tagged w/ Militarism
By Glen Ford
“The 2nd Brigade’s deployment is a much larger assignment, aimed at making all of Africa a theater of U.S. military operations.”
2013 is the year the U.S. kicks off its wholesale military occupation of Africa. The escalation should come as no surprise, since the Army Times newspaper  reported, back in June, that a U.S. brigade of at least 3,000 troops would become a permanent presence on the continent in the new year. On Christmas Eve, the Pentagon announced that 3,500 soldiers of the 1st Infantry Division’s 2nd Brigade, in Fort Riley, Kansas, will be sent to Africa, supposedly to confront a threat from al-Qaida in Mali, where Islamists have seized the northern part of the country. But the 2nd Brigade is scheduled to hold more than 100 military exercises in 35 countries , most of which have no al-Qaida presence. So, although there is no doubt that the U.S. will be deeply involved in the impending military operation in Mali, the 2nd Brigade’s deployment is a much larger assignment, aimed at making all of Africa a theater of U.S. military operations.The situation in Mali is simply a convenient, after-the-fact rationale for a long-planned expansion of the U.S. military footprint in Africa.
The Pentagon’s larger purpose in placing an army brigade on roving duty all across the continent is to acclimate African commanders to hosting a permanent, large scale U.S. presence. This is a very different kind of invasion – more like an infiltration-in-force. The Pentagon’s strategy is designed to reinforce relationships that the U.S. Africa Command has been cultivating with African militaries since the establishment of AFRICOM  during George Bush’s last year in office. As an infiltrating force, AFRICOM has been a phenomenal success.
“Militarily, the West Africans are totally dependent.”
Militarily speaking, the African Union has become an annex of the Pentagon . The AU’s biggest operation, in Somalia, is armed, financed and directed by the U.S. military and CIA. The 17,000 African troops on so-called peace-keeping duty in Somalia are, for all practical purposes, mercenaries for the Americans – although poorly paid ones. Ethiopian and Kenyan forces act as extensions of U.S. power in the East Africa. U.S. Special Forces roam the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic – ostensibly looking for the fugitive warlord Joseph Kony but, in reality, establishing a web of U.S. military infrastructures  throughout center of the continent. Uganda and Rwanda keep the eastern Congo’s mineral riches safe for U.S. and European corporations – at the cost of 6 million Congolese lives. Their militaries are on the Pentagon’s payroll.
More at the linkBy Glen Ford “The 2nd Brigade’s deployment is a much larger assignment,... more
Huge corporations and foreign nations take a proprietary interest in the government of the United States because they own it. They bought it at the on-going auction called 'K-street' where is sold to the highest bidders the services of Congress, the White House and even the US Supreme Court.Huge corporations and foreign nations take a proprietary interest in the government of... more
Government works quite well for big corporations, banks, insurance companies, military contractors, lobbyists, and for the rich and powerful. But it does not work for people.
March 7, 2010 |
Photo Credit: yomanimus
It is time for a revolution. Government does not work for regular people. It appears to work quite well for big corporations, banks, insurance companies, military contractors, lobbyists, and for the rich and powerful. But it does not work for people.
The 1776 Declaration of Independence stated that when a long train of abuses by those in power evidence a design to reduce the rights of people to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it is the peoples right, in fact their duty to engage in a revolution.
Martin Luther King, Jr., said forty three years ago next month that it was time for a radical revolution of values in the United States. He preached “a true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies.” It is clearer than ever that now is the time for radical change.
Look at what our current system has brought us and ask if it is time for a revolution?
Over 2.8 million people lost their homes in 2009 to foreclosure or bank repossessions – nearly 8000 each day – higher numbers than the last two years when millions of others also lost their homes.
At the same time, the government bailed out Bank of America, Citigroup, AIG, Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the auto industry and enacted the troubled asset (TARP) program with $1.7 trillion of our money.
Wall Street then awarded itself over $20 billion in bonuses in 2009 alone, an average bonus on top of pay of $123,000.
At the same time, over 17 million people are jobless right now. Millions more are working part-time when they want and need to be working full-time.
Yet the current system allows one single U.S. Senator to stop unemployment and Medicare benefits being paid to millions.
There are now 35 registered lobbyists in Washington DC for every single member of the Senate and House of Representatives, at last count 13,739 in 2009. There are eight lobbyists for every member of Congress working on the health care fiasco alone.
At the same time, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that corporations now have a constitutional right to interfere with elections by pouring money into races.
The Department of Justice gave a get out of jail free card to its own lawyers who authorized illegal torture.
At the same time another department of government, the Pentagon, is prosecuting Navy SEALS for punching an Iraqi suspect.
The US is not only involved in senseless wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the U.S. now maintains 700 military bases world-wide and another 6000 in the US and our territories. Young men and women join the military to protect the U.S. and to get college tuition and healthcare coverage and killed and maimed in elective wars and being the world’s police. Wonder whose assets they are protecting and serving?
In fact, the U.S. spends $700 billion directly on military per year, half the military spending of the entire world – much more than Europe, China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, North Korea, and Venezuela - combined.
The government and private companies have dramatically increased surveillance of people through cameras on public streets and private places, airport searches, phone intercepts, access to personal computers, and compilation of records from credit card purchases, computer views of sites, and travel.
The number of people in jails and prisons in the U.S. has risen sevenfold since 1970 to over 2.3 million. The US puts a higher percentage of our people in jail than any other country in the world.
The tea party people are mad at the Republicans, who they accuse of selling them out to big businesses.
Democrats are working their way past depression to anger because their party, despite majorities in the House and Senate, has not made significant advances for immigrants, or women, or unions, or African Americans, or environmentalists, or gays and lesbians, or civil libertarians, or people dedicated to health care, or human rights, or jobs or housing or economic justice. Democrats also think their party is selling out to big business.
Forty three years ago next month, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached in Riverside Church in New York City that “a time comes when silence is betrayal.” He went on to condemn the Vietnam War and the system which created it and the other injustices clearly apparent. “We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing oriented” society to a “person oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”
It is time.Government works quite well for big corporations, banks, insurance companies, military... more
"Militarism is the way corporations maintain their access to their food supply — the planet." --Steve Martinot, Militarism and Global Warming"Militarism is the way corporations maintain their access to their food supply... more
Chalmers Johnson: "We have to back down unless we are looking for real confrontation with Russia". Part 3
Chalmers Johnson: "It's amazing that we have gone this far pushing the Russians around ... They are the only people on earth who could literally destroy us."
Chalmers Johnson taught from 1962 to 1992 at the Berkeley and San Diego campuses of the University of California. From 1968 until 1972 he was a consultant to the Office of National Estimates of the Central Intelligence Agency. He has written 17 books. His most recent releases are “Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire” (Metropolitan Books, 2000) and “The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic” (Metropolitan, 2004) and his newest book, “Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic" (Metropolitan, 2007). Chalmers has been a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times, the London Review of Books, Harper’s Magazine, and The Nation among others, he appears in the 2005 prize-winning documentary film "Why We Fight".
See Part 1 at: http://current.com/items/89370666_massive_us_military_budget_passed
See Part 2 at: http://current.com/items/89373406_last_days_of_the_american_republic
Chalmers Johnson: "We have to back down unless we are looking for real... more
McCain's neocon foreign policy adviser has been a lobbyist for arms companies & Saakashvili's Georgia.
Randy Scheunemann, John McCain’s Senior Foreign Policy Advisor, Lobbyist, and a former director of the neo conservative Project for a New American Century. A group which advocates global strategic and ideological predominance of the United States through military force. He has been a Republican political insider In Washington since 1986. He served on the staffs of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and as National Security Adviser to Senate Republican and Majority Leaders Bob Dole and Trent Lott from 1993-99. He was also McCain’s defense and foreign policy advisor during the bid for the White House in 2000. About his relationship with McCain the web site RIGHT WEB reports: He introduced the senator to the foreign ministers of Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia as they tried to win admission to NATO, and a representative of Taiwan as it lobbied for free trade, records show.
Mr. Scheunemann also accompanied Mr. McCain to Latvia in 2001 and Georgia in 2006. He has led 3 lobbying firms, SCHEUNEMANN & ASSOCIATES, ORION STRATEGIES and the MERCURY GROUP. He has lobbied for among others: Arms manufacturers and gun associations, Oil Firms, And represented foreign governments Including Georgia. The Wall Street Journal reported that “Mr. Scheunemann's firm (Orion Strategies) has earned more than $2 million since 2004 lobbying U.S. officials, including Sen. McCain and his staff, on behalf of various clients including Georgia, records show. His lobbying for Saakashvili has led to the inference by Journalist Robert Scheer on TruthDig, Conservative Columnist Pat Buchanan on Creators Syndicate, and indirectly Vladimir Putin of Russia, to suggest that he had something to do with Georgia’s attack on the breakaway region of South Ossetia in early August. Randy Scheunemann has been described as John McCain’s Henry Kissinger or Zbignew Brzeniski.
Senior Analyst at Political Research Associates, Chip Berlet is a veteran freelance writer and photographer who specializes in investigating right-wing social movements, apocalyptic scapegoating and conspiracism, and authoritarianism. A PRA staffer since 1982, he has written, edited and co-authored numerous articles on right-wing activity and government repression for publications as varied as the The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The Progressive, The Nation, The Humanist, and The St. Louis Journalism Review. Mr. Berlet edited Eyes Right! Challenging the Right-wing Backlash, co-published by PRA and South End Press (1995), a popular primer on the right. He is also co-author with Matthew N. Lyons of Right-wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort, published by Guilford Press (2000).McCain's neocon foreign policy adviser has been a lobbyist for arms companies... more
Matt Welch, of Reason.com, provides a history of McCain and his move to the militant neocons. Part 4
See Part 1 at: http://current.com/items/89269364_palin_a_bold_move_or_reckless_choice
See Part 2 at: http://current.com/items/89274547_mccain_and_the_independent_vote
See Part 3 at: http://current.com/items/89276276_the_myth_of_mccain
Matt Welch, of Reason.com, provides a history of McCain and his move to the militant... more
Col. (Retd.) Ann Wright on responsible US withdrawal from Iraq and the prospects for a peaceful future.
Mary Ann Wright has been a career military woman, a State Department diplomat, and an influential spokesperson in the anti-war movement. She served 13 years in active duty, 16 years in the Army reserves, and another 16 years as a foreign diplomat in countries such as Nicaragua, Somalia, Uzbekistan, and Sierra Leone. She is coauthor with Susan Dixon of "Dissent: Voices of Conscience", the stories of those in the Bush administration and other governments who have had the courage to speak out. "Dissent" was published January 2008 by Koa Books.Col. (Retd.) Ann Wright on responsible US withdrawal from Iraq and the prospects for a... more
Late Monday night downtown Portland's residents were drawn out into their streets by a strange sound described as being "lawnmower" like. What they found over their heads cost a little more than a Cub Cadet, MH-6M "Little Bird" light assault choppers, were dropping armed soldiers on top of buildings in a DOD exercise straight out of an Alex Jones exercise that frighted residents.Late Monday night downtown Portland's residents were drawn out into their streets... more