OP-ED: War is (still) a racket!

OP-ED: War is (still) a racket!

By Jolian Kangas, Candidate for US Representative

black and white photo of soldier running across a barren field

Private Bob Bailey. (Marine Corps). Taken on 10 May 1945 [Unknown author, sourced from Wikimedia Commons

The Cold War supposedly ended somewhere between the years 1989-1991. I barely remember watching Peter Jennings’ coverage of the Berlin Wall getting obliterated, and the last-gasp Soviet coup attempt against Gorby. As a millennial with a (maybe more than) passing interest in politics, I read Francis Fukuyama’s essay The End of History as being the definitive conclusion to all world events of consequence. The US won; let’s give it up for the “Last Superpower.”

Yet here we are, in 2023, and we’re still living under the shadow of a menacing Kremlin. We’re still rooting for the “West” in Geopolitics: The Game Show, the latest tragic installment of which is playing out in Israel today. We’re still spending money on military aid and overseas installations and interventions like we haven’t been writing IOUs to the Chinese for the better part of the last quarter-century. The President just asked for over $100 Billion to subsidize these forever wars, and our Congressman is in lockstep support, like the reliable party back-bencher he is.

The problem is, no matter how far in debt we go to fund these internationalist projects, nothing ever gets resolved. Conflicts in those regions have continued on-and-off for centuries. Terrorism continues unabated, grudges passed down from one generation to the next. Lives are lost, ecosystems destroyed, natural resources squandered for eternity in the violent throes of ideological clashes. No hearts are won, no minds are changed, and at the end of it all, you and I are footing the bill.

Democrats want to hand over our money to foreign nations with no conditions. Republicans insist upon militarizing the southern border and further dehumanizing migrants before they, too, will sign on to this scheme. Meanwhile, ordinary people like you and I worry about our access to healthcare. A hospital in our district just abruptly severed coverage through the region’s largest insurance plan. A chronic lack of trauma centers continues to cause otherwise preventable deaths due to accident and injury.

Missing from the impassioned debates over the Middle East and Russia are the plights of everyday Americans. Aren’t there far more pressing priorities we could be funding instead? People are sprawled out on the streets, living in filth, starving and dying from untreated ailments in communities all along the North Coast. How can we justify spending our tax dollars (and our debt-dollars) on more bombs to blow up civilians overseas?

Answer: we can’t. That’s why I’m running to represent the North Coast in Congress. The Cold War should remain a distant and fading memory, not a manufactured specter continually lingering over foreign policy. Our Congressman and his colleagues are stuck in the past. I’m looking towards a future that’s sustainable for people and the planet.

Let’s get back to sensible and affordable public policy. On March 5, you have a chance to send a message to the partisan establishment. I’m Jolian Kangas, and I’m your Independent candidate for US Representative. Join me at kangas4congress.org.

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Permanently on Monitoring
Guest
Permanently on Monitoring
2 months ago

Well, you lose…

War is about production, the economy, protection from our enemies who want to steal our country!

But then, I’m remembering Lyndon Johnson getting filthy rich off Vietnam, Nixon’s crazy plans to “end the war”, and Gulf War 1 and 2!…

Somebody gains wealth from the redistribution of taxes into the great and increasingly corporate world of American Government…

Guys like you can sell that crunchy-hippie-stuff out in the provinces, but you are actually patronizing in the “Red State” part of CA, even if the Republicans stay in the closet and tell everyone that they are Democrats…

We live in an Oligarchy, two or three Corporations own everything, and our money goes to support our friends, like the Afghanis who were being slaughtered by the Russians for some reason, and then we slaughtered some of them ourselves, because, uh, why?

War is horrible, unthinkable, but do we have to support war in order to prevent war?

Have a good day, and try not to start WWIII…

Ahuka of the Hashishim
Guest
Ahuka of the Hashishim
2 months ago

Ike was right when he warned about the “military-industrial complex”!
https://www.archives.gov/milestone-documents/president-dwight-d-eisenhowers-farewell-address

Guest
Guest
Guest
2 months ago

I’m not sure that quote is used with the same understanding that Eisenhower meant. More from that speech-
“Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution

In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government…

The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded…

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

Indeed this is exactly what has happened. Universities in the US are so beholden to government money, from sources of tuition to research grants, that they are not the bastions of independent reason that students and faculty like to think they are. In fact the government grant has escaped the institutions of higher learning to pervade every government and social entity. It is not some arm’s manufacturer in league with the military that is the evil as people think of when hearing the term military industrial complex. It is the government itself, run by the 3 million Federal employees, the 20 million State and local government employees, added to the 12 million NGO employees funded by grants sent from Federal funds, that are the arbiters of everything. That is a little less than one in four working people directly controlled by the Federal government and their parceling out of tax money either directly or indirectly by grants. Should scare the crap out of the public.

John
Guest
John
2 months ago

Oh, yeah, smilin’ Ike. Signed the death warrant of Pvt. Slovak, the only American combatant in the twentieth century executed for desertion. “Military-industrial complex” my foot. It was on Eisenhower’s watch that we started getting sucked into Vietnam. I don’t like Ike. He was two-faced.

Mr. Clark
Member
Mr. Clark
2 months ago

How can we justify more debt dollars on social justice programs that never end? We are looking at the beginning of WW111. The UN is against the USA, because they have an agenda too. The progressive politicians of this country have put us where we are and have in the past many times put us in war.

spamned
Guest
spamned
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Clark

you’re right; it’s much much better to spend billions and trillions on death and destruction for empire

Thatguyinarcata
Guest
Thatguyinarcata
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Clark

Damn when did the other 107 world wars happen?

Or, wait, is this a satire account?

The Real Guest
Guest
The Real Guest
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Clark

Mr. Clark…

Check to see if your glasses are on backwards…

It’s very clearly the USA, (Biden Administration), that is against the UN, not the other way around.

How could you have missed the UN Security Council vote, JUST YESTERDAY, where the USA, ( Biden Administration), WAS THE ONLY OPPOSING VOTE on an Immediate Humanitarian Ceasefire resolution…!!!???

🤦‍♂️

Last edited 2 months ago
Mr. Clark
Member
Mr. Clark
2 months ago
Reply to  The Real Guest

progressive politicians of this country have put us where we are and have in the past many times put us in war.

The Real Guest
Guest
The Real Guest
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Clark

https://news.un.org/en/story/2023/12/1144562

‘US vetoes resolution on Gaza which called for ‘immediate humanitarian ceasefire’

Screenshot_20231209-092126.png
Last edited 2 months ago
Giant Squirrel
Guest
Giant Squirrel
2 months ago

Biden has fueled wars that killed over a half million humans just since he assumed office.

Screenshot_20231010-062618_X.jpg
Bozo
Guest
Bozo
2 months ago
Reply to  Giant Squirrel

>”Biden has fueled wars that killed over a half million humans just since he assumed office.”

Yup. Bush II killed about 1/2 million to 1 million humans in an utterly ‘lied’ war.
I’m not voting for Dems (Crips)… not voting for Repubs (Bloods).
US government via… ‘subsequent laws’ is dedicated to a 2 party system. Now, both parties are controlled by the same er… ‘foreign interest’ groups.
If you don’t like one of the two… you’re outta luck.

Go figure.

Shel
Guest
Shel
2 months ago

An opinion piece that ends with I’m a goody-goody with all the right answers and I want to get my hands in the cookie jar too! Fab. Just fab. If I sound cynical it is because I’ve heard all these words before and nothing changes except the fat cats in gov get fatter while their memories grow conveniently fainter about all those promises they made…

Jason
Guest
Jason
2 months ago
Reply to  Shel

Fab?

Jerry Latsko
Guest
Jerry Latsko
2 months ago

No one wins any war. In my lifetime the only winners have been the makers of weapons of mass destruction and the paid for their votes members of Congress while so called leaders buffalo the masses. We are wanted to just shut up and pay our taxes so that the few can continue to live isolated from pain or poverty. Movies and books glorify the carnage for children to learn to love the carnage. Henry Kissinger won the damned Nobel Peace prize.

Guest
Guest
Guest
2 months ago

Well good luck with that. Sounds good, right? Am I hearing rhetoric? What are your special qualifications to be a political force for positive chance. Please elucidate this in another letter.

Jason
Guest
Jason
2 months ago

The wars will continue as long as the majority remains so easily propagandized by state media.
Look at how many people in the west truly believed that Ukraine was going to conquer Russia.

Cetan Bluesky
Guest
Cetan Bluesky
2 months ago

Yes war is a racket. War sucks. War is what happens when humans want someone else’s resources for what ever reason. Good and bad. More often than not it is about defense because someone wants your resources. Anything that costs, generates money a world class asshole will show up to try to get some of that money. Remember the green rush? Lot’s of assholes who didn’t pay their laborers, trimmers or even for the products! Lot’s of rapes, real estate frauds, lots of physical remains on the side of the road and in trunks of vehicles and burning inside a vehicle on a dirt road. Lets not forget home invasions. Yes, world class assholes and cockroaches showed up over a plant that was valuable to take it by any means away from someone else. War isn’t any different from weed.
Homo sapians are by nature: dishonest, greedy and violent or deranged. That’s the real world we all live in. The rest is wishful thinking. Take note on the word wishful. Me father was crude when he explained it to me at 5 years old when he remarked, “You can wish all you can in one hand, and shit into the other. What have you got?” America can’t wish someone like Putin, Kim Un or Xi or perhaps Trump; won’t be dishonest or greedy or deranged By now I think we know what we will have on our hands to do so. And to think otherwise is to bring on changes no one is prepared for. Civilizations come and go. The ones who war the best are the ones who take care of their militaries the best and who lasts the longest. Assholes and cockroaches are expected.

HotCoffee
Guest
HotCoffee
2 months ago
Reply to  Cetan Bluesky

A recent article in the Guardian makes a strong connection between climate change and America’s EHMs, zeroing in on one EHM in particular: 

US banks have released a spate of climate promises, committing to achieve net zero by 2050 and reduce emissions by 2030. But the hard truth remains: Wall Street’s financing of coal, oil and gas was higher in 2021 than it was in 2016, the year after the Paris agreement was adopted. Last year alone, US banks provided $64bn in financing to the corporations most rapidly expanding their coal, oil and gas operations. . .

After Putin launched his war on Ukraine, the CEO of Chase, Jamie Dimon, joined the CEOs of ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips to directly lobby President Biden to increase domestic fossil fuel production. A month later, Dimon used his influential annual letter to shareholders to further lobby on behalf of his oil and gas clients. “We also need immediate approval for additional oil leases and gas pipelines,” he wrote, despite the fact that newly approved oil and gas projects won’t come online for years and won’t help solve the current energy crisis. (1)

Confessions, 3rd Edition describes three waves of EHMs. The first wave began when I was getting started as an economic hit man in the 1970s. We focused on exploiting lower-income countries that had resources our corporations coveted, like oil. We convinced these countries to accept huge loans from the World Bank or one of his sister organizations and use the money to hire US companies to develop infrastructure projects in the countries. In the end, the countries could not repay the debt; so we demanded payment by allowing US companies to exploit their resources, without environmental or social regulations. The second wave took off after 9/11. These EHMs expanded their activities to include the exploitation of people and institutions in the US and other higher-income countries. People from all walks of life were caught in the “debt trap” of skyrocketing student loans, constantly increasing medical debt, predatory payday loans, and tax laws that subsidize the rich at everyone else’s expense.  This second EHM wave included former members of Congress, government officials, and corporate executives like Chase’s CEO. They adopted fancy titles, such as President, lobbyist, consultant, and advisor. Besides the debt trap, one of their other specialties was passing laws that gave their corporations special subsidies, grants, and tax breaks. From Confessions, 3rd Edition:

My research took me to Good Jobs First, a national policy center. . .According to its reports, over the course of fifteen years, the federal government had distributed $68 billion in grants and special tax credits to businesses. Two-thirds of that was transferred to large corporations.

Major companies identified by Good Jobs First whose lobbyists were most successful at obtaining subsidies included Ford Motor, General Electric, General Motors, JPMorgan Chase, Dow Chemical, Lockheed Martin, United Technologies, Goldman Sachs, and almost half of the one hundred most profitable federal contractors. All told, a shocking 298 corporations each received subsidies of $60 million or more. (2) These companies reaped benefits from ports, airports, highways, utilities, schools, fire departments, and other services, and made billions of dollars in profits, yet they did not pay their fair share toward supporting the institutions that served them and their employees.

An investigation by the Guardian revealed that coal, oil, and gas industries benefited from subsidies of $550 billion, four times the amounts provided to renewable energy. (3) This second EHM wave was highly successful at ripping off the American tax-payer.
The third wave began when Xi Jinping became China’s president in 2013.  China’s EHMs learned from the success and failures of the first and second waves.  From Confessions, 3rd Edition:

Ullr Rover
Guest
Ullr Rover
2 months ago

Congress needs to uphold the Constitution and only embark on wars that have been officially declared. They have abdicated this authority, as representatives of the People’s interests, in every conflict since WW2.

Dogbiter
Guest
Dogbiter
2 months ago

It all started ( if you believe the holy rollers) when Cain knocked his brother’s gourd with petrified camel turd. Nothing you can do will stop it.

Ben Round
Guest
Ben Round
2 months ago

Yes. Interesting. I’m listening. Keep it coming.
Now I want to hear your positions on social / domestic issues and cases before the Supreme Court.

Last edited 2 months ago