Monday, June 20, 2011

Does The U.S. Economy Depend Upon War?

“If we were about to be attacked or had been attacked or something happened that threatened a vital U.S. national interest, I would be the first in line to say, ‘Let’s go,’ ” said retiring Defense Secretary, Bob Gates. “I will always be an advocate in terms of wars of necessity. I am just much more cautious on wars of choice.”

Mr. Gates was recruited by President Bush in December, 2006 to try to correct the U.S. mess in Iraq and retained by President Obama to try to do the same in Afghanistan. Both wars continue as does the pain and suffering to the men, women and children of those nations. It is apparent the U.S. has no intention of ending its occupation of either country, as the financial and moral toll to America mounts.

Fortunately, Mr. Gates succeeded in persuading President Bush and Vice President Cheney not to attack Iran, which based upon public threats Mr. Bush made, was something under serious consideration. In all likelihood, what then prevented a 3rd war was the U.S. forces were already spread too thin. This year, Mr. Gates tried unsuccessfully to persuade Mr. Obama not to launch the Libya War because of its cost in lives and in money. Yet a 4th "covert" war is also being fought by the U.S. military and the C.I.A. in Yemen, under President Obama.

Despite the U.S. government claims of being under siege from enemies everywhere, to understand what is really happening, we need to understand the underlying elements of U.S. policy. Since World War ll, the U.S. has been continually at war: Korea, Vietnam, Cold War, Gulf War and the current wars. The U.S. economy needs war for the Military Industrial Complex directly or indirectly employs millions of people.

No enemies and no wars, mean no staggering sized spending on nuclear and other bombs, nor fighter jets, nor tanks, nor ships, nor guns, nor biological and other weapons on this endless list. Nor are over 1,000 U.S. global military bases justified, including those in Germany and Japan (both since 1945) and in Korea (since 1953). Nor are the vast resources spent on the disastrous 40 year War on Drugs justified.

If we Americans are sincere about wanting peace, we must dramatically change our conduct and begin the biggest demilitarization the world has ever seen. Otherwise we will remain addicted to war until it drains every last ounce out of our humanity and our treasury.

The Bob Gates quote is from:

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