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War Tax: $320 Per American Citizen

Paying Through the Nose to Kill Iraqi Kids

by KURT NIMMO

According to some estimates, Bush’s Iraq attack will cost each and every American $320. Now, for the Waltons and Gates and Buffetts, this isn’t a whole lot of scratch, but for most of us it’s a decent chunk of change. For instance, I need a new computer for writing these articles and $320 would be a nice start. Instead, that money will go toward killing innocent children, pregnant women, grandmas, grandpas, and a whole lot of other people in Iraq. The money is siphoned off before my employer cuts me a check. Most of it goes right to Donald Rumsfeld.

Now I don’t have a problem with taxes, not like a whole lot of libertarian types who think giving one red cent to the government is theft. I realize we need bridges, highways, park rangers, schools, etc. I’d like to see more go toward helping people out — especially in these tough economic times — but that’s another ball of wax. Most of our taxes go to the military and the likes of Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, etc., who pocket the money and deliver (usually over budget and late) questionable weapons systems. Apache helicopters, Abrams tanks, Stealth bombers, etc., all of this stuff is great if you intend to fight big wars in far away places like Afghanistan and Iraq (or Iran, Libya, Syria, North Korea).

Once upon a time, the military was supposed to protect America from attack. Now the military is used to attack other countries. Not because they threaten you or me. Because it’s profitable. And because a certain dinky nation has figured out how to make the US military a proxy for its own selfish interests.

In fact, the government mostly invents “threats” so it can justify all this spending. Do you remember Reagan warning that the Nicaraguans would invade Texas if we didn’t support the contras? The Cold War was mostly a scam. We had the so-called missile gap, the bomber gap, and most of it was hype. As Kennedy noted, these “gaps” were mostly mythical, they were created by the Pentagon and the Eisenhower administration, which “distorted the facts and created a myth of the gap that didn’t exist.” Eisenhower eventually warned us about the “military-industrial complex” and its “unwarranted influence” on the “very structure of our society.” He said this after he let the Pentagon have its way.

Bush has 32 former arms industry executives, consultants, and major stockholders in his administration (according to Michelle Ciarrocca, of the Arms Trade Resource Center). Lockheed Martin VP Bruce Jackson was the finance chair of the Bush for President campaign. He was heard to brag at a conference that he would be in a position to “write the Republican platform” on defense if Bush was nominated. Dick Cheney spent years running Halliburton, which ranked 18th on the Pentagon’s top contractors list in FY 1999. Cheney’s wife, Lynne, served on Lockheed Martin’s board. Secretary of the Air Force James Roche is a former Northrop Grumman vice president. Lewis Libby and Paul Wolfowitz also worked for Northrop Grumman as consultants. Richard Armitage was a Boeing consultant and Karl Rove a Boeing shareholder (Armitage was also a consultant for Raytheon). And, of course, daddy Bush sits on the board of directors of the Carlyle Group (as does James Baker, the former secretary of state), an investment consortium contracting for United Defense. “None of these links is illegal,” writes investigative reporter Andrew Gumbel for The Independent UK, “but that does not mean there is no conflict of interest.”

No kidding.

Really, it doesn’t matter anymore. These guys don’t even bother to hide what they’re doing, maybe because so few people seem to care and, besides, who’s going to argue now that we’re faced with global terrorism and Saddam’s arsenal of bio and chem weapons? Both these “threats” are grossly overstated but, hey, don’t expect the corporate media — who also own and profit handsomely from death merchant stock — to report this on the evening news. As Boeing Vice Chairman Harry Stonecipher told the Wall Street Journal, “the purse is now open” so the sky is the limit. Don Rumsfeld and his boys over at the Pentagon never saw a weapons system they didn’t love. Never mind that the so-called national missile defense system — that scientists say will not work — will not stop a single terrorist.

Actually, Bush and his neocon chickenhawks aren’t focused on preventing terrorism or even rounding up the terrorists — beyond a few lowly errand boys — they keep telling us are out there gunning for us. These guys are far more interested in large wars, the kind that deplete expensive JDAMs and cruise missiles and DU munitions in large numbers. Not wars against puny and ragtag bands of terrorists, but rather big state players such as Iran, Syria, Libya, North Korea, and maybe down the road China. Now that’s some serious war making, enough to keep Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northup Grumman, et al, busy for decades — since Bush’s “war on terrorism” is promised to last for the rest of our lives, maybe for more than a hundred years if Iranophobe and chickenhawk Michael Ledeen has his way.

Say au revoir to the “peace dividend” forever.

Americans, it seems, just don’t give a whit. Sure, hundreds of thousands of them turned out recently to voice their opposition to Bush’s Iraq attack, but that’s small potatoes considering there are nearly 300 million people in the United States. It’s not even one percent of the population, so our unelected leader can safely ignore them.

“You know, size of protest, it’s like deciding, well, I’m going to decide policy based upon a focus group. The role of a leader is to decide policy based upon the security — in this case, the security of the people,” Bush said with customary articulacy.

I bet millions buy into this “security of the people,” even as Bush makes us less secure by threatening other nations with everything from cluster bombs to nukes — that is if they refuse to grovel at his feet like good “vassals” (as Zbigniew Brzezinski calls most people in the third world).

If 20 or 30 million Americans went in the street and told Bush what they think of his plan to mass murder tens if not hundreds of thousands of people, well, chances are Bush may pay attention, especially if the protesters were a bit rambunctious. Even Nixon fretted over demonstrations, although he never let on. Of course, Bush may pay attention in a negative way, as in making sure the Son of the Patriot Act is rushed through Congress and the FBI does to the current antiwar movement what it did to its ancestor 30 years ago.

No, I have no confidence in the American people. They will not put this madness to bed. $320? Big deal. Most Americans are resigned to paying through the nose for everything from corporate welfare to propping up Israel and paying for the slaughter of Palestinians.

Israel is about the only excuse Bush has to attack Iraq. Naturally, he won’t say this, he will talk about terrorists instead. But the real deal is Israel needs a war declared on Islam. Such a war will directly benefit Israel.

A war on Islam will be good for business, too.

Americans like Israelis, or at least Christian Americans like them. Some folks are calling Bush a “Christian Zionist,” which is to say he believes all kinds of farcical biblical stuff about the Jews and God and the Land of Israel as it relates to the so-called Rapture and the End Days. Out of 98 million Christian evangelicals in America, something like 40 million buy into this fairy tale as popularized by Hal Lindsey, the father of Christian Zionism. “The center of the entire prophetic forecast is the State of Israel,” writes Lindsey.

So, naturally, with a Christian Zionist in the White House Israeli Zionists will get their way. It works out well for the death merchants and oil transnationals, too.

These Christian Zionists have teamed up with powerful Jewish lobbyists to push the Israel First agenda in Washington. “AIPAC (the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee) has a lot of influence on foreign policy,” says J.J. Goldberg, editor of the Jewish newspaper The Forward. “They work hard to ensure that America endorses pretty much Israel’s view of the world and the Middle East.”

But AIPAC isn’t the only pro-Israel pressure group in Washington — there are well over 100 Israel First PACs operating in Congress, by far the most active of all PACs. AIPAC was instrumental in helping Dubya’s daddy get the first war against the Iraqi people rolling in 1991, as the Wall Street Journal reported at the time. Naturally, AIPAC and other pro-Israel PACS are behind the current effort. They’re pretty much writing the script along with the Likudites in Israel.

If not for the fleecing of average tax-paying Americans, Israel wouldn’t be the serial murderer it is today. Not only does Sharon tell the US how much it will fork over to the tiny country in aid, but he also gives the US military its marching orders. As Hebrew radio Kol Yisrael reported in October, 2001, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon yelled at foreign Minister Shimon Peres during a cabinet meeting, “Don’t worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it.”

That control is exercised by the “Wolfowitz cabal,” led by Paul Wolfowitz (No. 2 man at the Defense Department and key Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld confidant) and the 18-member Defense Policy Board. Fellow travelers include Richard Perle (chairman of the Defense Policy Board), Douglas J. Feith (Under Secretary of Defense for Policy), Elliott Abrams (director of the National Security Council’s office for democracy), Josh Bolten (Deputy Chief of Staff), and Lewis Libby (Chief of Staff to the Vice President). All of these guys are Israel-centric Jews. They’re the shock troops of the Israel First federation.

As Lawrence F. Kaplan, Washington Post columnist, put it recently “the problem here is the implication that some of the Bush team have been doing Israel’s bidding and, by extension, harbor dual loyalties.” So obvious is this dual loyalty that when Josh Bolten went to Israel recently Sharon told him Israel wants Iran taken out. Bolten said “he had no doubt America would attack Iraq, and that it would be necessary thereafter to deal with threats from Syria, Iran and North Korea,” reported Ha’aretz.

“Iraq is the most dangerous threat,” Sharon told a Knesset committee recently. Not only is Israel within striking distance of Saddam’s clunky Scuds (which he may or may not have), but Saddam also pays a lot of lip service to Palestinian resistance to Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. If Bush’s Iraq attack benefits anybody directly, it’s the Israelis.

Think about that when you do your taxes this year.

I bet you’d love to keep that $320 you’ll be donating to a war that mostly serves the interests of Israel, maybe give it to your kid’s school, or have the local municipality use it to fix that pothole at the end of your street. Fat chance. So long as Americans sit on their duffs and let Bush and his “dual loyalty” Zionist minions run this country, things will only get worse. Christian Zionists will not only destroy America in their selfish zeal to embrace Armageddon and the Rapture — essentially a merit club of eternal life for good Christians — but they will also force hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to pay with their lives.

I can’t think of anything more self-indulgent and criminal.

In the end, the only people who will benefit from all of this are the Zionists in Israel. Bush is ignoring our economic problems as he obsesses over the removal of Saddam Hussein. He’s raiding your social security and jacking up the debt in order to do what Sharon and the Likudites demand.

The Christian Zionist hallucination is about to reach cataclysmic proportions.

Is it worth losing your job so the Israelis can feel safe and impose their political will on the Arab world? Eventually, Bush may demand your 20 year old son fight wars of conquest (in Iran, Syria, Libya) so the Zionists can have their precious holy land — which their bible tells them runs from the River of Egypt to the River Euphrates. Oh, and so oil transnationals and death merchants can make a whole lot more money, too. It’s no mistake so many Bushites are up to their necks in these businesses.

It’s about time a whole lot more people say enough is enough.

KURT NIMMO is a photographer and multimedia developer in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Visit his excellent online gallery. He can be reached at: nimmo@zianet.com

We highly recommend regular visits to Nimmo’s website, Another Day in the Empire