Archive | March 26th, 2015

“American Politicians are Fools”: Getting Russia Wrong All The Way To War

NOVANEWS

Image result for PUTIN PHOTO

Global Research

by Mat Rodina

American politicians in particular and European politicians in general are some of the most ignorant fools when the issue comes to anything outside their own borders. When it comes to Russia, it is an engima wrapped in a mystery…but only because, no one has every bothered to try to understand Russians, Russian history  and the Russian world view.

One important historical fact about Russia is that Russia is a unique civilizational empire built upon defense not offense. What this means is that historically, Russia does not start the wars, or series of wars (though it may strike first in a confrontation that is punctuated by a series of wars). In Russian history, Russian leaders, since Russia’s baptism to Orthodoxy, have tried hard to avoid war with our neighbors, though just about every time this has failed. In parallel, as much as we do not like war, and in Orthodoxy killing in combat is still a sin as we do not have the heresy of Just War, we are very very good at killing and destroying. A paradox, but it is the reality.

This was so profound that in the summer of 1914, the Tsar Nicholas II, when war was eminent, even haulted mobilization to try and defuse the situation one more time and talk the Austrians and Germans out of what would become the great tragedy of early 20th century.

The problems with modern, and in truth historical, Western politicos is that these guys are absolute fools with no understanding of the Russian psyche and are sure to be the cause of WW3, be it intentional or accidental. They are projecting their psyche onto Russians.

What this means is that they are projecting a typical negative reinforcement mentality. Europe and the US are societies built on constant aggression towards neighbors. Aggression like that is staved by building up a credible large counter force of allies and blocks, which causes fear of defeat and deescalation…your typical European balance of forces approach.

Russia is a defensive empire, that is, most wars or series of wars were not started by Russians but by enemies attacking or massing on Russia’s borders. After 800 years of almost non-stop aggression by Europeans, Russia does not tolerate any enemy massing on her borders in what appears as a preparation for invasion or the creation of large scales basing areas as would be a US neo-con dominated Ukraine.This is also coupled with the Russian approach of not abandoning Russians (ethnic or cultural) and allies, as opposed to Anglo society where back stabbing allies when the opportunity to earn exists, is a prized skill.

As such, this is a spiral approach. Any escalation by the foreigners will lead to a direct escalation by Russia and not deescalation. Balance of power does not work when Russia feels her survival threatened. Enough of an enemy escalation in the hope of forcing Russia to back off will generate an exact opposite effect in generating a first strike and total war, as Russia feels her life and existence is threatened by the enemy.

Nothing like putting Russian society in a threatened siege mentality to force the individual chaotic Russian nature to crystallize into one direction: total destruction of the threat and the states that generate it.

Russia’s army may be only 1 million but the ready reserve is over 20 million with a follow capability of total mobilization of over 40 more million, and maybe more if one starts counting female combatants and one should.

Last time the factories were run by children, old people and women. Now with massive automation, even more of society is freed up to fight. Since Russian civilization is not just land but a cultural idea/philosophy it generates an absolute fanatical loyalty. This is a loyalty to a culture that allows the temporary surrender of land for time in the understanding that this will then be used, combined with non-stop partisan warfare, to grind down the invader and  decimate him deep in the Russian interior, before marching on his cities and burning them to the ground in revenge.

Europe needs to find some German or Romanian veterans and ask them how much fun they had. Mamal Kurgan, the highest hill in Volgorad (Stalingrad) a 1,5 km sq area had 35.000 identifiable bodies on it, half of them German, after 4 months of fighting. That is more than both sides lost on the beaches of Normandy. In WW2 the Germans were on average having 1 soldier killed every 30 seconds. Figure 3-4 times as many wounded.

The present serving armies of NATO would be used up in 3-4 months. That would amount to almost a million and a half dead and wounded.

NATO would collapse. Greeks would refuse to fight. Serbs would be a war in the middle of all this. Cypriots would refuse to fight. Turkey would likely also refuse to die in a war they could only loose from. Bulgaria would probably have a revolution. Romania and Italy and Spain and Portugal would not long suffer heavy casualties before their unpopular governments were overthrown. France more than likely also. US couldn’t fully concentrate their army as they would have to release their grip on all other sectors which in turn would be blowing up.

As for a second front, that is, if America was to invade the Russian far east, well, outside of grabbing Sakhalin and Vladivastok and Khabarovsk, all of which will cost hundreds of thousands of corpses, a US invasion force would be faced with a march of 3000km, or about 1,800 miles to the nearest major oil fields and forced to cover a land area larger then the continental United States, in wilderness terrain, with Russian partisans and the very cold Siberian winter (8 months long) filling the corpse lists on a daily basis. In other words, outside of a temporary land grab, nothing to fear.

Also if things got bad China would step in knowing they are next on the hit list, and thus Siberia would be fairly safe from US forces.

The reality, Americans, Germans, and foolish Poles, is, Russians will fight and 152 million people will fight to the end, not because Putin sits in power, or because we fear the enemy, but because love of Russia, the very idea of Russia, will drive fanatical, well trained and armed with advanced weaponry resistance. Russians will fight regardless of who sits the throne, because we are not fighting for the leader but “for Christ and for Russia”, the land He gave us as the Third Rome. What exactly will you be fighting for?

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Bankers Hate Peace: All Wars Are Bankers’ Wars

NOVANEWS
Global Research
bankstercap

As Lee Fang writesThe possibility of an Iran nuclear deal depressing weapons sales was raised by Myles Walton, an analyst from Germany’s Deutsche Bank, during a Lockheed earnings call this past January 27. Walton asked Marillyn Hewson, the chief executive of Lockheed Martin, if an Iran agreement could “impede what you see as progress in foreign military sales.” Financial industry analysts such as Walton use earnings calls as an opportunity to ask publicly-traded corporations like Lockheed about issues that might harm profitability.

Hewson replied that “that really isn’t coming up,” but stressed that “volatility all around the region” should continue to bring in new business. According to Hewson, “A lot of volatility, a lot of instability, a lot of things that are happening” in both the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region means both are “growth areas” for Lockheed Martin.

The Deutsche Bank-Lockheed exchange “underscores a longstanding truism of the weapons trade: war — or the threat of war — is good for the arms business,” says William Hartung, director of the Arms & Security Project at the Center for International Policy. Hartung observed that Hewson described the normalization of relations with Iran not as a positive development for the future, but as an “impediment.” “And Hewson’s response,” Hartung adds, “which in essence is ‘don’t worry, there’s plenty of instability to go around,’ shows the perverse incentive structure that is at the heart of the international arms market.”

Former managing director of Goldman Sachs – and head of the international analytics group at Bear Stearns in London (Nomi Prins) – notes:

Throughout the century that I examined, which began with the Panic of 1907 … what I found by accessing the archives of each president is that through many events and periods, particular bankers were in constant communication [with the White House] — not just about financial and economic policy, and by extension trade policy, but also about aspects of World War I, or World War II, or the Cold War, in terms of the expansion that America was undergoing as a superpower in the world, politically, buoyed by the financial expansion of the banking community.

***

In the beginning of World War I, Woodrow Wilson had adopted initially a policy of neutrality. But the Morgan Bank, which was the most powerful bank at the time, and which wound up funding over 75 percent of the financing for the allied forces during World War I … pushed Wilson out of neutrality sooner than he might have done, because of their desire to be involved on one side of the war.

Now, on the other side of that war, for example, was the National City Bank, which, though they worked with Morgan in financing the French and the British, they also didn’t have a problem working with financing some things on the German side, as did Chase …

When Eisenhower became president … the U.S. was undergoing this expansion by providing, under his doctrine, military aid and support to countries [under] the so-called threat of being taken over by communism … What bankers did was they opened up hubs, in areas such as Cuba, in areas such as Beirut and Lebanon, where the U.S. also wanted to gain a stronghold in their Cold War fight against the Soviet Union. And so the juxtaposition of finance and foreign policy were very much aligned.

So in the ‘70s, it became less aligned, because though America was pursuing foreign policy initiatives in terms of expansion, the bankers found oil, and they made an extreme effort to activate relationships in the Middle East, that then the U.S. government followed. For example, in Saudi Arabia and so forth, they get access to oil money, and then recycle it into Latin American debt and other forms of lending throughout the globe. So that situation led the U.S. government.

Indeed, JP Morgan also purchased control over America’s leading 25 newspapers in order to propagandize US public opinion in favor of US entry into World War 1.

And many big banks, in fact, funded the Nazis.

BBC reported in 1998:

Barclays Bank has agreed to pay $3.6m to Jews whose assets were seized from French branches of the British-based bank during World War II.

***

Chase Manhattan Bank, which has acknowledged seizing about 100 accounts held by Jews in its Paris branch during World War II ….”Recently unclassified reports from the US Treasury about the activities of Chase in Paris in the 1940s indicate that the local branch worked “in close collaboration with the German authorities” in freezing Jewish assets.

The New York Daily News noted the same year:

The relationship between Chase and the Nazis apparently was so cozy that Carlos Niedermann, the Chase branch chief in Paris, wrote his supervisor in Manhattan that the bank enjoyed “very special esteem” with top German officials and “a rapid expansion of deposits,” according to Newsweek.

Niedermann’s letter was written in May 1942 five months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the U.S. also went to war with Germany.

The BBC reported in 1999:

A French government commission, investigating the seizure of Jewish bank accounts during the Second World War, says five American banks Chase Manhattan, J.P Morgan, Guaranty Trust Co. of New York, Bank of the City of New York and American Express had taken part.

It says their Paris branches handed over to the Nazi occupiers about one-hundred such accounts.

One of Britain’s main newspapers – the Guardian – reported in 2004:

George Bush’s grandfather [and George H.W. Bush’s father], the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany.

The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.

His business dealings … continued until his company’s assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act

***

The documents reveal that the firm he worked for, Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH), acted as a US base for the German industrialist, Fritz Thyssen, who helped finance Hitler in the 1930s before falling out with him at the end of the decade. The Guardian has seen evidence that shows Bush was the director of the New York-based Union Banking Corporation (UBC) that represented Thyssen’s US interests and he continued to work for the bank after America entered the war.

***

Bush was a founding member of the bank [UBC] … The bank was set up by Harriman and Bush’s father-in-law to provide a US bank for the Thyssens, Germany’s most powerful industrial family.

***

By the late 1930s, Brown Brothers Harriman, which claimed to be the world’s largest private investment bank, and UBC had bought and shipped millions of dollars of gold, fuel, steel, coal and US treasury bonds to Germany, both feeding and financing Hitler’s build-up to war.

Between 1931 and 1933 UBC bought more than $8m worth of gold, of which $3m was shipped abroad. According to documents seen by the Guardian, after UBC was set up it transferred $2m to BBH accounts and between 1924 and 1940 the assets of UBC hovered around $3m, dropping to $1m only on a few occasions.

***

UBC was caught red-handed operating a American shell company for the Thyssen family eight months after America had entered the war and that this was the bank that had partly financed Hitler’s rise to power.

Indeed, banks often finance both sides of wars:

And they are one of the main sources of financing for nuclear weapons.

(The San Francisco Chronicle also documents that leading financiers Rockefeller, Carnegie and Harriman also funded Nazi eugenics programs … but that’s a story for another day.)

The Federal Reserve and other central banks also help to start wars by financing them. Thomas Jefferson and the father of free market capitalism, Adam Smith, both noted that the financing wars by banks led to more – and longer – wars.

And America apparently considers economic rivalry to be a basis for war, and is using the military to contain China’s growing economic influence.

Multi-billionaire investor Hugo Salinas Price says:

What happened to [Libya’s] Mr. Gaddafi, many speculate the real reason he was ousted was that he was planning an all-African currency for conducting tradeThe same thing happened to him that happened to Saddam because the US doesn’t want any solid competing currency out there vs the dollar. You know Gaddafi was talking about a gold dinar.

Senior CNBC editor John Carney noted:

Is this the first time a revolutionary group has created a central bank while it is still in the midst of fighting the entrenched political power? It certainly seems to indicate how extraordinarily powerful central bankers have become in our era.

Robert Wenzel of Economic Policy Journal thinks the central banking initiative reveals that foreign powers may have a strong influence over the rebels.

This suggests we have a bit more than a ragtag bunch of rebels running around and that there are some pretty sophisticated influences. “I have never before heard of a central bank being created in just a matter of weeks out of a popular uprising,” Wenzel writes.

Indeed, many claim that recent wars have really been about bringing all countries into the fold of Western central banking, and that the wars against Middle Eastern countries are really about forcing them into the dollar and private central banking.

The most decorated American military man in history said that war is a racket, and noted:

Let us not forget the bankers who financed the great war. If anyone had the cream of the profits it was the bankers.

The big banks have also been laundering money for terrorists. The big bank employee who blew the whistle on the banks’ money laundering for terrorists and drug cartels says that the giant bank is still aiding terrorists, saying:

The public needs to know that money is still being funneled through HSBC to directly buy guns and bullets to kill our soldiers …. Banks financing … terrorists affects every single American.

He also said:

It is disgusting that our banks are STILL financing terror on 9/11 2013.

And see this.

According to the BBC and other sources, Prescott Bush, JP Morgan and other leading financiers also funded a coup against President Franklin Roosevelt in an attempt – basically – to implement fascism in the U.S. See thisthisthis and this.

Kevin Zeese writes:

Americans are recognizing the link between the military-industrial complex and the Wall Street oligarchs—a connection that goes back to the beginning of the modern U.S. empire. Banks have always profited from war because the debt created by banks results in ongoing war profit for big finance; and because wars have been used to open countries to U.S. corporate and banking interests. Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan wrote: “the large banking interests were deeply interested in the world war because of the wide opportunities for large profits.”

Many historians now recognize that a hidden history for U.S. entry into World War I was to protect U.S. investors. U.S. commercial interests had invested heavily in European allies before the war: “By 1915, American neutrality was being criticized as bankers and merchants began to loan money and offer credits to the warring parties, although the Central Powers received far less. Between 1915 and April 1917, the Allies received 85 times the amount loaned to Germany.” The total dollars loaned to all Allied borrowers during this period was $2,581,300,000. The bankers saw that if Germany won, their loans to European allies would not be repaid. The leading U.S. banker of the era, J.P. Morgan and his associates did everything they could to push the United States into the war on the side of England and France. Morgan said: “We agreed that we should do all that was lawfully in our power to help the Allies win the war as soon as possible.” President Woodrow Wilson, who campaigned saying he would keep the United States out of war, seems to have entered the war to protect U.S. banks’ investments in Europe.

The most decorated Marine in history, Smedley Butler, described fighting for U.S. banks in many of the wars he fought in. He said: “I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

In Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins describes how World Bank and IMF loans are used to generate profits for U.S. business and saddle countries with huge debts that allow the United States to control them. It is not surprising that former civilian military leaders like Robert McNamara and Paul Wolfowitz went on to head the World Bank. These nations’ debt to international banks ensures they are controlled by the United States, which pressures them into joining the “coalition of the willing” that helped invade Iraq or allowing U.S. military bases on their land. If countries refuse to “honor” their debts, the CIA or Department of Defense enforces U.S. political will through coups or military action.

***

More and more people are indeed seeing the connection between corporate banksterism and militarism ….

Indeed, all wars are bankers’ wars.

War Makes Banks Rich

Wars are the fastest way for banks to create more debt … and therefore to make more profit. No wonder they love war.

After all, the banking system is founded upon the counter-intuitive but indisputable fact that banks create loans first, and then create deposits later.

In other words, virtually all money is actually created as debt. For example, in a hearing held on September 30, 1941 in the House Committee on Banking and Currency, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve (Mariner S. Eccles) said:

That is what our money system is. If there were no debts in our money system, there wouldn’t be any money.

And Robert H. Hemphill, Credit Manager of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, said:

If all the bank loans were paid, no one could have a bank deposit, and there would not be a dollar of coin or currency in circulation. This is a staggering thought. We are completely dependent on the commercial Banks. Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation, cash or credit. If the Banks create ample synthetic money we are prosperous; if not, we starve. We are absolutely without a permanent money system. When one gets a complete grasp of the picture, the tragic absurdity of our hopeless position is almost incredible, but there it is. It is the most important subject intelligent persons can investigate and reflect upon. It is so important that our present civilization may collapse unless it becomes widely understood and the defects remedied very soon.

Debt (from the borrower’s perspective) owed to banks is profit and income from the bank’s perspective. In other words, banks are in the business of creating more debt … i.e. finding more people who want to borrow larger sums.

Debt is central to our banking system. Indeed, Federal Reserve chairman Greenspan was so worried that the U.S. would pay off it’s debt, that he suggested tax cuts for the wealthy to increase the debt.

What does this have to do with war?

War is the most efficient debt-creation machine. For starters, wars are very expensive.

For example, Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz estimated in 2008 that the Iraq war could cost America up to $5 trillion dollars. A study by Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies says the Iraq war costs could exceed $6 trillion, when interest payments to the banks are taken into account.

This is nothing new … but has been going on for thousands of years. As a Cambridge University Press treatise on ancient Athens notes:

Financing wars is expensive business, and the scope for initiative was regularly extended by borrowing.

So wars have been a huge – and regular – way for banks to create debt for kings and presidents who want to try to expand their empires.

Major General Smedley Butler – the most decorated Marine in American history – was right when he said:

Let us not forget the bankers who financed the great war. If anyone had the cream of the profits it was the bankers.

War is also good for banks because a lot of material, equipment, buildings and infrastructure get destroyed in war. So countries go into massive debt to finance war, and then borrow a ton more to rebuild.

The advent of central banks hasn’t changed this formula. Specifically, the big banks (“primary dealers”) loan money to the Fed, and charge interest for the loan.

So when a nation like the U.S. gets into a war, the Fed pumps out money for the war effort based upon loans from the primary dealers, who make a killing in interest payments from the Fed.

War Is Horrible for the American People

Top economists say that war is destroying our economy.  But war is great for the  super-elites … so they want to keep it going.

And America’s never-ending wars are hurting our national security.

Never-ending wars are also destroying our freedom. The Founding Fathers warned against standing armies, saying that they destroy freedom. (update).

Perversely, our government – which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the big banks –  treats anti-war sentiment  – or protest of big banks (and here) – as terrorism.

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Lithuanians Under Police State Attack and the World under Washington’s Attack

NOVANEWS
Global Research
NATO-us-troops-lithuania-drills.si_-600x337

US and Lithuanian Troops

According to news reports and to this appeal by Kristoferis Voishka, the pro-American government installed in Lithuania is persecuting Lithuanians who dissent from the anti-Russian propaganda that is driving Washington’s NATO puppets to war with Russia.  Unlike their puppet government, Lithuanians understand that war with Russia means that Lithuania on the front line will be utterly destroyed, a result that would not bother Washington in the least, just as Washington is undisturbed when its forces obliterate weddings, funerals, and children’s soccer games.

What is Lithuania?  To Washington it is a nothing.

Kristoferis Voiska runs an alternative Internet news site in LIthuania. Not long ago he interviewed me, and the interview appeared in both LIthuanian newspapers and on his Internet news program in video form.  I found him to be sincere and well informed.  I advised him that interviewing me would bring trouble for him, and he already was aware of that.

As I have said so many times, Americans are the worst informed people on the planet.

They are unaware of the growing momentum toward war with Russia.  The presstitute media throughout Europe, especially in the Baltic states and Poland, is hard at work creating in people’s minds the fear of a Russian invasion.  The orchestrated fear then provides the basis for the American puppet governments to beg troops and tanks and missiles from Washington, and the US military/security complex, counting its profits,  is pleased to comply.

 But what Russia sees is a threat, not a money-making opportunity for the US military/security complex and payoffs to the corrupt Lithuanian and Polish governments, which are increasingly perceived as neo-nazi like the government that Washington bestowed on Ukraine.

 The situation is dangerous, as I keep telling you, a message that some are too weak to accept.

  If you care to show support for Kristoferis and the independent media in Lithuania, send emails to  tautiniai.socialistai@yandex.ru

 In about one week I will be 76 years old.  I was born in 1939 as World War II was unfolding as the direct consequence of the Versailles Treaty that broke every promise President Woodrow Wilson made to Germany in exchange for the end of World War I.

 I remember as a child Cold War nuclear attack drills in elementary school during which we would cower under our school desks.  We were issued dog tags with our blood type just like the dog tags ripped by their comrades off US soldiers killed in the war movies by Germans or Japs (no longer a permissible word) and sent home to the dead GI’s family.

To us it was more romantic than scary.  We loved wearing the dog tags.  I have no idea what happened to mine.  They must be collectors’ items by now.

I have seen a lot.  As kids playing war–in those days you could have toy guns without being shot down by the police who are protecting us–we reveled in America’s World War victories.  We understood, thanks to our parents and grandparents, that the Red Army won the war against Germany, but we Americans beat the heartless Japs.

That was enough. We knew that the US was tough.

I was 14 when the Korean War broke out.  We expected to win, of course, and our expectations, we thought, were proven correct when General MacArthur’s amphibious landings rolled  up the North Korean army.  But what MacArthur and Washington had overlooked is that China and the Soviet Union were not about to accept a US victory.

Before Americans could cheer, the Third World Chinese Army rolled in and pushed the conquerors of Japan back town to the tip of South Korea.  It was a humiliating defeat for American arms.  In his dispute with President Truman about the conduct of the war, MacArthur, America’s most famous general, was removed from command.

Washington accepted defeat in Korea and again in Viet Nam where a 500,000 US force consisting of US Army, Marines, and Special Forces was defeated by a Third World guerrilla  army.

To these defeats we can add Afghanistan and Iraq.  After 14 years of killing, the Taliban controls most of the country.  Jihadist have carved a new state out of parts of Syria and Iraq.  The Middle East reeks of American defeat.  Just like Korea.  Just like Viet Nam.

Despite these facts insouciant Americans and their crazed rulers in Washington imagine that the US is a Uni-Power, the world’s only superpower against whom no country can stand.  Arrogance, ignorance, and hubris are leading the US into conflict with Russia and China, either of which can destroy the US with ease.  And Europe as well.  And the stupid bought-and-paid-for Japanese government, a total non-entity, a disgrace to the Japanese people, a collection of well-paid American puppets.

As Andrew Cockburn has documented, the US military is lost in abstractions and is no longer capable of conducting conventional warfare. http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2015/03/24/us-government-us-military-became-murder-inc-paul-craig-roberts/

Any American or NATO army sent to attack Russia will be destroyed almost instantly.  Washington cannot accept the loss of prestige from defeat and would take the war nuclear.  Life on earth would end.

The only conclusion that informed analysis supports is that Washington is the greatest threat to life on earth.  Washington is a greater threat than global warming.  Washington is a greater threat than the exhaustion of mineral energy sources.  Washington is a greater threat than the rise in world and US poverty from Washington’s policy to enrich the few at the expense of the many.

The only possible conclusion is that unless Washington collapses from its economic house of cards or is abandoned by its NATO puppet states, Washington will destroy life on earth.

Washington is the greatest evil that the world has ever faced.  There is no good in  Washington.  Only evil.

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Nestle Continues Stealing World’s Water During Drought

NOVANEWS
Global Research
ARROWHEAD MORONGO NESTLE

Image: The Arrowhead Mountain Water Company bottling plant, owned by Swiss conglomerate Nestle, on the Morongo Indian Reservation near Cabazon, Calif. Photo credit: Damian Dovarganes/AP.

The city of Sacramento is in the fourth year of a record drought – yet the Nestlé Corporation continues to bottle city water to sell back to the public at a big profit, local activists charge. 

The Nestlé Water Bottling Plant in Sacramento is the target of a major press conference on Tuesday, March 17, by a water coalition that claims the company is draining up to 80 million gallons of water a year from Sacramento aquifers during the drought.

The coalition, the crunchnestle alliance, says that City Hall has made this use of the water supply possible through a “corporate welfare giveaway,” according to a press advisory.

A coalition of environmentalists, Native Americans and other concerned people announced the press conference will take place at March 17 at 5 p.m. at new Sacramento City Hall, 915 I Street, Sacramento.

The coalition will release details of a protest on Friday, March 20, at the South Sacramento Nestlé plant designed to “shut down” the facility. The coalition is calling on Nestlé to pay rates commensurate with their enormous profit, or voluntarily close down.

“The coalition is protesting Nestlé’s virtually unlimited use of water – up to 80 million gallons a year drawn from local aquifers – while Sacramentans (like other Californians) who use a mere 7 to 10 percent of total water used in the State of California, have had severe restrictions and limitations forced upon them,”

according to the coalition.

“Nestlé pays only 65 cents for each 470 gallons it pumps out of the ground – the same rate as an average residential water user. But the company can turn the area’s water around, and sell it back to Sacramento at mammoth profits,”

the coalition said.

Activists say that Sacramento officials have refused attempts to obtain details of Nestlé’s water used. Coalition members have addressed the Sacramento City Council and requested that Nestle’ either pay a commercial rate under a two tier level, or pay a tax on their profit.

Cracks in the dry bed of the Stevens Creek Reservoir in Cupertino, Calif. Photo credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

In October, the coalition released a “White Paper” highlighting predatory water profiteering actions taken by Nestle’ Water Bottling Company in various cities, counties, states and countries. Most of those great “deals” yielded mega profits for Nestle’ at the expense of citizens and taxpayers. Additionally, the environmental impact on many of those areas yielded disastrous results.

Coalition spokesperson Andy Conn said,

“This corporate welfare giveaway is an outrage and warrants a major investigation. For more than five months we have requested data on Nestlé water use. City Hall has not complied with our request, or given any indication that it will. Sacramentans deserve to know how their money is being spent and what they’re getting for it. In this case, they’re getting ripped off.”

For more information about the crunchnestle alliance, contact Andy Conn (530) 906-8077 camphgr55 (at) gmail.com or Bob Saunders (916) 370-8251

Nestlé is currently the leading supplier of the world’s bottled water, including such brands as Perrier and San Pellegrino, and has been criticized by activists for human rights violations throughout the world. For example, Food and Water Watch and other organizations blasted Nestlé’s “Human Rights Impact Assessment” in December 2013 as a “public relations stunt.

“The failure to examine Nestlé’s track record on the human right to water is not surprising given recent statements by its chair Peter Brabeck challenging the human right to water,” said Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch. She noted that the company famously declared at the 2000 World Water Forum in the Netherlands that water should be defined as a need—not as a human right.

“In November 2013, Colombian trade unionist Oscar Lopez Trivino became the fifteenth Nestlé worker to be assassinated by a paramilitary organization while many of his fellow workers were in the midst of a hunger strike protesting the corporation’s refusal to hear their grievances,”

according to the groups.

The press conference and protest will take place just days after Jay Famiglietti, the senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech and a professor of Earth system science at UC Irvine,revealed in an op-ed in the LA Times on March 12 that California has only one year of water supply left in its reservoirs.

“As difficult as it may be to face, the simple fact is that California is running out of water — and the problem started before our current drought. NASA data reveal that total water storage in California has been in steady decline since at least 2002, when satellite-based monitoring began, although groundwater depletion has been going on since the early 20th century.

Right now the state has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and our strategic backup supply, groundwater, is rapidly disappearing. California has no contingency plan for a persistent drought like this one (let alone a 20-plus-year mega-drought), except, apparently, staying in emergency mode and praying for rain.”

Meanwhile, Governor Jerry Brown continues to fast-track his Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels to ship Sacramento River water to corporate agribusiness, Southern California water agencies, and oil companies conducting fracking operations. The $67 billion plan won’t create one single drop of new water, but it will take vast tracts of Delta farm land out of production under the guise of “habitat restoration” in order to irrigate drainage-impaired soil owned by corporate mega-growers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.

The tunnel plan will also hasten the extinction of Sacramento River Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species, as well as imperil the salmon and steelhead populations on the Klamath and Trinity rivers. The peripheral tunnels will be good for agribusiness, water privateers, oil companies and the 1 percent, but will be bad for the fish, wildlife, people and environment of California and the public trust.

The Delta smelt may already be extinct in the wild!

In fact, the endangered Delta smelt, once the most abundant fish in the entire Bay Delta Estuary, may already be extinct, according to UC Davis fish biologist and author Peter Moyle, as quoted on Capital Public Radio.

“Prepare for the extinction of the Delta Smelt in the wild,” Moyle told a group of scientists with the Delta Stewardship Council.

According to Capital Public Radio:

“He says the latest state trawl survey found very few fish in areas of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta where smelt normally gather.

‘That trawl survey came up with just six smelt, four females and two males,’ says Moyle. “Normally because they can target smelt, they would have gotten several hundred.’

Moyle says the population of Delta smelt has been declining for the last 30 years but the drought may have pushed the species to the point of no return. If the smelt is officially declared extinct, which could take several years, the declaration could change how water is managed in California.

‘All these biological opinions on Delta smelt that have restricted some of the pumping will have to be changed,’ says Moyle.

But Moyle says pumping water from the Delta to Central and Southern California could still be restricted at certain times because of all the other threatened fish populations.”

The Delta smelt, an indicator species that demonstrates the health of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, reached a new record low population level in 2014, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s fall midwater trawl survey that was released in January.

Department staff found a total of only eight smelt at a total of 100 sites sampled each month from September through December

The smelt is considered an indicator species because the 2.0 to 2.8 inch long fish is endemic to the estuary and spends all of its life in the Delta.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has conducted the Fall Midwater Trawl Survey (FMWT) to index the fall abundance of pelagic (open water) fish, including Delta smelt, striped bass, longfin smelt, threadfin shad and American shad, nearly annually since 1967. The index of each species is a number that indicates a relative population abundance.

Watch Nestle’s CEO declare water “food that should be privatized, and not a human right”:

Posted in USAComments Off on Nestle Continues Stealing World’s Water During Drought

Haiti: Martelly Government is the Most Retrograde

NOVANEWS

And the Most Subject to Foreign Dictates in Latin America and the Caribbean

Elections that bode ill for the Haitian people!

Global Research
protest-haiti-nov-25-2014-400x266

Anti-government protest, November 25, 2014.

It is hard to imagine a greater contra, st than that which is evident in Haiti today. On one hand, we can see the triumphant posturing of the de facto tandem of President Michel Martelly and his new Prime Minister Evans Paul. On the other hand, we witness the pusillanimity of the so-called opposition under the leadership of MOPOD (Patriotic Movement of the Democratic Opposition), the Lavalas Family Political Organization, and the Dessalines’ Children Platform, three rather inconsistent formations which are now prepared to play the game of electoral lottery concocted by the government. Despite its record of lawless behavior and of association with people accused of rape, murder, drug trafficking, and kidnapping, this government is still moving towards elections that will no doubt deliver a society which is even more unjust and corrupt, with the encouragement of those who don’t see anything wrong with that.

In Latin American and the Caribbean, the political regime that governs Haiti is indeed the most backward, most retrograde, most mercenary, and most subject to foreign dictates in the region. Even the New York Times had to recognize this in the article it ran on Mar. 16 headlined “Haitian Leader’s Power Grows as Scandals Swirl.”

Martelly is marching towards a renewal of political actors which bodes ill for the Haitian people. And it is not without reason that he appears to be the most stable president, the most indulged by the exploiting powers, because he is the straw man of the triumvirate of Washington, Paris, and Ottawa. All three presently want to make us hold elections which they can control, to serve their interests.

The main idea behind these elections is to replace some government officials with new ones, to allow the Haitian ruling classes and the imperial forces to better set in place and ensure their smooth domination of a new government which will do their bidding and which will not solve any of the people’s problems.

And it is not without reason that Martelly spoke to the Haitian people, with a triumphant tone,  through a presidential decree that was applauded by the entire political class, with the exception, of course, of a few progressive anti-imperialist parties. According to Martelly’s spokesman Lucien Jura “the president wants all political actors, including those of the opposition, to get on board the electoral train which is definitely under way.” And to reinforce this hypocritical lie, he hastened to add: “the strength of a party is demonstrated through the ballot box.” Isn’t this mocking the opportunistic opposition leaders who will be subject to the same political sleight of hand that we witnessed in the 2010-2011 election?

As proof of this, we have the words of the current president of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), and its former General Manager, Pierre Louis Opont. He revealed last week that “the results of the 2010 elections were not the real results. Those that were given to [then CEP President] Gaillot Dorsainvil and others were not published.” What could be clearer?

Shouldn’t such an open admission before political leaders be enough to edify even the most naive? We already know with whom we are dealing and what to expect. Opont, with unusual frankness, invites us to reconcile ourselves with the reality of elections under a United Nations military occupation. There is here a clear warning: Do not expect a democratic exercise; it is the weight of Haitian tradition which wants the electoral outcome to be determined well before the elections themselves, Opont seems to want to tell us.

In any case, these elections, announced to offer the world an image of a stable Haiti and a democratic state, will be nothing more than just another well-executed maneuver by the United Nations occupation forces and Haiti’s guardian powers through their embassies to push us further into the unhappy state of poverty, misery, and chronic underdevelopment. It required the spending of a whopping $53 million, according to electoral advisers, to ensure this lusterless democratic veneer, to establish this hypocrisy that has served once again to deceive the Haitian people and satisfy the greedy appetite of candidates, who are surely salivating at the 500 million gourdes, or $10.61 million, earmarked to finance the campaign of political parties.

No country is too small or too poor to determine its own destiny and organize its own elections with the means at hand. Only Haiti seems to have avoided this conclusion. The Haitian people should pay no attention to these merchants of illusion and of false promises who come whispering to them the same songs, the same refrains, at each election. The dignity and future of the nation, the living conditions of the masses, will never be taken into account in their false speeches. Since Haiti’s birth, there have been many elections, but what has changed for the people? Nothing. With the exception of a very small number of individuals who have succeeded without the people, the fact remains that the vast majority remains as if locked in a prison, afflicted with despair.

Of selection-elections, we have had enough and too much. The so-called opposition parties are preparing to participate in these dishonest games prepared once again by the imperialist powers. By allowing themselves to be duped into this, they will just shove deeper and twist the knife into the gaping wound of the masses, who are being killed little by little.

No to selections-elections! Yes to popular mobilization!

This is a translation of Haïti Liberté’s March 18, 2015 editorial.

Posted in South AmericaComments Off on Haiti: Martelly Government is the Most Retrograde

Jade Helm, U.S. Military Exercise: Troops To “Operate Undetected Amongst Civilian Population”

NOVANEWS

Role players to practice infiltrating towns during controversial exercise

Global Research
us-troop

A key component of the controversial Jade Helm military exercise set to take part in nine U.S. states this summer will involve soldiers operating “undetected amongst civilian populations,” to see if they can infiltrate without being noticed.

The “realistic” military training exercise, which will involve the Green Berets, Navy Seals, and the 82nd Airborne Division, is set to take place from July 15-Sepember 15, but has prompted concerns after Texas and Utah were labeled “hostile” territory in documents related to the exercise.

A Houston Chronicle report reveals that soldiers will attempt to blend in with the local population in an effort to test the effectiveness of infiltration techniques. Residents will be advised to report “suspicious activity” during the exercise.

“They’re going to set up cells of people and test how well they’re able to move around without getting too noticed in the community,” said Roy Boyd, chief deputy with the Victoria County Sheriff’s Office. “They’re testing their abilities to basically blend in with the local environment and not stand out and blow their cover.”

By directly involving unwitting members of the local population, this aspect of the drill contradicts theArmy’s assertion that, “The public can expect nothing much different from their day-to-day activities since much of exercise will be conducted in remote areas.”

Jim Stewart, chief deputy with the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office, told the Chronicle that the designation of Texas as “hostile territory” was merely a way of setting up a role playing exercise under which soldiers operate behind enemy lines.

The Army has failed to specifically address why Texas, Utah and a pocket of southern California were labeled as hostile territories in training documents for the exercise, merely insisting that the drill is designed to prepare troops for foreign occupations and has nothing to do with preparations for martial law.

No less than 17 different Texas cities will see an Army presence as part of the exercise, which will involve, “participants in civilian dress and civilian vehicles, military aircraft, low-altitude airdrops of personnel and weapons with blank rounds, to avert fearful reactions”.

The cities are Bastrop/Smithville, Big Spring, Caddo Lake, Caldwell, Christoval, College Station, Dell City, Eldorado, Goliad, Junction, Leakey, Menard, Mountain Home, San Angelo, San Antonio and Victoria.

News outlets, primarily Infowars, who questioned the nature of the exercise have come under fire from the Army and other mainstream media outlets, with the Chronicle characterizing the reaction as an example of, “ultra-right-wing fears of a government takeover in the Lone Star State”.

Despite assurances that the training is to prepare troops for overseas missions, Army documents in the past have made clear that plans for martial law are in place for within the Continental United States (CONUS).

leaked 2012 US Army Military Police training manual, entitled “Civil Disturbance Operations,” described how soldiers would be ordered to confiscate firearms and kill American “dissidents.” The manual also revealed that prisoners would be detained in temporary internment camps and “re-educated” to gain a new appreciation of “U.S. policies,” in accordance with U.S. Army FM 3-19.40 Internment/Resettlement Operations.

Jade Helm has also drawn comparisons to a 2012 scenario outlined by retired Army colonel Kevin Benson, in which the U.S. Military is used to crush an insurgent rebellion overseen by Tea Party militia members who take over the city of Darlington, South Carolina.

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I$raHell, Zio-Wahhabi and Allies Continue Airstrikes, Sorrow and Rage in Yemen

NOVANEWS
As Saudi Arabia and Allies Continue Airstrikes, Sorrow and Rage in Yemen
Global Research
yemen_anger

People carry the body of a woman covered with a blanket from under the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi airstrikes near Sanaa Airport, Yemen, Thursday, March 26, 2015. Saudi Arabia launched airstrikes Thursday targeting military installations in Yemen held by Shiite rebels who were taking over a key port city in the country’s south and had driven the embattled president to flee by sea, security officials said. (Photo: AP/Hani Mohammed)

Saudi Arabia discusses deploying as many as 150,000 troops and 100 warplanes in operation receiving coordination from the Pentagon and supported by Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain.

Airstrikes led by Saudi Arabia, and supported by other members of Gulf Cooperating Council and the U.S. government, continued to hit Yemen on Thursday as the situation in one of the world’s most impoverished, yet strategically important countries continues to unravel amid what can only be described now as all-out war.

Reports indicates that a first wave of bombings overnight which resulted in a number of civilian deaths—including entire families trapped in flattened houses—have spurred widespread anger in Sanaa and other targeted cities, even among members of the population opposed to the Houthi rebels who have now wrested control of much of the country from President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, whose whereabouts remain hard to establish.

The White House, reports Reuters, has said it is actively supporting the operation and President Obama has authorized U.S. “logistical and intelligence support” for the bombing campaign. However, according National Security Council spokeswoman, U.S. forces are not involved in direct military action in Yemen.

The Houthi-controlled ministry of health said that at least 18 civilians were killed and 24 were injured after airstrikes pummeled the capital city of Sanaa. According to Al-Jazeera English, strikes were also reported on targets in the Malaheez and Hafr Sufyan regions of Saada province, a main Houthi stronghold on the border with Saudi Arabia.

RT.com was hosting a livestream of a rally by Houthi supporters taking place in the Sanaa on Thursday which showed thousands of Yemeni citizens angrily condemning Saudia Arabia, the U.S., and the other members of the GCC who are backing the military campaign dubbed ‘Operation Decisive Storm’:

Journalist Tom Finn, who is maintaining a live-blog for Middle East Eye on the ongoing situation in Yemen, provided this round-up of overnight developments:

  •  Global oil prices rise by 6 percent as Saudi Arabia and Gulf allies launch sweeping military operation
  • Saudi officials considering deploying as many as 150,000 troops and 100 warplanes to operation that includes Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain
  • US providing “logistical and intelligence support” to the Saudi-led forces

The Associated Press reports:

[Houthi leaders] were calling on their supporters to protest in the streets of Sanaa on Thursday afternoon, Yemen’s Houthi-controlled state news agency SABA reported. TV stations affiliated with the rebels and their ally, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, showed the aftermath of the strikes Thursday morning in what appeared to be a residential area.

Al-Masirah TV, affiliated with the Houthis, quoted the ministry of health as saying that 18 civilians were killed and 24 were injured.

Yemen Today, a TV station affiliated with Saleh, showed hundreds of residents congregating around a number of flattened houses, some chanting “Death to Al-Saud”, in reference to the kingdom’s royal family. The civilians were sifting through the rubble, pulling out mattresses, bricks and shrapnel.

An Associated Press reporter on the scene in the Sanaa neighborhood near the international airport saw people searching for loved ones in the debris of flattened homes. Residents said at least three bodies were pulled from the rubble. There were traces of blood between the bricks.

Ahmed al-Sumaini said an entire alley close to the airport was wiped out in the strikes overnight. He said people ran out from their homes in the middle of the night. “This was a surprise. I was asleep and I was jolted out of my bed,” he said, waving a piece of shrapnel.

Speaking to  Al Jazeera from Sanaa, Houthi spokesman Mohammed Al Bukhaiti called the military action a declaration of war on Yemen, adding that reports alledging that Houthi leader Mohamed Ali Al Houthi had been injured were false.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif demanded an immediate halt to the airstrikes which he called a form of “US-backed aggression” which would only make matters worse in the region.

“Military action from outside of Yemen against its territorial integrity and its people will have no other result than more bloodshed and more deaths,” Zarif told the state-owned Al-Alam television station.

Posted in Saudi Arabia, YemenComments Off on I$raHell, Zio-Wahhabi and Allies Continue Airstrikes, Sorrow and Rage in Yemen

Whistleblowers and the Press Heavyweights

NOVANEWS
Global Research
The Last Whistleblowers

Following the late January guilty verdicts in the espionage trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, more proof emerged — if any more were needed — that many elite mainstream journalists abhor whistleblowers and think they should go to prison when they divulge classified information.

One would think that a business that has relied on confidential informants for some of the major investigative stories of this and the previous century would applaud whistleblowers who risk everything on behalf of the people’s right to know what its government is doing in the shadows. But looking back at cases over the last five years, we see the unedifying spectacle of some of the nation’s best-known print and broadcast journalists venting their outrage at whistleblowers’ disclosures and expressing their preference for being kept in the dark by the government in the name of national security.

Most recently, Walter Pincus of The Washington Post, and an opinion writer for The Economist both weighed in critically against Sterling after his conviction. Pincus also strongly defended the integrity of the Operation Merlin program — details of which Sterling was accused of leaking to New York Times reporter James Risen — and contended that Risen gave an erroneous portrayal of portions of the program in his 2006 book “State of War.” (More about these later.)

Sterling, who has never admitted leaking any classified information, nevertheless with his conviction joined the ranks of those whistleblowers and conduits for whistleblowers who have come under fire from prominent journalists for disclosing classified information to the press — e.g., Wikileaks, Julian Assange, Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning, Edward Snowden, John Kiriakou, and others.

New York Times columnists Thomas Friedman and David Brooks, Washington Post columnists David Ignatius and Richard Cohen, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, NBC’s former Meet the Press host David Gregory, and the New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin. These are among the journalistic heavyweights who have in one instance or another come to the defense of the government’s secrecy policies and who have pilloried those making the leaks. And, in the process, they frequently sounded more like government press officers than independent, skeptical watchdogs of the public interest.

Of course, some of these outraged members of press royalty have themselves benefited from “approved” government leaks designed to make the leaking parties look good — the kind of leaks that don’t get prosecuted.

For example, Ignatius, a veteran writer known for his CIA sources and insider information, derided whistleblowers in the aftermath of Snowden’s June 2013 National Security Agency mass surveillance revelations as “malcontents and self-appointed do-gooders who may get security clearances.” He darkly hinted that Snowden “looks these days more like an intelligence defector, seeking haven in a country hostile to the United States, than a whistleblower.”

The ever imaginative Thomas Friedman, in criticizing the NSA leaks, offered up a modern-day version of the Vietnam War’s “we had to bomb the village in order to save it” as the reason to condemn Snowden’s revelations. Read it here.

In Friedman’s telling, Americans must not overly concern themselves about our government spying on citizens and must accept a curtailment of privacy and civil liberties today in order to protect the nation and ward off a repeat of 9-11 — which, if it occurred, would lead to an even more serious crackdown on civil liberties. As he wrote: “…(W)e don’t live in a world any longer where our government can protect its citizens from real, not imagined, threats without using big data…under constant judicial review. It’s not ideal. But if one more 9/11-scale attack gets through, the cost to civil liberties will be so much greater.” Yes, a little authoritarianism today will forestall really big authoritarianism down the line.

We have even witnessed some journalists suggesting that Glenn Greenwald be charged with crimes for being the primary reporter of Snowden’s NSA disclosures — most notably, NBC’s David Gregory. (Gregory has snottily referred to Greenwald as someone who “claims that he’s a journalist” — as if true journalists are only those, like Gregory, who always bow to government authority.) In June 2013, two weeks after the Snowden revelations, Gregory asked Greenwald on Meet the Press: “To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?” See video and read here how Greenwald demolished Gregory.

Over the years, Greenwald, first with Salon and The Guardian and now with The Intercept, has been the most vigilant documenter of the hostility of many in the mainstream press to whistleblowers and their support for secrecy in all matters connected to whatever the government claims involves a national security issue. See, for example, his 2010 column on the reaction of many journalists, politicians and others to the Wikileaks disclosures.

There is also the example of Bill Keller, then executive editor of The New York Times, who famously trashed Julian Assange in the Sunday Times Magazine in early 2011. Although Wikileaks provided a horde of secret documents that the Times used for major news stories, Keller, nevertheless, decided to do a gossipy hit-job on Assange — certainly one of the most peculiar acts of journalistic ingratitude and dumping of one’s source in the modern age.

In Sterling’s case, a January 29 article on the “Democracy in America” blog of The Economist came up with a particularly disturbing headline: “Why locking up leakers makes sense.” It was signed with the initials D.R., per The Economist’s tradition of not disclosing full names in bylines.

The anonymous blogger takes a sort of “I’m-all-right-Jack-f-you” attitude toward whistleblowers in their dealings with reporters. Noting that James Risen was excused by the Justice Department from testifying in the Sterling case after making it clear that he would not name his sources for a botched CIA nuclear-component-designs-for-Iran operation that he described in his 2006 book “State of War,” the Economist article stated:

“The conflict between society’s desire for a vigorous free press that holds government to account and its need for the state to keep secrets from foreign enemies can never be resolved. But Mr. Risen’s reprieve and Mr. Sterling’s conviction could shift the balance in the right direction.”

Let that sink in: A writer for a magazine adjudged in journalistic circles to be a serious, prestigious publication, says it strikes a nice balance to have a whistleblower go to jail. The writer skims over the fact that this reprieve for Risen was the result of a policy only recently adopted by outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder and that today’s policy can change from one administration to the next — or even from one attorney general to another in the same administration. There was no binding precedent set in Risen being let off the hook; there is no guarantee that the next brave reporter who refuses to name a source in a national security case won’t end up in jail. And no guarantee that reporter won’t be indicted as a co-conspirator if an attorney general decides to cross that line.

In this regard, the Obama administration has already indicated that reporters who benefit from classified leaks can be considered partners in an illegal activity, as was divulged in 2013 in the investigation of a 2009 national security leak to Fox News reporter James Rosen. Rosen was described as a co-conspirator in a government investigator’s affidavit seeking a search warrant to obtain Rosen’s personal e-mails in a leaks case involving North Korea’s nuclear weapons testing. Stephen Kim, a State Department official with particular expertise in North Korea’s nuclear program, was subsequently indicted and pleaded guilty in April 2014 to one count under the Espionage Act of divulging classified information to Rosen. Kim’s case marked an especially egregious misuse of the Espionage Act, as reported by Peter Maass in The Intercept here.

Also in the Sterling trial aftermath, Walter Pincus, the Washington Post’s veteran national security reporter, weighed in with the journalistic equivalent of an amicus brief in support of the bizarre CIA scheme — Operation Merlin. The CIA’s plan, as Risen’s “State of War” discloses, was to give flawed nuclear weapons component designs to the Iranians in the hope the supposedly clueless recipients would waste years going down this wrong path. Pincus asserts, as did CIA witnesses at trial, that Operation Merlin — far from being botched and possibly even helpful to the Iranians in their nuclear research, as Risen portrayed it — was really a marvelous success until its cover was blown with the publication of “State of War.” His argument that Risen got it wrong dovetails nicely with the CIA’s effort to rehabilitate what Risen described as “what may have been one of the most reckless operations in the modern history of the CIA.”

A May 2013 Politico article stressed Pincus’s closeness to the CIA and that agency’s point of view, quoting Post columnist Dana Milbank as saying: “Walter conveys the sense of what the intelligence community is thinking on any given subject.” Yes, he does.

Even before the Sterling case came to trial, Pincus had displayed animosity toward whistleblowers and some reporters’ dealings with them. He had even said it’s fine for the FBI to get secret warrants to rummage through reporters’ telephone records in investigating leaks, as was the case with six Associated Press reporters and editors. See here and here.

And in the month after Snowden’s June 2013 NSA disclosures, Pincus penned a speculative, innuendo-filled column, the gist of which was what he saw as the sinister possibility that Julian Assange, Wikileaks, Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras had all colluded with Snowden to leak secret documents for them to publish. Greenwald challenged Pincus’s piece over much of a two-day period before the Post finally appended multiple corrections to the article that shot down the key “conspiracy” points Pincus had laid out.

Even at this late date, with a record number of at least eight individuals charged by the Obama administration under the 1917 Espionage Act (compared to three such prosecutions for all of Obama’s predecessors combined), many prominent journalists can’t see, or won’t admit, or don’t believe, that an attack on whistleblowers is also an attack on the press and on the First Amendment.

They appear either not to care or to have scant awareness of the chilling effect on the symbiotic relationship between investigative reporters and their sources every time whistleblowers are charged or convicted for crimes that could land them in prison for decades, if not a lifetime.

They also appear to accept at face value the stories spun by the CIA, the NSA, the Pentagon or other members of the vast U.S. national security state apparatus. It matters not to them the number of times those agencies have been shown to be liars, whether it be over non-existent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or the extent of the vast surveillance operations directed at American citizens and people worldwide.

Why do these stars of the news media so readily brush off concerns about our dangerous warfare/surveillance state revealed by Snowden, Manning and the others? Why do they cheer on the government’s crackdown on unauthorized leaks and tell us surveillance and the diminishment of our civil liberties is really for our own good in a scary world — rather than side with the Bill of Rights and the handful of other journalists and whistleblowers who expose secrets that people in a free society should have the right to know? Why do they sound as if they are angling for a position on the National Security Council or membership in the Council on Foreign Relations, rather than aspiring to be another I.F. Stone (who lived by the tenet, “all governments lie”) or Edward R. Murrow or Seymour Hersh?

James Risen, of course, “gets” why whistleblowers are vital to investigative reporting and a free press, as he explained to an unsympathetic David Gregory on Meet the Press shortly after Snowden’s disclosures in June 2013. (See cringeworthy video excerpts here of Gregory and correspondent Andrea Mitchell lecturing to one of the premiere investigative reporters of this generation why whistleblowers like Snowden are so dangerous.)

Risen fielded his colleagues’ pro-secrecy, anti-whistleblower comments deftly, pointing out to them the obvious: “The only reason we’ve been having these public debates” over surveillance and civil liberties “and that we’re now sitting here talking about this is because of a series of whistleblowers. That the government has never wanted any of this reported, never wanted any of it disclosed. If it was up to the government over the last ten years, this surveillance infrastructure would have grown enormously with no public debate whatsoever. And so every time we talk about how someone is a traitor for disclosing something, we have to remember the only reason we’re talking about it is because of it.”

Given the co-dependency of confidential sources and journalists, it would be worthwhile to remind mainstream reporters and editors that when it comes to investigative reporting you, too, are a species of whistleblower. And when a whistleblower goes to jail, a part of our press freedom goes to jail, too.

Posted in USA7 Comments

Zio-Wahhabi-led strikes on Yemen against international law

NOVANEWS

Image result for SAUDI KING CARTOON

Dozens of civilians are killed as IsraHell and Zio-Wahhabi and a coalition of regional allies launch a military operation in neighboring Yemen.

Yemeni media says warplanes have bombed residential areas including a hospital. Sana’a international airport has also been hit. Dozens of Yemeni civilians, including children and women, are killed in the attacks. Witnesses say the residential Bani Hawwat neighborhood has been the worst hit. Zio-Wahhabi to the US says a group of ten countries have contributed to Yemen offensive.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Seif Da’na, professor at the University of Wisconsin from Chicago, for his take on the airstrikes by IsraHell and Zio-Wahhabi and its allies against Yemeni people.

Da’na warned that the assault might amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity in Yemen, because the attackers have no right to enter the Yemeni airspace in the first place, let alone kill innocent children and civilians.

At least 13 civilians, including women and children, were killed in the IsraHell Zio-Wahhabi -led air raids overnight, a Yemeni source said.

“Just last month, a resolution that was proposed by the Saudis and other countries in the region to the Security Council failed to pass. So there is no international legitimacy,” the analyst maintains.

He further argued, “The only kind of legitimacy they claim to have is that they have consulted with the US and they have the US support and some sort of green light from the US, but such coordination with the US doesn’t give any legitimacy to such an act.”

Da’na also ruled out some media propaganda which say Yemenis welcome such attacks by Zio-Wahhabi, noting that the Yemeni people would basically condemn such intervention as nobody wants other countries to invade their country.

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Blood Money: These Companies and People Make Billions of Dollars from War

NOVANEWS
Global Research
More than 50% of US Government Spending Goes to the Military

War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it. –George Orwell

The late United States Marine Corps Major GeneralSmedley D. Butler is perhaps most famous for his post-retirement speech titled “War is a Racket.” In the early 1930s, Butler presented the speech on a nationwide tour. It was so popular that he wrote a longer version as a small book that was published in 1935.

Butler points to a variety of examples, mostly from World War I, where industrialists whose operations were subsidized by public funding were able to generate substantial profits essentially from mass human suffering.

The work is divided into five chapters:

  1. War is a racket
  2. Who makes the profits?
  3. Who pays the bills?
  4. How to smash this racket!
  5. To hell with war!

It contains this summary:

War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people.

Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

What Butler was candidly describing was later referred to as the “military-industrial complex”by Dwight D. Eisenhower, who warned Americans of its existence in his farewell address in 1961:

Butler went on to say…

In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.

How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?

Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few — the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.

And what is this bill?

This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.

For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it. Now that I see the international war clouds gathering, as they are today, I must face it and speak out.

Butler also exposed the Business Plot, an alleged plan to overthrow the U.S. government. In 1933, Butler told a congressional committee that a group of wealthy industrialist businessmen (including individuals from General Motors, Prescott Bush, grandfather of George Bush Jr., J.P. Morgan, and the Rockefeller dynasty) were planning a military coup to overthrow President Franklin D. Roosevelt, with Butler selected to lead a march of veterans to become dictator, similar to other Fascist regimes at that time. The individuals involved all denied the existence of a plot, and the media ridiculed the allegations, calling them a “gigantic hoax.”

A final report by a special House of Representatives Committee confirmed some of Butler’s testimony.

****

Despite warnings of its existence and imminent expansion, the military-industrial complex (or military-industrial-congressional complex) remains in operation today. It is an iron trianglethat comprises the policy and monetary relationships which exist between legislators, national armed forces, and the arms industry that supports them. These relationships include political contributions, political approval for military spending, lobbying to support bureaucracies, and oversight of the industry.

It is a major reason we are stuck in a perpetual war.

****

In their article titled Companies Profiting the Most From War, Thomas C. Frohlich and Mark Lieberman listed the 10 companies profiting the most from war. To identify them, they examined the companies with the most arms sales based on information from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Arms sales, including advisory, planes, vehicles, and weapons, were defined by sales to military customers as well as contracts to government militaries. Also considered were each company’s 2013 total sales and profits, the total number of employees at the company, as well as nation-level military spending, all provided by SIPRI.

From the article:

U.S. companies still dominate the arms market by a large margin, with six among the top 10 arms sellers. In the top 100 arms-producing companies, 39 are based in the United States, and U.S. companies accounted for more than 58% of total arms sales among the top 100. U.S. company arms sales in the top 10 alone made up 35% of total arms sales among the top 100. By contrast, Western European companies, which make up the rest of the top 10 arms producers, accounted for just 28% of the total top 100 arms sales.

Here are the top 10 war-profiteering companies and their political ties.

10. Thales Group (Paris)
Arm sales 2013: $10.4 billion, profit: $800 million

Profile for 2014 Election Cycle
CONTRIBUTIONS: $0
LOBBYING: $520,000 (2014), $460,000 (2013) (ranks 614 of 4,065 in 2014)

REVOLVING DOOR: 9 out of 10 Thales Group lobbyists in 2013-2014 have previously held government jobs.

For a list of bills Thales Group has lobbied, click here.

Chairman Henri Proglio’s salary is rumored to be $436,128 USD.

CEO Patrice Caine’s salary has not been published.

9. Finmeccanica S.p.A. (Italy)
Arm sales 2013: $10.6 billion, profit $100 million

Not only is this company a top war profiteer, it is a huge U.S. political campaign contributor.

From OpenSecrets.org:

Profile for 2014 Election Cycle
CONTRIBUTIONS: $446,850 (ranks 696 of 16,793)
LOBBYING: $1,754,000 (2014), $1,965,500 (2013) (ranks 303 of 4,065 in 2014)
Contributions to candidates: $342,550 (for a list of recipients, click here)
Contributions to Leadership PACs: $18,100
Contributions to parties: $86,200
Contributions to 527 committees: $0
Contributions to outside spending groups: $0

For a list of bills Finmeccanica S.p.A. has lobbied, click here.

Here’s some additional information on this company:

The total of contributions to candidates from Finmeccanica SpA PACs is 24 times larger than contributions from individuals.

REVOLVING DOOR: 21 out of 34 Finmeccanica SpA lobbyists in 2013-2014 have previously held government jobs.

CEO Mauro Moretti’s “wage packet” is said to be $1.2 million USD.

8. United Technologies (U.S.)
Arm sales 2013: $11.9 billion, profit $5.7 billion

United Technologies might be the lowest ranking of the U.S. companies in this list, but don’t let that fool you.OpenSecrets bestowed the company with the label “heavy hitter”, which means it is “one of the 140 biggest overall donors to federal elections since the 1990 election cycle, as compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.”

Profile for 2014 Election Cycle
CONTRIBUTIONS: $2,105,245 (ranks 124 of 16,793)
LOBBYING: $15,738,000 (2014), $13,900,373 (2013) (ranks 13 of 4,065 in 2014)
Contributions to candidates: $1,769,400 (for a list of recipients, click here)
Contributions to Leadership PACs: $199,250
Contributions to parties: $124,470
Contributions to 527 committees: $10,625
Contributions to outside spending groups: $1,500

For a list of bills United Technologies has lobbied, click here.

Here’s some additional information on this company:

The total of contributions to candidates from United Technologies PACs is 19 times larger than contributions from individuals.

REVOLVING DOOR: 52 out of 70 United Technologies lobbyists in 2013-2014 have previously held government jobs.

24 Congressional members own United Technologies shares (for the list, click here).

CEO Gregory J. Hayes has a reported annual salary of $949,583 and an annual bonus of $1,600,00, for a total annual compensation of $2,549,583.

7. Airbus Group (France/Netherlands)
Arm sales 2013: $15.7 billion, profit $2 billion

Profile for 2014 Election Cycle
CONTRIBUTIONS:  $365,752 (ranks 855 of 16,793)
LOBBYING: $3,288,178 (2014), $3,749,750 (2013) (ranks 156 of 4,065 in 2014)
Contributions to candidates: $259,322 (for a list of recipients, click here)
Contributions to Leadership PACs: $83,500
Contributions to parties: $22,930
Contributions to 527 committees: $0
Contributions to outside spending groups: $0

For a list of bills this company has lobbied, click here.

Additional information about Airbus Group:

The total of contributions to candidates from Airbus Group PACs is 4 times largerthan contributions from individuals.

REVOLVING DOOR: 42 out of 57 Airbus Group lobbyists in 2013-2014 have previously held government jobs.

6. General Dynamics (U.S.)
Arm sales 2013: $18.7 billion, profit $2.4 billion

OpenSecrets labeled this company a “heavy hitter”, which means it is “one of the 140 biggest overall donors to federal elections since the 1990 election cycle, as compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.”

General Dynamics is one of the nation’s top defense contractors, assembling virtually every type of military machinery engaged in modern combat. The company builds warships, nuclear submarines, tanks and combat jets, not to mention the command and control systems that link all of these technologies together. The company has lobbied hard to encourage lawmakers to step up appropriations for the Navy, one of the company’s biggest clients.

It has fought attempts to shrink the nation’s fleet of submarines and warships, thereby helping block Defense Department attempts to shift that money to other facets of the nation’s land and air defenses.

Details:

Profile for 2014 Election Cycle
CONTRIBUTIONS: $1,974,599 (ranks 140 of 16,793)
LOBBYING: $10,720,923 (2014), $11,066,974 (2013) (ranks 27 of 4,065 in 2014)
Contributions to candidates: $1,405,525 (for a list of recipients, click here)
Contributions to Leadership PACs: $401,300
Contributions to parties: $162,974
Contributions to 527 committees: $4,350
Contributions to outside spending groups: $5,450

For a list of bills this company has lobbied, click here.

More information about General Dynamics:

The total of contributions to candidates from General Dynamics PACs is 6 times larger than contributions from individuals.

6 Congressional members own shares in this company (click here for the list).

REVOLVING DOOR: 96 out of 133 General Dynamics lobbyists in 2013-2014 have previously held government jobs.

CEO Phebe Novakovic earned nearly $19 million in total compensation in fiscal 2014.

5. Northrop Grumman (U.S.)
Arm sales 2013: $20.2 billion, profit $2 billion

We’ve got another heavy hitter here:

Northrop Grumman is the fourth largest defense contractor and the world’s largest builder of naval vessels as of 2010. As a member of the miscellaneous defense industry, Northrop Grumman specializes in aerospace systems, electronic systems, information systems, ship building and technical services.

Northrop Grumman focuses much of its efforts securing government defense contracts and earmarks. During the 2008 election cycle, people and political action committees associated with Northrop Grumman contributed more than $2 million to federal candidates and committees, favoring Democrats slightly.

Details:

Profile for 2014 Election Cycle
CONTRIBUTIONS $4,050,624 (ranks 45 of 16,793)
LOBBYING $10,216,960 (2014), $20,590,000 (2013) (ranks 28 of 4,065 in 2014)
Contributions to candidates: $2,613,112 (for a list of recipients, click here)
Contributions to Leadership PACs: $1,194,560
Contributions to parties: $231,602
Contributions to 527 committees: $6,000
Contributions to outside spending groups: $5,350

For a list of bills this company has lobbied, click here.

More information about Northrop Grumman:

The total of contributions to candidates from Northrop Grumman PACs is 9 times larger than contributions from individuals.

REVOLVING DOOR: 32 out of 49 Northrop Grumman lobbyists in 2013-2014 have previously held government jobs.

6 Congressional members own shares in this company (for the list, click here).

CEO Wesley G. Bush’s total pay package, including the change in the value of his pension, was $18.6 million in 2013, reports The Washington Post. His salary and stock awards remained steady at about $1.5 million and $8 million, respectively.

4. Raytheon (U.S.)
Arm sales 2013: $29.9 billion, profit $2 billion

OpenSecrets has identified Raytheon as a heavy hitter:

Raytheon is a major American defense contractor that specializes in defense and homeland security technology. As the world’s largest producer of guided missiles, Raytheon specializes in manufacturing defense systems and defense electronics.

A member of the defense electronic industry, Raytheon is most active lobbying on defense, homeland security and federal budget appropriation issues. Until 2008, individuals and political action committees associated with Raytheon had favored Republicans in campaign contribution giving, but after Democrats won both chambers of Congress and the White House, the defense firm favors Democrats, giving 55 percent of campaign contributions to Democrats and 45 percent to Republicans in 2008

Considering that access is needed when securing large government defense contract, it’s of little surprise that Raytheon spends millions of dollars each year lobbying the federal government. Raytheon is the primary manufacturer of Tomahawk cruise missiles, dozens of which have been used by U.S. and British military forces in strikes against targets in Libya during 2011.

Details:

Profile for 2014 Election Cycle:
CONTRIBUTIONS: $3,588,668 (ranks 58 of 16,793)
LOBBYING: $6,250,000 (2014), $7,650,000 (2013) (ranks 65 of 4,065 in 2014)
Contributions to candidates: $2,131,300 (for a list of recipients, click here)
Contributions to Leadership PACs: $1,212,783
Contributions to parties: $236,498
Contributions to 527 committees: $6,037
Contributions to outside spending groups: $2,050

For a list of bills Raytheon has lobbied, click here.

More information about this company:

The total of contributions to candidates from Raytheon PACs is 11 times larger than contributions from individuals.

REVOLVING DOOR: 51 out of 67 Raytheon lobbyists in 2013-2014 have previously held government jobs.

8 Congressional members own shares in this company (click here for a list).

CEO Thomas A. Kennedy made $5,324,743 in total compensation for fiscal 2013.

3. BAE Systems (U.S./United Kingdom)
Arm sales 2013: $26.8 billion, profit $275 million

Profile for 2014 Election Cycle
CONTRIBUTIONS: $1,360,369 (ranks 210 of 16,793)
LOBBYING: $3,920,000 (2014), $4,635,000 (2013) (ranks 124 of 4,065 in 2014)
Contributions to candidates: $931,389 (for a list of recipients, click here)
Contributions to Leadership PACs: $301,750
Contributions to parties: $120,980
Contributions to 527 committees: $5,500
Contributions to outside spending groups: $3,250

For a list of bills BAE Systems has lobbied, click here.

More details:

The total of contributions to candidates from BAE Systems PACs is 9 times largerthan contributions from individuals.

REVOLVING DOOR: 27 out of 36 BAE Systems lobbyists in 2013-2014 have previously held government jobs.

CEO Ian King’s total annual compensation is $3,826,308.

2. Boeing (U.S.)
Arm sales 2013: $30.7 billion, profit $4.6 billion

Boeing has been labeled a heavy hitter by OpenSecrets:

Boeing is the world’s top manufacturer of commercial airplanes, including well-known aircraft such as the 787 and the 747. The company is also a leading military supplier, making fighter-bombers, transport planes and the Apache helicopter.

Along with rival Lockheed Martin, the company regularly lobbies Congress to win military contracts and increase defense spending. Boeing is a major supporter of free trade, especially in Asia, where it has focused on selling more planes. The company also lobbies on environmental rules and transportation regulations, among other issues.

Boeing is also a large recipient of government loan-guarantees, primarily coming from the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Details:

Profile for 2014 Election Cycle
CONTRIBUTIONS: $3,227,934 (ranks 67 of 16,793)
LOBBYING: $16,800,000 (2014), $15,230,000 (2013) (ranks 10 of 4,065 in 2014)
Contributions to candidates: $2,536,149 (for a list of recipients, click here)
Contributions to Leadership PACs: $398,276
Contributions to parties: $252,685
Contributions to 527 committees: $33,749
Contributions to outside spending groups: $79,325

For a list of bills Boeing has lobbied, click here.

More information on this company:

The total of contributions to candidates from Boeing PACs is 6 times larger than contributions from individuals.

REVOLVING DOOR: 83 out of 115 Boeing Co lobbyists in 2013-2014 have previously held government jobs.

17 Congressional members own Boeing shares (click here for the list).

CEO W. James McNerney Jr. made $23,263,562 in total compensation in 2013. Of this total $1,930,000 was received as a salary, $12,920,972 was received as a bonus, $3,763,503 was received in stock options, $3,763,534 was awarded as stock, and $885,553 came from other types of compensation. He earned $23.5 million total in 2014.

1. Lockheed Martin (U.S.)
Arm sales 2013: $35.5 billion, profit $3 billion

As the top war profiteer on this list, it should be no surprise that Lockheed Martin is ranked as a heavy hitter by OpenSecrets:

Lockheed Martin is the nation’s top defense contractor, the brains behind such high-tech military hardware as the F-16 jet fighter and a variety of land and sea missiles. In 2001, the company landed the biggest defense contract in history when it was named the main contractor for the Joint Strike Fighter.

Considering that access is the name of the game when securing such lucrative contracts, it’s no surprise that Lockheed splits its campaign money equally between Democrats and Republicans. All told, NASA and the Defense Department account for roughly 80 percent of the company’s annual sales.

Details:

Profile for 2014 Election Cycle
CONTRIBUTIONS: $4,132,497 (ranks 44 of 16,793)
LOBBYING: $14,581,800 (2014), $14,516,226 (2013) (ranks 16 of 4,065 in 2014)
Contributions to candidates: $3,001,928 (for a list of recipients, click here)
Contributions to Leadership PACs: $897,425
Contributions to parties: $219,086
Contributions to 527 committees: $5,585
Contributions to outside spending groups: $10,373

For a list of bills Lockheed Martin has lobbied, click here.

Additional information about this company:

The total of contributions to candidates from Lockheed Martin PACs is 7 times largerthan contributions from individuals.

REVOLVING DOOR: 69 out of 109 Lockheed Martin lobbyists in 2013-2014 have previously held government jobs.

CEO Marillyn Hewson earned $25.16 million in 2014. Of this total, $1.34 million was base salary, $8.16 million was stock awards, $5.98 million was from incentive plan compensation, $9.41 million was in pension earnings, and other compensation was $238,150.

****

As you can see, many companies and individuals – including politicians – stand to profit greatly from perpetual war.

And we, the taxpayers, are footing the bill.

Every hour, taxpayers in the United States are paying $312,500 for cost of military action against ISIS. Every hour, taxpayers in the United States are paying $10.17 million for cost of war in Afghanistan. 

Every hour, taxpayers in the United States are paying $365,297 for cost of war in Iraq. 

Every hour, taxpayers in the United States are paying $10.54 million for total cost of wars since 2001. 

Every hour, taxpayers in the United States are paying $8.43 million for Homeland Security Since 9/11. 

Every hour, taxpayers in the United States are paying $58 million for the Department of Defense.

For a live ticker showing how much we have paid to date in each of the categories above, please visit the National Priorities Project site. You also can use the site’s trade-off tool to see what else those dollars could buy.

****

The full costs of war cannot simply be measured in dollars. It is impossible to place a monetary value on the tremendous loss of life (both military and civilian) caused by perpetual war.

Since 2003, U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan total 2,356. UK military deaths total 453, and there have been 677 coalition military deaths from other countries.

Since 2003, U.S. military deaths in Iraq total 4,489. UK military deaths total 179, and there have been 140 coalition military deaths from other countries.

There have been 136,495 – 154,378 documented civilian deaths that resulted from military intervention in Iraq since 2003.

In Iraq, 1,487 contractor employees have died. 348 journalists have been killed. 448 academics have died.

To view information on 6,840 U.S. service members who have perished in Afghanistan and Iraq, please see Faces of the Fallen.

Deaths don’t only occur in combat. An unusually high percentage of young veterans have died since returning home, many as a result of drug overdose, suicide, and vehicle crashes, reports Costs of War. The suicide rate doubled in the Army during the first decade of the wars among both the deployed and the non-deployed.

In many ways, the people of Afghanistan and Iraq are worse off now than they were before U.S. military invasion. Both countries are considered more authoritarian, more corrupt, and more repressive than they were before.

****

In his piece titled A State of Perpetual War, David A. Love makes a fitting comparison:

In the George Orwell classic 1984, there is a state of perpetual war between the nations of Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia. The enemy in the conflict is ambiguous, and the battlefield exists in an elusive and distant land. The enemy could be Eurasia one day, and Eastasia the next, but that location is really insignificant.

The mission of perpetual war for these superpowers is to justify psychological and physical control over their populations, to keep their people busy, fearful and hateful towards the enemy. The perpetual war also serves as an excuse for a nation’s failings and shortcomings. The economy, the labor force and industry are all centered around war rather than consumer goods. People live a miserable existence with poverty and no hope of improving their standard of living.

Love points out that there are bigger problems we should be concerned about:

…there are many domestic threats that seem to pose a greater risk to national security, including the U.S. economic system itself.

He concludes with:

If we are to have a perpetual war, it must be a war against injustice and deprivation at home and abroad. We need to get our own house in order, rather than demolish and rebuild other nations that did not invite us there. And as far as the so-called terrorism problem is concerned, maybe we should stay out of other folks’ backyards and it will go away.

Indeed, the authorities would like us to believe that “fighting for our freedoms” in lands thousands of miles away is a necessary evil.

In War is a Racket, Butler suggested the following three steps to smash the war racket:

  1. We must take the profit out of war.
  2. We must permit the youth of the land who would bear arms to decide whether or not there should be war.
  3. We must limit our military forces to home defense purposes.

Butler concluded his speech with the following exclamation:

TO HELL WITH WAR!

That seems like an appropriate conclusion here as well.

Additional Resources:

Posted in USAComments Off on Blood Money: These Companies and People Make Billions of Dollars from War

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