Thursday, February 27, 2014

The War on Terror Is a Racket

It's been a terrible month for the military. Generally considered above reproach, even worshiped, Stars and Stripes reports corruption runs rampant among military personnel, "The laundry list of wrongdoing, in the Defense Department and in various other government agencies, is contained in a surprisingly readable but unknown document compiled by the equally unknown Defense Department's General Counsel's Standards of Conduct Office. The name of the July 2013 report says it all: 'The Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure,' a 164-page who's who of bureaucratic ne'er-do-wells that details all of those government personnel who have tried to fleece the government, line their pockets with public money, use government property for their own use or demand loans from subordinates. Additional stories report over 800 soldiers gamed the recruiting system, senior sailors were implicated in nuclear a reactor scam, and 92 US nuclear weapons officers were tied to cheating scandal. And you thought the military was keeping us safe.
These reports aren't surprising. Military personnel, like everybody else, want to improve their standard of living, but they get paid to kill people with money stolen from taxpayers. It's a tiny step for people attracted to such amoral, violent activity to engage in a little illegal corruption to pad their bank accounts, especially since they risk their lives while our rulers stay safe and get rich.
In 1935 the most decorated Marine in history, General Smedley Butler, wrote War Is a Racket. Butler explained our rulers' motive for all wars, including supposed good wars, is war-profiteering. Some 8.9 million Americans make a living directly from war. Many get fantastically rich. War profiteers take money from taxpayers, line the pockets of politicians, and lobby for more war. Eisenhower also warned us about that when he left office.
But the problem of war profiteers controlling war policy spun out of control with the War on Terror. To insure the War on Terror gravy train never ends, our rulers are arming al Qaeda and funding the Taliban while also fighting them. They are literally fighting al Qaeda affiliates in Fallujah while arming al Qaeda affiliates next door in Syria. They ordered special forces to secretly, illegally fight beside al Qaeda in Syria. They turned Libya over to al Qaeda affiliates then turned them loose in North Africa. You can't have war-profiteering without an enemy to scare people.
In an essay entitled "Why We Fight", subtitled "Because it pays well", former CIA agent, counter-terrorism expert and military intelligence officer Philip Giraldi breaks down who profits and how much from what should be called the War for Profiteering, "Columbia University economist Joseph Stiglitz has estimated that the total cost of Iraq alone will exceed $5 trillion when all the borrowed money and legacy expenses for 30,000 wounded soldiers are finally paid off. And Iraq is only one part of the enormous shift in national resources that has taken place over the past twelve years. The direct costs of the Bush-Obama war are reflected in the Defense and intelligence budgets, both of which are more than twice as big as they were pre-9/11, but factor in the additional domestic costs for the Transportation Security Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, and growth of the federal bureaucracy in general and the numbers become mind boggling. And then there is the replication of the federal spending at the state and local levels..."
Giraldi estimates what we get for our money, "When all the increases are added up and compared to the baseline of 2001, the war on terror currently costs the American taxpayer more than $500 billion per year. As there may be only 100 or so terrorists seriously interested in attacking the United States directly, that works out to something like $5 billion per year per terrorist." Yet liberals blame capitalism for income inequality.
Ron Paul adds, "Appearing last week before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified that he could not say the threat from al-Qaeda is any less today than it was ten years ago."
If, after stealing over $6 trillion and killing hundreds of thousands of people ostensibly to fight the War on Terror against al Qaeda, and the threat hadn't diminished, that would be so far beyond outrageous I have no words, but it gets worse. Paul continues, "A former State Department official stated last year that every new drone strike in Yemen that kills innocent people results in the creation of 40-60 new enemies. Likewise, the young girl from Pakistan who had been brutally shot by the Taliban for her desire to go to school told President Obama during a White House meeting that 'drone attacks are fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people.'"
Clapper even admits the al Qaeda affiliate in Syria being armed by the US aspires to attack the US. You can't make this stuff up. The War on Terror makes us less safe every day, it's helping collapse our economy, and our rulers are laughing at us all the way to the bank.

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