American War Racket
by Bill Bonner: The
Chubby Checker Monetary Strategy
France One of the advantages of moving overseas is that you
see home more clearly. We came to France last week. Already, America
comes into clearer focus.
press seems fascinated by the relationship between Francois Hollandes
two mistresses. The former a candidate for president herself
dumped him when he took up with the latter. The former is
also the mother of Hollandes 4 children, which complicates
hates the former. The former hates the latter.
all this at dinner last night with a charming French couple we have
known for years. They spent half the dinner telling us about the
the other half was spent telling
us about what they had eaten recently. They seemed to recall the
details of every meal. How it was prepared
what mistakes the
and what the weather must have been when the grapes
were picked for their wine.
As to the imminent
financial catastrophe in Europe they were sanguine
week were told the end of Europe will arrive next week. Frankly,
we dont care anymore.
care about is their vacations! After decades of social and political
struggle, the working classes of the Old World won the right to
at least 4 weeks of paid vacation. Bosses could not stand in their
way. And now Europes highest court has ruled that even nature
cannot be allowed to spoil a vacation. The New York Times
is on the case:
For most Europeans, almost nothing is more prized than
their four to six weeks of guaranteed annual vacation leave. But
it was not clear just how sacrosanct that time off was until Thursday,
when Europes highest court ruled that workers who happened
to get sick on vacation were legally entitled to take another
purpose of entitlement to paid annual leave is to enable the worker
to rest and enjoy a period of relaxation and leisure, the
Court of Justice of the European Union, based in Luxembourg, ruled
in a case involving department store workers in Spain. The
purpose of entitlement to sick leave is different, since it enables
a worker to recover from an illness that has caused him to be
unfit for work.
So, you see,
things in France are as they should be. People are delusional. But
Back in the
United States of America an ill wind blows. Our president is a portrait
of failure and homicide. As far as we know, he doesnt even
have one mistress
which is probably why he has so much time
on his hands. According to the New York Times he personally
approves the list of unfortunates his drones will assassinate. And
for what? Philip Giraldi does the Terrorism
American citizens were kidnapped by overseas terrorists in 2011
(in Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq, all of which were war zones),
and only 17 were killed in foreign lands (15 in Afghanistan, a
. Micah Zenko of the Council on Foreign Relations
has determined that the number of Americans killed in terrorist
attacks is comparable to the number crushed to death by falling
television sets or furniture each year.
But every president
wants to be a war president. War is Americas #1 zombie industry.
government employs 2,100,000 today compared to 1,500,000 in 2001,
not including the military, which has itself grown by 100,000
personnel to 2,300,000, including reserves, with more increases
planned through 2013. Most of the new hires were directly related
to the War on Terror for manning the 200 new military and CIA
bases that have sprung up around the world and to serve as Fortress
Americas defenders. The number of reported federal employees
does not include contractors, who add considerably to the payroll.
More than half of the employees in key sectors within the intelligence
community and at the Defense Department are contractors.
What does it
cost to keep these zombies fed? Giraldi
will spend $3.796 trillion in 2012 compared with $1.863 trillion
full-time security manning the entrances of nearly all federal
and state and even some local office buildings. The total costs
of state and local expenditures to counter the essentially bogus
terrorist threat might well exceed the federal expenditures, and
then there is the spending on security, often mandated by the
government, in the private sector. But as bad as all those numbers
are, consider for a moment the legacy costs and institutional
damages that are not so readily visible. Professor Joseph Stiglitz
of Columbia University estimates that Iraq will cost as much as
$5 trillion when all the costs, including interest paid on borrowed
money and medical treatment for life for the tens of thousands
of wounded soldiers, are paid off. The bill for Afghanistan will
be proportionate, depending on how long the US stays there and
at what commitment level. All of the deficit-feeding spending
for the War on Terror and associated military actions has gone
down into a deep, dark hole
whats new? War is a racket. Always has been. Major Gen. Smedley
D. Butler explains:
possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most
vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the
only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the
losses in lives.
is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it
seems to the majority of the people. Only a small inside
group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit
of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a
few people make huge fortunes.
Sooner or later,
almost every country makes war its major racket. Then, after they
are defeated and bankrupt
people are sick of it and want to
string up the people who got them into it in the first place.
Bonner is the author, with Addison Wiggin, of Financial
Reckoning Day: Surviving the Soft Depression of The 21st
The New Empire of Debt: The Rise Of An Epic Financial Crisis
and the co-author with Lila Rajiva of Mobs,
Messiahs and Markets (Wiley, 2007). His
latest book is Dice
Have No Memory.
Since 1999, Bill has been a daily contributor and the driving force
behind The Daily Reckoning.
© 2012 Daily Reckoning
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