America’s Permanent War Agenda

Obama’s Permanent War Agenda
by Stephen Lendman
He continues a longstanding tradition. America’s agenda is permanent war.
Lew Rockwell calls it “The Forever War.” Law Professor Marjorie Cohn says it “perpetual war.”
So did Gore Vidal in his 2002 book titled “Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace,” saying:
“(O)ur for more than half a century have made sure that we are never to be told the truth about anything that our government has done to other people, not to mention our own.”
In his same year book titled “Dreaming War,” he compared GW Bush’s imperial ambitions to WW II and the 1947 Truman Doctrine’s pledge:
“To support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.”
Truman initiated America’s National Security State strategy. It included establishing NATO in 1949. For offense, not defense.
Containing Russia was prioritized . NSC 4 outlined “US Objectives with Respect to the USSR to Counter Soviet Threats to US Security.” 
NSC 7 followed. It covered “The Position of the United States With Respect to Soviet Dominated World Communism.” 
Saying: “(A) defensive policy cannot be considered an effective means of checking the momentum of Soviet expansion.” 
Defeating communism was considered “vital to the security of the United States.” Washington should organize and lead a “counter-offensive” aimed at undermining Soviet strength. 
“(D)evelop(ing), and at the appropriate time carry(ing) out, a coordinated (anti-Soviet) program…” 
In April 1950, NSC-68 called Russia an enemy “unlike previous aspirants to hegemony…”
Saying it was “animated by a new fanatic faith, antithetical to our own (wishing to) impose its absolute authority over the rest of the world.” 
Sounds like how Obama characterizes ISIS/ISIL/the Islamic State (IS) today.
“(U)nique in (its) brutality,” he says. “Posing a threat to the people of…the broader Middle East – including American citizens, personnel and facilities.”  
“If left unchecked, these terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond that region, including to the United States.”
No matter that IS is a US creation. US special forces and CIA operatives train its fighters in Jordan, Turkey and Georgia.
They’re sent to Syria to fight Assad. Part of America’s regime change strategy. Used against Gaddafi.
US allies and enemies at the same time. Big Lies substitute for truth and full disclosure. MSM scoundrels regurgitate them ad nauseam.
“If trends continue as they have during the last fifteen years, we shall soon reach this point of no return, and can only anticipate interminable wars, disguised as noble gestures for peace.”
“Such an era could only culminate in a third world war.” He explained America’s needless involvement in two world wars.
Doing so transformed its pre-1914 dream “into a nightmare of fear, regimentation, destruction, insecurity, inflation, and ultimate insolvency.” 
He challenged America’s alleged just cause for entering WW I.  Its foolhardiness for doing so. Disastrous results that followed.
Explained popular WW II fictions. Precipitating German/Austrian injustices. Censored Forrestal Diaries. Showing Roosevelt wanted war in the early 1930s.
His June 1940 “Stab in the Back” address promoted war. He asked “(w)hat is to become of the country we know?”
“(Y)oung men and young women of America ask…with even greater anxiety than before.”
“They ask, not only what the future holds for this Republic, but what the future holds for all peoples and all nations that have been living under democratic forms of Government-under the free institutions of a free people.”
“It’s an obvious delusion that we of the United States can safely permit the United States to become a lone island, a lone island in a world dominated by the philosophy of force.”
Europe was at war. Roosevelt rallied Americans to support US involvement. Supplied Britain with vast amounts of weapons and munitions.
In September 1940, America’s Selective Training and Service Act became law. Initiating peacetime conscription for the first time in US history.
In January 1941, Roosevelt advisor Harry Hopkins told Winston Churchill:
“The President is determined that we shall win the war together. Make no mistake about it.”
Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Harold Stark told fleet commanders:
“The question of our entry into the war now seems to be when, and not whether.”
Only a pretext was needed. Months later it came. Roosevelt manipulated things to assure it.
On July 4, he said:
“(S)olemnly (understand) that the United States will never survive as a happy and fertile oasis of liberty surrounded by a cruel desert of dictatorship.”
His July 25 Executive Order froze Japanese assets, saying:
It was “(t)o prevent the use of the financial facilities of the United States in trade between Japan and the United States in ways harmful to national defense and American interests, to prevent the liquidation in the United States of assets obtained by duress or conquest, and to curb subversive activities in the United States.”
From 1933 through late 1941, Roosevelt spurned Japanese peace overtures. They would have protected America’s East Asian interests.
By late November, the die was cast. War Secretary Henry Stimson said it depended on how to maneuver Japan to attack with minimum US casualties.
In the late 1930s, Roosevelt encouraged a Japanese attack. 
Against the advice of Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Harold Stark and Pacific Fleet Commander James Richardson, he stationed America’s Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor.
An embargo on Japan assured war. So did arming its enemies. Breaking the Japanese code let Washington track its fleet to Pearl Harbor.
“At a December 5 cabinet meeting, Navy Secretary Frank Knox said: “Well, you know Mr. President, we know where the Japanese fleet is?”
“Yes, I know,” responded Roosevelt. On December 7, 1941 at 7:55AM Hawaii time, Roosevelt got the war he wanted.
In his book titled “The Good War: An Oral History of World War II,” Studs Terkel (1912 – 2008) said the only thing good about it was America’s heartland was spared.
Wars are “lunatic” acts, said Terkel. Resolving nothing. Horrific by any standard. 
Turning ordinary people into crazed killers. Destroying any hope for peace. Begetting more war.
Howard Zinn denounced the myth of good wars. They prevent peace. Perpetuate violence. World War II was worst of all.
Modern warfare is indifferent about who dies from 30,000 feet. “You just press a button, you know, and somebody dies,” said Zinn.
“You don’t see faceless victims. You don’t hear children scream. You don’t know about human flesh ripped to pieces. You think you’re the good guys. Kill the bad ones.”
“World War II is not that simple,” said Zinn. “The good guys became the bad guys. War poisons everybody. It corrupts everybody.”
Neither side reflects saintliness. Both sides are villainous. All sides wage dirty war. Without mercy. Slaughtering innocent civilians. 
Did WW II stop fascism, asked Zinn? Did it stop racist persecution? End militarism? Restore peace?
When it ended, Zinn got a letter from General George Marshall. It wasn’t a “Dear Howie,” he said. 
All US armed forces personnel got the same one. It was “something like this,” said Zinn.
“We’ve won the war. Congratulations for your service. It will be a new world.”
“It wasn’t a new world,” said Zinn. “War after war after war after war” followed. They rage today. The second war to end all wars perpetuated them.
Millions died for nothing. Fascism, despotism and militarism remain. Wars can’t be tolerated “no matter what we’re told,” said Zinn.
So-called good wars don’t exist. They’re worst of all. Civilians suffer most in all wars. Children suffer like adults. 
Wars institutionalize violence. Assuring more wars. Continuing without end.
America’s only enemies are ones it invents. Mass slaughter and destruction persist. Planet earth is America’s battleground.
How many more millions will die? How much human misery is enough? How much longer will people tolerate the intolerable?
When will one century of war after another end? When will America’s rage to fight be challenged? When will swords be turned into plowshares?”
In 2003, “economic (military to civilian production) conversion” expert Seymour Melman addressed America’s permanent war economy, saying:
It shapes all aspects of US life. Its horrific toll includes:
  • a de-industrialized nation;
  • government financing and promoting “every kind of war industry and foreign investing by US firms;” 
  • doing it at the expense of homeland needs;
  • maintaining the same policy since WW II; and
  • prioritizing war over all else in US society.
The result is thirdworldizing America. It’s a nation of beggars, poverty, homelessness, hunger, unemployment, underemployment, desperation and despair. 
Growing millions are “disconnected from society’s mainstream,” said Melman. (They’re) restless and unhappy, frustrated, angry and sad.”
“State capitalism” characterizes America. It’s a government/business partnership.
For wealth, power and privilege. Advancing America’s imperium. For unchallenged US dominance.
Hugely corrupt. Unstable. Lawless. Inhumane. Exploiting suffering millions. 
America’s agenda is pursued at the expense of lost industrialization. Crumbling infrastructure. A madness for waging wars without end.
No matter the cost. The toll. The downside. How badly things will end.
What can’t go on forever, won’t. Chalmers Johnson predicted eventual bankruptcy and ruin. 
War on freedom persists. Disappearing in plain sight. Full-blown tyranny looms.
Melman said “(f)urther evasion is out of order. We must come to grips with America’s State Capitalism and its Permanent War Economy.” 
Re-industrialization is essential “to restore jobs and production competence – industry by industry.”
“Failing that, there is no hope for any constructive exit.” Not for America. Nor its people. Nor others affected globally.
Not any time soon under Obama’s open-ended wars without end. His rage to fight. 
Doing so based on Big Lies. Serving monied interests over popular ones.
Spurning rule of law principles. Trashing democratic values. Leading NATO’s killing machine. Its freedom-crushing monster.
Risking nuclear war with Russia. Waging it will be war to end all future ones.
No coming back. No second chances. No life left worth living. Extinguished from planet earth.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

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