“So well thy words become thee as thy wounds;
They smack of honor both. Go get him surgeons.”
— Duncan, Macbeth
Once more the right is hysterically banging on the war drums and this time Iran is the major target. They have our army gearing up to butcher through the Iranian people, and not in existential desperation or even the stupidity of vengeance. Instead, the American military industrial complex is preparing to start this war under the pretext of preventing Iran from (potentially) some day being able to attack one of our allies to the same extent that our allies are currently capable of attacking Iran. Besides the immoral butchery of war, there are many obvious frauds stewing about in the Iran war mongering effort. As Antiwar puts it:
The pretext for war with Iran is that its nuclear enrichment program may have a military dimension to it. Embarrassingly for the hawks, there is a broad consensus throughout the military and intelligence community that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons and has not demonstrated any intention of doing so. Even the Israelis can’t deny the evidence on this, but they have been insisting a preemptive strike is necessary in order to disable Iran’s enrichment activities before entering a “zone of immunity.”
Not that nationalized paranoia has ever needed to be evidence-based or rational, but even by typical standards of American political naivete this bad logic on top of bad evidence simply shouldn’t stand scrutiny. So the war-makers need to find other ways to gin up an impoverished and recently indignant population.
One of the more natural appeals for militant nationalists (also known as hawks) is directly to the “enraged victim” psychology. They managed to get two wars out of the American people after 9/11 using these types of appeals. But with so much of al Qaeda’s top network incapacitated and so many of the world’s people rising up and challenging their own dictators, our empire-justifying promises of American-style “liberation” should hold no credibility and perhaps even less appeal to the American people–and yet they do.
Our decade of resource plunder at the behest of multi-national business conglomerates has been shown for what it is, the spoils of a brutal conqueror. And yet, the “booty” of our the horrors in Iraq and Afghanistan has been two-fold. For their share, the 1 Percent asserted their control over large swaths of the planet’s most expensive resources. They also sold the American tax-payer billions in killing machines, surveillance operations and prisons. For our share, the 99% of Aghanistan, Iraq and America split the remainder of the take in lost lives, lost jobs, lost years, destroyed communities, massive debt and a vile reversion to a more defensive, paranoid style of politics.
In fact, the moral horror of war, and the millions of haunted bodies and minds it returns, are rarely mentioned in the gin-up currently being pumped into our national discourse. If we did have a moment in our civic discourse to rise above the reptilian thinking that makes us so manipulable to the 1 Percent, we as a people could pause and observe all that we’ve lost from immoral and inhumane war over the last 10 years, and understand all that we would stand to once more lose in yet another immoral and inhumane war. What strikes in contrast to all the evidence against empire building from the Lost American Decade is the five years of unmitigated warmongering against Iran.
If either nation had any credibility with its own people, the strangest thing in all this would be that Iran and America, both of whom have responded with militarized violence against their own people when recently challenged, suddenly ask for the money and blood from those very same brutalized people in order to go brutalize some other already-brutalized people even further. Is there no shame in beating your people into a pulp in the streets of New York, DC and Oakland and then attempting to brainscrew those same people into brutalizing other hungry impoverished people in the streets of Tehran?
The signature on the receipt for this murderous rip-off will still land squarely in our laps. In both corpses and coffers, it’s We the People, the hapless 99ers, who will pick up the tab. The truth is war-mongerers are the biggest deadbeats around. The companies that lobby for war, and reap the greatest profits, are obscenely under-taxed. The legislators who have taken these motivating chunks of corporate money see their power consolidated by that money as well as the reciprocal support from a corporate militarized government. Members of the one percent, their tax rate is far lower than yours. In fact, it’s the lowest it’s been in a generation. Less blessed with lobbyists to warp the tax code in their favor, the 99 Percent would be the ones ultimately paying the price for a war on Iran on every conceivable level.
As if ginning the people up for war, systematic legalized murder and pillage, wasn’t bad enough, among the most absurd of the lines of logic is that war with Iran, and all other fundamentalist oppressors, would be a great way to promote “job growth” in the United States. It seems the economic lessons of the Iraq war and higher military spending have still not registered with the American people.
“higher military spending raises interest rates, which reduces net exports, housing construction and car sales, thereby slowing the economy and job creation.”
The American people can no longer afford the debts or fatalities of another war. Our shared funds, the tax pool, can’t stand the strain. In a time when we’re closing hospitals and schools, it seems perilously stupid to be closing more hospitals and schools in order to go destroy other people’s hospitals and schools.
We’re already generations deep into debt and it has far too much to do with us paying for the cravings of our 1 Percent. In an economy that produces just over $15 trillion a year in Gross Domestic Product, just about 1 in 12 dollars goes to the militarizing our authority over the planet.
“If Americans were ever presented with the real bill for the total U.S. national security budget, it would actually add up to more than $1.2 trillion a year.”
To pretend there are great economic benefits to be shared from our insatiable obsessions with war is either deceit or self-deceit. In a recent study the Political Economy Research Institute found that “on a per dollar basis spending on health care or energy conservation creates 50 percent more jobs than spending on the military.” It’s time to stop believing in the Military Spending Fairy as even in the long term, massive “defense” spending actually leads to job loss. The Department of Defense’s crocodile tears over a supposed budget cut of 30% is total malarky. Baseline spending, which doesn’t account for contractor over-runs and other “potentialities,” is projected to rise over the next 10 years despite Pentagon claims to “military austerity.” And even if the pretended $1 trillion savings are achieved, “one trillion dollars in military cuts over 10 years would bring us, in real terms, to the same level we spent in 2007” according to a recent report from Foreign Policy in Focus.
There’s nothing in this war, or frankly any war, for us, the 99 Percent. This merely represents a new stage in the acquisitive conflicts of the 1 Percent in which they suck the 99 Percent to do their fighting for them. Now that we’ve paid off their speculative adventurism, at the cost of gutting public services we’ve come to depend on for generations, the 1 Percent has their eyes dead-set on ripping us off for another bloody raid. America can no longer afford its deadbeat billionaires hell-bent on conquering and dominating the world. They are the spoiled children of our national community, and they have the biggest guns around. From trillions in bailouts, to trillions in war, they just keep taking and taking, and like the spoiled children they are they complain when anyone else has anything even halfway nice. After a quarter millennium of evidence we as a people should come to realize that the American 1 Percent is never going to stop stealing our funds for these Resource Crusades until we stop them. As the grown-ups of the national community, we the 99 Percent need to realize the spoiled children of privilege are ruining not just our community with their avaricious tantrums, but other people’s communities as well. It’s time to put them in their place and get about the adult business of fixing our country. As a people we the 99 Percent inherited the responsibility of maintaining the health of our democracy, regardless of the unending avarice of the 1 Percent (and perhaps someday without it). We fail that responsibility when we let these deadbeat hawks leech money from our communities to kill, bomb and rob other people’s communities.