Wednesday, December 15, 2004

War Games

Bill Moyers is retiring this Friday from his renowned PBS television show "Now" with what he says is the biggest story of our times - the conservative, even right wing stance of the major media. But really, the biggest story of our time is one of the oldest stories of all time - the fact that war is the world's biggest business.

War games are more than a game. War: it is America's biggest business. In his farwell address to the American people in 1961, President Eisenhower warned us to beward the military-industrial complex. Beware indeed.

President Bush's "axis of evil" may be a self-fulfilling prophesy, and that may be exactly what Bush wanted - a domino effect of endless war, a la "1984," or warring outbreaks out the convenience of those in power, a la "Wag the Dog."

The current U.S. war on Iraq is the biggest expense of the richest nation on Earth. The administration is about to ask for yet another installment (a loan from foreign nations) of $80 billion, $10 billion more than Congress had anticipated. (Has Congress ever anticipated enough to cover this new Rovian/Rumsfeldian/Rightwing war of the 21st Century?)

Seeing the writing on the walls of Baghdad and Abu Ghraib (in blood), flustered North Korea began to scuttle negotiations and play war games, a sinister sort of chess. More recently, Iran began its own version of diplomatic wrangling and war games to pre-empt a pre-emptive strike from the U.S.

Just this week - and not just by chance - Cuba began its most ambitious war games since the early 60s, expressly to show the U.S. that an invasion of Cuba wouldn't be painless - and might also look bad on television. Obviously the aggressive U.S. led war on Iraq and the ugly occupation have stirred hornets' nests around the world - and one just a hundred miles south of Florida.

And the most recent anti-missile system test failed miserably, suggesting theoretically and in practice that critics of this sort of system twenty years ago during the Reagan administration were right - that such an anti-missile system is not reliable, perhaps not even feasible - and certainly not affordable. Just how does the U.S. think it can afford to make the military half of its national expenditures? Certainly, the answer comes more from power and greed than from a higher calling for the common good - of our own citizens and of the cause of freedom around the world.

What would a peaceful nation do?

War is America's biggest business. At least half a trillion dollars this year. A shame. A global shame.

What would a peaceful nation do?

8 Comments:

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