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Posts Tagged ‘War is a racket’

Is Trump ‘Selling’ Our Troops to Saudi Arabia? | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on January 15, 2020

But unfortunately he comes off like a mafia don extorting the hapless shopkeep on the corner.

That is because he is. Trump is not selling troops he is selling protection. Making offers that can’t be refused.

It doesn’t matter you created 9/11.  Help US protect “our” oil. Help US defeat our perceived enemies. Keep supplying US your oil. Or else…

Do US troops realize they are nothing more than “human shields”?

Once again General Smedley Butler is proved correct. War Is A Racket.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/state-of-the-union/is-trump-selling-our-troops-to-saudi-arabia/

Rep. Amash is right, we’re a republic, not a cheap protection racket in a Scorsese film.

President Donald Trump poses for photos with ceremonial swordsmen on his arrival to Murabba Palace, as the guest of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, Saturday evening, May 20, 2017, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Congressman Justin Amash (I-Michigan) is seeing red over a comment President Trump made in an exclusive interview with Laura Ingraham on Fox News on Friday.

“We have a very good relationship with Saudi Arabia. I said, listen, you’re a very rich country. You want more troops? I’m going to send them to you, but you’ve got to pay us. They’re paying us. They’ve already deposited $1 billion in the bank,” Trump said.

What Trump was likely trying to convey, however inartfully, is that he is not letting America’s allies take advantage—if they want protection (which is exactly what the expanded U.S. defense presence in Saudi Arabia, announced back in November, is designed to be), then they will have to pay their fair share.

But Amash is right—our men and women are not mercenaries, bought and sold to the highest bidder, nor should they be considered as such. Furthermore, this is what today’s national security zeitgeist has wrought: the idea that Saudi Arabia is an ally (and the only backstop to Iran), so despite all of the billions the kingdom has in oil money, the United States is obligated to help defend it, at any cost (and you better believe, while the Saudis might be footing the bill, we’ll be paying on the back end by putting our people and interests further into harm’s way). Nevertheless, while the uptight denizens of the Blob might have articulated it differently, they likely wouldn’t disagree with the spirit of Trump’s words, nor the program that he was essentially talking about, as reported in The Washington Post two months ago:

Trump authorized a boost to the relatively light U.S. footprint in Saudi Arabia, from an advisory mission that stood around 800 to a force of about 3,000, following the Sept. 14 assault on Saudi oil facilities, which Saudi and U.S. officials said was launched by Iran in an major escalation of regional tensions.

The troops will operate additional assets designed to help the Saudi military guard against Iranian attacks, including four Patriot batteries, a terminal high altitude area defense system, or THAAD air defense system, and two squadrons of fighter jets. Financial responsibility for the deployment has taken on unusual visibility after Trump, who has criticized allies for not contributing enough to shared defense, promised the oil-rich kingdom would pay “100 percent of the cost.”

And the clincher:

Military officials say one important aspect of the deployment is the presence of American forces in more locations across the kingdom. They believe Iran has demonstrated its reluctance to target American personnel, either directly or indirectly, in part because Trump has made clear that would trigger a military response.

So our men and women are not only sent overseas to defend another country, but used as human shields, too?

Again, the difference here from years past is that Trump is taking a hard line, a transactionally hard line. But unfortunately he comes off like a mafia don extorting the hapless shopkeep on the corner. But that’s not our role, and the Saudi royal family is no hapless supplicant—they have plenty of money to splurge on their princes and have caused a lot of trouble in the region, throwing their weight around knowing Washington has had their backs. They might be crying austerity today, but the royal family lives in a kind of opulence the vast majority of the world only sees in Hollywood movies. But they can’t build or maintain a real army to save their lives. So they depend on outsourcing, and we’re the best game in town.

This has been said many times on these pages, but this is what George Washington meant by unhealthy passionate foreign attachments.  It is time to claw back from this toxic relationship, and the first place to start is to transform our current mission of  paternalistic “power projection” to one of “national defense.” Who cares what the House of Saud wants to buy—it’s not what the American taxpayer pays for, and amen to Amash for putting it in such bald terms.

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Barbarous Relic: War is a racket — and so is the state

Posted by M. C. on January 5, 2020

Some people can’t deal with the notion that they elect criminals to rule them

War Is a Racket

 

In past writings I’ve attempted to show that the majority of the social problems experienced throughout the world — poverty, war, economic collapse, famine, hyperinflation, genocide, unilaterally broken agreements — can be traced to the dominant form of social organization under which we live: the State.

Simply put, states are bullies that collect their revenue through theft and manage their populations through threats of punishment. They use other incentives, such as tax breaks, but their existence depends on keeping their populations fearful of reprisals. Of course they don’t want to be seen as thieves or bullies — they want our allegiance. So, to win our favor they manufacture crises through lawmaking and other interventions, shift blame elsewhere, then use the crises to justify further interventions, calling on us for support as they continue meddling in our lives. Meanwhile our natural liberty gradually erodes as state power expands…

War is a racket — and so is the state.  In Butler’s words, “A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many.”  He goes on to detail how and why World War I was a conspiracy instigated by the ruling elite.

Government, however, is a different matter from the state.  As Albert Jay Nock wrote in Our Enemy, the State (Kindle edition):

Based on the idea of natural rights, government secures those rights to the individual by strictly negative intervention, making justice costless and easy of access; and beyond that it does not go. The State, on the other hand, both in its genesis and by its primary intention, is purely anti-social. It is not based on the idea of natural rights, but on the idea that the individual has no rights except those that the State may provisionally grant him. It has always made justice costly and difficult of access, and has invariably held itself above justice and common morality whenever it could advantage itself by so doing.

So far from encouraging a wholesome development of social power, it has invariably, as Madison said, turned every contingency into a resource for depleting social power and enhancing State power.  As Dr. Sigmund Freud has observed, it can not even be said that the State has ever shown any disposition to suppress crime, but only to safeguard its own monopoly of crime.

Some people can’t deal with the notion that they elect criminals to rule them. They use government and state interchangeably, and they’ll tell you there are good people in government working hard for our welfare. Elect more of them and the state will serve our needs. But it can’t, not without abandoning its monopoly control over our lives, at which point it will cease being a state…

If the emperor’s new clothes strike you as ennobling when in fact he’s buck-naked, you can thank government schools and our pro-state culture for ceding reality to authority.

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Saudi Arabian Lobbyists Have Many Friends in DC | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on November 24, 2019

According to a recently released Center for International Policy (CIP) report — one based entirely on publicly available information — the Saudi government spent approximately $27 million on US lobbying firms in 2017. So there is no doubt that there’s plenty of good money in pestering politicians on behalf of the Saudis. Not only the lobbyists but for the politicians as well. CIP found that Saudi lobbying firms donated nearly $400,000 to the campaigns of members of Congress they “had contacted on behalf of Saudi interests.” And if this weren’t blatant enough, CIP identified “twelve instances in which that contact and contribution occurred on the exact same day.”

The US congress – a cheap date and easy.

https://mises.org/wire/saudi-arabian-lobbyists-have-many-friends-dc

Most libertarians are familiar with Dwight Eisenhower’s warning about the military-industrial complex and its nefarious influence on US foreign policy. Many have read Major General Smedley Butler’s short book War is a Racket, in which he lays out the ways in which war is in the economic interests of certain groups, while other groups pay the cost. Some may even have read Robert Nisbet’s warning about the way in which the military-industrial complex has expanded to universities, as researchers seek out government funding from the vast military-industrial blob. While all of these warnings are indeed correct, they neglect another equally nefarious influence on American foreign policy; foreign governments.

Every year foreign governments spend hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying the US government for everything from foreign aid and trade deals, to trying to influence US military policy. This lobbying is generally ignored, but after the recent gruesome murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudi Arabian government, there has been increased scrutiny on the cozy relationship between the Saudi regime and US politicians — a relationship maintained through the Saudi’s vast entourage of over two dozen DC-area lobbying firms.

According to a recently released Center for International Policy (CIP) report — one based entirely on publicly available information — the Saudi government spent approximately $27 million on US lobbying firms in 2017. So there is no doubt that there’s plenty of good money in pestering politicians on behalf of the Saudis. Not only the lobbyists but for the politicians as well. CIP found that Saudi lobbying firms donated nearly $400,000 to the campaigns of members of Congress they “had contacted on behalf of Saudi interests.” And if this weren’t blatant enough, CIP identified “twelve instances in which that contact and contribution occurred on the exact same day.”

What has Saudi Arabia gotten in return? The CIP report notes that “the timing of many of these political contributions coincides closely with key Congressional events, involving the Justice Against State Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) votes and votes to block arms sales to Saudi Arabia.” Let’s also not forget the US support, in the form of mid-air refueling and intelligence, for the Saudi-led coalition into Yemen that has led to a humanitarian disaster — complete with the threat of mass starvation and a widespread cholera outbreak .

This mid-air refueling has been stopped for now as a result of the Khashoggi affair, but, according to CNN ’s Sam Kiley, “it’s an opportunity to appear a little bit cross over the alleged murder of Jamal Khashoggi while making sure that the Kingdom’s strategic trajectory stays on course.”

It is even possible that all of this lobbying might manage to save Saudi Arabia from the ongoing Khashoggi murder fiasco. NBC reports that the Trump administration has weighed expelling Fethullah Gulen, an exiled Turkish cleric and enemy of the Erdogan regime, “in order to placate Turkey over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.” The Trump administration denies this, but the fact that such action is even in the realm of possibility speaks to the success of Saudi lobbying efforts.

The outrageous abuses by the Saudi regime — both domestically and abroad — are nearly endless. But, unfortunately, they are not the only foreign power pouring lobbying money into DC to influence US military policy. In 2017, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), the UAE spent over $21 million on US lobbying. The UAE has a large ground presence in Yemen as part of the Saudi-led coalition and has been accused of running secret prisons where Yemenis are tortured. Former US Army Colonel Stephen Toumajan is currently the head of the UAE Joint Aviation Command, where, by his own admission to BuzzFeed News, Toumajan claimed that he was “instrumental in the modernization of the UAE fleet with investing over $10 billion in American aircraft and services.”

But US entanglement with the UAE’s sordid business in Yemen doesn’t even stop there. An in-depth investigative report from BuzzFeed News found that former US special forces had been serving as an assassination hit-squad in Yemen for the UAE. In a stunning report, a former Navy Seal recounted to BuzzFeed News how he, along with a former French Foreign Legionnaire, ran a hit squad made up of former US special forces in Yemen — whose targets included not only armed terrorists but politicians as well.

As of 2008, it took over $350,000 to train a Navy SEAL, and then an additional $1 million to deploy him overseas. As Ryan McMaken points out, this means that the US taxpayer is effectively subsidizing the training of “what are essentially death squads designed to eliminate the regimes’ enemies” for the UAE.

The Saudis and the UAE obviously feel it is necessary to grease US palms with tens of millions of dollars in order to ensure that arms sales get approved, US assistance in the Yemeni war continues, and the Pentagon continues to turn a blind eye to misconduct from former US service members. This leads to the question, what would US policy toward these two onerous regimes be without millions of dollars in lobbying money?

With such blatant bribery of US officials, it seems impossible to trust US foreign policymakers to judge American national interests in an unbiased and levelheaded way. Factor in the even larger amount of influence wielded domestically by the military-industrial complex and it seems hopeless to expect American foreign policymakers to actually be acting in the American national interest. It is little wonder that American foreign policy has been a complete disaster for decades.

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War is a Racket & Not What It Seems To The Majority of People: Major General Smedley Butler – Collective Evolution

Posted by M. C. on June 4, 2019

https://www.collective-evolution.com/2019/06/03/war-is-a-racket-not-what-it-seems-to-the-majority-of-people-major-general-smedley-butler/

By

In Brief

  • The Facts:The highest ranking marine and most decorated US solider at the time, Smedley, told the truth about war in 1935 and how it’s not what we really think it is. It’s not about protection from harm, it’s about big business and special interests.
  • Reflect On:Why do so many people believe that war is necessary, and that the military establishment is here to protect our freedom? Is it true, or is it simply propaganda to blind us from what’s really going on?

War is not what most people think it is. We’re told that war is necessary, that soldiers are and have been overseas ‘fighting for our freedom’ and sacrificing their lives in order to keep our homeland safe. It’s a narrative that’s still pushed today and it’s backed by a massive propaganda campaign that beams patriotism into the hearts of the masses; meanwhile, very few people ever question what’s actually happening. We are made to believe that war and the entire military establishment are necessities, but they’re not. People have been sharing this opinion for a very long time, those of us who actually think for ourselves instead of simply believing everything that’s presented to us without ever questioning it. Take Mark Twain, for example, who explained the behaviour of the global elite to which I am referring to quite well:

The statesman will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them: and thus he will by and by convince himself the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception. (source)

Today, this represents so much more than an opinion…

Gabbard herself was quoted as saying that the “CIA has also been funneling weapons and money through Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and others who provide direct and indirect support to groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda. This support has allowed al-Qaeda and their fellow terrorist organizations to establish strongholds throughout Syria, including in Aleppo.”

The idea that the latest gas attack in Syria was fabricated by the western military alliance in order to justify intervention in that country clearly outlines how ‘fake’ things are. These fake terrorist attacks, both home and abroad, are not only used to justify military action, but also to take away our rights here at home and justify surveillance and a heightened national security state. This article is not going to go into the Syria attacks, but I put more information in a recent article titled “BBC Producer Blows The Whistle & Admits The “Gas Attack” Footage From Syria “Was Staged.” 

Another example of false-flag terrorism would be 9/11, as all of the witness testimonies and published research suggest it was a controlled demolition, and many believe it was orchestrated by the US government.  

Think about that for a second: The same powers that claim to be protecting us from and fighting the ‘war on terror’ could be the same ones creating it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Watch “War Is A Racket: After 17 Years and Billions Wasted, US Seeks Peace With Taliban” on YouTube

Posted by M. C. on August 6, 2018

I have been telling you this for a long time. Ron must have finally read my post.

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Weekly Update — Who’s Afraid of The Trump/Putin Summit?

Posted by M. C. on July 15, 2018

Tho$e with $kin in the game. That’$ who.

Peace is not profitable.

Warmonger Bolton is now a tool of the Kremlin because Trump forced the Bolton to make nice? That makes as much sense as any other anti-summit reasoning.

War_Is_a_Racket_(cover)

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‘Peace Through Strength’ Is a Racket – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on February 19, 2018

https://original.antiwar.com/srichman/2018/02/16/peace-strength-racket/

I will acknowledge that the PTSD has surface appeal. Why not show the world the United States is so awesomely powerful that no one in his right mind would even think to get on its wrong side? It seems to make sense in a practical sort of way.

Once people believe that, of course, they are softened up to accept unlimited military spending and the concomitant deficits and debt. As John T. Flynn used to say, military spending is a favorite of big-government types precisely because the conservatives won’t object. Conservatives rail against even small amounts of so-called foreign aid and welfare, but they drool over monstrous sums for the armed forces and spy agencies. Read the rest of this entry »

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North Korea, Iran, Cuba-Why are They Still A Problem After More Than 50 Years Of US ‘Diplomacy’?

Posted by M. C. on October 1, 2017

Sixty some years of chances to make peace with North Korea. Fifty some years to make peace with Cuba. Iran? Even before the CIA overthrew their government in ’53 the US had been messing with them.
Why do they still pose a threat after all this time? Perhaps these quotes from General Smedley Butler’s ‘War Is A Racket‘ can help explain.
“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

                                                              War_Is_a_Racket_(cover)

Read the rest of this entry »

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Good News! – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 3, 2017

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/01/ron-paul/good-news-3/

Peace means no reason to take control.

Peace is bad for (certain) business.

“War is a Racket”-Smedley Butler

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War And Why, According To Smedley Butler, The Winners Are Always The Same

Posted by M. C. on August 2, 2015

July 28 was the one hundred year anniversary of the US Marine invasion of Haiti.  A strangely honest accounting of the event is available from the US state department.

Between 1911 and 1915, seven presidents were assassinated or overthrown in Haiti, increasing U.S. policymakers’ fear of foreign intervention. In 1914, the Wilson administration sent U.S. Marines into Haiti. They removed $500,000 from the Haitian National Bank in December of 1914 for safe-keeping in New York, thus giving the United States control of the bank.

Safe-keeping!  For whom? Read the rest of this entry »

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