Syria: Symbol of Our Government’s Endless-War Addiction

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Back in June, Peculiar Progressive outlined for you four major factors showing “1984” is alive and ill in America. One of those is the combined addiction of nationalism and endless war.

At that time, we said:

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Today, the United States sees the decaying effects of a decade of invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, drone invasions into Pakistan, and looking to spread its military aggression possibly into Iran, Syria, Africa, and beyond.

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President Obama

This week, that endless-war addiction now is aiming its drone-slanted eyes toward Syria. This weekend, UK newspaper The Independent ran the headline “Syria: air attacks loom as Britain and US pledge to use force within two weeks.” Reuters published a head reading, “Russia warns US not to repeat in Syria past mistakes in region,” meaning Iraq and Afghanistan. And this afternoon (Monday) The Washington Post just ran a “news alert” headline shouting, “Kerry says Obama will hold Syria accountable for use of chemical weapons.”

So here we go again. What didn’t work in Korea, and didn’t work in Vietnam, and didn’t work in Iraq and Afghanistan, and didn’t work in Libya, appears about to repeat itself in Syria.

Why does the US keep sticking its flaring military nostrils in the Middle East, Asia and also create other combat hotspots? Here are just two major reasons to contemplate:

Military-Industrial Complex

For the multinational corporations that control Washington, endless war is their meal ticket. As just one example, Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and its subsidiaries, while Cheney was vice president, pulled in billions from work in Iraq and Afghanistan. While it’s difficult to get a total figure, sources list Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) getting $16 billion in contracts from 2004-06 alone. Politifact cites KBR government work for Iraq reconstruction from 2001-10 of $31 billion. Cheney was vice president from 2001-2008. Halliburton broke ties with KBR in 2007.

But Halliburton is just one of a battalion of corporations living off America’s military. To review a couple of lists and see where your tax money’s going, check the links here and here.

An Eroding Economy

Political power mongers (we dare not call them leaders) historically have understood that, when the economy sucks, they need to find a national enemy to turn your attention away from your money miseries. So they’ll invade Iraq (by lying about weapons of mass destruction) or preach that Iran’s use of atomic energy will devastate the world.

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Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke

Meanwhile, Washington doesn’t want you to think about this:

The US Federal Reserve continues to hold interest rates artificially low, killing consumers’ chances to make money on savings, while the big bucks go to the big banks and Wall Street, who are selling billions in bonds back to the Fed. Meanwhile, the banks once again are bundling mortgages with other financial risks, which led to the financial meltdowns and depressions of the 1930s and post-2008. That process can only lead to another meltdown, probably worse than 2008. Washington knows it, and needs an enemy to preach about so the US doesn’t turn into another Egypt. Considering where Congress has languished in the polls’ slimy bottom over the last couple of years, a “manufactured” foreign enemy may not wash when the economy dissolves.

Stats show the top 20 percent of incomes in the US own 90 percent of the wealth, the middle class has been shrinking, and executive incomes have been rising, but not employees’ incomes. And most of the jobs being created since the 2008 meltdown have been low-end and part-time work.

Now, ask yourself this:

Do you think Congress, nearly half of whom are millionaires, and the president, who’s also a millionaire, really want to change that? Oh, they’ll pabulum-feed the major media with their efforts at minor fines for banks and corporations, and putting low-level execs behind bars. But anything more than that? Don’t bet on it.

Not when the big bucks keep going to their big-bellied cronies in the big corporations as this country continues to wage endless war.

That is…unless you decide to get organized, get educated, get active, and take back your Congress, your White House and your country. We showed you how to do that here.