Americans vigorously debate domestic issues, but rarely question the U.S. foreign policies. This is partly because the mainstream news media and the politicians are often on the same foreign policy page and use identical and simplistic talking points. Second, thanks to our abysmal educational system and the entertainment media, Americans are apathetic or awfully misinformed about history and world affairs. Third, many people associate supporting our troops to supporting foreign policies. The illusion is that we are always fighting either to spread freedom and democracy or to defeat an evil regime (somewhere most Americans know nothing about). However, here are the real reasons why the elites manufacture wars and why we must challenge their propaganda.
Wars Mean Enormous Profits
The first characteristic of our foreign policy is the spending of trillions of dollars on military, wars and 800+ military bases around the world. This insatiable appetite of the military-security complex contributes to our unsustainable national debt. This year, America will spend $500 billion in interest payments alone. That’s 20 walls for Trump supporters and, if you are a progressive, free premium healthcare for 50 million Americans.
Congress allocates more money for “defense” than almost all the other countries of the world combined! Half of that money goes to private military contractors who benefit from this massive welfare system. This also creates an unethical feedback loop where the contractors return some of the money back to the politicians. Unlike a free market, many defense contractors enjoy monopolies regardless of their performance. Hence we spend $1.5 trillion on F-35 fighter jets that can’t supply enough oxygen for the pilots; or how about those spanking new combat navy ships that repeatedly break down. It’s mind-boggling that the Department of Defense has never been audited and can’t account for $10 trillion of spending since 1996 (that’s half of our national debt).
With the money we have spent just on the war in Afghanistan, we can pay off most of the student loans of young Americans! Each U.S. soldier deployed in Afghanistan costs the taxpayers $2 million! Why? Thank private military contractors who swindle the government by overcharging and cheating in numerous ways. For example, one contractor charged $8000 for spare parts that cost $450; another charged $900 for something that’s worth $7! Sometimes soldiers and officials are also caught up in bribes and kickback schemes.
We have spent more money on reconstruction of Afghanistan than on Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe after WW II. Wow! Did we eradicate poverty and extremism, build schools and hospitals, and turn Afghanistan into a paradise? Well, 40% of the country is now under Taliban, opium production is at record level, ISIS is growing, and 72% of adults still can’t read or write.
Tensions and Terrorism Also Mean Profits
If wars are the most profitable enterprises, then threat of wars and terrorism are the second best. The original Cold war meant huge arms race; and the current hostility with Russia means tens of billions spent on missile shields and deployment of troops and weapons along the Russian border.
Terrorism is also a boon to the domestic security industry. Send a few million unvetted, low-skilled, young male migrants from war-torn countries into Europe and then just sit back and wait. People and the governments will soon beg for more police, more lethal arms and more surveillance.
Deep State Fuels Fear and Loathing
Americans put the military and the intelligence agencies on a pedestal. Failures such fictitious Iraq’s WMD have not really dented people’s faith in the Deep State. When the CIA says, “Russia hacked DNC,” or “Putin personally directed the hacking,” … people don’t ask, “Where is the evidence?”
Few months back, the State Department showed a satellite picture of a Syrian prison from 2015 and proclaimed, “In this part of the roof, the snow is melting. Therefore, this must be a crematorium! Which also means this is where evil Assad burns prisoners who were tortured to death!” This wild imagination and absurd conspiracy theory should have been reprimanded. However, based on this lunacy, Congress passed new sanctions against Syria. If Americans continue to be so gullible, they lose the right to complain about perpetual wars.
If All You Have is a Hammer…
America seems to have lost its diplomatic skills. Like the alpha monkey which spends its entire day beating up other male monkeys, Washington elites spend too much time contemplating regime changes, sanctions and bombs. To summarize recent U.S. policies: demonize Russia, bully China in its own backyard (South China Sea), destroy Libya, bomb Yemen, bomb Afghanistan, bomb Iraq, send terrorists into Syria, then bomb the terrorists we armed, instigate color revolution in Venezuela, and threaten to annihilate North Korea. Sadly, none of this makes America or the world safer, more peaceful or more prosperous.
An example for peaceful growth is seen in China in the recent decades. Without invading a single country, China managed to grow its GDP grew 55 times since 1980. In Africa, China has built thousands of miles of roadways and railways, hospitals and buildings, and dozens of hydroelectric dams that supply electricity to tens of millions of people. That’s a win-win approach through diplomacy, economics and trade.
Spreading Freedom or FreeDumb?
There has never been a moment in history when powerful elites got together and said, “We should make plans according to the popular opinions of the masses.” Sometimes the elites are forced to give in to populism, but their real goal is to shape the opinions of the masses so that the people demand what the elites want. Thus it’s extremely silly to think that the U.S. would crave for true democracy and freedom in other countries. If, say, 51% of Japanese or Saudi Arabians want the U.S. military bases to be removed, would the U.S. comply? Of course, not. It won’t happen even if 90% demanded it.
Globalists promptly reject democracy when it goes against them. Did 95% of Crimeans vote to join Russia? Invalid! Do Europeans oppose the EU constitution? Well, cancel the referendums! Did 61% of Greece vote against austerity? Ignore it! That’s the reality. So when the globalists killed Gaddafi, tried to topple Assad, or staged a coup in Ukraine, Americans should have questioned the real motives.
Most Americans don’t know or don’t want to know that the U.S. government has staged coups and regime changes – sometimes through assassinations – more than 80 times in other countries since World War II. (BTW, CIA’s first successful coup was in 1949 and it was in … Syria!). It’s all about installing puppets, not freedom or democracy.
The paramount factor in U.S. foreign policy is the banking-corporate complex. First, every country must be a part of the global banking system. Once you control the money supply, you pretty much control everything else. Then comes the domination of that country’s media, agriculture (use our GMO), food (buy our processed food), medicine (depend on our Big Pharma) and technology (so we can snoop on you). If the country has natural resources, they must sell it for pennies on the dollar; if it has poor people, they must work for the likes of Nike, Starbucks and Calvin Klein. None of these exploitative policies help other nations or even 99% of Americans.
As General Smedley Butler explained this intersection of corporations and the military in 1933, “War is a racket.”
Conquering the world has been the dream of powerful people for more than 2000 years. From Alexander the Great to the Roman/Spanish/British Empires, the methods were obvious and crude. The modern banking/corporate Empire is subtle and complex. America and EU are just the two headquarters of the new class of ruthless elites who dream of global hegemony. Every conflict and war that we are asked to support is based on a tactical or strategic goal of these masters of the world. Sometimes, the conflicts are cleverly started through proxy wars. For example, the U.S. used color revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine to install puppet governments and turned those countries against Russia; in Syria, the U.S. put together a coalition of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey and used them to try to overthrow Assad. These are utterly immoral and illegal actions. So we must learn to inquire rather than react when the elites and the Mockingbird corporate media demonize a country or a leader.
Does this all mean that we should instinctively oppose all conflicts and wars? Absolutely not. However, if enough Americans are smart and aware, we can avoid needless conflicts and destructive, cruel wars. As an example, when they scream, “Butcher Assad kills his own people!” you say, “Okay, stop being a drama queen. You want to overthrow the government, I get it. Let me do some research to figure out your real motives.” Is doing such research more fun than, say, going on a vacation? No, but if we can fix the broken foreign policy, more Americans will have more money to go on vacations to more nations in a more peaceful world.
Author: Chris Kanthan Please check out my book “Deconstructing the Syrian War”