Below is the last article that I wrote on the original TBP in January, 2010. It was one of my favorites because I was able to use the lyrics to one of my favorite songs and the blend it with one of my favorite movies. It didn’t get much visibility because many of the financial websites didn’t want an article on war. I think it is fitting that I repost it now as our tyrannical government clamps down on our civil liberties and prepares for war with Syria and Iran. Read this article and find out who always benefits from war.
What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.
Some men you just can’t reach…
So, you get what we had here last week,
Which is the way he wants it !
Well, he gets it !
N’ I don’t like it any more than you men.
Luke Jackson, as portrayed by Paul Newman, in Cool Hand Luke is a classic American character. He is a rogue who marches to the beat of his own drummer. His stubbornness, indefatigable spirit, and nonconformity are a symbol of the timeless American spirit. His character is reminiscent of Winston Smith in Orwell’s 1984, Steve McQueen’s Virgil Hilts character in The Great Escape, and Jack Nicholson’s Randall McMurphy character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Captain, played by Strother Martin, makes it his mission to beat the nonconformity out of Luke. No matter how bad he is beaten, he comes back for more. His indomitable fortitude and independent attitude inspires the other prisoners. He escapes from the prison twice and is caught and brought back. Captain thinks that he has finally broken his will as the other prisoners see him beg for mercy, but Luke escapes one final time and is shot dead. In death Luke regained all the adulation he lost among the prisoners and became a mythic hero.
Americans have a choice. They can allow their government to bully and threaten them into conforming to their view of reality like Winston Smith or they can go down swinging like Cool Hand Luke and Randall McMurphy. The cowboy spirit of the Old West is what is required today. We need tough hardened individualists who are willing to say enough is enough. Our government has been corrupted by weak men slithering around the halls of Congress soliciting for money, an evil banking cartel creating fiat money, corporate fascists paying off criminals in Washington DC, and the military industrial complex enforcing Washington’s power across the globe. The country longs for an Andrew Jackson or a Dwight Eisenhower. Instead we are stuck with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. The citizens of the country have chosen a false security in place of liberty and freedom.
This country achieved greatness because Americans took chances, had the freedom to succeed or fail, picked themselves up when they failed, and lived their lives within a moral framework of fairness and honesty. That flame of independence and freedom is dying out. Americans no longer believe in shared sacrifice, working hard, honoring a sense of civic duty, morality, or modesty. A private banking cartel controls the purse strings and protects its bank owners and its protectors in Congress. The President wages wars across the globe without Constitutional approval from Congress that is required. Agencies of government operate in secret, assassinating foreign enemies, fomenting unrest in other countries, and spying on Americans. Look at the fear we’re feeding. Look at the lives we’re leading.
Look at your young men fighting
Look at your women crying
Look at your young men dying
The way they’ve always done before
Look at the hate we’re breeding
Look at the fear we’re feeding
Look at the lives we’re leading
The way we’ve always done before - Guns N Roses – Civil War
“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” - Voltaire
My hands are tied
The billions shift from side to side
And the wars go on with brainwashed pride
For the love of God and our human rights
And all these things are swept aside
By bloody hands time can’t deny
And are washed away by your genocide
And history hides the lies of our civil wars – Guns N Roses – Civil War
According to our own Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Do these human rights exist today in our country? Is our system conducive to justice and human dignity? I contend that we have sacrificed our liberty for security. We’ve sacrificed justice for safety. We’ve sacrificed freedom for enslavement by fascist corporatism. We’ve sacrificed peace for never ending war. Your government knows everything you are doing. They can monitor your phone calls. They can monitor your emails. They can watch your every move with satellites. They can brand you a terrorist, break down your front door and take you away. All of this can be done in the name of safety. We have allowed this to happen with virtually no debate or dissent from the masses. These choices have led our once great Republic to the edge of the abyss. As we stare into this abyss we have a choice. If we continue on our current path we are destined for a brutish future of totalitarianism, wars, resource depletion, and violent conflicts across the globe. If we display persistence and never say die attitude of Cool Hand Luke, we have a opportunity to capture this country back from the corrupt ruling privileged class. It may take a Revolution to do so, but so be it. If we choose not to fight, we are fated to wear leg chains for the rest of our incarcerated existence.
When the Legislative branch willingly delegates its Constitutional authority to declare war to the Executive branch, the citizenry has no opportunity to be heard. This is a bastardization of our Constitution as envisioned by our Founding Fathers. We have Presidents who invade other countries in the name of God.
“I am driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, ‘George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan’. And I did. And then God would tell me ‘George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq’. And I did.” - George W. Bush
Of course the reason sold to the American public was weapons of mass destruction. I wonder if the American people would have rallied around the flag if they knew President Bush believed he had been instructed by God to invade Iraq. Instead our National Security Advisor was warning of imminent mushroom clouds unless we invaded.
“The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” - Condoleezza Rice
A concerted campaign of lies and exaggerations were used to mislead the American public into supporting the invasion of Iraq. This brainwashing effort covered up the fact that plans were being discussed before 9/11. Paul O’Neill, the Treasury Secretary at the outset of the Bush administration, detailed the preparations in his book The Price of Loyalty. At the first meeting of the National Security Council on January 30, 2001, seven months before the 9/11 attacks, Rumsfeld argued, “What we really want to think about is going after Saddam.” Regime change in Iraq, he argued, would allow the U.S. to enhance the situation of the pro-American Kurds, redirect Iraq toward a market economy, and guarantee a favourable oil policy.
Rumsfeld’s recommendation was taken up by Dick Cheney’s National Energy Policy Development Group. This task force decided that enhanced American influence over the production and sale of Middle East oil should be “a primary focus of U.S. international energy policy,” relegating both the development of alternative energy sources and domestic energy conservation measures as meaningless. By March of 2001, according to O’Neill, who was a member of both the NSC and the task force: “Actual plans…. were already being discussed to take over Iraq and occupy it — complete with disposition of oil fields, peacekeeping forces, and war crimes tribunals — carrying forward an unspoken doctrine of pre-emptive war.” O’Neill also reported that, by the time of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the plan for conquering Iraq had been developed and that Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld indeed urged just such an attack at the first National Security Council meeting convened to discuss how the U.S. should react to the 9/11 attack.
“We know he’s been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.” - Dick Cheney
The result of these lies and secret plans withheld from the American public has been 5,400 dead American soldiers, 46,000 wounded soldiers, $1 trillion in costs to wage the wars, at least 150,000 civilian casualties, and oil prices that have quadrupled since 2001. The blood of all these innocent people is on the hands of those who lied, hid the truth, and committed genocide. The bitter truth is that power, oil, and money have been the driving forces of American imperialism for the last century.
Feeds the Rich While it Buries the Poor
“When the rich wage war, it’s the poor who die.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
I don’t need your civil war
It feeds the rich while it buries the poor
You’re power hungry sellin’ soldiers
In a human grocery store
Ain’t that fresh
I don’t need your civil war
Look at the shoes you’re filling
Look at the blood we’re spilling
Look at the world we’re killing
The way we’ve always done before
Look in the doubt we’ve wallowed
Look at the leaders we’ve followed
Look at the lies we’ve swallowed
And I don’t want to hear no more – Guns N Roses – Civil War
George Washington, a true American warrior, understood that a large military establishment was dangerous to the Republic. He spent eight years in the field fighting for American Independence. He understood the power of a large dominant military.
“Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.” – George Washington
What most people do not understand is the relationship between the Federal Reserve and war. The Federal Reserve is responsible for every economic difficulty that afflicts our nation. Without a Federal Reserve creating fiat paper currency out of thin air, an empire could not wage continuous war. There is no clearer proof than evaluating major U.S. military conflicts prior to 1913 versus after the creation of the Federal Reserve. Between 1791 and 1913 (122 years) the U.S. engaged in only four major conflicts:
- War of 1812
- Mexican-American War
- Civil War
- Spanish-American War
Only the War Between the States can be considered significant and it was fought solely on U.S. soil. The Federal Reserve was created in 1913 by bankers in collusion with politicians in Washington DC. This private central bank, run by a cartel of major banks, has encouraged politicians to wage war. Continuous conflict enriches bankers, as all the money used to wage war is borrowed from them. This may explain why between 1913 and 2010 (97 years) the U.S. has engaged in eleven significant foreign conflicts:
- World War I
- World War II
- Korean War
- Vietnam War
- Grenada Invasion
- Panama Invasion
- Gulf War
- Kosovo War
- Afghan War
- Iraq War
Above and beyond these actual conflicts, we engaged in a 46 year Cold War with the Soviet Union that involved funding opponents to communism, coups, and assassination of foreign leaders. This Cold War was used as an excuse to station troops in over a 100 foreign countries, creation of the military industrial complex and creation of a secret spy agency, the CIA. Conveniently, when the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union, a new amorphous war was created by politicians and their bankers. The nebulous War on Terror has been exploited to create the Department of Homeland Security and passage of the Orwellian Patriot Act, which allows the government to violate Americans’ right to privacy in the name of National Security.
The War on Terror is used as the reason for invading foreign countries and using predator drones to blow up whoever our leaders feel is a threat. The cost for the War on Terror thus far has been $2.3 TRILLION. There are trillions more to be wasted because you can never win a war on terror. Who benefits from a never ending war on terror? Every dime of the $2.3 trillion has been borrowed. The beneficiaries of debt are bankers, as they reap billions in profits and pay themselves millions in bonuses. The money that is loaned to the government is then paid to the companies that constitute the military industrial complex. These companies then buy the support of Congress for their new and improved killing machines. This is the circle of death encompassing Washington DC.
Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution says Congress has the power to coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin and to declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water. The corrupt politicians who have controlled the country for the last century have abrogated their power to coin money to a secretive private bank run by crooked bankers. Since 1941 Congress has failed in their Constitutional duty to be the branch of government that commits citizens of the U.S. to war. They have allowed the executive branch to decide when Americans will die and for what causes. The Bush Doctrine, created by Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz, is policy of preventative war, which holds that the United States should topple foreign regimes that represent a potential or perceived threat to the security of the United States, even if that threat is not immediate; a policy of spreading democracy around the world, especially in the Middle East, as a strategy for combating terrorism; and a willingness to pursue U.S. military interests in a unilateral way. Should the American people follow the doctrine of men who never served a day in the U.S. military and have no difficulty in wiping their blood stained hands all over the U.S. Constitution or a wise Founding Father who risked his life to create that Constitution?
“The Constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure.” – George Washington
Ronald Reagan increased military spending dramatically in the 1980s in an effort to bankrupt the Soviet Union. Total spending on defense in the decade reached $3.8 trillion. The collapse of the only country in the world that threatened the U.S. militarily left a vacuum in the 1990s. This peace dividend resulted in military spending decreasing to $3.3 trillion in the 1990s. Defense companies did not fare well in this decade as plants were closed and employees laid off. The 9/11 terrorist attack was a windfall for the military industrial complex, the neo-conservative Constitution burners, and privileged bankers. With no country on earth capable of competing with our immense military machine, the government used fear, loathing and false patriotism to ramp up military spending to $5.3 trillion during the just completed decade. Ask yourself who benefited from these expenditures. Are you safer? Are you better off financially today? Oil prices rose from $20 a barrel to $145 a barrel. The U.S. National debt rose from $5.7 trillion to $12.3 trillion. The financial system collapsed due to the actions of the Federal Reserve, greedy criminal bankers, and self serving corrupt politicians. And still the wars go on.
War is a Racket
“War is a racket. It always has been. It is 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. A racket 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.” – General Smedley Butler
My hands are tied
For all I’ve seen has changed my mind
But still the wars go on as the years go by
With no love of God or our human rights
and all these dreams are swept aside
By bloody hands of the hypnotized
Who carry the cross of homicide
And history bears the scars of our civil wars
I don’t need your civil war
It feeds the rich while it buries the poor
You’re power hungry sellin’ soldiers
In a human grocery store – Guns N Roses – Civil War
General Smedley Butler, at the time of his death was the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. He was awarded 16 medals, 5 for heroism. His 33 year military career was marked by bravery and brilliance in command. His 1935 book, War is a Racket, detailed how profiteering by corporate fascists encouraged military imperialism by America’s leaders. He condemned the profit motive behind war and described it in no uncertain terms.
“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class thug for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.” – General Smedley Butler
Smedley Butler another Cool Hand Luke character who was willing to stand up for what he knew to be right, no matter the consequences, is nowhere to be found on the political scene today. Only Ron Paul seems able to summon the courage to speak the truth in Washington DC.
“War is never economically beneficial except for those in position to profit from war expenditures. The moral and constitutional obligations of our representatives in Washington are to protect our liberty, not coddle the world, precipitating no-win wars, while bringing bankruptcy and economic turmoil to our people.” – Ron Paul
Those who profit from war are easy to determine. The chart below details the obscene profit increases of the five biggest defense contractors in the U.S. Profits soared by 205% between 2000 and 2007 to $13.5 billion. With revenue up 155%, it is interesting to note that their work forces only grew by 10%, with two of the firms decreasing their work forces. Luckily, the righteous CEOs of these distributors of death were able to increase their compensation by 173%, ranging from $10 million to $60 million per year. 9/11 has proved to be an extreme windfall for peddlers of war. I’m sure the $463 million spent by the Defense Industry to “lobby” Congressmen over the last 10 years has had no impact on these results. I’m certain Haliburton’s association with Vice President Dick Cheney did not factor in the $3.5 billion profit they generated in 2007 after generating only $500 million of profit in 2000.
War most certainly feeds the rich, while it buries the poor. The people pulling the strings in Washington DC are all rich. George Bush, Dick Cheney, Hank Pauson, Ben Bernanke, Barack Obama, and Tim Geithner are all multi-millionaires. It matters not which party controls the levers of power. The racket is perpetual. The most liberal President since FDR is submitting the largest Defense spending budget in U.S. history, exceeding $700 billion for 2010. The cumulative National Debt of the U.S. from 1791 until 1977 (186 years) totaled $699 billion. We now spend more than that every year on war.
There are no rich dying in the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan. There are no wealthy Wall Street bankers’ sons or daughters dying in the Middle East. Isn’t it fresh that there are 237 millionaires out of 535 members of Congress and only 10 members of Congress with a son or daughter putting their lives on the line in Iraq or Afghanistan? The facts are that the lower middle class and poor die in a foreign desert like dogs for no good reason. The rich and powerful line their pockets while selling soldiers in a human grocery store. The hypnotized masses are manipulated by government propaganda, ideologue think tanks, and corporate mainstream media. Even the financial crisis benefits the military industrial complex. Before the crisis, military recruiters had tremendous difficulty in convincing enough young people to become cannon fodder for the War on Terror. When 22% of the population is unemployed, there is no such problem. Nationwide, the Air Force reached its highest number of enlistments since 2004, and the Marines Corps was able to do enough recruiting in 2009 to go from 175,000 in its ranks to 202,000. The Army has exceeded its goal of 80,000 enlistments from 2006 to 2008, and it took in more than 70,000 soldiers, with a goal of 65,000 in 2009. The grocery store shelves have been restocked.
Sometimes Nothing can be a Real Cool Hand
“How did we win the election in the year 2000? We talked about a humble foreign policy: No nation-building; don’t police the world. That’s conservative, it’s Republican, it’s pro-American – it follows the founding fathers. And, besides, it follows the Constitution.” – Ron Paul
I find it revealing that three men who occupied the top military position of the nation, led men into battle, and understood the responsibility in committing American citizens to battle were the most reflective and cautious in using the military power of the U.S. in foreign entanglements.
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
“Although a soldier by profession, I have never felt any sort of fondness for war, and I have never advocated it, except as a means of peace.” – Ulysses S. Grant
“Wars can be prevented just as surely as they can be provoked, and we who fail to prevent them, must share the guilt for the dead.” – Omar N. Bradley
The United States has spent $12.5 trillion on the Military over the last three decades. The U.S. National Debt totals $12.3 trillion. Essentially every dime spent on the military in the last three decades has been borrowed. We police the world using a credit card with an unlimited line of credit. The issuer of the credit card is the Federal Reserve Bank. The systematic destruction the U.S. dollar over the last 97 years has allowed politicians to steal from the middle class and enrich the corporate fascists that control the country. Dr. Edwin Vieira describes the truth of our dilemma:
“Private financial special-interest groups buy politicians; in public office these politicians empower the special-interest groups by statute to manipulate the monetary and banking systems; to the extent that these manipulations succeed, the profits are largely privatized; and to the extent that the manipulations fail, the losses are almost entirely socialized. In either case, the general public is held hostage to the racket, and foots the gargantuan bill for its operation. And the guilty parties escape scot free to steal again, and again, and again.”
We are left a hollowed out economy with a middle class that hasn’t seen their real wages increase in 30 years. Our manufacturing base has been gutted. The only thing this country has produced in the last ten years is killing machines. Is society more likely to advance by producing a computer or a humvee? Is our civilization better off with a plant producing tanks or hybrid cars? Defense spending means the government is pulling away resources from free market uses and instead using them to buy weapons and to pay for soldiers and Blackwater mercenaries. In realistic economic models, defense spending is a direct drain on the economy, reducing efficiency, slowing expansion and costing jobs. Based on the chart below, we’ve made our selection. It is a choice that will surely lead to an economic collapse as the cumulative weight of debt will capsize our ship of state.
We are now at a critical crossroads for our Republic. Normally intelligent Americans must open their eyes to the collusion between politicians, military industrial complex, Federal Reserve and corporate media that have used fear and misinformation to gain power over brainwashed American citizens. The ruling elite fear and despise the American public. The Department of Homeland Security has been given free rein to spy on American citizens, classifies Ron Paul supporters as potential domestic terrorists, considers returning Iraq veterans as a potential threat, and seems to be directing their laser focus toward suppressing domestic civil dissent. U.S. combat troops of Northern Command have been stationed on domestic soil. A list of Executive Orders gives FEMA and the President greater control over many aspects of our lives. Last week Executive Order 13528 created a Council of Governors which will coordinate the Federal and State responses to domestic crisis. The Council will coordinate:
|(a)||matters involving the National Guard of the various States;|
|(d)||synchronization and integration of State and Federal military activities in the United States; and|
|(e)||other matters of mutual interest pertaining to National Guard, homeland defense, and civil support activities.|
Are these the actions of a government preparing for a bright future? The ruling class sees their control slipping away. Any honest financial analyst can perceive that the country is headed for catastrophe. Hyperinflation and disintegration of the U.S. dollar are in our future. The consequence will be anger, chaos, and social unrest. The ruling elite are preparing for this by stationing troops in the U.S. and creating the means to squash any threats to their wealth and power. Now is the time to confront these traitors to the Republic. Speaking the truth, questioning authority, practicing civil disobedience, and peaceful protest are necessary to confront the evil doers today. I believe it is time for every concerned American to invoke their right to bear arms. Totalitarian states always act to install gun control laws. The biggest threat to America is from within, not from without.
“How far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without?” - Dwight D. Eisenhower
We practice selective annihilation
Of mayors and government officials
For example to create a vacuum
Then we fill that vacuum
As popular war advances
Peace is closer
Guns N Roses – Civil War