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America Leads the World --- in Waging War, Creating and Selling Weapons of Destruction

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Being a strong leader, becoming the best in the world in the world is a great achievement. That's the image that America once presented to the world, one of strength and leadership. And it's even a greater achievement when that leadership involves meaningful, important endeavors, primarily those that serve to benefit mankind in positive ways. That's the kind of leadership that America once provided in this world. That world view of America has now changed from one of admiration and respect to one of fear and trepidation.

One hundred years from today, if our civilization even exists, based on the terrible beating that the Earth is taking, people will be reading about America, that nation that rose to its full potential by becoming the leader in meaningful achievements and in the noble effort of attaining world peace. But that didn't happen and, instead, America used its massive military power to dominate and control vast regions of the world. And, at the same time, it became the premier seller of the weapons of war and destruction. People of that time will find it very difficult to comprehend how a nation was transformed from a symbol of hope and inspiration to one that was looked upon by many nations with fear and trepidation.

The trusting side of me believes that this is not the real America, that this is not what we as a nation and society are destined to be and that it's only a matter of time until this country turns in a new direction. But the practical, realistic side of me tells me that what I'm seeing is the real America, that this is exactly what it has become and, unless some kind of totally unexpected, minor miracle takes place, nothing will change for the better. There are those who contend, and they may be exactly correct, that necessary change will not come unless America undergoes a financial collapse, is forced to abandon its current totally misguided direction and has no other choice than to rebuild itself from the ground up.

Setting aside this less than noble distinction of being #1 in waging war and selling the weapons of destruction, can America lay claim to any important area of achievement in which it currently leads the world?   Do we lead the world in academic achievement? No, we are lagging far behind and doing little to nothing about improving it. How about the development of new sources of energy? No, our government and the oil/gas industry have teamed up to prevent that from happening. Well, how about the condition of our national infrastructure? Again the answer is no because numerous nations are far ahead of us.

And I won't even dare to bring up the subject of manufacturing because it pains me to talk about something that is in the process of dying. Our economy still leads the world, based on outdated, questionable measurements, but the largest portion of the wealth derived from it goes to Corporate America while the people of America fight for the crumbs falling off the table.

But certainly America must be the world leader in medical care, right? That's entirely correct if you happen to have your own private insurance, obtain it through your employer, or through Medicare. You receive first class treatment at the best facilities, including preventative tests in order to catch diseases in their early stages. But if you don't belong to that group, and millions of Americans still don't, then you are in a system that ranks with those of third world nations. The Affordable Health Care Act, aka Obamacare, when and if it is further refined and fully goes into effect, has the potential to become an effective system that will benefit everyone; that is, if the heartless, merciless, and cruel Republicans find some devious way by which they can destroy it.

But why is it that, under these deteriorating conditions in which an increasing number of Americans live and struggle to survive that the people just cannot seem to come to clearly identify America's agenda of perpetual war as the basic, underlying cause of all or most of our most critical problems? Why do so many millions of Americans not find it morally reprehensible and totally unjustifiable for their government to make the proliferation of military power and dominance its primary objective to the exclusion of so many elements of this society that require immediate attention?

This might be a viable explanation for why the American public is still so supportive of the military. It seems as if people continue with their love affair with all things military, one that reached its height during World War II. America's continued support and respect for the military has been reinforced by the many movies and TV shows which have depicted that war as one that was fought to defend this country against a foe with an objective to rule the world. It was a war that was fully necessary and justified, one in which U.S. troops did not die in vain in some fabricated war launched to control the world's resources. And this was America's last honorable war, quite possibly the main reason why the majority of Americans still support our military even though many do not agree with its current missions.

And now, further pursuing the subject of weaponry, we have now entered the era of the drone, the newest addition to the nation's arsenal of weapons that initiates the next deadly chapter of American warfare. These illegal, immoral weapons are going to revolutionalize warfare in the world. This will allow any country or militant group to either produce, steal or otherwise acquire these relatively inexpensive weapons that can be launched at random against any supposed foe. One day in the near future this will become a major world problem that will not be able to be controlled and, without a doubt, America will be subject to revengeful "blowback" by those who it once attacked with drones.

And when speaking of America's position as the #1 seller of weapons of war look at this headline. "Drone makers urge U.S. to let them sell more drones overseas." Here's the Link. The article states, "Despite concerns about U.S.-made drones ending up in enemy hands, American military contractors are lobbying the government to loosen export restrictions and open up foreign markets to the unmanned aircraft that have reshaped modern warfare." There is apparently no limit to the extent that these profit hungry war profiteers will go to spread their destructive weapons around the world; even when they know that those same weapons could easily be used against this country. This kind of reckless behavior borders on outright criminality.

War, when it is waged in the wholly justified cause to defend the nation from real, not imagined enemies of the people, is a just and honorable exercise of military power. But when war cannot be justified in any way and is conducted to solely advance the interests of those who reap the profits from it, then it is a plague and a curse upon the nation that initiates it.

And now, even as we watch the proliferation of drone warfare, this government has opened up a Pandora's Box that it will not be able to close. In its misguided agenda and in close association with the aggressive, militaristic state of Israel, it has created and used a very sophisticated computer system called Stuxnet to infiltrate and damage Iran's Natanz nuclear enrichment facilities. While the U.S. and Israel may consider this to be a great success in the short term, what they have done is to usher in a new era of cyber warfare that, in the longer term, could cause massive turmoil across the world.

Here is the terrible mistake that they have made. Experts in this field indicate that these highly sophisticated cyber warfare programs can also be created by any number of nations who possess very advanced computer technology. They can create their own versions of Stuxnet to damage and create havoc with critically important information and communications in this country such as in the Defense Department or with our air traffic control system. One such expert even warned that it is even possible for some nation to capture this Stuxnet "computer worm" that's out there somewhere in cyberspace, modify it some way, and turn it around against America.

When will this madness stop? How many more kinds of weapons will be created that can unleash more forms of destruction upon this world? Will this new cyber weaponry such as Stuxnet and similar or even more advanced systems be used by rogue nations to destroy other nation's communications systems, electrical grids or even shut down or damage nuclear plants? And will America experience terrible blowback from its many enemies that now have been given even more creative ways to exact their deadly revenge? This is a door that once opened will be impossible to shut.

At this point the American people are caught in a box and are pretty much helpless to do anything to free themselves. They have a government in Washington that is hell bent on continuing the proliferation of war, including the ongoing creation of new weapons of destruction. Those that inhabit the halls of our government do not care in the least what the people think about these wars or anything else for that matter. And it has become very evident that they cannot be shamed nor forced to change the dangerous direction in which they are taking this nation.

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Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense (more...)
 
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One hundred years from today, if our civilizat... by michael payne on Thursday, Jul 5, 2012 at 12:52:29 PM
End all wars.  Employ diplomacy to the grea... by Daniel Geery on Friday, Jul 6, 2012 at 8:31:14 AM
What in the world is it going to take before we ge... by michael payne on Friday, Jul 6, 2012 at 10:19:54 AM
...after the 2000 election.  It is as though ... by David Smith on Saturday, Jul 7, 2012 at 3:23:26 AM