Friday, October 05, 2007
Billions spent on weapons systems hardware is just the beginning. Many of the 600 billions (a new record) we will spend next year on "defense" will go to the maintenance of the American Empire, and the three wars we will be fighting to expand it.
This empire consists of between 700 and 1000 overseas military bases. The official number is 702, but that doesn't count the huge installations in Kosovo and Iraq, or the more modest ones in Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Qatar, and Uzbekistan. Building new bases and maintaining the old ones costs billions.
In addition, Seymour Hersh informed us this past week in his latest New Yorker article that the long-anticipated attack on Iran is imminent. So instead of going to Congress next year with multi-billion dollar funding requests for two wars, Bush will be juggling three Middle-East campaigns at once.
The attack on Iran will be a turning point in the rest of the world's relationship with the American Empire. The civilized nations of the earth will turn against us with startling unanimity. We and our empire will be isolated.
The public is now unprecedentedly alienated from the workings of what has become an imperial government. Approval for the president and the Congress are both at all-time lows. And our political system provides no remedy for this dissatisfaction.
With most Democrats voting with the Republicans for a de facto declaration of war against Iran, both parties have shown themselves to be willing tools of the military-industrial complex and the lords of empire.
Anybody who expects justice and redress of grievances from the Democrats is trying to get blood out of a turnip.
The only solution to the problems which are destroying us, the problems of militarization and empire, is for the people to take matters into their own hands. But there is no sign of revolution stirring, and no prospect of people rising up to do what was done to the old Soviet Empire in the early '90's, or for that matter, to the British Empire in 1776.
We need to break the grip of this war machine and its empire on the life and bank account of the nation.
Only when the people are able to grasp the reality of their own power and their potential to force change will the solution to our depraved and suicidal behavior be at hand, for this is behavior which manifests as paranoia, military belligerence, and a doomed attempt to dominate the globe.