Washington, D.C., officials are undoubtedly jumping up and down in their offices exclaiming, “We’re No. 1! We’re No. 1!” after a new congressional report was published yesterday. The report declared that the United States has consolidated its position as the world’s leading arms dealer, accounting for 42 percent of the world market. Sales to developing countries accounted for 80 percent of the arms market. U.S. sales totaled $17 billion, up from $3.4 billion the previous year.
Well, hoorah for the U.S. military-industrial complex, which continues to fleece the American taxpayer to finance ever-growing expenditures for bombs, missiles, tanks, guns, and bullets to “rebuild” Iraq and Afghanistan (after destroying them) — and, of course, to ship out to foreign regimes, including those headed by brutal dictators.
Among the big buyers of U.S. armaments was Pakistan. You know, the country that is headed by a brutal military dictator who took power in a coup and who was a close friend and ally of the Taliban. Yes, I know what you’re thinking — that the U.S. government is dedicated to democracy. That’s why it supposedly invaded Iraq — well, after the WMDs that the U.S. had given Saddam failed to materialize. How in the world could the U.S. government possibly be supporting and selling arms to Pakistan, when it is ruled by a cruel and brutal anti-democratic military brute?
In fact, did you read in the paper how Pakistani ruler Musharraf had his henchmen attack lawyers who were doing nothing worse than simply protesting a ruling in Musharraf’s favor? His henchmen beat them with sticks. Yes, that’s the guy to whom the U.S. government and the U.S. military-industrial complex are delivering U.S. taxpayer-financed military weaponry.
President Eisenhower’s warnings against the military-industrial complex should have been heeded — and also the warnings of the Founding Fathers against standing armies and militarism.
First, U.S. officials go out and supports brutal dictators, such as Saddam Hussein, the Shah of Iran, Musharraf, and countless others. Then they foment all types of hatred for the U.S. in Third World countries with such deadly and damaging policies as sanctions, embargoes, invasions, coups, military bases, interventions, and assassinations. Then, they use the terrorist blowback from those policies to strike fear within the American people, inducing them to trade away their freedoms, including due process and habeas corpus, in return for a “safety” that never comes. Then, they spend unlimited amounts of money for their military escapades, threatening both the economic and monetary well-being of the American people.
The real threat to the freedom and well-being of the American people lies not in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, or any other foreign country but rather right there in Washington, D.C., where a government that began as small and limited in power has metastasized into an enormous, out-of-control cancerous growth that is sucking the lifeblood out of our country. When will the American people finally figure it out?