When will the American people demand accountability from their government? When will Americans realize that there is no “clear and present danger” that could conceivably be used to invoke the war powers act? Where is it written that America is the conscience of the planet and has the right to bomb and kill those that the United States regards as evil?
This is no joke. The bombing and the cruise missile attacks are killing people that are non-combatants. Women, children the elderly as well as those that are non-political are dying, killed by American weapons systems. The leadership in America is committing war crimes. The hypocrisy of the United States is glaringly evident when Obama called for charges to be brought against Gadhafi by the International Criminal Court, an organization that America no longer recognizes due to the possibility of charges being brought against members of the Bush administration and now the possibility that Obama and his administration may be culpable for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Meanwhile the American public does nothing, while the media ignores the behavior of the government and it’s military.
Obama has called for Col. Gadhafi to step down and claims that he is on “The wrong side of history”. The truth is that the United States is on the wrong side of history. We have become the most belligerent nation on the planet. We ruthlessly attack people in Pakistan with unmanned Predator planes that make no distinction on whether the target is a friend or foe. If someone is unfortunately in the wrong place at the wrong time, they will be killed with impunity. Meanwhile we kill the citizenry of Afghanistan and call them insurgents and terrorists. This is not done under the cover of any justification; we kill these people in the light of day with no regard for the legality of what we are doing.
The President of the United States claims that we are attacking a sovereign nation for “Humanitarian Reasons”. The American government claims that the Libyan government is killing its own citizens, and that we are acting in defense of the opponents of the current Libyan government. Meanwhile, the media in the United States fails to mention that the insurgency in Libya was started by the rebels using a wide array of military weapons. We are told nothing about the leadership of these rebels, or their cause. It is a known fact that the primary opposition group most widely quoted is the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, the NFSL. This is a group of insurgents based in Virginia and is partially funded by the CIA and takes its orders from Langley. Weapons, men and materials have been funneled to the rebel forces from Egypt.
The United States is deeply in debt but we have no qualms about sending over a hundred of Tomahawk cruise missiles that cost the taxpayer $1.5 million dollars each. Even though Libya has one of the highest average income in Africa and pays for students to study anywhere in the world free of charge, we vilify the Libyan government. Literacy rates have risen from 10% of the nation to around 90% of the population.
Most basic necessities: food, housing, fuel, healthcare and education were either heavily subsidized or became entirely free. Subsidies were considered the most effective way to redistribute the national wealth.
We are now engaged in full scale combat operations in three Muslim countries. Germany has withdrawn from the NATO operation in Libya. Secretary of Defense Gates is mentioning an open-ended war. As for Obama, his actions do, however, appear to contradict the view he expressed as a candidate. In December 2007, he told Charlie Savage, then of the Boston Globe that a president "does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."
Once again we see the President of the United States go back on his campaign rhetoric. The man has a hard time with the truth, and thus the reputation of the United States is further sullied. This is a man that drew hundreds of thousands of people in Europe while he promised that the US and Europe would work together for peace. That turned out to be another lie. When Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, he used the occasion to ratchet up the rhetoric about the ongoing war in Afghanistan.
So when will the American people demand an end to these never-ending wars that are putting the nation into bankruptcy? We spend 53% of our total budget on the military. It costs 15-20 Billion dollars to run one aircraft carrier for one year. We have eleven aircraft carriers. the next country in terms of carriers is Italy which has two. The largest Air Force in the world is the US Air Force. The second largest air force is the US Navy. When will this militarism stop? When will the American people tell Washington to stop trying to conquer the world and fix the problems we have in the United States?
In terms of financial wealth in the U.S., the top one percent of Americans holds 42.7% of the wealth. The next 19% holds 50.3% of the wealth. The bottom 80% holds a paltry 7% of this nation’s wealth. Who controls America? It isn’t you and it certainly isn’t me. Our nation is drowning in debt. This can be reversed. You don’t need to be an economist to understand where America’s problems lie.
It will take millions of us to stop the charade that is running rampant in Washington. We need to stand up and let this government understand that we are aware of why we can’t balance our government’s budget or do more to get our students to receive a first class education. We need to tell the war-mongers in Washington that we have had enough of their hubris along with their wars. We need to do this now because if we don’t, it will all fall apart like a house of cards. Everyone, conservative’s, liberal’s, those in the middle of the political spectrum and those at the extreme right or left need to join together to stop our nation from coming apart at the seams.
A Call to Action
We are in a crisis. We can’t pay our creditors. We are printing money in order that we can give the rest of the world the appearance of solvency. Sooner than later our currency could become worthless. Like Rome, like Napoleon’s France, Germany of World War II and especially the last months of the Soviet Union, our military spending will ultimately cause the nation to collapse under its own weight. Our elected members of Congress for the most part are either bought by the military industrial cabal or they are just inept. The massive transfer of wealth (the largest in history) that went to the financial entities on Wall Street in order to avert an economic meltdown that was caused by the very same segment who received the bail-outs was criminal. Yet to date, no one has been charged with a crime. In fact, billions of dollars are being paid out in bonuses like the ones at Morgan Stanley, one of the largest recipients of the bail-outs.
The partisan bickering in Washington has brought our government to a standstill. There is no real difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. They all work for the corporate entities that pay for their political campaigns. The American people desperately need to speak with one voice, the voice of reason. I’m sure that by now we all have had enough of the political theater that emanates from Washington and some States like Wisconsin.
The simple truth is that we can no longer spend on the military like drunken sailors. The military budget should not be sacrosanct. Total defense spending requested for FY 2012 was $881, less than the $895 billion requested in the FY 2011 budget. This was more than the $855 billion requested for FY 2010, and the Security and the War on Terror request of $782 billion in FY 2009. It includes Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs, Nuclear Administration and some State Department programs. Operations in Afghanistan and Iraq are also funded outside the Department of Defense base budget, to the tune of $118 billion.(Source: OMB,FY 2012 Budget, Table S-3)
Some estimates of actual military spending that includes the 14 different intelligence agencies and special appropriations (Like the one for Libya) bring the figure for defense spending to 1.5 Trillion dollars. How can this nation sustain this spending? The cold hard truth is that we can’t. Americans need to show the government that we won’t continue to spend ourselves into oblivion. We need to work TOGETHER to bring fiscal sanity back to the federal government. No matter what your political persuasion, we are all going to suffer the repercussion when America goes bankrupt by trying to conquer the world. It’s happened before to many different empires and unless we revolt against this militarism peaceably, it will happen to America.
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|Liaquat Ali Khan|