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Presidents Change, America’s Love Affair With War Doesn’t

Presidents and policy changes come and go, but behind the scenes it is business as usual, and the business of America, is war. 

It’s getting hard to remember what life before Trumpdom was like. 

The daily spectacle of a man championed as a hero to one side and completely out of his depth with an administration in free-fall to the other, has provided wonderfully morbid entertainment. 

Add smut, marital tension, tribal warfare, whiffs of nepotism and treason, and the whole thing starts to look like a bizarre cross between a Shakespearean drama and a TV soap opera. You just couldn’t write it.

This is smoke-and-mirrors at its most masterful, and we can all be forgiven for taking our eye off the ball.  The charm and erudition of Obama, the bumbling jingoism of George W. and the suave sincerity of Bill Clinton, have all been but warm-up acts for the one-man circus that is Donald Trump. 

The antics of Trump provide the distraction, but the plan remains the same: to ensure hegemony, both internationally and domestically, for the ruling elite. 

Presidents and policy changes come and go, but behind the scenes it is business as usual, and the business of America, is war. 

The real thrust of American domestic and foreign policy has not, and will not change one iota.  Military might and the ability to cow the nations of the globe have been central to American strategy for the last century. 

Whether Trump has exaggerated his claims for defense spending or not, the fact remains that overall, the U.S spends more on armaments than any other nation on earth.  And she will continue to do so.  This year alone, the defense budget will total nearly 700 billion dollars or around 15 percent of the total federal budget.

Why is this?  Does America need to secure her borders from invasion by a foreign power?  Of course not.  The sole purpose of such mind-boggling expenditure is the maintenance and expansion of the American Empire—an empire that serves the needs of the few while riding roughshod over the needs of the many.

The military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about in the ’50s still drives military spending, it still dictates policy to the administrations that pass through the revolving door of the Whitehouse and it is still responsible for the deaths of innocents every day of the year. 

Estimates vary, but America’s direct and proxy wars have killed over 20 million people since World War II.  Peace, prosperity and democracy are what we are told she exports, but in reality, the exports are murder and mayhem. 

War makes money. Period.  It’s unpalatable, but it’s true.  And it’s a truth that hides in plain view; it’s just that the majority of us choose not to see it. 

To start to see the world as it really is would undermine all of the feelings of security we draw from the culture and society that have shaped us.  It is like staring into the void, and for most people it is too terrifying to contemplate. 

And who can blame us?  At home, the litany of societal ills continues to grow in number and scope.  Collapse looms.  The creep towards a fully-fledged police state continues. 

The poor are denied proper health care; literacy and numeracy rates are falling; environmental protections are rescinded; minorities are discriminated against; homelessness soars. 

The land of the free and the home of the brave?  Come on.  Per capita, the model democracy of Turkmenistan locks up fewer people…


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1 Comment

  1. Barbara Dean October 16, 2018

    Thanks for sharing this post with us


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