By Gary D. Barnett
May 30, 2010 “Lew Rockwell” — In my opinion and in a word: Yes!
- “READY FOR WAR,” “U.S. Military told to get ready in Korea Standoff, Obama orders commanders to prepare ‘to deter future aggression.’” By Drudge and MSNBC
- “U.S. Begins Massive Military Build Up Around Iran, Sending Up To 4 New Carrier Groups In Region” by Tyler Durden
- “Clinton: Korea Must Face ‘Consequences’ For Sunken Warship”
- Homeland Security, Northeast Intelligence Network: “The Syrian Missile Crisis: Threat of War Very Real”
- “The Expanding U.S. War in Pakistan” by Jeremy Scahill
- “Yemen, Latest War Front?” by CBS News
These are but a very few of the recent headlines about more U.S. war, but the Iranian and Korean situations are the most dangerous, and the threats against Iran I think the most real.
United States wars are virtually all wars of aggression, so it is quite evident that U.S. wars are “fought” for reasons other than self-defense. That means there are ulterior motives involved that are not related to moral behavior, but instead to nefarious intent. This is a disturbing revelation, and one little understood by the American masses. It is one however, that if more understood, could literally blow the lid off the notion that the purposeful buildup of the military–industrial complex is for the defense of this nation! This thought scares the life out of those in power who need to keep the populace scared to death at all times in order to propagate their crimes.
Our economy, as is the case for much of the rest of the world’s economies, is currently imploding. Since all major economies in the world are based on valueless, un-backed, and worthless money, this situation should have been evident to the mainstream long ago. Of course the failing economy is just one piece of the puzzle, but it is most definitely the most important piece. With a so-called vibrant economy over the past decade or so, even though it was based on lies and deceit, and was a complete sham, the general population was easy to control during these so-called “prosperous” times. With the real economy now being exposed for the fraud that it is, and the real risks becoming more evident, the once complacent citizen is now becoming angry. Because of this, the evil U.S. federal government must find a new method of fooling the masses into believing in “their” government and country. War is the obvious answer, as war solidifies the putrid and false nationalistic worship of the peasants more than any other ploy.
United States wars are virtually all wars of aggression, so it is quite evident that U.S. wars are “fought” for reasons other than self-defense.
By Steve Hynd
May 28, 2010 “NewsHoggers” –May 27, 2010 — Via Robert Naiman, it appears that President Lula of Brazil has decided to shine some light on the Obama administration’s machinations on Iran. He has finally released the full text of Obama’s 20th April letter to Brazil about the proposed TTR fuel swap deal and the entire thing appears today in Brazilian Foreign Policy.
The letter also specifically mentions the compromise of using Turkey as the location for Iran’s fuel to be held “in escrow”.
I would urges Brazil to impress upon Iran the opportunity presented by this offer to “escrow” its uranium in Turkey while the nuclear fuel is being produced.
This letter’s authenticity is not disputed by the White House. It exposes the Obama administration’s forked-tongue response to the Brazil and Turkey brokered swap. The White House is now in full spin mode, but the spin has already been undercut by the release of the letter’s full text. Of late, Hilary Clinton has been the main vehicle for the White House’s double-talk, which is now entirely aimed at closing down opportunities to find a negotiated settlement to the Iran nuclear issue no matter what the new National Security Strategy might say. But Obama must also bear the burden of blame, his is the desk where the buck stops.
The Gulf disaster is only unusual for being so near the US. Elsewhere, Big Oil rarely cleans up its mess
by John Vidal
Big Oil is holding its breath. BP’s shares are in steep decline after the debacle in the Gulf of Mexico. Barack Obama, the American people and the global environmental community are outraged, and now the company stands to lose the rights to drill for oil in the Arctic and other ecologically sensitive places.
The gulf disaster may cost it a few billion dollars, but so what? When annual profits for a company often run to tens of billions, the cost of laying 5,000 miles of booms, or spraying millions of gallons of dispersants and settling 100,000 court cases is not much more than missing a few months’ production. It’s awkward, but it can easily be passed on.
The oil industry’s image is seriously damaged, but it can pay handsomely to greenwash itself, just as it managed after Exxon Valdez, Brent Spar and the Ken Saro-Wiwa public relations disasters. In a few years’ time, this episode will probably be forgotten – just another blip in the fortunes of the industry that fuels the world. But the oil companies are nervous now because the spotlight has been turned on their cavalier attitude to pollution and on the sheer incompetence of an industry that is used to calling the shots.
Big Oil’s real horror was not the spillage, which was common enough, but because it happened so close to the US. Millions of barrels of oil are spilled, jettisoned or wasted every year without much attention being paid.
By Camillo “Mac” Bica
May 30, 2010 ” Information Clearing House ” — Since the beginning of the twentieth century some 650,000 Americans have died fighting this Country’s many wars. Regardless of political affiliation and ideology, every American ought reverence such selfless sacrifice and understand and share the grief that this tragic loss of life entails. Though those of us who have known war hear the cries of the dying forever in our mind and suffer the pain and loss each day of our lives and need no holiday to remind us, Memorial Day is the occasion this nation sets aside to remember, to grieve, and to honor those who chose or were compelled to sacrifice their lives in behalf of a cause they believed just.
Air shows, “exciting” demonstrations of the high tech, billion dollar, implements of war haave become an increasingly popular way to “celebrate” Memorial Day in many parts of the Country. The Southern Wisconsin Air fest, and Missouri’s Salute to Veterans 2010 are just two examples. Attracting thousands, in some cases tens of thousands, these extravaganzas have become prime locations for military recruitment. The Army’s “Strength in Action Tour” regularly exploits such events “entertaining,” “informing”, and ultimately motivating young people to enlist. With its enormous budget, Army recruiters set up what is, for all intents and purposes, a mobile military circus and amusement arcade. Passersby, some as young as ten years old, need only provide their contact information into the Army database to receive an array of Army recruitment material and souvenirs – personalized dog tags, tee shirts, hats, footballs, etc. Once registered, students are encouraged to become “Army Strong,” that is, participate in interactive physical fitness events such as climbing the “U.S. Army Rock Wall” (“strength of body,” “rock strong”), “perform virtual music” on a stage in front of their peers (“strength to lead”), operate small remote control robotic devices known as Packbots through an obstacle course (“strength of technology”), “pilot” an Apache helicopter flight simulator (“strength to soar”), or “participate in a fully immersive, adrenaline-pumping, highly realistic (Humvee) experience” in which they conduct a “virtual mission,” engage “insurgents,” and kill them (“strength of team”).
Sadly, Americans need to be reminded that Memorial Day is not about sales at the mall, barbecues, and picnics. Neither is it a time to celebrate militarism, the machinery of war, or entice young people, through highly manipulative and deceptive practices, into enlisting in the military. While such spectacles may be exhilarating to some and perhaps suitable for other occasions (perhaps Armed Forces Day or the Fourth of July), they are totally inappropriate and irreverent during the only time of the year set aside for remembering and grieving those who made the ultimate sacrifice, Memorial Day weekend.
Most importantly, it is not about exploiting patriotism and the sacrifices of our young Servicemen and Women for purposes of commercial marketing and corporate profit. The following is an excerpt from the Bethpage Federal Credit Unions 2009 New York Air Show Website, perhaps the mother of all such “celebrations” of the implements of death and destruction.
What’s the difference between James O’Keefe, who made national headlines with his ACORN undercover video, and ACORN? O’Keefe is a criminal and ACORN is not. Yesterday O’Keefe pleaded guilty to charges of entering federal property under false pretenses when he attempted to embarrass Senator Mary Landrieu because of her support for the health care legislation. O’Keefe, along with three co-defendants, said their goal was to show that the Senator’s office phones were working, yet people opposed to health care reform could not get through to register their opinions. He was sentenced to three years probation, 100 hours of community service, and a $1,500 fine.
Despite numerous official investigations and innuendos by the extremists, like Republicans Rep. Darrell Issa (CA), the Ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, ACORN has never been convicted of a crime. Issa released a report in 2009 falsely accusing ACORN of hiding “behind a paper wall of nonprofit corporate protections to conceal a criminal conspiracy … to manipulate the American electorate.”
Discretionary Budget, FY2010
The following chart shows the breakdown of the proposed federal discretionary budget for fiscal year 2010 by function area.
The discretionary budget refers to the part of the federal budget proposed by the President, and debated and decided by Congress each year. The part of the budget constitutes more than one-third of total federal spending. The remainder of the federal budget is called ‘mandatory spending.’ Fiscal Year 2009 will run from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2009.
Note that this chart includes the war-related spending requested by the administration as supplemental to the regular budget proposal.
To date, $1.05 trillion dollars have been allocated to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The national, state, and local numbers we provide are based on the total approved amounts through the end of Fiscal Year 2010.
In 1985, Neil Postman’s book Amusing Ourselves To Death was published. His thesis, in brief, is that television and the media culture have replaced thoughtfulness with entertainment. We are being converted from a critically minded inquisitive population enjoying informed discourse to a nation of passive retards.
Yesterday, May 26, 2010, the Yahoo! news headline was “BP plans a ‘Top Kill.'” Prior to going to my home page I had been reading Henry Miller’s The Air-Conditioned Nightmare (first published in 1945). Passages such as this:
“This world which is in the making fills me with dread. I have seen it germinate; I can read it like a blue-print. It is not a world I want to live in. It is a world suited for monomaniacs [BP, my insert] obsessed with the idea of progress — but a false progress, a progress which stinks. It is a world cluttered with useless objects which men and women, in order to be exploited and degraded, are taught to regard as useful.”
I go from a passage like the above to the headline. “Kill?” “Top Kill?” Is BP hunting terrorists now, I wonder. Battered with too many Jason Bourne movies, living in the surround sound of Jack Bauer on television’s “24 Hours,” I am titillated to explore what is the nature of this “Top Kill.” I click on the link. No, it’s not Osama Bin Laden. It’s an oil leak. BP’s very own oil leak. The weapon of choice is mud. “The company will shoot high-pressure mud into the well, hoping the pressure of mud coming in will eventually overcome the pressure of oil shooting out.”
U.S. Defence Spending Far Outpaces Rest of the World
By Amanda Bransford
“…the U.S outspends Russia, the next highest spender, by more than 800 percent.
In 2008, the most recent year for which figures are available, the U.S. expenditure was 696.3 billion dollars, followed by Russia’s 86 billion and China’s 83.5 billion.
The U.S. defence budget is 15 times that of Japan, 47 times that of Israel, and nearly 73 times that of Iran.
Not only does U.S. spending dwarf that of other nations, but it has also grown in recent years.”