Our Insane, Untouchable Military-Industrial Cartel

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The (not “our”) government says it is broke; that it must cut back on essential services to citizens, including police and fire protection – and raise taxes. It is threatening/hinting that it will require average people to “sacrifice” in the form of decreased Social Security benefits (or higher retirement ages) and even that private pensions and 401ks will be subsumed into some form of “government annuity” – meaning, they take your property and in return you get a “chit” that entitles you (for as long as the government wishes to allow you to be entitled) to a fixed dole payment at some indeterminate point in the future…

Meanwhile, there is apparently plenty of money available to rebuild mosques in Egypt, to finance the Israeli military, to prop up our puppets in various countries… and of course, to fund a massive “defense” industry that consumes more resources than the entire GDPs of many Western European countries and is by itself – and by far – the single greatest consumer of U.S. GDP….

If it were “our” government, not one thin dime would be going to anything extraneous – that wasn’t a legitimate crucial element of our national defense, say. And all we need for that is our nuclear deterrent. We don’t need a single aircraft carrier; no million-man army, no fleet of billion-dollar-a-piece “stealth” aircraft. Just one nuclear submarine loaded with 20 ICBMs is sufficient, all by itself, to lay waste to most of the world and to utterly destroy any single country that attacked us.

Many people have no concept of just how much destructive firepower a single ballistic missile submarine is carrying. Each ICBM in its belly has many times the power of the crude little tinker toy bombs that leveled Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some ICBMs have multiple warheads, so each missile can hit several targets – and with megaton warheads, not kiloton warheads. We have more than 10,000 nuclear warheads, according to published reports.

It is insane.

Two or three of these subs – at the most – is all the legitimate “defense” against foreign powers – more precisely, to negate the threat of an attack by a foreign power upon the United States – we need. No foreign state would consider attacking a country capable of letting fly with even 20 Hiroshima-plus nukes. And 40 or 60 of these? Dispersed in three different submarines impervious to attack, or at the least, which it would be all-but-impossible to destroy at the same time before at least a few of the missiles were launched against their targets?

It is painfully obvious, which is probably why we avoid thinking about it. Nothing more is needed by a country only trying to protect itself – vs. conquer the world, or bend the world to its will.

The rest – all of it – the carrier battle groups, the scores of air wings, the dozens of bases, the tens of thousands of tanks, the hundreds of thousands of soldiers stationed all over the world – it’s really all about projecting power – that is, about war – on others. Who have done nothing to us, other than resist American hegemony, or otherwise behave uncooperatively. All for the sake of the profits of the military industrial cartel. And just like the old Soviet Union, it is going to be the end of this country. It is killing us economically – and ruining us morally. We have become a pariah state – rightly hated the world over for our arrogance, our casual violence toward any who refuse to kowtow to our “interests.” We have reduced ourselves to a state that would be considered criminal under the same Nuremburg standards that were applied to hang Nazi war criminals: Our president claims the right to commit extrajudicial murder. We torture people openly, as a matter of state policy. We nacht und nable them to “undisclosed locations” to practice “enhanced interrogation.” We erect places of horror such as Abu Ghraib; we machine-gun helpless people from helicopters and laugh about it; we blow up farmers with UAVs and don’t bat an eye. We kill anyone we like, just because we can. There are no repercussions. The My Lais that happen today are dismissed as collateral damage, unavoidable. The fight for freedom goes on. Those who try to tell the world about our crimes are treated as if they are the criminals, for daring to question the policies of the Imperium.

We regard ourselves as above the law – because we are America and we love freedom.

We have a burgeoning police state that no one seems to care very much about – everything from random, warrantless stop-and-frisks to much worse besides – because you cannot embrace tyranny abroad without becoming tyrannical at home, too.

As the saying goes, when you look into the abyss, the abyss looks back into you… and the abyss is smiling.

There is still time.

If we were to limit our “defense” to the nuclear deterrent, plus maybe a small coastal force and a 100,000 man professional army to handle smaller-scale stuff, the country would have not a single financial problem. The trillions in debt and unfunded liabilities – gone overnight.

We could rebuild the entire Interstate system; we could build a grid of new nuclear power plants to replace all the dirty/destructive coal-fired units we have now. We could even provide top-quality heaf-cayuh for every single person in the country.

Taxes could be cut in half. No need for the Fed to print another few billion in funny money to keep the machine from spitting pistons all over the payment… for another couple of months, anyhow. We’d probably be paying $2 for gas again, too – instead of $4 (and rising) because the single biggest consumer of fuel would no longer be consuming it. Plus, there’d be less inflation – see above – which is as much to blame for driving up the cost of gas as the Chimpouts in Libya.

Instead, everything – the lion’s share of it, at any rate – goes to “the troops” – meaning, Halliburton, GE, Kellogg Brown & Root, etc.

We have become a military-corporatist state; much more like the old Soviet Union than the republic, long gone, one can read about in (some of) the history books. Our fate is likely to be the same. Such systems devour themselves; it is as inevitable as fall turning to winter.

Think about all this the next time you see one of those NSDAP party pin-like flags that every bought-and-paid-for “support the troops” politician now touts in his lapel, or hear that god-awful donkey-braying anthem the flag and fambly crowd loves so much about how proud you are to be an American, where at least you know you’re free….

Reprinted with permission from EricPetersAutos.com.

Eric Peters [send him mail] is an automotive columnist and author of Automotive Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his website.

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