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 doesn’t 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 Arithmetic”:
Only three 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 war zone)…. 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.
The federal 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 America’s 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 continues:
Uncle Sam will spend $3.796 trillion in 2012 compared with $1.863 trillion in 2001…
There is 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….
But what’s new? War is a racket. Always has been. Major Gen. Smedley D. Butler explains:
[War] 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.
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.
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From the Archives…
The US Deficit of Deceit
2012-06-22 – Greg Canavan
How Nice to Have Friends At the Fed
2012-06-21 – Bill Bonner
Deep in the Stock Market Trenches
2012-06-20 – Murray Dawes
In Praise of the Eureka Rebellion
2012-06-19 – Dan Denning
What Could Possibly Go Wrong With Infrastructure Investment Bonds?
2012-06-18 – Dan Denning