We have been led to believe that ours is a government of
the people, by the people, and for the people. If you still believe that to be
true then ask yourself this question: Who has more power and influence over the
Congress and President Obama, the people of America or the military
establishment? The answer is clear; it's no longer the people.
Now, what would you say is the most powerful, influential and dominant institution in America? If you said the U.S. presidency, the Congress or the financial sector you would be wrong. The most dominant institution is, without a doubt, the ever-expanding U.S. military establishment, including the highly profitable defense industry. Right now, this military powerhouse is controlling America's national priorities and agenda.
If you don't believe it just consider the degree to which
all our lives are so dominated by the military and its actions around the
world. We are constantly bombarded by media reports about Iraq, Afghanistan,
the Taliban insurgents, Al Qaeda, and the War on Terror. Radio hosts, cable
news anchors, retired generals, and assorted military experts and observers
offer up a steady stream of hype and blather about military actions, our "vital
interests" and the need to continue our "mission." Many of our states stand at
the edge of bankruptcy while the funding of the military continues unabated.
Next question. What is the major business of America? Well,
it used to be manufacturing. We once were the world's leading exporter of
manufactured products, but that is but a distant memory. Now we are the leading
importer of said products and we have become the #1 exporter of the weapons of
war. This is how radically America
has changed. We're not good at manufacturing products but we excel at producing
weapons for war and destruction. The business of America is now the proliferation of
weaponry and war.
How about this for beefing up our exports? Mr. Obama
recently announced a $60 billion deal to furnish jet fighters and helicopters
to Saudi Arabia.
That will be a boon to our export balance and to our GDP. Saudi Arabia may
be heavily involved with funding terrorist organizations around the world, but
that's ok because they are our allies and, besides, we badly need that business
and their oil. Is that not the height of hypocrisy?
We currently are in the midst of a catastrophic economic
crisis with the "effective" unemployment rate in America being about 17%. A growing
number of unemployed people have no confidence whatsoever that they can ever
get a decent paying job and are just trying to survive. In stark contrast, there
is a business sector where no real unemployment problems exist, one in which profits
are soaring and the workers are doing quite well.
It's the defense industry that is granted mega-billions of
taxpayer dollars to produce the weapons of war; companies such as Lockheed
Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, United Technologies and,
yes, Halliburton, the company that made Dick Cheney rich. Are any of these
companies laying off workers, are they struggling? You can bet that those who
work for these companies will not stand in unemployment lines, will not face
home foreclosures, will not want for anything to speak of and can look forward
to a nice retirement.
Whether we realize it or not, there is a war going on in
our nation that is in its beginning stages, a war that does not involve bullets
and bombs but, rather, ethics and morals, right versus wrong. This is a struggle
between two forces with totally opposite objectives. It all comes down to this
choice: You are either pro-war or anti-war, meaning unnecessary war. And, at
this point in time, the people of America are not only losing the war
but are, in fact, taking a terrible beating. That cannot continue. We cannot
allow the war hawks to completely control the direction of our nation. They
must be stopped and the only way to do it is by enlisting millions more Americans
into the antiwar movement.
Let's be clear that the U.S. military is critical to the
nation's safety and security and it needs to remain a strong and powerful
force. But what we do not need and cannot tolerate is the military establishment
assuming a new, unwarranted role; that is, to usurp the authority of the
executive branch of our government and determine the foreign and domestic
policies of America.
That's not its job; its job is to take orders from the president and carry them
out without reservation.
But who do you think is running this show? President Obama
stands by his plan to begin troop withdrawals from Afghanistan in July 2011. General
Patraeus, a media hero, who apparently is reading from a different book, has
just said that "success over the insurgency" would take another 9-10 years.
Also, the Pentagon is planning three $100 million air bases in Afghanistan
that will come on board the latter half of 2011. Do you still wonder who is in
charge - and do you think the U.S.
will ever leave Afghanistan?
As bleak as things may seem there is hope. It's a fact
that more than 60% of Americans now are convinced that the war in Afghanistan
should be ended. That is a great plus for the antiwar movement and a foundation
that can be strengthened with the addition of millions more Americans to the
cause. Right now the agents of war are in control, they have the upper hand and
hold all the aces; but that can be changed when the vast majority of over 300
million Americans finally determine that this situation can no longer be tolerated.
Polls indicate that the majority of Americans feel this
nation is headed in the wrong direction. If we feel that way then we must take
steps to change it. We need an army of millions more American peacemakers to
stop our democracy from further erosion. The power must be returned to the
people. How can this movement grow and expand its own power and influence? We
can begin by working very hard to inform, educate and motivate our friends,
members of our family, those with whom we work and anyone else we meet in our
daily activities. It's amazing what dialogue and discussion can do, if we spend
the time. Our goal must be to raise that 60% of Americans who now reject war up
to 75% and then great things can happen.
We will need to make it clear to those who are in control
that we the people have had enough of perpetual war and will no longer remain
silent and submissive. If we can grow this peacemakers' army to three fourths
of Americans, and our message is strong and demanding, then President Obama and
the Congress will find it politically impossible to continue the "mission" in Iraq and Afghanistan; they will be forced to
bend to the intense pressure of the people.
While this task may seem insurmountable, once we really
get the movement into high gear we will become unstoppable. Why am I so
confident? Well, I know that the American people are now very close to reaching
the end of their patience. There is no way that they are going to continue
watching more than $1 trillion being spent on the military each and every year
while, at the same time, our nation's infrastructure is falling apart and
millions of them can't find a job. When the pain becomes unbearable, the rage
and outrage will kick in.
Of course, this entire process may seem like a pipe dream to
many who are locked into America's
black hole of hopelessness and negativity. That is America's problem today. We have,
over a period of time, been mentally conditioned into thinking that as
patriotic Americans we must accept the current misguided direction that is
ripping our nation apart. That kind of thinking is totally obsolete and must be
replaced by a can-do mentality one that, as a different, better version of President
Obama used to say "yes we can." The one thing that we must do, and cannot fail
to do, is end the wars; then we will preserve our democracy. Let's not even
begin to think what might happen if we fail in our jobs as peacemakers.
Those currently in charge of this war agenda have no
intention of changing. They will continue to expand the military empire until
the power of this democracy, the people, take control of the agenda. That can
only be done when the vast majority of Americans join the antiwar movement as peacemakers.