In the face of the Wikileaks documents exposing the futility of our murderous, un-winnable, adventures in Afghanistan, Congress approved ANOTHER deficit-ballooning war supplemental while nixing deficit-neutral funds to prevent the layoffs of approximately140,000 teachers. Proving, once again, that the “deficit hawk”, “we must cut spending” meme only gets trotted out when Republicans are further turning the screws on the Middle Class their policies are actively meant to destroy.
A House aide said that the teacher money is a top priority for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Appropriations Committee Chairman David R. Obey, D-Wis… but apparently not as important as pouring unlimited resources into Afghanistan – historically unconquerable since Genghis Kahn.
The bill also cut $10 billion in funding to prevent teacher layoffs, $1 billion for summer youth employment, $5 billion for Pell grants and $701 million for border security, all of which were offset and budget-neutral, whereas the war funding actually increases the national debt.
Here we are again. Fake Republicans and Democrat in Name only, so-called “deficit hawks” who only seem to appear when the late, great, American Middle Class needs relief from the disastrous effects of 30 years of Reaganomics.
The majority of Americans now oppose the war, yet those who are sent to Washington to supposedly represent us, insist on continuing it.
This is a failure of our democracy the same way war is a failure of leadership. Unfortunately for us, war is also quite profitable for the rich benefactors who keep our so-called representatives well greased in Washington.
Our system is broken and corrupted by money. Period. We were warned, though.
Eisenhower warned us of the dangers of the “Military-Industrial Complex”, and our 4th President James Madison wrote,
“Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds are added to those of subduing the force of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes and the opportunities of fraud growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could reserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”
Two time Medal of Honor winner, General Smedley Butler wrote in War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America’s Most Decorated Soldier
“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.
In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.
How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?
Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few – the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.
And what is this bill?
This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.”
It’s been reported that, like the billions of dollars missing in Iraqm, billions are missing in Afghanistan – billions of dollars in OUR MONEY that was shipped on pallets and in giant suitcases and is now, most likely, sitting in the Swiss Bank accounts of Afgan drug—lords.
could going to create jobs in the US, send kids to college, revitalize our crumbing infrastructure or put us on the road to energy independence.
The fact is, even the Pentagon has reported that there are less than 100 Al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan. It’s also been reported that we’ve been aware that it holds vast mineral riches for the taking of any once-vibrant democracy turned oligarchy willing to turn its youth into, as General Butler described, “high class thug(s) for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers.”
This is the world we are creating for future generations. With education available to only the rich, there’s sure to be no shortage of “paupers” willing to be, as Thomas Jefferson wrote, “shot at for a shilling a day.” Of course, the tragedy is that he was bragging to his friend Dr. Thomas Cooper,
“our men are so happy at home that they will not hire themselves to be shot at for a shilling a day. Hence we can have no standing armies for defense, because we have no paupers to furnish the materials.”
I’m afraid that our Founders, as well as many of our predecessors, would be sorely saddened by the fact that we did not heed their warnings and turned the government of “We the People” they passed down into just another sad, dying, empire, functioning to keep the rich in the cat-bird seats of power, looking down at a large pool of cheap labor to exploit and send to war.
This is Post-“American Dream” America – where so few do so much damage to so many… and Republican and DINO leaders respond with, “so what?”
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