Author Archive

Longest Continuous Period of War In American History

Endless War Is the Agenda

Pulitzer-prize winning reporter James Risen reminds us:

We are now in the longest continuous period of war in American history. And yet there is remarkably little debate about it.

Many Americans assume “because 9/11″.

But regime change in Iraq, Lybia, Syria and Afganistan (and see this) was planned before 9/11.

Let’s take Iraq, for example.  Former CIA director George Tenet said that the White House wanted to invade Iraq long before 9/11, and inserted “crap” in its justifications for invading Iraq. Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill – who sat on the National Security Council – also says that Bush planned the Iraq war before 9/11. Top British officials say that the U.S. discussed Iraq regime change even before Bush took office. And in 2000, Cheney said a Bush administration might “have to take military action to forcibly remove Saddam from power.”

Cheney apparently even made Iraqi’s oil fields a national security priority before 9/11. And the Sunday Herald reported: “Five months before September 11, the US advocated using force against Iraq … to secure control of its oil.” (remember that Alan Greenspan, John McCain, George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, a high-level National Security Council officer and others all say that the Iraq war was really about oil.)

Indeed, we’ve seen it all before.

We explained last year:

We are in the middle of a perpetual series of wars. See this, this, this and this.

As just one example, in 2010 the war in Afghanistan became the longest war in U.S. history

***

Why is the war of terror being waged indefinitely?

Many have said that “war is the health of the state”,  and Thomas Paine wrote in the Rights of Man:

In reviewing the history of the English Government, its wars and its taxes, a bystander, not blinded by prejudice, nor warped by interest, would declare, that taxes were not raised to carry on wars, but that wars were raised to carry on taxes.

George Washington – in his farewell address of 1796 – said:

Overgrown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty.

James Madison said:

In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate. Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.

Madison also noted that never-ending war tends to destroy both liberty and prosperity:

Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied: and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

Greenwald noted in October:

As the Founders all recognized, nothing vests elites with power – and profit – more than a state of war. That is why there were supposed to be substantial barriers to having them start and continue – the need for a Congressional declaration, the constitutional bar on funding the military for more than two years at a time, the prohibition on standing armies, etc. Here is how John Jay put it in Federalist No 4:

“It is too true, however disgraceful it may be to human nature, that nations in general will make war whenever they have a prospect of getting anything by it; nay, absolute monarchs will often make war when their nations are to get nothing by it, but for the purposes and objects merely personal, such as thirst for military glory, revenge for personal affronts, ambition, or private compacts to aggrandize or support their particular families or partisans. These and a variety of other motives, which affect only the mind of the sovereign, often lead him to engage in wars not sanctified by justice or the voice and interests of his people.”

In sum, there are factions in many governments that crave a state of endless war because that is when power is least constrained and profit most abundant.

Indeed, top American military officials and national defense experts say that our specific actions in the “war on terror” are creating more terrorists and more war.

As Greenwald points out today, the endless nature of the war on terror is a feature, not a bug:

There’s a good reason US officials are assuming the “War on Terror” will persist indefinitely: namely, their actions ensure that this occurs.

***

There’s no question that this “war” will continue indefinitely. There is no question that US actions are the cause of that, the gasoline that fuels the fire. The only question – and it’s becoming less of a question for me all the time – is whether this endless war is the intended result of US actions or just an unwanted miscalculation.

It’s increasingly hard to make the case that it’s the latter. The US has long known, and its own studies have emphatically concluded, that “terrorism” is motivated not by a “hatred of our freedoms” but by US policy and aggression in the Muslim world. This causal connection is not news to the US government. Despite this – or, more accurately, because of it – they continue with these policies.

***

There is zero reason for US officials to want an end to the war on terror, and numerous and significant reasons why they would want it to continue. It’s always been the case that the power of political officials is at its greatest, its most unrestrained, in a state of war. Cicero, two thousand years ago, warned that “In times of war, the law falls silent” (Inter arma enim silent leges).

***

If you were a US leader, or an official of the National Security State, or a beneficiary of the private military and surveillance industries, why would you possibly want the war on terror to end? That would be the worst thing that could happen. It’s that war that generates limitless power, impenetrable secrecy, an unquestioning citizenry, and massive profit.

Just this week, a federal judge ruled that the Obama administration need not respond to the New York Times and the ACLU’s mere request to disclose the government’s legal rationale for why the President believes he can target US citizens for assassination without due process. Even while recognizing how perverse her own ruling was – “The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me” and it imposes “a veritable Catch-22″ – the federal judge nonetheless explained that federal courts have constructed such a protective shield around the US government in the name of terrorism that it amounts to an unfettered license to violate even the most basic rights: “I can find no way around the thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the executive branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret” (emphasis added).

Why would anyone in the US government or its owners have any interest in putting an end to this sham bonanza of power and profit called “the war on terror”? Johnson is right that there must be an end to this war imminently, and Maddow is right that the failure to do so will render all the due-process-free and lawless killing and imprisoning and invading and bombing morally indefensible and historically unforgivable.

But the notion that the US government is even entertaining putting an end to any of this is a pipe dream, and the belief that they even want to is fantasy. They’re preparing for more endless war; their actions are fueling that war; and they continue to reap untold benefits from its continuation. Only outside compulsion, from citizens, can make an end to all of this possible.

Indeed,  the American government has directly been supporting Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups for the last decade.  See this, this, this, this and this.

***

And the American government lies – and even kills its own – to justify new wars.

Top American economists say that endless war has ruined our economy.  It benefits a handful of elites, while levying a tax on the vast majority of Americans.

Congress members – part of the super-elite which has made money hand over fist during this economic downturn – are heavily invested in the war industry, and routinely trade on inside information … perhaps even including planned military actions.

No wonder the American government is making the state of war permanent, and planning to unleash new, widespread  wars in the near future.

Postscript: Under Bush, it was the “war on terror”. Obama has re-branded the perpetual fighting as “humanitarian war”.

But - underneath the ever-changing marketing and branding campaign – it’s really just the good ‘ole military-industrial-and-banking complex consolidating their power and making money hand over fist.

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense

Currency Markets Are Rigged

Big Banks Busted Massively Manipulating Foreign Exchange, Precious Metals … And Every Other Market Currency markets are massively rigged. And see this and this. Reuters notes today: Regulators fined six major banks including Citigroup (C.N) and UBS (UBSN.VX) a total of $4.3 billion for failing to stop traders from trying to manipulate the foreign exchange…Read More

Category: Currency, Gold & Precious Metals, Legal, Think Tank

ISIS Roots Trace Back to Bush Admin

The U.S. Has Radicalized the Middle East ISIS Is Run By Former Iraqi Generals … Many Are Members Of Saddam Hussein’s Secular Baath Party Who Converted To Radical Islam In American Prisons U.S. Foreign Policy Created Many More Terrorists Than It Killed The New Yorker reports: ISIS is run by a council of former Iraqi…Read More

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense

Big Banks Manipulated $21 Trillion Dollar Market for Credit Default Swaps

  Derivatives Are Manipulated Runaway derivatives – especially credit default swaps (CDS) – were one of the main causes of the 2008 financial crisis. Congress never fixed the problem, and actually made it worse. The big banks have long manipulated derivatives … a $1,200 Trillion Dollar market. Indeed, many trillions of dollars of derivatives are…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Legal, Think Tank

Movement to Declassify 9/11 Information Gathers Momentum

9/11 Commission Chairs, Congressmen and Intelligence Officers All Call for Declassification The 9/11 Commission Co-Chairs – Lee Hamilton and Thomas Kean – have called for the 28-page section of the 9/11 Commission Report which is classified to be declassified. Kean said that 60-70% of what was classified shouldn’t have been classified in the first place: Congressman Thomas…Read More

Category: Legal, Politics, War/Defense

3 Congressmen Call for Release of Secret 9/11 Documents After Reading Them

All of the Chairs of the 9/11 Commission and the Congressional Investigation Into 9/11 Say It’s “Implausible” that the 9/11 Hijackers Acted Without Government Backing Congressman Thomas Massie read the 28 classified pages of the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry into 9/11 (the joint Senate and House investigation into 9/11) and immediately called for them to be released to…Read More

Category: Politics, Think Tank, War/Defense

Why Does the U.S. Support Saudi Arabia, Sponsor of Islamic Terrorism?

Why Does the U.S. Support a Country which was FOUNDED With Terrorism … and Is Still the MAIN SOURCE of Islamic Terrorism Today? America Has Sold Its Soul for Oil A U.S. congressman for 6 years,  who is now a talking head on MSNBC (Joe Scarborough) says that – even if the Saudi government backed…Read More

Category: Politics

U.S. & Allies: Many Contacts with Bin Laden + Hijackers Pre 9/11

The U.S. and Its Allies Had Contact with Bin Laden and the 9/11 Hijackers Many Times Before 9/11, Including a Direct Contact with Bin Laden by an FBI Resource In 1993 The report that the FBI had a human resource in direct contact with Bin Laden in 1993 – and covered it up and hid…Read More

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense

Secret Playbook of Internet Trolls

Pleased to meet you Hope you guess my name What’s confusing you Is the nature of my game – The Rolling Stones What’s Confusing You Is the Nature of Their Game   The reason that Internet trolls are effective is that people still don’t understand their game. There are 15 commonly-used trolling tactics to disrupt,…Read More

Category: Think Tank, Web/Tech

Mass Surveillance Violates U.S. Law

UN High Commissioner: Mass Surveillance Violates International Law … and Snowden Should NOT Be Prosecuted Despite the fancy footwork of government lawyers, mass surveillance undoubtedly violates the U.S. Constitution.   See this, this and this. After all: Mass spying by the NSA violates our freedom of association It violates our Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search…Read More

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense