We might refer to what is happening in America today as a form of Civil War; one between the forces of empire building and the forces of economic stability. So let's identify those who represent each side. The empire builders are, of course the Pentagon, the CIA, the defense industry, and a large part of the Congress; and let's not forget the folks at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. General Patreus went from the battlefield to the CIA and Leon Panetta, the lawyer and politician, went from the CIA to head the Defense Department; but the objectives remain unchanged.
Opposing them in this battle to determine who will control the agenda and direction of America is the force for economic stability; a group whose influence seems to be almost non-existent, whose silence is very noticeable; the president's National Economic Council (NEC), the Council of Economic Advisers and, yes, we must include his Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Do we ever hear of any substantive economic initiatives emanating from these groups?
Guess who's winning this great struggle? You're right if you said the empire builders. They are, at this point, winning hands down. Those who should be fighting for economic stability certainly could use some more expertise because there seems to be an absence of economic heavyweights within these two groups in the Obama administration. There is a wealth of well-respected economists in America today that could be of great assistance in the task of producing more and better problem solving initiatives.
I'm speaking of economists such as: Dean Baker, Joseph E. Stieglitz, Paul Krugman, James K. Galbraith, Robert Reich, and Edward Wolff, to name just a few. Why is it that such experts are not being called on for advice by the Obama administration? Right now they represent a wasted resource in America; thus far they have been less than welcome in this administration and they remain sitting on the sidelines when they could be contributing to developing solutions to this nation's economic problems.
So, right now, the direction of America is not being driven by economic experts but, rather, by that select cadre of political and military advisers who have chosen war as America's #1 priority. The president and his economic advisers need to face this irrefutable fact; that this military empire can no longer be sustained; that it and our never-ending succession of wars are literally destroying the economic foundations of America. They could scale back the massive military presence in the world, significantly cut the defense budget, and America would still be very safe and secure.
As this already dire situation greatly worsens where are the voices of the people? As this government gambles away the future of the nation on the pursuit of wars, why is there no great outcry? The millions of unemployed Americans need to understand that for every dollar spent on war, that's a dollar that can't be spent on creating new industries and new jobs that could end their misery. Those participants of the Occupy Wall Street movement should make it known that the richest 1% of Americans, the objects of their demonstrations, are among the biggest recipients of the obscene profits being generated from the wars and they should make that one of their main grievances.
When polls are taken they show that people are most concerned about jobs and the recession, with war near the bottom of the list. You would think that these wars that represent the greatest portion of this government's out of control spending would be at or near the top of the list. Why war is not being strongly denounced and condemned across this entire nation is incomprehensible and may be a clear indication that people are afraid of being branded as unpatriotic. Maybe it would be a lot different if, as was true during the Vietnam War, our children were in danger of being drafted; maybe then we would shout our protests from the rooftops.
So, no matter how much apathy exists with regard to war protests, the question still remains; how can this government continue to maintain and expand its military outreach in the world with money it doesn't have? How much longer will those borrowed funds be forthcoming from China, Japan and other investors? And how soon will we get to the point that we won't even be able to pay the growing interest due on the loans?