Tuesday, January 18, 2011

US industry dependent on warfare state

Published: 18 January, 2011, 01:00
Edited: 18 January, 2011, 01:41

The US military said it plans to curb spending over the next five years, but it will be a hard task to complete since there is an entire global industry that relies on ongoing conflict to sustain its coffers.

With the world’s largest-ever defense budget, The US is set to spend $725 billion on its military this year.

With growing spending and calls to cut costs and the national debt, and increased opposition to US wars abroad, why is the US committed to staying the course?

Former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower once warned against the coming military industrial complex and perpetual warfare.

We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex,” he said.

Russ Baker, the author of “The Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty” explained US foreign policy is shaped by a military-oil-media complex, an ill-defined co-opting of industries brought together under the guise of a maintained sense of continual panic.

The system keeps people in a mindset where war seems needed and inevitable, he argued.

We don’t have the kind of transparency we need,” Baker explained. “All the records remain classified under lock and key and we can’t figure out what went on or what is going on today.”

Change cannot take place in America until proper dialogue takes place. However, that is unable to happen given the current environment. The American media is not allowing for a change in the dialogue, it has created a war driven cycle, argued Baker.

Even a man like Obama, who was presented as a great reformer, finds himself unable to really do anything substantively about this cycle of doom and destruction,” he commented.

The system works towards attacking those who will maintain it, recruiting politicians and presidents who are drafted to sustain the structure backed by big money.

Media propaganda sells wars to America

Published: 18 January, 2011, 01:09
Edited: 18 January, 2011, 01:54

The American media machine has worsened over the years in its ability to report facts over government propaganda.

January 16th marked the 20 year anniversary of the first Gulf War, where a UN-authorized coalition force led by the US and UK went to war with Iraq to force Iraqi troops out of Kuwait.

However, many argue the war was actually an attempt to secure access to Kuwaiti oil resource, a notion left undiscussed by the media at that time. Americans were deliberately kept in the dark by the US media and Pentagon, who used PR agencies to spin a government approved message.

Deliberate propaganda hoaxes included stories about Iraqis killing Kuwaiti babies and stealing incubators to weapons of mass destruction.

John R. MacArthur, the publisher of Harper’s Magazine and author of “Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf” said the media has gotten worse at questioning the message, even the 2003 media coverage leading up to the invasion of Iraq was full of propaganda and disinformation.

In 2003 you had the Secretary of State, Colin Powel, telling outrageous lies. You had the New York Times, the most respected newspaper in the United States repeating the most outrageous lies about Saddam Hussein’s atomic bomb program, which of course didn’t exist. It turned out it was non-existent,” he explained. “It’s a catastrophe what happened in Iraq this time around. This is all based on propaganda campaigns that were not properly challenged by the American media.”

He explained that the government sells propaganda to newspapers because it is effective, and the US media buying into it. MacArthur argued the American media and journalists have forgotten who they serve, who they are reporting to and for and what their purpose is.

The United States Constitution says quite explicitly ‘We the People of the United States’ are writing this constitution, ratifying this constitution. In this country the people are sovereign. Not the government,” he commented. “Reporters have to say to themselves, I work for the American people. I don’t work for the American government. My loyalty should be the Constitution and to the sovereign people of the United States. The American media has completely forgotten this.”

He explained journalists have divulged into protecting the government, protecting the government’s interest and not the peoples’.

This is not what the founding fathers had in mind,” MacArthur added.

Journalists should report the truth using common sense rules. Release information, ask questions. The media does not need to endanger lives, but can use common sense to report the facts and ask the right questions, he argued.

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