America’s Militarized Economy

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Written by Eric Zuesse; Originally appeared at The Unz Review

Donald Trump’s biggest success, thus far into his Presidency, has been his sale of $400 billion (originally $350 billion) of U.S.-made weapons to the Saudi Arabian Government, which is owned by its royal family, after whom that nation is named. This sale alone is big enough to be called Trump’s “jobs plan” for Americans. It is also the biggest weapons-sale in all of history. It’s 400 billion dollars, not 400 million dollars; it is gigantic, and, by far, unprecedented in world-history.

The weapons that the Sauds and their friends, the 7 monarchies that constitute the United Arab Emirates, are using right now, in order to conquer and subdue Yemen, are almost entirely made in America. That’s terrific business for America. Not only are Americans employed, in strategically important congressional districts (that is, politically important congressional districts), to manufacture this equipment for mass-murdering in foreign lands that never threatened (much less invaded) America, but the countries that purchase this equipment are thereby made dependent upon the services of those American manufacturers, and of the taxpayer-funded U.S. ‘Defense’ Department and its private military contractors such as Lockheed Martin, to maintain this equipment, and to train the local military enforcers, on how to operate these weapons. Consequently, foreign customers of U.S. military firms are buying not only U.S. weapons, but the U.S. Government’s protection — the protection by the U.S. military, of those monarchs. They are buying the label of being an “American ally” so that the U.S. news media can say that this is in defense of American allies (regardless of whether it’s even that). American weapons are way overpriced for what they can do, but they are a bargain for what they can extract out of America’s taxpayers, who fund the U.S. ‘Defense’ Department and thus fund the protection of those monarchs: these kings and other dictators get U.S. taxpayers to fund their protection. It’s an international protection-racket funded by American taxpayers and those rulers, in order to protect those rulers; and the victims aren’t only the people who get slaughtered in countries such as Afghanistan, and Iraq, and Libya, and Syria, and Yemen, and Palestine, but also (though only financially) are the American public, who get fleeced by it — the American public provide the bulk of the real funding for this operation to expand the lands where America’s allies rule, and so to serve both America’s aristocracy and the aristocracies that are America’s allies.

This is how today’s America enforces its ‘democracy’ around the world, so that America can spread this ‘democracy’, at gunpoint, and at bomb-point, like America’s allies, those Kings and Emirs, and the apartheid regime in Israel, are doing, to the people whom they kill and conquer, with help from the taxpayer-funded American military — funded to protect those aristocrats, against their respective publics, and to further enrich America’s own aristocrats, at the expense of America’s own public.

The global ‘aggressor’ has been identified by America’s previous President, Barack Obama, who won office like Trump did, by promising ‘a reset’ in relations with post-communist Russia, and by mocking Obama’s opponent (Mitt Romney) for having called Russia “the number one geopolitical foe” — which America’s aristocracy has historically considered Russia to be, ever since the aristocracy in Russia fled and were killed in 1917, which caused America’s and other aristocracies to fear and hate Russia and Russians, for having ousted its aristocracy, this being an act that aristocrats everywhere are determined to avenge, regardless of ‘ideology’. (Similarly, America and its pro-aristocracy foreign allies, seek to avenge Iran’s 1979 overthrow of the Shah.) As Obama’s own actions during his subsequent Presidency made clear, and as he already had started in 2011 (if not from day one of his Presidency) secretly to implement, he privately agreed with what Romney said on that occasion, but he was intelligent enough (which his opponent obviously was not) to recognize that the American public, at that time, did not agree with it but instead believed that Islamic terrorists and aristocrats such as the Sauds who finance them are that); and Obama took full advantage of his opponent’s blunder there, which helped Obama to win a second term in the White House (after having skillfully hidden from the public during his first term, his intention to weaken Russia by eliminating leaders who were friends or even allies of Russia, such as in Syria, and Ukraine).

This is American ‘democracy’, after all (rule by deceit, lies), and that’s the reason why, when Russia, in 2014, responded to the U.S. coup in Ukraine (a coup under the cover of anti-corruption demonstrations) which coup was taking over this large country next-door to Russia and thus constituted a deadly threat to Russia’s national security, Obama declared Russia to be the world’s top ‘aggressor’. Obama overthrew Ukraine and then damned Russia’s leader Putin for responding to Obama’s aggressive threat against Russia from this coup in neighboring Ukraine. Russia was supposedly the ‘aggressor’ because it allowed the residents of Crimea — which had been part of Russia until the Soviet dictator in 1954 had arbitrarily handed Crimea to Ukraine — to become Russian citizens again, Russians like 90% of them felt they still were, despite Khrushchev’s transfer of them to Ukraine in 1954. The vast majority of Crimeans felt themselves still to be Russians. But Obama and allies of the U.S. Government insisted that the newly installed Government of Ukraine must rule those people; those people must not be permitted to rule (or be ruled) by people they’ve participated in choosing.

Ever since at least 2011, the U.S. Government was planning to overthrow Ukraine’s democratically elected Government; and the plan started being put into action by no later than 1 March 2013 inside America’s Ukrainian Embassy. In preparation for this planned coup (“the most blatant coup in history”), a poll of Crimeans was funded by the International Republican Institute and USAID, in which Gallup scientifically sampled Crimeans during 16-30 May 2013, six months prior to the forced rejection on 20 November 2013 of EU membership by Ukraine’s democratically elected government — that’s six months prior to the Ukrainian Government’s rejection that Obama’s team were intending to use as being the pretext for the anti-Government demonstrations, which would start on Kiev’s Maidan Square the day after this forced rejection, on November 21st. The poll of Crimeans (which was made public on 7 October 2013) found (here are highlights):

p.14:
“If Ukraine was able to enter only one international economic union, which entity should it be with?”
53% “Customs Union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan”
17% “The European Union”
p.15:
“How would you evaluate your attitude to the following entities?”
“Russia”: 68% “Warm”; 5% “Cold”
“USA”: 6% “Warm”; 24% “Cold”
p.17:
“In your opinion, what should the status of Crimea be?”
“Autonomy in Ukraine (as today [under Crimea’s 1992 Constitution and as subsequently celebrated by RFE/RL on 20 January 2011] )”: 53%.
“Common oblast of Ukraine [ruled under Ukraine’s 1991 Constitution]”: 2%.
“Crimea should be separated and given to Russia”: 23%.

In other words: prior to the U.S. State Department and CIA operation to steal Ukraine’s government from Ukraine’s citizens — including especially from the residents of the sole autonomously governed region in Ukraine, which was Crimea — 53% of Crimeans wanted continued autonomy, 23% wanted not only a total break away from the Ukrainian Government but their becoming again citizens of Russia, such as had existed until 1954; and only 2% wanted restoration of the situation in 1991 when Crimea was briefly a “common oblast” or regular region within Ukraine, a federal state within Ukraine just like all the other states within Ukraine were. And, obviously, after America’s coup in Ukraine, the percentage who wanted a total break away from Ukraine rose even higher than it had been before.

Consequently, the U.S. demand that the newly imposed Ukrainian regime, which Obama’s coup created, made upon Crimea subsequent to the coup, and which demand both Obama and his successor Trump insist must be imposed upon and obeyed by Crimeans if the anti-Russia sanctions are even possibly to end, is the demand that Crimeans, in that May 2013 poll, even prior to the bloody Obama coup and the takeover of Ukraine by rabidly anti-Crimean Ukrainian nazishad supported by only 2% (it was demanding reimposition of the brief 1991 Ukrainian relationship, which Crimeans had rejected in 1991), as compared to the 53% of Crimeans who favored continuation of Crimean “autonomy,” and the 23% who favored becoming Russians again.

Furthermore, the May 2013 poll showed that only 17% of Crimeans favored becoming part of the EU, whereas 53% preferred to be part of the “Customs Union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan”; so, clearly, Crimeans, prior to the democratically elected Ukrainian Government’s having declined the EU’s offer, overwhelmingly wanted Ukraine’s democratically elected Government to do precisely what it did — to turn down the EU’s offer.

During the U.S. coup, and immediately after it, until the 16 March 2014 Crimean referendum on what to do about it, Crimeans saw and heard on television and via the other Ukrainian media, reports that could only have terrified them about the new Government’s intentions. Clearly the U.S. regime had no objection to placing nazis in charge, and Crimeans are intensely anti-nazi — not only anti-Nazi during Hitler’s time, but against nazism, the racist-fascist ideology, itself, regardless of which group it’s targeting; but, in their case, it targets Crimeans, and, more broadly, Russians.

A January 2015 poll of Crimeans was financed by rabidly anti-Russian Ukrainians in Canada and released in early February, and it found (probably to their enormous disappointment) that 93% of respondents did “endorse Russia’s annexation of Crimea” and 4% did not. On 16 March 2015, the U.S. State Department issued a statement: “On this one year anniversary of the sham ‘referendum’ in Crimea, held in clear violation of Ukrainian law and the Ukrainian constitution, the United States reiterates its condemnation of a vote that was not voluntary, transparent, or democratic.” No evidence was provided for any of that assertion, simply the allegation. Four days later, the far more honest Kenneth Rapoza at Forbes headlined “One Year After Russia Annexed Crimea,” and he opened:

The U.S and European Union may want to save Crimeans from themselves. But the Crimeans are happy right where they are. One year after the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula in the Black Sea, poll after poll shows that the locals there — be they Ukrainians, ethnic Russians or Tatars are mostly all in agreement: life with Russia is better than life with Ukraine.
Little has changed over the last 12 months. Despite huge efforts on the part of Kiev, Brussels, Washington and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the bulk of humanity living on the Black Sea peninsula believe the referendum to secede from Ukraine was legit. At some point, the West will have to recognize Crimea’s right to self rule.

The U.S. and its allies have a different idea than that. They reject Rapoza’s view.

The United States claims to support ‘democracy’. But it demands imposition upon Crimeans of a rabidly anti-Crimean Government. What kind of ‘democracy’ does the United States actually support? Has the U.S. Government answered that question in Crimea — and, in Ukraine — by its actions there? Obama supported this kind of ‘democracy’, and this kind. He wanted this kind of treatment of Crimeans. Trump hasn’t yet made clear whether he does, too; but his official representatives have made clear that they do.

America has a militarized economy. It also currently has the very highest percentage of its people in prison out of all of the world’s 222 countriesand so certainly qualifies as a police state (which Americans who are lucky enough to be not amongst the lower socio-economic classes might find to be a shocking thing to assert). On top of that, everyone knows that America’s military spending is by far the highest in the world, but many don’t know that it’s the most corrupt and so the U.S. actually spends around half of the entire world’s military budget and that the U.S. ‘Defense’ Department is even so corrupt that it has been unauditable and thus unaudited for decades, and that many U.S. military programs are counted in other federal departments in order to hide from the public how much is actually being spent each year on the military, which is well over a trillion dollars annually, probably more than half of all federal discretionary (which excludes interest on the debt, some of which pays for prior wars) spending. So, it’s a very militarized economy, indeed.

This is today’s American ‘democracy’. Is it also ‘democracy’ in America’s allied countries? (Obviously, they are more democratic than America regarding just the incarceration-rate; but what about generally?) Almost all of those countries continue to say that America is a democracy (despite the proof that it is not), and that they are likewise. Are they correct in both? Are they allied with a ‘democracy’ against democracy? Or, are they, in fact, phonies as democracies? These are serious questions, and bumper-sticker answers to them won’t suffice anymore — not after invading Iraq in 2003, and Libya in 2011, and Syria right afterward, and Ukraine in 2014, and Yemen today, etc.

Please send this article along to friends, and ask for their thoughts about this. Because, in any actual democracy, everyone should be discussing these issues, under the prevailing circumstances. Taxpayer-funded mass-slaughter is now routine and goes on year after year. After a few decades of this, shouldn’t people start discussing the matter? Why haven’t they been? Isn’t this the time to start? Or is America so much of a dictatorship that it simply won’t happen? We’ll see.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • Pave Way IV

    I honestly don’t give a damn whether Crimea seceding back to Russia was legal, justified or anything else. I don’t care if the people there wanted to be part of Russia or not. All I know is that the U.S. Deep State needed a good, swift kick in the nuts. For that, this American will be eternally grateful to Russia.

    • Jesus

      Economic warfare is waged by Wall Street banks given direction by the Treasury and the Fed.
      They are shorting out currencies and causing rubble, lira to loose in value as a result of their presumptuous sanctions.
      What He Russians need to do is deploy few Avangards equipped with conventional warheads and hit Wall Street and the Fed HQ in Washington DC.

      • Pave Way IV

        I cannot advocate violence against fellow Americans, my lord. Unfortunately, even if they’re evil fuckers like these. However, if someone were to fantasize about ‘justice’ for them, they might want to consider feeding the psychopaths feet-first into wood-chippers… very, very slowly.

        • Jesus

          Do you consider the psychopaths on Wall Street ….fellow Americans?

          • Pave Way IV

            Unfortunately, yes. As long as I’m a citizen here, I’m responsible for this place and all the evil it enables.

        • You can call me Al

          Harsh, but it’ll work.

      • You can call me Al

        Not Washington YET, New York and knock the hell out of wall street.

  • Sadde

    I have heard many justifications of Russia’s annexation of Crimea such as, being part of Soviet before, “constituted a deadly threat to Russia’s national security” (though quite funny to label it as DEADLY THREAT), that the majority of Crimea wanted to be part of Russia, or some military contract on Crimea that president Putin mentioned (don’t remember the context).
    On a philosophical standpoint can an hypothetical annexation of north western Syria by Turkey also have analogue justifications as Russia’s annexation of Crimea?

    • You can call me Al

      It wan not an annexation. They wanted to rejoin Russia as they are predominately Russian.

      • Sadde

        Name it what you like, it won’t change the function!

    • anonim

      I don’t remember anybody asking your permission. Crimea is part of Russia, so deal with it!

      • Sadde

        What a stupid reply. On what basis do you think I give a skit about Crimea?

    • Pave Way IV

      You’re looking at this the wrong way, Sadde. If you’re American, imagine living in Wisconsin and one day you wake up to find out that President Hillary gave you and your entire state away to Canada, just to be nice. Then for the next half-century, Canada insists that it was all legal and its not your choice and just get over it because you’re Canadian now and there’s nothing you can do about it.

      Then the Canadian government is overthrown by the thousands of White Helmet al Qaeda it let in and becomes the Canadian Wahhabi Caliphate. Now, would you jump at the chance for Wisconsin to return to the U.S. again? Would you object to little green men from the U.S. slipping in to Wisconsin and negotiating a peaceful transition with Canadian – now Caliphate – troops stationed there? Assume Hillary was in prison by then.

      Would your secession from the Caliphate be legal according to the Caliphate? Would al Qaeda’s Saudi masters object to Wisconsin’s ‘illegal’ secession and describe it as an ‘annexation’ by the US? Would you really give a damn what the Caliphate (either Canadian or Saudi) thought?

      There are a lot of other factors involved – Crimea is not entirely black and white. But for anyone to evaluate Crimea like some sterile Political Science or International Law homework assignment without considering the insanity of how it became part of Ukraine is just ridiculous. Citizens are not possessions of a nation – it’s the other way around. Khrushchev’s bizarre reason (300th anniversary of Ukraine joining the Russian Empire) and the fact that it was a personal gesture (that nobody in the Soviet Union would dare argue with) hardly justifies giving two million people to another state on a whim without even the courtesy of asking them first. The shoe-banger was insane and the U.S. Deep State’s overthrow of a democratically elected leader in another country was insane. Crimea returning to Russia is about the only thing that seemed rational during the Ukraine fiasco. On a personal note, any event that makes the MSM’s heads explode is an added bonus.

      https://youtu.be/l4JhyHz3M5U?t=11

      • Sadde

        No, I see it as it is. Russia took over Crimea simply because it could. The explanation lies in the power of Russia to do so. The rest is excuses!

        • Pave Way IV

          I don’t blame Russia for taking the opportunity to do something considering the chaos the U.S. Deep State had intentionally created in Ukraine in order to own it. Your beef seems to be that Russia did anything at the time because they could (and without explicit U.S. or NATO permission first). How dare they!

          • Sadde

            Look , if there is any problem here, it is from people who quickly jump in attacking me as if I said something even slightly bad against Russia. On the contrary, I think that Russia has one of those better politics in the world at the moment. As you put it, Nato gave Russia a golden opportunity and Russia did not hesitate to take it. My point is that the only precondition for Russia to do that war POWER. The offered opportunity just made it easier. In the second part of my leading comment, I tried to illuminate this by compering it to another similar problem, that between Turkey and Syria. All the 4 justifications I mentioned in my leading comment are also valid for Turkey to take north Westerns part of Syria. But every one jump in defending Russia as if discussing it would be sacrilegious.

          • Pave Way IV

            It’s the way you worded it. ‘Annexation’ in this context is a loaded word implying hostile land-theft – taking someone else’s territory by pure will of military force, without regard to the rights or desires of the inhabitants. That seems to suggest Russia acted with malice against innocent Crimean victims, so people here were responding to that characterization they thought was unfair – same with my response.

            If we leave off all the other considerations and meanings, then why wouldn’t Turkey be able to attempt to annex northern Syria? Didn’t Erdogan state as much earlier on when he was drawing his red lines for the Kurds and declaring Safe Zones for the FSA/al Nusra? He has a whole bag of justifications for carving off a slice and why certain Syrain cities were really Turkish cities.

            The US/SDF can and is busy de facto annexing SDFistan from Syria, but claims otherwise.

            Israel was annexing the Syrian Air Defense positions in the hills along the Golan – they were just doing it using their al Qaeda proxy. And Israel is still pushing for other forms of near- or soft- annexation via demands for Iran-free Zones.

            Jordan and Lebanon are too small/weak to grab anything, and Iraq doesn’t seem interested in stealing any Syrian land.

            The Saudis, Qataris and Emiratis are not so much interested in annexation of Syrian territory, but rather annexation of political control over Syria.

          • Sadde

            Come on, you ask yourself how come Russia is by far the biggest country in the world. I am not very good at geography nor at history but It seems that Russia has some kind of border dispute with every country it borders from Japan in Asia to Finland and Norway in Scandinavia in Europe. It does not take a mastermind to figure how.

    • Assad must stay (gr8rambino)

      no

  • TiredOfBsToo

    As the threats, wars, sanctions against others increases, the psychopaths are endangering the very fuel which funds their aggression towards others and stuffs their pockets (and that of their acquaintances) with dollars; that fuel being the reserve currency. I see the death of the reserve currency as a positive, not only for the people of the world, but Americans as well. It has the potential of ridding the landscape of these global psychopaths and allowing Americans to finally breathe fresh air devoid of propagandists and their destructive pursuits of Empire.

    • Muriel Kuri

      If we are able to survive it!

  • Tommy Jensen

    Its all about the money.

    USA´s vasal countries have a mixed in business and an major part of their turnover in USA, plus their International trade and energy are financial paid in dollares.

    As countries outside West; E-Europe, Africa, Latin, Russia, China, have minimum salaries of $200-$300 and Europe have minimum salaries of $2000-$3000, the incitement to be a hypocritic lapdog, coward and bootlicker of the gangsterteam in Washington become an extreme temptation.