America’s Continued Thirst for War
By: Solomon Comissiong
America’s insatiable addiction to war not only destroys countless innocent lives abroad; it robs its own citizens from basic human needs at home. It robs them from envisioning a better world and an auspicious tomorrow. Since its amoral inception the so-called United States of America has steadily built a reputation antithetical to peace, justice, freedom and equality. Unfortunately, due to mass indoctrination, many Americans have no knowledge of this. They continue to reside within a mythological world created for them by “their” government (US) which, ironically, systematically exploits them. America is, and has been, much more of a plutocracy than it is a so-called democracy. This nation (America) was stolen from Indigenous people, by ruthless Europeans, and has been ruled by the elite dating back to its despicable beginnings. America is referred to as a democracy in the same way that used car salesmen refer to their cars as, “deals you can’t refuse”. They, like US officials, are trying to sell their “product”, no matter how faulty it is.
Last post World War II industrialized nation without a true universal health care system, a pathetic public educational system, arguably one of the most racist societies known to man, and a nation that treats it poor like garbage—-these are all little known/discussed yet undeniable facts about the so-called United States of America. Despite being the “wealthiest” nation on the planet, the US government consistently places the bulk of its economic resources, not towards building up the communities of its citizenry, but in its imperialistic military of aggression and thus destroying other nations’ communities.
America’s thirst for war is rooted in its capitalist foundation. Its voracious appetite for excessive material wealth has virtually left it with few natural resources. And this is why the US rampages throughout the world plundering and hoarding other nations’ resources.
Upon stealing what is now known as “America” from its Indigenous, white “settlers” (thieves) began a destructive campaign of murder, plunder, and destruction. They murdered millions of native peoples, destroyed everything from botany to bison, and plundered millions upon millions of acres of arable and mineral rich land. Many even justified their actions by way of their sadistic and selective interpretation of their bible—later titling their destruction of life and land as “Manifest Destiny” . One does not have to be a genius to understand that there is something inherently wrong with any group of people who use the Supreme Being they worship to as some sort of reasoning to kill everything in their path that resists their theft of land. With time it became clear that war and greed were the gods they worshiped. Those so-called “settlers” were the ones in need of civilizing, not the Indigenous. The Indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere respected the soil of Mother Earth. They respected life and valued community. Their societies were rooted in communalism. In essence, their way of life reflected their reverence for the earth and its preservation. Conversely, the barbaric European “settlers” were inherently racist, war mongering, white supremacist, and lived well beyond their means. In 2010, not much as changed.
From generation to generation amoral values have been passed down, taught in schools, and reinforced through domestic and foreign policy. America has a violent culture that is supported educationally, governmentally, and therefore throughout society. War has become the first, second and the tertiary options. Peace only exists within the minds of those who have found some type of social intervention between their journeys from the cradle to the grave. Unfortunately alternatives toward a better, more peaceful and egalitarian society, are seldom found in mainstream institutions. Hollowly framed notions of peace are only given lip service, once in a while; however war mongering is tangibly and frequently put into practice.
America begins the indoctrination process at an early age. Throughout the US youth are taught that America’s historical engagement in wars such as Vietnam, the Spanish American War, World War I, the Korean War, and even the present day wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, are justified. The lies and warped justifications range from protecting democracy to fighting terrorism to liberating people. The US kills far more innocent than it does liberate. America has historically used terror on civilian populations for its own interests, yet has the audacity to claim that it is fighting terror. It is terror.
The US’s initial bombing and subsequent murdering of over 3,000 Afghani civilians following the 9/11 terrorists’ attacks was equally an act of premeditated terror. However, most Americans have been systemically programmed to have a limited understanding of critical geopolitical issues thus they support their government’s contradictory actions. Most Americans cannot empathize with the massive loss of civilian life in Iraq because they have been trained to believe that Iraqi lives are less significant than their own. They have been trained like loyal pets to blindly support their government’s war mongering policies without any semblance of critical thought. And like an accomplice to a ruthless crime, the corporate media plays its nefarious role by never mentioning the over 1.3 million Iraqis slain since 2003. America is no more the protector of democracy than a fox is the protector to a hen house. As the author has said before, democracy within the US is an illusion created by magicians on both Capitol Hill and Wall Street.
Most of the decisions we believe we are making on our own accord have already been made for us. Most of the more humane and community centered options are methodically omitted from the “menu” offered to the masses. Unfortunately many Americans have allowed themselves to be led away from a more socially-just society by their so-called elected officials. They have been reduced to metaphorical lemmings meanwhile the real constituents of public officials in Washington continue to be big banks, big pharma, Wall Street and military contractors.
The big business of military and war generates hundreds of billions of tax-payer dollars, each and every year, for military contractors like: Halliburton, Xe (Blackwater), DynCorp, and Northrop Grumman, Triple Canopy, Lockheed Martin, and Bechtel. They receive billions of taxpayer dollars to finance death and destruction, meanwhile Americans allow themselves to be convinced that their government cannot afford a true single payer health care system. Many Americans have been subconsciously persuaded into believing that they need a hyper-inflated military budget (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/factsheet_department_defense/) rather than government funded quality health care of all. In essence, fear has effectively been used to control them. They have been programmed to think more about supporting politicians who continually vote to finance illegal wars of occupation rather than quality public education for every youth in America.
US funding for education (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/factsheet_department_education/) and health care (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/factsheet_department_health/) pale in comparison to that of the military and ultimately war. As if it were some kind of sick and twisted contest, President Obama has shown that he can outspend the mental midget, George W. Bush, in military spending. Obama’s 700 billion dollar plus (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/factsheet_department_defense/) budget for fiscal year 2011 exceeds that of the war criminal George W. Bush. And this budget does not even include the tens of billions of dollars appropriated for the Afghan surge and continued occupation of Iraq. Millions of Obamanistas clung to his campaign slogans of hope and change. They protested the wars when Bush was in office, however now they have curiously lost their voices—and apparently their consciences. As historian and researcher John Judge says, “The change you can believe in campaign quickly turned into the beliefs you can change”. The American thirst for war has become a culture; it has become institutionalized. As it stands, it does not matter which corporate candidate gets elected, they will ultimately serve their military masters, feeding them devalued dollars instead of grapes. All the while more than 40,000 Americans die each year due to a lack of health insurance.
It is trivial to focus any health care debate centered on the US not having enough money to sufficiently finance a single payer health care system if there is no serious examination regarding the amount of money America spends on its bloated imperialist military. The US spends more than 700 billion dollars a year on things like its more than 700 military bases worldwide. This budget does not even include the maintenance of nuclear weaponry. That is hidden within the Department of Energy’s budget. That 700 billion dollar plus budget does, however, include the imperialist military expansion in Africa, otherwise known as Africom (Africa Command). That 700 billion dollars does not necessarily even include the tens of billions of dollars of supplemental funding that goes towards the wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq. If one goes to the White House Office of Management and Budget website they will tell you that they are using some of that money to draw down troops in Iraq “responsibly”. I wonder if the fact that the US has built a well over 600 million dollar embassy in Iraq, with an over one billion dollar a year operational cost, means that the US has no plans of permanently occupying Iraq? If that is the case that also must mean that the US’s plans to build a 700 million embassy in Pakistan, must also mean the same. If these American imperialist plans seem like a distraction from the money that could be clearly spent on a true (non-corporate health insurance) universal single payer health care system, they are. It is a waste of money that will likely disrupt more lives and communities than it will save. US military spending has to be significantly reduced if there is anyway valuable lifesaving social programs, like universal health care, can be established. And I am not talking about the lackluster so-called health care reform bill that was recently established. That was a win-win for the corporate health insurance pimps.
Don’t expect the white supremacist and right wing Fox News to raise these questions. And don’t expect the military contractor GE (who also owns NBC and MSNBC) to challenge the government on this matter. We have to do that job. We have to continue to create a critical mass that continually pressures the hell out of this government to do what is in the best interest of masses. Left to their own “faculties” the US government will continue down the same socially destructive path they have built a legacy on. We have to strategically organize, as well as utilize our social networks to spread critical information, far and wide, one community at a time. We have to envision a better nation and therefore a better world. Until then we, and countless others, will continue our restless slumber in this nightmare. As Dr. Martin Luther King said, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
Solomon Comissiong is an educator, community activist, author, public speaker and the host of the Your World News media collective (www.yourworldnews.org). Solomon is the author of A Hip Hop Activist Speaks Out on Social Issues. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org