World Should Deliver Strong Military Blow to U.S.

These are the desperate words of one American author and foreign policy expert William Blum.
In his latest book, he considers “democracy” as America’s deadliest export commodity and we could not agree more.

Each dictatorship that they nurtured beforehand and then try to remove for democracy’s sake is replaced with sectarian violence addicted for more military hardware.

Memorial Day: Praying for Peace While Waging Permanent War?

Posted: 05/24/2015 10:05 pm EDT Updated: 05/25/2015 10:59 am EDT

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Memorial Day is, by federal law, a day of prayer for permanent peace. But is it possible to honestly pray for peace while our country is far and away number one in the world in waging war, military presence, military spending and the sale of weapons around the world?
Permanent War
Since 1980 the U.S. has engaged in aggressive military action in 14 countries in the Islamic world alone, according to research published in the Washington Post: Iran (1980, 1987-1988), Libya (1981, 1986, 1989, 2011), Lebanon (1983), Kuwait (1991), Iraq (1991-2011, 2014-present), Somalia (1992-1993, 2007-present), Bosnia (1995), Saudi Arabia (1991, 1996), Afghanistan (1998, 2001-present), Sudan (1998), Kosovo (1999), Yemen (2000, 2002-prsent), Pakistan (2004-present) and now Syria. In this hemisphere, U.S. military forces invaded Grenada (1983) and Panama (1989) and landed 20,000 military forces in Haiti (1994).
U.S. Global War Machine
The U.S. has 1.3 million people in the military, and another 1 million serve in the military reserves. The U.S. has over 700 military bases in 63 countries across the world, deploying over 255,000 U.S. military personnel there. The Department of Defense officially manages over 555,000 buildings on 4,400 properties inside the U.S., and on over 700 properties across the globe. The U.S. has over 1,500 strategic nuclear warheads; over 13,000 military aircraft; dozens of submarines, many of which carry nuclear weapons; and 88 destroyer warships.
Global Harm
Nearly 7,000 U.S. military people died as a result of the wars waged by the U.S. since 9/11. Just as important, in Iraq over 216,000 combatants, most of them civilians, have died since the 2003 invasion. Some estimates of Iraq casualties are double that. No one even counted civilian deaths in Afghanistan for the first five years of our war there. Our drone attacks have murdered hundreds of children and civilian adults in Pakistan, and dozens more in Yemen.
World Leader in War Spending
U.S. military spending is about the same as the total of military spending by the next eight largest countries combined — that is, more than China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, the UK, India and Germany combined.
Since 9/11 U.S. spending on our military cost well over $3 trillion. Direct combat and reconstruction costs for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq since 9/11 have officially cost U.S. taxpayers $1.6 trillion dollars, according to the Congressional Research Service. Additional trillions have been spent on growing the Pentagon budget, and for present and future increased health and disability benefits for veterans.
The U.S. military captures 55 percent of our national discretionary spending, and spending on veterans benefits is another 6 percent. Since 9/11 military spending has increased by 50 percent, while spending on other discretionary domestic spending increased by 13 percent, according to the National Priorities Project.
Corporate War Profiteers
With these trillions being spent on war, there are legions of corporations profiting.
The number-one war profiteer is Lockheed Martin, according to USA Today, with annual arms sales of $36 billion. Not surprisingly, Lockheed Martin spends over $14 million a year on lobbying the people who make the decisions about how much money is spent on weapons and which weapons will be purchased. Their CEO is paid over $15 million, according to their 2015 shareholder report, and on their board is James Ellis, a former admiral and commander in chief of U.S. Strategic Air Command, who gets paid over $277,000 for the part-time work, and James Loy, former Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, who gets over $260,000 for his part-time work. Lockheed receives substantial government contracts, amounting, by one calculation, to over $260 from each taxpaying household in the U.S. They are so entitled that a 2014 special investigation by the U.S. Department of Energy found that Lockheed used taxpayer funds to lobby for more taxpayer funds.
The number-two war profiteer is Boeing, with annual arms sales of $31 billion. Boeings spends over $16 million a year on lobbying. The rest of the top ten corporations profiting from war include BAE Systems, General Dynamics, Raytheon, EADS, Finmeccanica, L-3 Communications, and United Technologies. You can track their corporate contributions to members of Congress, especially the politicians on the Appropriations Committees of the House and Senate, on Open Secrets.
While most of the lobbying money has gone to Republicans, all the arms merchants hire lobbyists who can influence Democrats and Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
And these war profiteers do not just sell to the U.S. government. The U.S. sold more than $26 billion in weapons to foreign nations and has been number one for a long time, though recently that title has been going back and forth with Russia.
What to Do
On April 4, 1967, in his famous Riverside Church address, Martin Luther King Jr. said the U.S. government was the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. In response, he called for a true revolution of values. This revolution calls us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies, including war and the contrast of wealth and poverty in our own country and across the world.
As he left office, former U.S. President and General Dwight Eisenhower warned citizens of the growing military-industrial complex. He saw the influence of the war machine and urged all citizens to be alert and force “the huge industrial and military machinery of defense” to respond to democracy and the peoples’ desires for peace.
What must we do?
First, we must learn the facts and face the truth that the U.S. is the biggest war maker in the world. Second, we must commit ourselves and organize others to a true revolution of values and confront the corporations and politicians who continue to push our nation into war and inflate the military budget with the hot air of permanent fear mongering. Third, we must admit what our country has been doing wrong, and we must make amends for the violence that the U.S. has waged on countries all over our world. Fourth, we must withdraw our military from all other countries, dramatically downsize our military, disarm our nuclear weapons, and truly stick to defending our own country. Fifth, we must work for peaceful, just solutions to conflict here at home and across our world. Only when we work for the day when the U.S. is no longer the world leader in war will we have the right to pray for peace on Memorial Day.
Huffington Post

Blum to Sputnik: World Should Deliver Strong Military Blow to US

William Blum
The United States’ foreign policy is all about “world domination” and not the spread of democracy as US leaders claim, according to American author and foreign policy analyst William Blum.

“Whatever the actual effect of an American intervention, the intention is never the spreading of democracy,” Blum told Sputnik’s Spanish service. “The intention is a regime change to put into power, or retain in power, forces more amenable to the goals of US foreign policy.”

In his latest book, “America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy,” Blum dislodges the US government’s narrative of spreading democracy, arguing that such discourse is used by Washington to forward a self-interested and self-serving foreign policy.
Blum worked for the State Department in the 1960s, and despite long-held dreams of becoming a Foreign Policy Officer, he left the agency in 1967 after growing disillusioned with the United States’ intervention in Vietnam. Since then, Blum has dedicated his career to exposing the consequences of the US’s interventionist foreign policy.
He contends Washington has in fact not only played a part in supporting brutal dictatorships abroad, but additionally played an active role in ensuring their survival.

Giving the examples of key US allies such as Saudi Arabia, Honduras, Egypt, and Qatar, the author notes “it would be difficult to name a single brutal dictatorship…that was not supported by the United States.”
More specifically, according to Blum, the US’ foreign policy which ostensibly seeks to promote democracy has in fact resulted in the birth of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS).
“IS would not exist if not for the US,” he said.
Washington has successfully eliminated the secular governments needed by the people in the Middle East that are currently suffering the most from Islamic extremism, Blum argued.

Afghanistan, he noted, was ruled under a “relatively progressive” secular government in the 1970s and much of the 1980s. That was until the “United States overthrew it, allowing the Taliban to come to power.”
Then came Iraq, which Blum posited was “another secular society, under Saddam Hussein,” until the US’ invasion in 2033. “Now,” he said, “The country is overrun by crazed and bloody jihadists and fundamentalists of all kinds.”
Washington continued to play its hand in regional politics through its involvement in the 2010-2011 Arab Spring, Blum noted. He pointed out that Libya had the highest standard of living among countries in Africa under Muammar Gaddafi who, “like Saddam Hussein, had a tyrant side to him, but could in important ways be benevolent and do marvelous things for Libya.”

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Following the NATO-led coalition air strikes on Libya and Gaddafi’s death in 2011, however, Blum said now the country has been reduced to a “failed state.”
The same can be seen in the conflict in Syria, where Washington has “been doing its best to overthrow the secular government,” as the country turns into “a playground and battleground for all manner of crazed and bloody jihadists and fundamentalists, including everyone’s new favorite, the Islamic State.”
The ongoing conflict in Ukraine, according to the author, is another example in which Washington’s involvement has only served to deteriorate the situation.
Asked about his views on the EU’s involvement there, Blum did not mince words: “The EU has been used by Washington in its new cold war against Russia,” he said, suggesting that the Union needs more “backbone to stand up to the US.”
“The US has to lose its obsession with world domination,” Blum said. “There’s nothing the rest of the world can do except join together and deliver a strong military blow to the US.”
Sputnik
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