Welcome to 1984!

18 May

I think that President Obama has done a good job as President of the United States. I know that not everyone agrees with me and even though I don’t agree with everything that President O. has done, our 44th elected President is about to do something that no other president in the history of the United States has ever accomplished.

He is about to become the only president who has been at war during all 8 years of his presidency! And when you consider that President G.W. Bush had the nation at war for the last 6 years of his presidency then the United States has been at war for the past 14 years, non stop…with no stopping in sight.

Hillary Clinton, should she become our next president, is well known in Washington for being a “war hawk” herself… and Donald trump, should he become our next Commander in Chief, has vowed to “Bomb the shit out of them!” Whoever “they” may be…but does that matter anymore? Who they are?

Does anyone know why we fight everywhere and for always these days? We’ve been at war now 7 times as long as we were involved in WWI and almost 4 times as long as we were involved in WWII. And Vietnam, our longest war, was a matinee short compared to our current involvements in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Even President Lincoln was able to bring about the conclusion of our very own Civil War in one third of the time that it has taken for our present day armed forces to secure the fighting “Over There”against nations that don’t even have governments, let alone, armies.

So why do we fight so long and so hard and at such great expense to our nation and our citizens? We are currently over 19 trillion dollars in debt and a 2011 Brown University study concluded that the cost of war since 2001 will reach 5 trillion dollars, or $16,000 per American; $64,000 for a family of four…by 2020. And that was a 2011, Pre-ISIS, estimate!

If you are voting this year for a political party or person who you think will reduce our national debt…good luck with that! Unless you are hoping that our government will trade Social Security and Medicare spending for a reduction in the debt, it will just never happen. And even then the ever increasing costs of our never ending wars will simply chew up that savings and add more debt to our society anyway.

And then what would we be left with… but war, debt and absolutely no societal programs for our society that we have been fighting to protect? What does it avail a nation to spend a fortune and lose it’s soul?

But now, at 19 trillion dollars in debt and rising by the minute, how will we, without war, keep the peace… and the economy? Our dollars now remain strong because we back them up not with gold (we ran out of that in the 1970s) but with guns instead.

In 1960 President Eisenhower admonished us to “beware the military-industrial complex”, and we apparently have not, for it seems to me that war has now become peace in the minds of many if not most Americans. So shall our ignorance become our strength too?

 

 

 

 

8 Responses to “Welcome to 1984!”

  1. ruminationville May 18, 2016 at 3:44 pm #

    A thoughtful and well-written piece!

  2. Morgan Mussell May 18, 2016 at 5:15 pm #

    Great and pertinent piece. I am reminded of two articles. One I posted in 2012, (http://wp.me/pYql4-2kX), a review of “The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism,” by Andrew Bacevich. In it, he quotes from a 1979 speech by Jimmy Carter that lays out two futures – one of national restraint and the other of national indulgence and constant warfare to feed it. Carter said:

    “In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities and our faith in God…too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we’ve…learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose.”

    He went on to say that continuing down this path is a “certain road to to failure.”

    Can anyone doubt that now? Even more chilling is a recent article by Noam Chomsky, “The Cost of Violence in the Global War on Terror.” (http://billmoyers.com/story/chomsky-the-cost-of-violence/#.VzTUJaZ7VuE.twitter). He notes that apparently, drone strikes create more jihadist recruits than they eliminate, and that bleeding ourselves white is precisely what our opens want:

    “Their goal is to “draw the West as deeply and actively as possible into the quagmire” and “to perpetually engage and enervate the United States and the West in a series of prolonged overseas ventures” in which they will undermine their own societies, expend their resources and increase the level of violence,”

    In essence, as you point out, we’re fucked, and it’s our own doing…

    • gpicone May 19, 2016 at 12:18 am #

      Thanks for re-blogging and for sharing those links!

  3. Morgan Mussell May 18, 2016 at 5:24 pm #

    Reblogged this on The First Gate and commented:
    This is a tragic but pertinent summary of the fruits of a foreign “policy” that Jimmy Carter cautioned against 37 years ago. Saying we had a choice between national self-restraint and dependence on foreign oil, he sad:
    “In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities and our faith in God…too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we’ve…learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose.”

    To continue on this course, he said, was “a road to certain failure.” Read it and weep.

  4. onnovocks May 18, 2016 at 7:49 pm #

    Something that compliments your post perfectly: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article41086.htm Greetings.

  5. George May 18, 2016 at 8:23 pm #

    Interesting and well thought out post. I’m not a fan of the President. I had hopes but I think he showed himself to be well over his head on too many occasions and he didn’t have much to work with. So much of that job is having the right people around you and I think he fell short in that regard. But we can discuss that for hours..:)
    War has always been a way to revitalize a stagnant economy, hasn’t it. Though it seems we have taken that approach to new levels at an obnoxious cost on so many levels.

  6. avwalters May 18, 2016 at 11:52 pm #

    What will we be left with? Well, of course, war, debt, and no social safety net. All of these are good for business–they make money on military expenditures, they make money on our debt, and they’re tired of paying for social services (even though Social Security should be covered by our lifelong contributions–but Congress long ago stole those.) This is what we get with Trump or Clinton. I think the choice is obvious (and is not Trump or Clinton.)

  7. Dan Hen May 19, 2016 at 8:36 am #

    I think that you nailed it ! We keep our economy strong with war rather than gold .It’s a new version of old empire building . It will be , has been , endless —- and no one can say we are winning much of anything . But , as long as big industry makes a fortune on war and most of us are insulated from the horrors of war , then it will remain our national economic policy .

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