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America and War

6 January 2010

The following is the except of an article by Jon Basil Utley and its Chinese translation:


It seems the deep roots of its militant culture and mentality has a deep root in old British imperial mentality. The first major ally is the military-industrial complex, now funded by the new system of hidden congressional earmarks. Arnaud de Borchgrave first wrote about there being 15,000 defense budget earmarks. These allow a congressman to slip contracts into the budget for favored constituents, who then donate money to the congressman's reelection committee and may also provide well-paid jobs in their districts. These encourage warmaking, or at least threats of war, as never before. It's hard to hide money in the budget for "a bridge to nowhere," but a missile to nowhere will never be questioned, as its sponsors cloak their profits in "national defense."


Among the beneficiaries are the new mercenaries, all the companies subcontracted by the Department of Defense to provide everything from kitchen services to bodyguards and intelligence. All of these are very well paid and now have an interest in promoting unending wars. Add to this the new power of think tanks taking money from war-wanting corporations and foundations to hire skilled polemicists and propagandists to work the 24-hour news cycle.


The complex has seen military spending triple since 9/11.


The collapse of communism had threatened them. As they faced lower budgets, they offered a plan to keep military budgets high. The bin Laden attack suited them perfectly. Hundreds of billions were then appropriated for the complex, even for weapons irrelevant to the war on terror. Unbelievable profits rolled in. But few question the waste, and all the Republican presidential candidates (except Ron Paul) and most of the Democrats want to increase it further.


Next come the religious fundamentalists' dominant minority of Armageddonites, those who see Israel's expansion as expediting the return of Christ. They see Bush as God's agent. They saw, in the words of Tom DeLay, that the war in Iraq was a prelude to the chaos necessary to bring about the "end times."


Then there's Big Oil. Although long ago it opposed the Israel lobby for antagonizing the Muslim world, more recently it has cast its lot with imperialism. Kevin Phillips argues in his book American Theocracy that Big Oil supported the Iraq war. It feared that Washington had made American interests so unwelcome in much of the Muslim world that future concessions and contracts would be going to Chinese, French, Italian, Indian, and Russian companies. In this view, conquering Iraq and placing major military bases on its soil would sustain a friendly government that would give first choice to American interests. Needless to say, it's not working out that way. Iraq's oil production is minimal, and even Saudi Arabia chose a French company over American rivals for its last big postwar contract. The war also further revived Russian nationalism and aroused major anti-American forces in Central Asia so that American oil companies are weakened there as well.


Then come many leading American conservatives. Mostly ignorant of the outside world and still fighting the Cold War against the United Nations, they see the world as allied against America. They strongly sympathized with Bush's go-it-alone agenda. Many have a knee-jerk response to military spending, that more is always better. Others feel hostility toward Arabs and Muslims and see Israelis as being like us.

During the first Iraq war in 1991, when I was a co-founder of the Committee to Avert a Mideast Holocaust, I saw how many conservatives still resented losing the Vietnam War and wanted to prove to recalcitrant Third Worlders that we could "win" such wars.



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