The US State Department publishes an annual list of state sponsors of terrorism. Perennially conspicuously absent that list is the US government itself. Perhaps that’s because the US government isn’t so much a state sponsor of terror as a state engaged in terror. In the event, it’s easily the biggest terrorist organization on the planet. It’s not even a contest. Events. The US government will this year spend officially $640 billion on its military. One might call it a monster. If in an alliterative mood, a military monster. Which it is. Those are only the baseline costs. There are many other hidden costs of the military gobbling up so many resources that infrastructure at home collapses.
I say at home, because most of these exorbitantly wasteful military outlays have nothing to do with investing in, say, military bases at home. On the contrary, the United States builds military bases overseas. Even the Pentagon can’t tell you how many. But it’s somewhere around 800. In over 130 countries. During the reign of the Bush regime before Obama, US Special Forces were active in about 60 countries. By the time Obama left office they were active in 130.
Is anybody paying attention? This is long past the military industrial complex Eisenhower warned of. A general let’s remember. It is so far past the military industrial complex that congressional would be another appropriate adjective. As would prison. The United States is an incarceral state. 2.3 million United Stateseans are already behind bars. About that many more are on probation or parole. Almost exclusively Black and Latino.
Actual costs of the US military are actually far greater than a mere $640 billion. If you can call that kind of money mere.
Thinking about specific war crimes of the US government one might be Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003. This was the text book definition of Nuremberg’s prohibition against a war of aggression. Nuremberg said that a war of aggression was “the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” That’s what Bush did without two thoughts more for the citizens of Baghdad than how much oil stocks would soon soar. Indeed, the butchers in the Bush regime labeled the initial merciless bombardment of Baghdad “shock and awe.” Kind of like a football game except for without the forward passes and penalty flags. Hundreds of thousands perished under Bush’s onslaught. Probably about an equal number suffered a fate worse than death. Bush was troubled not a bit. He had maids to vacuum his carpets and ultimately that was the goal for Bush: a clean, orderly, neat home, with freshly vacuumed carpets. And carpet perfume if you have it please.
This mercilessness was on top of the previous merciless 12-year sanction regime on Iraq which ended only because Bush started bombing. He snickered. And snorted. And grimaced. And let Cheney do most of the talking antecedent. But ultimately it was Bush’s decision. As he himself said. Bush had the unmitigated arrogance and hubris to label himself the “decider.”| And shroud your eyes. That he was waging war on Islam because God had instructed him to.
Those sanctions are estimated to have killed as many as 1.5 million Iraqis, half of them children. The Democrat Clinton presided over 2/3 of those sanctions, proving my historical assertion: the Republicans propose; and the Democrats dispose. In the midst of the misery and starvation, during which chlorine was prohibited as an import into Iraq because it was “dual use,” in Dick Cheney’s fancy use of the language, Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes asked Secretary of State Madeline Albright whether the deaths of some at the time quarter million children was “worth it.” As if a horse regurgitating a carrot Albright mumbled essentially that it was indeed. She didn’t say “after all they are dusky hued.” But she meant as much. And in any event in the wrong economic class.
At this late date cause and effect have simply disappeared from US political calculations. You have to appreciate the magnitude of the crisis. This is in the context of the US government spending this year $640 billion on its military. That is a baseline number. There are costs at least twice that of military outlays hidden elsewhere. That $640 baseline is exactly twice what the Pentagon was spending on 9/11. And couldn’t protect their own headquarters from attack. But set that to side.
What that $640 billion represents is the continued windfall profits of war profiteers like Boeing, Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems. And that’s all it represents. Because it sure doesn’t represent anything resembling national security. On the contrary. They want you to beg the answer because it’s so obvious there isn’t one. How is it blowing up three alleged enemies and ten bystanders, creating 30 more enemies somehow increases our national security? Never mind the totality of victims of wanton US bloodletting.
I suppose Trump will get blamed for this too. Although the condition obtained before Trump took the oath of office. Let’s be honest. It was Obama’s doing. Or his regime’s at any rate. As we navigate this tangled web of nonsense, let’s remember that Obama’s first act as ex-POTUS was to frolic with billionaire nuclear energy investor Richard Branson in the Caribbean. Only a shade different from Hillary’s scheme to install a no-fly zone over Syria, tantamount to a declaration of war and regime change, Obama and NATO stationed troops that remain today with nuclear capable missile batteries against Russia’s western border in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. Clinton’s State Department, under the aegis of Undersecretary Victoria Nuland, married to notorious neocon Robert Kagan, engineered the coup of a democratically elected government in Ukraine. Total nick to the US Treasury? A paltry $5 billion. Meanwhile the homeless have nowhere to sleep in the depth of the Chicago winter. As if the injury weren’t enough, how about another? Victoria Nuland and Clinton’s State Department brought to power in Ukraine neo-Nazi thugs. And when the eastern, for those of you unfamiliar with a map that would be the two provinces of Crimea nearest to the motherland itself voted 95% in a referendum to return to Russia, Russia was accused of being an aggressor. On its own doorstep.
The liars in the State Department practice Hitler’s tactics: when lying go big. The bigger the lie the more likely to be believed. Never mind the history. And 1954. And the rest of the unknown hokum.