THE POWER OF WEAKNESS
In the year of 2018, the United States will apply and spend the largest “defense” budget of all time for any country, or any combination of countries, anywhere. When including health care for veterans of the wars, nuclear weapons maintenance and creation, and homeland security funding this mammoth amount of money exceeds one trillion dollars and does not include any money for the operation of the many intelligence operations. One trillion dollars is much more money when adjusted for inflation than it cost for the most expensive year in fighting both the Germans and the Japanese in WWII.
While the only nuclear carrier fleets, nuclear submarine fleets armed with ballistic missiles with warheads ten to thirty times larger than those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan belong to America, the American executive leadership, congressional representatives in both houses of Congress and the mass media keep right on trumpeting the hoary old message that America is weak and its military forces are failing. The United States has over 200 military bases in the U.S. and over 800 out there on the remainder of the planet. The military occupies land areas in the U.S. taking up as much acreage as that of the State of New Mexico (almost six percent of Hawaii is military owned behind fences). The United States will spend more money on “defense” this year than the rest of the other 121 countries combined. North Korea will spend less than one-thousandth of what the U.S. spends (yes, that is 1/1000th). China alone will spend a little less than ten percent, while Russia will come in at about eight percent.
The United States has been at war with a variety of causes and countries in the Middle East since 2001. It remains at war, with only the causes and the countries changing as time goes by. Yet, the United States has no real enemies. No country or combination of countries can stand against the U.S., no matter how they congregate or from treaties for attack or defense.
But to read the papers and watch television, the money being spent on the military is still not enough. The programs of Social Security and Medicare do not come close to costing as much as this hyped up and phony defense spending, not to mention that Social Security and Medicare are paid for from a separate fund collected and invested (supposedly) by a special payroll tax over the lifetime of the recipients.
The primary business of the United States is national defense construction and maintenance costs needed to keep all those military toys coming, and then operating the way they are supposed to.
Yet still, America remains afraid. If the current differential between the reality of governmental spending, foreign occupation through military bases at home and abroad, and the artifice of fake wars continue on into the future, then America will continue to consider itself weak and remain afraid. There is a question that every American should be asking, and that is ‘who benefits?’ Who benefits from this wild runaway spending for a theoretical defense that is nothing more than a huge worldwide offense? In courts across the country, one of the pillars of investigative results used to determine guilt or innocence in the commission of a crime is motivation. Did the accused criminal have sufficient motivation to commit the crime? Did the accused criminal stand to gain something by committing criminal behavior against someone else?
For some reason, that extremely practical and determinant tool, and conclusion of the prosecution in our court system, is suspended concerning anything that deals with American politics or leadership. Who profited from the assassination of John Kennedy? Nobody investigated that, and nobody was even allowed to officially wonder about it. LBJ wasn’t even rumored to be involved, and neither were any of the other nobodies who were vaulted to grand enrichment and success because of that death. Who profited from the twin towers being destroyed? Again, nobody was allowed to think in those terms. The airline stocks that were purchased short (gambling that the stocks would go down) on September 10th were purchased in record numbers, but the identities of the purchasers (who simply had to know something) are protected secrets to this day. That Bush Jr. went from the most unpopular president of all time to the most popular in 48 hours was, and remains, unexplored. Who benefited from 911?
Who is gaining from this tilt toward funding the military industrial complex predicted and warned against by President Eisenhower so long ago? Why does nobody care? Why is it that the countries executives, senators, ambassadors and representatives now wear ten-thousand-dollar suits to work every day, and arrive mostly in chauffeured limousines, when only a few years ago they used to have regular cars and wear regular outfits? Who is motivated to drive this country to unending war all the time? Where are these military weapons being built and where are these military bases located? Is it really that nobody cares?
The nation continues to arm itself at home, as well as continues building the military behemoth to fight non-existent enemies abroad. Carry conceal is all the rage, and the sale of guns at home skyrockets upwards every time some nut kills a bunch of civilians. Is it not that weapons are being purchased more out of a general fear of made up enemies, rather than fear of real ones?
American continues to broadcast a belief in its own weakness and fear back into its public forums every day and night. It continues to illustrate individual acts of violence, no matter how rare they are statistically and places this front and center of every news report. The saddest part may well be that America is afraid of itself, but not nearly as much as the entire world of remaining countries are frightened to death of it. What a long way the country has come from being the home of the brave and land of the free. How can it come back from where it is headed, when the willingness of the nation’s leadership is lost in some mythical construct of an insane world, while the public beats its collective chest as it raises its weapons toward the sky and whispers ‘please don’t hurt me,’ to non-existent demons painted for them up on the bottoms of slowly passing cloud?
~ James Strauss