Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
America's Permanent War Agenda:
Military Keynesianism on Steroids
By Stephen Lendman
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, April 4, 2011
Previous articles discussed America's culture of violence at
home and abroad. Its entire history, in fact, is blood-drenched,
glorifying conflicts in the name of peace, waging them every year in US
history against one or more domestic and/or foreign adversaries.
Moreover, since WW II, America's had a permanent war agenda for
unchallengeable global dominance throughout decades without enemies since
Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945.
The Pentagon calls it a
"long war." Obama is the latest warrior president following Washington,
Jefferson, Madison, Jackson, Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, Wilson, F. Roosevelt,
Truman, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II preceding
him, as well as all others in between.
In his 2002 book,
"Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace," Gore Vidal said:
rulers for more than half a century have made sure that we are never to be
told the truth about anything that our government has done to other
people, not to mention our own."
Rhetorically resisting tyranny,
supporting free peoples, and promoting democracy, in fact, masks a
destructive, immoral agenda to subjugate and control, no matter the cost
in dollars, public welfare, or human lives.
It's how Seymour Melman (1917 - 2004) characterized it
in his books and frequents writings on America's military-industrial
complex. On March 15, 2003, one of his last articles headlined, "In the
Grip of a Permanent War Economy," saying:
"(A)t the start of the
twenty-first century, every major aspect of American life is being shaped
by our Permanent War Economy." Its horrific toll includes:
de-industrialized nation, the result of decades of shifting production
abroad, leaving unions and communities "decimated;"
financing and promoting "every kind of war industry and foreign investing
by US firms;" war priorities take precedence over essential homeland
-- America's "permanent war economy....has endured since
the end of World War II....Since then the US has been at war - somewhere -
every year, in Korea, Nicaragua, Vietnam, the Balkans - all this to the
accompaniment of shorter military forays in Africa, Chile, Grenada,
Panama," and protracted ones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Palestine,
Somalia, Yemen, Central Africa, Libya, and increasingly against perceived
-- "how to make war" takes precedence over
everything, leaving no "public space (for) how to improve the quality of
-- "Shortages of housing have caused a swelling of the
homeless population in every major city (because) State and city
governments across the country have become trained to bend to the needs of
the military....;" the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH)
estimates nearly 90,000 homeless Chicagoans during the 2009-10 school year
through June 1910, a 19.9% increase over the previous year; the National
Coalition for the Homeless estimates about 3.5 million nationwide;
-- the result is a nation of growing millions of poor, disadvantaged,
uneducated, and "disconnected from society's mainstream, restless and
unhappy, frustrated, angry, and sad;"
characterizes America's government - business partnership, running a
war economy for greater power and wealth at the expense of a nation in
decline, corrupted leadership, lost industrialization, crumbling
infrastructure, and suffering millions on their own, uncared for,
unwanted, ignored, and forgotten to assure steady funding for America's
wars, no matter the cost.
Melman stressed that:
evasion is out of order. We must come to grips with America's State
Capitalism and its Permanent War Economy." Re-industrialization is
essential "to restore jobs and production competence - industry by
"Failing that, there is no hope for any constructive
exit," for the nation or its people.
Dwight Eisenhower's January
17, 1961 Address to the Nation
His farewell address came 30 years
to the day before Operation Desert Storm, in which he warned about the
"military-industrial complex," citing the "grave implications" of a
"coalition of the military and industrialists who profit by manufacturing
arms and selling them to the government."
He stated "we must guard
against the acquisition of unwarranted influence....by the
military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of
misplaced power exists and will persist."
He added that:
"Every gun that is made, every war ship launched, every rocket fired
signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not
fed, from those who are cold and not clothed."
It results from
what analysts call the "iron triangle" of Congress, the Pentagon, and war
industry, including weapons and munitions makers, as well as producers of
sophisticated technology for digital age warfare of a kind Eisenhower
Today, militarism consumers over 40% of the
national tax revenue at the expense of unmet human needs. It's parasitic,
unjustified economically, inefficient, ineffective, self-destructive,
immoral, and illegal in all US wars since WW II. It redistributes income
and resources to the wealthy, undermines physical and human capital,
increases internal vulnerability to natural disasters, is too costly to be
sustained, erodes civil liberties and democratic values, and heads America
for tyranny and ruin.
America's FY 2011 National Defense
In December 2010, Congress unanimously passed a
FY 2011 $725 billion war budget, erroneously called defense.
April 2010, Independent Institute analyst Robert Higgs broke it down in
billions of dollars for 2009 as follows:
-- Department of War -
-- Department of Energy (nuclear weapons and environmental
remediation) - $16.7
-- Department of State (plus international
aid) - $36.3
-- Department of Veterans Affairs - $95.5
Department of Homeland Security - $51.7
-- Department of the
Treasury (for the Military Retirement Fund) - $54.9
-- NASA (half
its budget) - $9.6; in fact, NASA is a de facto military operation, space
the new war frontier; and
-- military-related debt service -
Sub Total - $1,027.5
Add to it regular supplemental
foreign war authorizations as well as black CIA, other intelligence, and
Pentagon budgets totally at least another $500 billion for a grand total
exceeding $1.5 trillion annually.
Moreover, since 1998, Pentagon
spending doubled. Since 2006, it rose 20%. America spends half or more
than the rest of the world combined, and Obama (the peace candidate)
spends more than any previous president, waging twice as many wars as
George Bush despite no prospect of winning any of them. The idea isn't
always to win. It's to fight, the longer the better for huge profits.
At the same time, we're broke, cutting back, slashing public services like
education, healthcare, and other social needs, as well as ignoring
America's crumbling infrastructure.
America's Addiction to War
Noam Chomsky called Joel Andreas' 2004 book, "Addicted to War: Why
the US Can't Kick Militarism:"
An indictment of "the curse of the
people - the attackers and the victims. (It) brilliantly tell(s) us why
and how we must rid ourselves of this curse, quickly, or else descend to
barbarism and destruction."
Howard Zinn said it's a "devastating
portrait of US military policy," and
Helen Caldicott called it "an
addiction that could, in (the) nuclear age, destroy all life on earth,
creating the final epidemic of the human race."
chronicles over two centuries of war, now menacing nations globally. It
explains who benefits, who pays, who loses, who dies, and why militarists
fear peace so create enemies when none exist.
In his 1966 book,
"How the World Really Works," Alan B. Jones included a chapter on the
"Report from Iron Mountain: On the Possibility and Desirability of Peace,"
later published in 1967 by The Dial Press. It became a bestseller, then
disappeared. Now few copies are available, but when circulating in the
1960s, it concerned Johnson administration officials enough to downplay
it, saying it had nothing to do with policy. In fact, it very much did
then and now.
It explained the elements of war and problems of
peace, saying conflicts are an economic, political and ecological
necessity, important to continue indefinitely. In contrast, peace "would
almost certainly not be in the best interest of (a) stable society" and
might be "catastrophic."
In fact, general disarmament would
require "scrapping....a critical proportion of the most highly developed
occupational specialties in the economy."
Diverting an arms budget
to a "non-military system (is) remote (in a) market economy." Replacing it
with public works is "wishful thinking (and) unrealistic."
"the basic social system, within which other secondary modes of social
organization conflict or conspire. (It's) the system (that's) governed
most human societies of record, as it (does) today."
control mechanism approached its effectiveness. War-making potential
doesn't result from threats. In fact, "threats against the national
interest are usually created or accelerated to meet the changing needs of
the war system."
Significant nonmilitary war functions and
benefits were claimed to exist, including economic protections against
depression, and stimulus contributing to the rise of gross national
product and individual productivity. Nothing else devised "can remotely
compare to it in effectiveness." It's the "essential economic stabilizer."
In addition, war's political importance is crucial. It defines and
enforces relations with other nations. National sovereignty and the
traditional nation-state depend on it. The war system is essential to
internal political stability. "Without it, no government has ever been
able to obtain acquiescence (to) its legitimacy, or right to rule its
A nation's authority over its people "resides in its war
powers," including local police to deal with "internal enemies in a
Military service has a patriotic purpose "that
must be maintained for its own sake."
Wars also serve an
ecological purpose - "to reduce the consuming population to a level
consistent with the survival of the species," but mass destruction is
inefficient, and nuclear weapons are indiscriminate, removing physically
stronger members important to save.
Because of medical and
scientific advances, pestilence no longer can control populations
effectively, balancing them with agriculture's potential. As a result,
other measures are needed to control "undesirable genetic traits."
An effective political substitute for war requires "alternate
enemies....of credible quality and magnitude, if a transition to peace is
ever to come about without social disintegration." Most likely, "such a
threat will have to be invented."
Other extreme considerations
were also reviewed, the report concluding that:
Permanent "war is
the foundation for stable government. It supplies the basis for general
acceptance of political authority." It lets societies maintain class
distinctions, ensuring subordination of citizens to the state, run by
elites with "residual war powers," to unleash at their whim. In other
words, for militarists and profiteers, war is good, the more the better.
Winning doesn't matter, just waging them.
Libya - America's Latest
Highlighting Lyndon Johnson's Vietnam quagmire, Pete
Seeger's "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy" condemned "the big fool say(ing) to
push on." Today it's Eurasia, Libya Obama's latest entanglement, promising
more protracted war against another non-belligerent illegally, menacing
world peace, stability, national solvency, and democratic freedoms.
Like his predecessors, Obama glorifies conflicts and the righteousness of
waging them, packaged as liberating ones for democracy, freedom, justice,
and the best of all possible worlds. He's just the latest in a long line
of warrior leaders, waging war for peace, justifying them by bogus
threats, and calling pacifism unpatriotic to further an imperial agenda
for greater wealth, power, and unchallengeable global dominance - a
national sickness heading America for tyranny and ruin.
candidate, he campaigned against imperial militarism, promised limited
escalation only, and pledged to remove all combat troops from Iraq by
August 31, 2010. He lied. War in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan continue
unabated, now another in Libya to control the entire Mediterranean Basin,
then on to another, and still more ad infinitum, no matter the cost or
On March 30, New York Times writers Mark
Mazzetti and Eric Schmitt headlined, "CIA Agents in Libya Aid Airstrikes
and Meet Rebels," saying:
"....CIA operatives have been working in
Libya for several weeks as part of a shadow force (Obama) hopes can help
bleed Colonel Qaddafi's military...."
In fact, CIA agents have
been in Libya and throughout North Africa and the Middle East for years
along with UK MI 6 officers. Moreover, "current and former British
officials said that (hundreds) of British special forces
and....intelligence officers are working inside Libya. (They've) been
directing airstrikes from British jets and gathering intelligence about
the whereabouts of" Gaddafi's forces and heavy weapons.
30, Reuters headlined, "Exclusive: Obama authorizes secret help for Libya
He signed a secret "finding" in recent weeks
"authorizing covert US government support for rebel forces," including CIA
and special forces aid, as well as weapons, though officially "no decision
has been made about providing arms...." On March 29, Secretary of State
Clinton tacitly confirmed it, saying:
"It is our interpretation
(of SC Resolution 1973 to include) a legitimate transfer of arms (to rebel
forces) if a country should choose to do that."
UK Prime Minister
Cameron concurred, saying:
"Our view is that this (resolution)
would not necessarily rule out the provision of assistance to those
protecting civilians in certain circumstances."
In other words,
when America and Britain wage war, anything goes, in fact, whether or not
any UN resolution authorizes it. Washington especially has its own rules
of engagement, concerned only about defeating adversaries by any means,
within or outside the law.
The CIA declined comment on
involvement in Libya, including about Khalifa Hifter. Once a top Libyan
military officer, he spent the last two decades in suburban Virginia.
Reportedly he has longstanding CIA ties. On or about March 24, he was
appointed top military commander for Libya's rebel forces.
other words, CIA's man is running insurgent belligerence, directing
cutthroat killers, terrorizing areas they control, exposing Washington's
disdain for humanitarian intervention, as well as its direct involvement
against a sovereign leader, whether democrat or despot.
On March 28, Global Research published the testimony of
Russian doctors in Libya, confirming the bombing of civilian targets,
what, in fact, America does in all wars, civilians as fair game as
combatants the way they've been waged in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan
with no major media discussion, airbrushing truth from all reports.
An open letter from Russian doctors to Russia's president explained
-- "blatant (US and NATO) aggression (is ongoing) against
(another) sovereign country - Libya;"
-- "....bombing of Tripoli
and other cities in Libya is aimed not only at the objects of air defense
and Libya's Air Force and not only against the Libyan army, but also the
object of military and civilian infrastructure;"
-- bombing around
"densely populated residential areas" is ongoing;
-- "bombs and
rockets struck residential houses and fell near the hospital;" a wall in
the maternity ward collapsed; 10 miscarriages resulted; the women are in
intensive care, doctors fighting to save them;
-- they've been
dozens of deaths and injuries; and they call this "protecting the civilian
-- "With full responsibility as witnesses and
participants of what is happening, we state that the United States and its
allies are thus carrying out genocide against the Libyan people - as was
the case in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq."
and co-belligerents France and Britain plan replacing Gaddafi with a
subservient puppet, serving Western, not popular, interests. Libya's
corpse will be divided and controlled, its people exploited, their
freedoms given no chance to materialize, their land irradiated by toxic
munitions, harming their lives and futures irreparably.
marks two weeks of war, the start of months or perhaps years of protracted
conflict, assuring widespread death, injuries, disabilities and
destruction. A previous article explained it's assured when America
arrives - on depleted uranium cruise missiles, bombs and shells, not white
horses for humanitarian intervention, peace and democratic values, notions
all US administrations disdain.
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