Zero Hedge from TomDispatch: William Astore on Ending the Pentagon’s Long Con

Peace Intelligence

Ending the Pentagon’s Long Con: Six Ways to Curb America’s Military Machine

By William J. Astore

In short, the U.S. spends staggering sums annually, essentially stolen from a domestic economy and infrastructure that’s fraying at the seams, on what still passes for “defense.” The result: botched wars in distant lands that have little, if anything, to do with true defense, but which the Pentagon uses to justify yet more funding, often in the name of “rebuilding” a “depleted” military. Instead of a three-pointed pyramid scheme, you might think of this as a five-pointed Pentagon scheme, where losing only wins you ever more, abetted by lies that just grow and grow.

. . .

The Biggest Lie of All

Now, let’s take a hard look at ourselves when it comes to weaponry and those wars of “ours.” Because the most significant lies aren’t the ones the president tells us, but those we tell ourselves. The biggest of all: that we can continue to send young men and women off to war without those wars ever coming home.

Think again. America’s shock-and-awe conflicts have indeed come home, big time — with shocking and awful results. On some level, many Americans recognize this. PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is now a well-known acronym. A smaller percentage of Americans know something about TBI, the traumatic brain injuries that already afflict an estimated 314,000 troops, often caused by IEDs (improvised explosive devices), another acronym it would have been better never to have to learn. Wounded Warrior projects remind us that veterans continue to suffer long after they’ve come home, with roughly 20 of them a day taking their own lives in a tragic epidemic of suicides. Meanwhile, surplus military equipment — from automatic weapons to tank-like MRAPs — made for the mean streets of Iraq are now deployed on Main Street, USA, by increasingly militarized police forces. Even the campus cops at Ohio State University have an MRAP!

Here, Americans would do well to ponder the words of Megan Stack, a war correspondent for the Los Angeles Times who drew on her own “education in war” when she wrote: “You can overcome the things that are done to you, but you cannot escape the things that you have done.” She was undoubtedly thinking about subjects like the horrors of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, torture at the CIA’s “black sites,” cities rubblized in the Greater Middle East, and refugees produced by the tens of millions. Somehow, sooner or later, it all comes home, whether we as Americans admit it, or even realize it, or not.

. . .

The best course for this country, unimaginable as it might seem today, is to fight wars only as a last resort and when genuinely threatened (a sentiment that 86% of Americans agree with). In other words, the U.S. should end every conflict it’s currently engaged in, while bringing most of its troops home and downsizing its imperial deployments globally.

What’s stopping us? Mainly our own fears, our own pride, our own readiness to believe lies. So let me list six things Americans could do that would curb our military mania:

Read full essay.

ROBERT STEELE: This is the shortest most articulate and compassionate critique of the US national security state I have ever read. It includes the true cost of sacrificing generations of youth for lies and to commit crimes against humanity, bringing their broken souls back into the national fabric that is so ethically frayed as to be a tiny fraction of what we could and should be. A proper national strategy would cut the Pentagon and the secret intelligence community by up to 70%, and be based on an Open Source Agency providing our President and our public with holistic analytics and true cost economics about all threats, all policies, all products, all behaviors, all options. I met with the senior national security staffer for Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) who back in the day wrote the Foreword for my second book, The New Craft of Intelligence and pitched her on asking the Senator to consider introducing legislation to create the OSA.  She asked me what this agency would do and I answered “tell the truth about everything.” She look at me as if I were some combination of feral rat and lunatic and the meeting was over.  Telling the truth about everything is not where our corrupt Congress, bribed and blackmailed by the Zionists among others, wants to be.  At some point, if President Donald Trump wants to achieve his stated ambitions, he must have an Open Source Agency and he must tell the truth about everything to himself, his family, and the American people.

See Also:

Gordon Duff: A Commentary – Robert David Steele for Secretary of Defense?

Robert Steele with Rob Kall: What Would an Open Source Secretary of Defense Look Like?

SPECIAL: Veterans Today Secretary of Efficient Defense or Secretary of Wasteful War? Robert David Steele as a Candidate – the Only Candidate with a Grand Strategy

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