Saturday, May 1, 2010

Making Things Up

I confess, I am repeating myself because what I am repeating bears repeating. A major factor in our two wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq, in our war on terror, in our peppering the world with military bases, in our actions towards Iran and our droning of Pakistan has nothing to do with oil or the spreading of democracy or the advancing of our global corporate interests.

True, all of these do play a part in our actions, but the overriding factor is the attempt to create an ongoing justification for a bloated and unnecessary military establishment that lost its raison d’ĂȘtre with the fall of the Soviet Union.

As Tom Hayden explains, “It is no accident that the Pentagon is shaping the ‘information battlespace’ by welcoming friendly reporters and think tank hacks to beam back commentaries…to the American people.” It is doing so through the use of “message force multipliers,” which often involves the floating of false or inflated information.

It all boils down to this: because the Military-Industrial Complex no longer has any justification for its existence it must create one by manipulating the public’s “perception.” If no real threat exists, then it creates one. Terrorism is a crime best handled by police and intelligence agencies, unless you are a military complex looking for a reason to live by elevating terrorism into a war, which has the advantage of creating even more terrorists thus increasing the need not only for the existence of the military but for its expansion.

Part of the perception management is the Pentagon belief that “America’s wars best be fought ‘off camera, so to speak.’” Democracy depends upon transparence for its survival. In such a democracy, wars cannot be fought “off camera.” The only rationale for doing so is that our military leaders know damn well that if they were fought on camera, if the public saw real people being murdered and maimed, its support for the wars would dry up.

It is normal for big countries to want to dominate and control smaller countries. The stupid ones try to do it militarily. The smart ones, like China, do so by inking contracts, something China is doing in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and Latin America. Countries that attempt military domination end up bankrupting themselves. Countries that don’t, prosper.

According to Shamus Cooke, China is building up its military to protect its economic expansion. However, the Chinese have one advantage our oligarchs don’t have. They are starting from scratch so they will expand only as much as they need to. They are fortunate that they are not burdened with a gargantuan military establishment.

But thank God, China’s buildup presents another potential threat that will be used to justify our military’s existence. Cook quotes a New York Times article that admits, “…there are few indications that China has aggressive intentions towards the United States or other countries.”

That simply won’t do. So the article goes on to quote a Navy admiral who says, “Of particular concern is that elements of China’s military modernization appear designed to challenge our [U.S. Navy’s] freedom of action in the region.”

Cue Congress to increase the Pentagon’s budget to meet this new “threat.”

Isn’t it wonderful how, when you are packing a gun how threats just keep on multiplying and multiplying? Gotta keep that baby loaded and ready. It’s only a matter of time before our leaders manufacture another one.

1 comment:

jb said...

The Saddest day for our military complex was the day the Berlin wall came down.
CIA and KGB agents were probably toasting each other at the local watering hole and crying on each others shoulders.
Enter the mother of all saviours: the never ending war on terra.
A "war" that will never ever end until we have reduced ourselves to Cain and Abel in that field once again.