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War is Peace

June 11, 2011

War is peace according to Obama’s defense secretary Robert Gates and the way to ever greater peace is through ever greater war.  Our Nobel Peace Laureate President reminds us each and every day of this rock solid principle of American militarism.

The administration’s call for greater military spending in Europe is obscene, oblivious to the very real risks to peace should states in Europe become more militarized, and demonstrates that the US ruling class remains stuck in its global imperialistic project.

Although rhetoric is designed to appear as if the goals were limited to self defense, this is and always has been patently absurd.  The US Department of Defense budget for 2012 is $707 billion, excluding the vast CIA , Homeland Security, and other security operations.  On an inflation adjusted basis, this is far greater than at any time since the end of World War II.  The US, NATO, and other close allies are responsible for between two-thirds to three-quarters of total global spending.  The US budget alone is over six times that of China.

Such levels cannot rationally be considered necessary for defense.  The US is surrounded by Canada, Mexico, and two oceans – geopolitically there’s no safer location in the world.  History is very clear on the true nature of the project: the US has established a global empire, the primary purpose being the free reign of US business throughout the world along with the maintenance of the personal prestige and wealth that power brings to the elites.  In this quest, US rulers have routinely jumped into wars thousands of miles from its shores at great cost to human life and misdirected resources.  From Korea to Vietnam to Granada to Nicaragua to Panama to Yugoslavia to Iraq and now to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Libya.  None were in defense of democratic regimes and none were related to legitimate national defense.  Add to this the endless covert anti-democratic operations in every corner of the world and a very sane conclusion would be that the US government is a mafia-like institution of naked power.

What’s behind Gates’s call for greater NATO spending?  It can’t be a fear of Libya or other insignificant states.  US institutional power in European affairs is largely based on NATO; as NATO diminishes as an institution so does US influence.  The maintenance of US power, as with a good chunk of its domestic economy, is inconsistent with an outbreak of global peace.

Populations in the US and to a lesser extent Europe accept much of the militaristic propaganda of the state.  Those who do, though, should question why it is that the US has never proposed a substantial verifiable global disarmament.  If peace and defense were truly the goal, why not propose to China and all other “threats” a reduction in military spending to levels that were consistent only with the needs of true defense?  That the elites instead, 65 years after the end of World War II, continue to construct fantasy worlds of never-ending military danger, shows how far we remain from meaningful democracy and peace.

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