War Department Retroperistalsis

An antiemetic might possibly help with this little recurring problem I have.  As the years roll by, the sessions seem to be getting much more severe and frequent.  It doesn’t take much to kick it off.  A bumper sticker with some patriotic phrase like “Proud Grandparents of a U.S. Marine”, “God Bless our Snipers” (really!), or simply “Freedom isn’t Free”.  A Norman Rockwell-esque moment where an elderly veteran sporting a V.F.W. cap is vigorously shaking the hand of a uniformed pimple-faced adolescent, fresh out of boot camp, exchanging thank you’s for their service. President Obama gushing about American exceptionalism and how the U.S.A. has the finest fighting force in the history of mankind, or a choked-up local newscaster God-blessing and thanking the U.S. Military for fighting for our freedom.  I’m having an attack of retroperistalsis just writing about it.  Glad I had lunch.  Hate to waste food, but hate the dry heaves even more.

No doubt about it.  Americans do love, worship, and honor everything to do with the U.S. Military.  And who among us doesn’t want to know that the finest fighting force in the history of mankind has our backs?  The U.S. Department of Defense is there for us.  Acting in our defense.  Really?  Defense?

You’ve got to hand it to the folks who make their fortunes greasing the wheels of America’s war machine.  They pulled off what is probably the most successful public relations scam in history back when the dust had barely settled from World War II.  The Department of Defense wasn’t always known by its current name.  Between 1789 and 1948 it was called The War Department.

By the time the second war to end all wars was over on all fronts Americans, like most of the world’s population, were weary of war.  Weary to the bone.  The U.S.A. emerged from the carnage relatively unscathed, that is if you can call a half million dead soldiers unscathed.  It seems there are no official death toll figures, but if the high end estimates are accurate America suffered only 2% of the losses of both the U.S.S.R. and China who buried roughly 25 million each.

And while the survivors in Europe and Asia were still disposing of dead bodies and cleaning up the rubble and remnants of their towns and cities, the U.S.A. celebrated the dawn of what was hoped to be an era of peace on earth.  The war had super-charged the economy.  The only attack on U.S. soil had been in Hawaii.  Young men lucky enough to survive the carnage and return to the homeland found grateful young women eager to become wives, raise families, and begin anew.  The baby boom was well underway by the time I was born in 1948.  Due to the terms set forth in the Geneva Accords, wars of aggression had been strictly outlawed.  Besides that, Americans didn’t want to hear that three-letter word any more than necessary.  War could now be legally waged only in self-defense, so The War Department was reorganized into separate divisions for each of the services under the umbrella of the newly re-named Department of Defense.

Defense.  Really!?  Going into World War II the U.S.A. was already the most powerful empire on earth, with a long sordid history of wars of aggression.  Now with sole (soul?) rights to what was by far the most destructive weapon of war ever imagined by even the darkest of imaginations, it appeared that the land of the free and home of the brave had the rest of the world by the testicles.  But in theory, the most powerful military on earth with the most powerful weapon in the history of mankind was to be operated only for the purpose of defense.  Defense.

Words can be used in ways which completely change their meaning.  You might think that the “Defense” in The U.S. Department of Defense might actually have something to do with defending the homeland from attacks by other countries.  As it turned out, though, defense meant defense of the rights of multi-national corporations to control and own whatever resources they coveted, regardless of where they happened to be.  In classic Orwellian doublespeak, defense actually meant offense.

Of course, this was nothing new.  From inception the U.S.A. was set up to enrich the elite few at the expense of the downtrodden many.  Defense of Wall Street was just business as usual.  But business as usual with steroids provided by ownership of the atomic bomb.  If the U.S.A. goes to war, there’s always profit involved.  I did use the word “always”, didn’t I?  “Always” always means “always”.  In 1935 U.S. Marine Corps General Smedley D. Butler had a late life epiphany when he wrote these lines in “War is a Racket”:

I helped make Mexico, 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 benefits of Wall Street.  The record of racketeering is long.  I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912.  I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916.  In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

Quite a list of accomplishments, even for the U.S. Military’s most decorated general at the time.  And I’d guess the good general would roll in his grave if he knew how much better his employers at The Pentagon would become at the dirty business of waging wars for profit, well into the 21st Century.

The streamlining of the war business was largely due to another event which took place at roughly the same time as the re-branding of The War Department.  That was President Harry Truman’s 1947 signing of the National Security Act, which created the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.).

In Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins exposed exactly how The Department of Defense and the C.I.A. work together to ensure control of the world’s resources for multi-national corporations.  It turned out that simply buying the love and devotion of foreign presidents, kings, and prime ministers was less expensive, messy, and labor-intensive than sending in the troops to bomb every country into oblivion.  If bribery didn’t work, assassination or fomenting a coup d ‘etat most likely would.  Missiles, bombs, and bullets became a contingency plan of last resort, but a contingency plan used all too often.

In difficult situations various combinations of assassination, coup, and war have been used.  As in the cases of Iraq and Libya, national leaders Hussein and Gaddafi, once valued trading partners gone rogue were used to show the rest of the world what happens to those who don’t play by Wall Street rules.  How foolish of them to believe that they would be allowed to deny American corporations the benefits of their oil-based economies.  At least their brutal murders and spectacular bombing of their countries provided excellent prime time entertainment for the citizens of empire.

Fascism has been defined as the merger of state and corporate power by Mussolini himself.  It has now become painfully obvious that the U.S.A. has a fascist system of government, with The Department of Defense and the C.I.A. carrying out the agenda of Wall Street at the expense of the American taxpayers and foreign victims worldwide.  According to journalist extraordinaire John Pilger, since the end of World War II, The United States has exercised control over the resources of no fewer than 69 foreign countries.  Methods have included land invasion, bombing, coup d ‘etat, subverted elections, and economic sanctions, with a death toll in the millions.

Nothing would make me happier than to find out that every word I’ve written here is based on bad information.  That my country of birth actually is a beacon of freedom, truth, and justice like a huge majority of its citizens still believe with heart and soul.  That I’m misguided, delusional, crazy, wacko, certifiably insane.  That The Department of Defense truly has the defense of the U.S.A. against all invaders as its priority.  I’d like to be able to stand with my fellow citizens when The Star Spangled Banner is played, and pledge allegiance to the flag.  I’d like to be able to join in while my neighbors are saying freedom isn’t free and God bless America.  But it doesn’t look like that’s likely to happen any time soon, and unless we’re graced by a miracle I’ll spend my days battling nausea.  I’ve got to tell you that lunch tasted much better the first time.

John R. Hall, having finally realized that no human being in possession of normal perception has a snowball's chance in hell of changing the course of earth's ongoing trophic avalanche, now studies sorcery with the naguals don Juan Matus and don Carlos Castaneda in the second attention. If you're patient, you might just catch him at his new email address, but if his assemblage point happens to be displaced, it could take a while. That address is: drachman2358@outlook.com Read other articles by John R..