Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity & Lucy Steigerwald / AntiWar.com – 2015-04-15 00:55:32
The New Militarism: Who Profits?
Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity & AntiWar.com
(April 13, 2015) — Militarism and military spending are everywhere on the rise, as the new Cold War propaganda seems to be paying off. The new “threats” that are being hyped bring big profits to military contractors and the network of think tanks they pay to produce pro-war propaganda.
Here are just a few examples:
The German government announced last week that it would purchase 100 more “Leopard” tanks — a 45 percent increase in the country’s inventory. Germany had greatly reduced its inventory of tanks as the end of the Cold War meant the end of any threat of a Soviet ground invasion of Europe.
The German government now claims these 100 new tanks, which may cost nearly half a billion dollars, are necessary to respond to the new Russian assertiveness in the region. Never mind that Russia has neither invaded nor threatened any country in the region, much less a NATO member country.
The US Cold War-era nuclear bunker under Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, which was all but shut down in the 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, is being brought back to life. The Pentagon has committed nearly a billion dollars to upgrading the facility to its previous Cold War-level of operations.
US defense contractor Raytheon will be the prime beneficiary of this contract. Raytheon is a major financial sponsor of think tanks like the Institute for the Study of War, which continuously churn out pro-war propaganda. I am sure these big contracts are a good return on that investment.
NATO, which I believe should have been shut down after the Cold War ended, is also getting its own massively expensive upgrade. The Alliance commissioned a new headquarters building in Brussels, Belgium, in 2010, which is supposed to be completed in 2016. The building looks like a hideous claw, and the final cost — if it is ever finished — will be well over one billion dollars.
That is more than twice what was originally budgeted. What a boondoggle! Is it any surprise that NATO bureaucrats and generals continuously try to terrify us with tales of the new Russian threat? They need to justify their expansion plans!
So who is the real enemy? The Russians?
No, the real enemy is the taxpayer. The real enemy is the middle class and the productive sectors of the economy. We are the victims of this new runaway military spending. Every dollar or euro spent on a contrived threat is a dollar or euro taken out of the real economy and wasted on military Keynesianism. It is a dollar stolen from a small business owner that will not be invested in innovation, spent on research to combat disease, or even donated to charities that help the needy.
One of the most pervasive and dangerous myths of our time is that military spending benefits an economy. This could not be further from the truth. Such spending benefits a thin layer of well-connected and well-paid elites.
It diverts scarce resources from meeting the needs and desires of a population and channels them into manufacturing tools of destruction. The costs may be hidden by the money-printing of the central banks, but they are eventually realized in the steady destruction of a currency.
The elites are terrified that peace may finally break out, which will be bad for their profits. That is why they are trying to scuttle the Iran deal, nix the Cuba thaw, and drum up a new “Red Scare” coming from Moscow. We must not be fooled into believing their lies.
Yemen Exploding: Is the Stage Set for the Big War?
Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity & AntiWar.com
(March 27, 2015) — Rapid changes are occurring in Yemen. Ever since United States had to leave its military base there, other powers have been lining up to benefit from the chaos. It has been revealed that Saudi Arabia has commenced bombing targets in Yemen. Egypt has announced its support for the Saudi effort.
I am quite confident that this support is in compliance with our instructions to our puppet leader now in charge in Egypt. The current president of Yemen, Hadi, a leader who took over after the Arab Spring revolution, has been removed from power. He is said to have escaped to Saudi Arabia, and those who are now in charge in Yemen will most likely kill him if he returns.
Yemen has been instrumental in the US effort to fight al-Qaeda in the region. Unsuccessfully, I might add. The Houthis who have deposed Hadi are said to get their support from Iran and are now likely the strongest political force in the country. But they will not have an easy time of it. Too much is at stake for the United States and Saudi Arabia. We don’t read much about the Saudi Air Force being involved in military conflict, but the seriousness of the situation has prompted them to do exactly that.
There are also reports that 150,000 or more troops are massed near the borders of Yemen for a probable invasion. It is assumed that other Arab nations will be involved, along with Egypt. One report said that it appears the country is “sliding toward a civil war.” I would suggest that it’s past sliding toward the civil war, and, rather, is involved deeply in a civil war that is now spreading outside its own borders.
The neoconservatives, I am sure, will blame everything on Iran. And it’s likely Iran may have been involved in giving some type of support to the Shia that now are on the verge of taking over the country. But one must ask, “How does this compare to the support the United States has given to over 100 countries in recent years, with a major portion going to the Middle East?” There’s a big difference between a country becoming involved in a crisis next door and a country getting involved 6000 miles away.
It looks like the former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, a military dictator who was deposed in the Arab Spring revolution, is now aligned with the Shia Houthis who are supported by Iran. This will not be tolerated by the United States, and we can expect the US to provide indirect military assistance to those who are prepared to invade Yemen and install a US friendly dictator.
Foreign forces’ bombs and occupation will serve to unify the citizens of Yemen despite their other differences. As a matter of fact, it’s been our presence in this country for more than a decade that has been an aggravating factor.
The fact that al-Qaeda type rebel forces have done well in the various countries in recent years is because they gain support from the local people with the promise that the foreign invaders will be expelled.
This certainly is true when it comes to the type of support that the people give, tacit or otherwise, to the very ruthless ISIS forces. It amazes me how these ragtag rebels can outfight and outfox various countries whose forces are larger and better armed.
The so-called rebels find that their promise to expel the invaders is a strong motivating factor to gain support for the military resistance. The catch-22 is that the more we or any other nation try to subdue a foreign country, the stronger the opposition becomes.
This new expansion of the war in Yemen is a bad sign. The situation could easily worsen, involve many countries, and last for a long time to come. The stage for the “Big War” may well be set and we will be hearing a lot more about Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula in the coming months. If this war gets out of hand, I would expect that the benefits of $45 per barrel of oil will soon end.
There is no doubt in my mind that the American people — financially and for security reasons — would be better served if we just came home and avoided these nonsensical military interventions that are carried out in behalf of various special interests that control our foreign policy.
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