be on the table. The nation currently borrows 43 cents of every dollar it spends. And there is simply no way to fix that problem without including military cuts as part of the solution."

Wouldn't you know they'd reach the wrong conclusion after so much good rhetoric.  The sequestration meat ax would cut that $1.2 trillion budget by about $50 billion.  It should be cut by much more.  Cutting back to merely three times the size of China would allow us not only to pay off debt but to make college free, eliminate student loans, develop a massive green energy program, and update our infrastructure.  Those are the tradeoffs that should have been mentioned.  The mass murder of non-Americans that is generated by the war momentum that Eisenhower warned us war spending would create might also merit consideration.  Nonetheless, I doubt I shall ever see this good an editorial in my local paper again.

Military Industrial Complex = the top opponent of all that is good & just

www.boilingfrogspost.com

Podcast Show #91: the Military Industrial Complex= the top opponent of all that is good & just

The Boiling Frogs Presents David Swanson

Author and peace activist David Swanson joins us to discuss our nation’s perpetual war status, the latest in the peace activists’ movement, and the disappearance of Anti-Republicans from peace movement since Barack Obama’s presidency. He talks about the need for overcoming Americans’ understanding of the war machine as a jobs engine and militarism as a normal way of life, and for broader understanding of the Military Industrial Complex as the top opponent of all that is good and just, broader-based opposition to not only domestic surveillance drones but also our killer drones abroad, and more!

David Swansonis an activist, blogger and author, and a founder of WarIsACrime.Org. He was press secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign, is co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org, and a board member of ProgressiveDemocrats of America, the Backbone Campaign, and Voters for Peace.  Mr. Swanson has authored several books including Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union,War Is A Lie, When the World Outlawed War, and The Military Industrial Complex at 50. To learn more about David Swanson visit http://davidswanson.org

Here is our guest David Swanson unplugged!http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2012/08/06/podcast-show-91-the-military-industrial-complex-the-top-opponent-of-all-that-is-good-just/

Sibel Edmonds

America a Democracy? Really?

By Dave Lindorff

This article was originally written forPressTV

We Americans are taught it in school. The propaganda put out by Voice of America repeats the idea ad nauseum around the globe. Politicians refer to it in every campaign speech with the same fervor that they claim to be running for office in response to God’s call: America is a model of democracy for the whole world.

But what kind of democracy is it really that we have here? 

Protesters to Panetta: Sever military's ties to Ultimate Fighting Championships

The UFC is the world's largest promoter of professional cage fighting events, many of which have been sponsored on television by the U.S. Marines.

READ MORE.

69 Nations Have More U.S. Troops Than Olympic Athletes

Here is a link to a list of U.S. troops deployed to various nations around the world: PDF. These are permanent deployments openly admitted to by the U.S. military.  When U.S. Special Forces drive off a bridge in Mali, as recently happened, we discover that U.S. troops are in Mali in greater numbers than we knew, but those troops aren't listed here or considered in the calculation below.  No secret forces are considered here, no allied forces funded or trained or armed by the United States, and of course no drones.

Here is a link to the number of athletes participating in the 2012 Summer Olympics from countries around the world: Link.

The Socialism of McCain, Graham, Ayotte

From Senator John McCain's website: (slight changes marked)

Washington, D.C.­–U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) today announced the launch of their “Preserving America’s Strength” series of town hall-style meetings in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and New Hampshire highlighting the devastating impacts of the looming defense clean energy and infrastructure cuts now scheduled to take place under budget sequestration next year.

The three senators, all members of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Atmosphere Preservation Committee, will discuss how the cuts will weaken American national security, put one two million jobs at risk, and break faith with the men and women of our Armed Forces Clean Energy and Infrastructure Crew and their families. The Department of Defense Earth Protection has already agreed to reduce defense spending by nearly $500 billion over ten years. The additional military spending cuts called for under sequestration would add another $500 billion on top of that figure.

“President Obama’s own Secretary of Defense Earth Protection called the looming defense clean energy and infrastructure cuts under budget sequestration ‘devastating,’ likening them to ‘shooting ourselves in the head,’ and yet to date, Congress and the Obama Administration have done nothing to stop them from going into effect,” said Senators McCain, Graham and Ayotte. “We look forward to visiting communities in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and New Hampshire to sound the alarm about the profound negative consequences of these cuts to our national security and economy. These communities – which provide our troops workers the equipment and support they need to defend our country – will bear the brunt of the defense sequestration cuts. Their voices must be heard in Washington.”

Now, such an announcement, which has been printed almost word-for-word in the nation's newspapers is, for better or worse, socialistic.  Big Guvmint is taxing us in order to spend money to create jobs.  Should it stop doing so, the economy and the people who live and work in it will be devastated.  All of that is, in fact, true.  But it is heresy in the ranks of rightwing reactionism.  It is only permissible because the jobs, in the unaltered announcement, are for the war machine.  The jobs are for killing human beings.  That carves out a big fat exception for them.  As soon as we alter the announcment to make the jobs serve a useful purpose they are transformed into foolish socialism.

The reality, of course, is that the military is so wasteful and destructive that this is not only the one type of government spending that is deemed acceptable, but it is also the one type of government spending that does not help.  Were the spending to go to something useful, as in the altered announcement, then it actually would provide the economic benefits that these war-profiteering prostitutes are claiming to defend.

Bernie Sanders Calls Federal Reserve "Socialism for the Rich" After $16 Trillion Secret Bail-Outs, Including Foreign Banks.

Bail-outs Included Foreign Banks

After 89 Democrats in the House voted in a victory for bipartisanship for HR 459 to audit the Federal Reserve, some jaw-dropping numbers are emerging as a result of a partial audit conducted this year.  It is no surprise that the news is dropping with a dull thud in the media.  That's why you should get your news from the Internet and sites like this.

Senator Bernie Sanders at his official website reports:

The Drone and the Bomb

By Ed Kinane

The lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki belong always before us.  The agony of those two cities must remain our dark beacon.

Hiroshima/Nagasaki wasn’t so much about targets as about audiences. We – or rather, the very highest reaches of the US government – annihilated a couple hundred thousand nameless, unarmed, undefended human beings to warn the world: “Don’t mess with us; we run things now.”

Thanks to its atomic prowess – showcased at H/N – for over 65 years the US has been able to hold the planet hostage. It deploys nuclear blackmail to further its corporations’ grip on the world’s resources and markets. But such gunboat diplomacy has only partially succeeded.

The Soviets soon acquired the Bomb. For nearly four decades that other evil empire terrorized us here in our previously invincible Homeland. So the pitiless logic of proliferation made us all far less safe.

The Big Lie(s)

Guess What % of Americans Know Military Spending Is Increasing

And keep guessing some more, because pollsters are unlikely to ask that question.

A year and a half ago, a poll found that Americans drastically underestimate how high U.S. military spending is.

This fits with consistent polling showing slim majority support for cutting military spending, but strong support for major military cuts when the people polled are told what the current budget it.

Green Washing War, Sinking Ships & Launching Drones from Submarines-

World’s Largest International Naval War Games Taking Place off Hawaii
By Ann Wright

Reflecting the Obama administration’s “pivot” to Asia and the Pacific, the United States military is now hosting in the Pacific waters around Hawaii, the largest and most expensive international maritime war games in the history of the world.  

Called Rim of the Pacific, or RIMPAC, war games, for 36 days during July and August, 2012, twenty-two countries, 42 ships, six submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are conducting amphibious operations, gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises,  counter piracy, mine clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal, diving and salvage operations and disaster relief operations in the Pacific. 

Who the F#&% Is William Brownfield?

 

By John Grant


Stop feeding the beast.
- Julieta Castellanos*
 

William Brownfield is a major architect in the current linkage between the failed Drug War and the War On Terror. He may succeed in making it an even greater failure in the future.

Choppers heading to Pinon Canyon

Fort Carson officials have decided that having a new combat aviation brigade of 113 helicopters and support troops conduct training at the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site won't do any permanent damage to the 238,000-acre training range northeast of Trinidad.

Accidents Happen, But We Can't Afford One in the Persian Gulf

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

Things are getting out of hand in the Persian Gulf.


Military NASCAR Sponsorships Live On

We lost 202-216 on cutting military NASCAR sponsorships. We could have used a tiny bit more push. In contrast, the proposal to cut military band $$ lost 166-250 with nobody pushing against it at all.

National Guard Tells Congress to Keep The Dollars Flowing into NASCAR Sponsorships

Sent to Congress on your dime from the National Guard:
 

The National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) requests that you vote “no” on the Kingston-McCollum amendment that would divert critical funding from Defense Department-wide marketing and advertising accounts to prevent the DOD from sponsoring pro-sports. This amendment would severely limit the National Guard’s ability to target and recruit soldiers and airmen with proven, effective marketing methods.

For the National Guard, pro-sports sponsorships provide a national platform to promote the National Guard’s image and aid in recruiting efforts. The recruiting and retention dollars spent through pro-sports sponsorships increase the National Guard’s prestige and visibility, as well as generate recruiting leads at events. Most importantly, sponsorships in motorsports specifically, through Indy Racing and NASCAR, illustrate a wise use of taxpayers’ dollars with a high return on investment.  In 2011, the return on investment for media exposure for NASCAR and IndyCar was over 368%, and saw an estimated 7 billion impressions, or time an ad or logo were viewed. This is an over $150 million return.

We recognize the need to make important decisions in this fiscal environment, but pro-sports sponsorships are not just a matter of money. They are an effective and important marketing platform for awareness and development for targeting future potential recruits. [IN ENGLISH THAT'S CHILDREN.]

“Recruiting for our all-volunteer force isn’t what it used to be. Only one in every four young people today is even eligible to join…Today, you have to know how smart, fit young people think, where they live and play, and go to them,” said NGAUS President, retired Maj. Gen. Gus L. Hargett Jr., in a recent press release.

Innovative techniques such as sports sponsorships help DOD do just that.

Please vote against the amendment sponsored by Representatives Kingston and McCollum to prohibit DOD pro-sports sponsorships.

Are Drones Moral Killing Machines? NY Times National Security Journalist Says Yes

 

By Dave Lindorff


Are weaponized drone aircraft more moral than the more traditional killing machines used in warfare? In an opinion published in Sunday’s New York Times, the paper’s national security reporter, Scott Shane, argues that they are.


The Lily-Pad Strategy

How the Pentagon Is Quietly Transforming Its Overseas Base Empire and Creating a Dangerous New Way of War
By David Vine

TomDispatch

The first thing I saw last month when I walked into the belly of the dark grey C-17 Air Force cargo plane was a void -- something missing. A missing left arm, to be exact, severed at the shoulder, temporarily patched and held together.  Thick, pale flesh, flecked with bright red at the edges. It looked like meat sliced open. The face and what remained of the rest of the man were obscured by blankets, an American flag quilt, and a jumble of tubes and tape, wires, drip bags, and medical monitors.

That man and two other critically wounded soldiers -- one with two stumps where legs had been, the other missing a leg below the thigh -- were intubated, unconscious, and lying on stretchers hooked to the walls of the plane that had just landed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. A tattoo on the soldier’s remaining arm read, “DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR.”

As Congress pushes cybersecurity law, privacy advocates warn of increased domestic spying

In Washington, both chambers of Congress and multiple federal agencies are pushing for sweeping cybersecurity legislation that would allow more information sharing between corporations and the government. But privacy advocates say the country’s intelligence gathering agency, the National Security Administration, already has too much access to US citizens’ private data, and has abused its powers by engaging in widespread warrant-less domestic surveillance. On Capitol Hill, FSRN’s Alice Ollstein has more.

Should Military Use Our $$ to Sponsor NASCAR Teams?

Is the ideal military recruit an independent thinker who refuses illegal orders, an obedient automaton who does anything he's told, or a vicious sadist eager to rape and kill?  Is courage more important or strength? Does it make the slightest difference if a soldier is gay?

We can agree to disagree.  But most people are going to agree that the ideal recruit is not a drooling idiot who announces, "I want to join up because the military sponsors NASCAR drivers."  Yet, the U.S. Army says that's how it gets a third of its recruits -- from motorsports sponsorships.  Recruitment stations at racetracks help.

The U.S. military spends billions of dollars every year on recruitment and advertising, producing video games and movies, flying jets over football games, taking gas guzzling vehicles and inflatable soldiers to picnics, etc.  I'm not even talking about military bands, which have a massive budget all their own.  I'm talking about the campaign to make killing look like a cool and painless sport, a campaign funded in the way that a campaign to save our climate would be properly funded if we had one.  We spend enough money attracting and recruiting each new recruit, that we could have hired him or her, and some of their friends, to do something useful.  I say "we" because it's our money. 

We spend $80 million a year on military sponsorships of sporting events, primarily NASCAR and primarily through the innocent-sounding National Guard.  New recruits into the Guard are often falsely told they won't have to go to war.

One Nobel Laureate Blasts Another -- And They’re Both Americans

 

By Dave Lindorff


There are two US presidents who have won the Nobel Peace Prize. Now one of those Nobel laureate leaders is accusing the other, though without naming him, of actions that qualify as war crimes and impeachable crimes against the US Constitution.


Forgotten Casualties of the Vietnam War

 

By John Grant


Charging a man with murder in this place was like handing out speeding tickets in the Indy 500.
- Apocalypse Now

Declaration of Independence from a War Economy

By Mark Haim, Mid-Missouri Peaceworks

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for a people to dissolve the political and economic bands which have connected them with an industry and a bureaucracy that have held sway over their lives, and to assume an equal station among the peoples of the earth, living free from permanent war in an equal station to people of other nations as the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Support WarIsACrime



Donate.








Tweet your Congress critters here.


Advertise on this site!




Facebook      Twitter





Our Stores:























Movie Memorabilia.



The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.