Tag Archives | Military

United States Eases Regulations on Exporting Weapons: “Quit Arming the Fucking World, Man”, Bill Hicks

via chycho
arms_sales
So, it looks like “in a boon for military contractors, the United States is relaxing controls on military exports, allowing some U.S.-made military parts to flow to nearly any country in the world with little oversight.”

Considering these latest revelations, I thought it would be worthwhile sharing a few wise words from one of the greatest teachers that I have ever come across, Bill Hicks:

“Quit arming the fucking world, man…. We keep arming these little countries and then going blowing the shit out of ‘em. We’re like the bullies of the globe. We’re like Jack Palance in the movie Shane, throwing a pistol at the sheep herder’s feet.”

Bill Hicks on Arming The world

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Pyrrhic Victories: Medal of Honor Recipient Unemployed and Struggling With PTSD

The plight of Capt. William Swenson: Yet another shameful example of how the United States government treats its "heroes". Via Christian Science Monitor:
Since he retired from the Army, Swenson has made no secret of the fact that he has struggled with combat stress. He is currently unemployed, though he has applied to go back to the military on active duty status, and says he often likes to escape to the mountains where he can find solitude. He told one reporter he specializes in Pyrrhic victories – wins that comes at such a devastating cost that they are indistinguishable from defeat.
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The “Experts” Who Pushed For Military Involvement In Syria Are Paid By The Defense Industry

1Public Accountability Initiative on “impartial” pundits and think tanks presented by the media arguing for war:

During the public debate around the question of whether to attack Syria, Stephen Hadley, former national security adviser to George W. Bush, made a series of high-profile media appearances. Hadley argued strenuously for military intervention in appearances on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and Bloomberg TV, and authored a Washington Post op-ed.

In each case, Hadley’s audience was not informed that he serves as a director of Raytheon, the weapons manufacturer that makes the Tomahawk cruise missiles that were widely cited as a weapon of choice in a potential strike against Syria. He owns 11,477 shares of Raytheon stock, which traded at all-time highs during the Syria debate ($77.65 on August 23, making Hadley’s share’s worth $891,189). Despite this financial stake, Hadley was presented to his audience as an experienced, independent national security expert.

Though Hadley’s undisclosed conflict is particularly egregious, it is not unique.

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Russia Says Its Space Troops Are “Not Ready To Fight Extraterrestrials”

outerspaceI’m glad that at least some governments are thinking about this. Russia Today reports:

Despite being called Russia’s space troops, they are not ready to deal with invasions by aliens from outer space, according to a statement by a Russian defense official.

In a surprising move, an apparently serious journalist raised this question of extraterrestrial security during a media conference at the Titov Main Test and Space Systems Control Center near Moscow, Russia’s main satellite control center.

“So far we are not capable of that. We are unfortunately not ready to fight extraterrestrial civilizations,” the center’s deputy chief Sergey Berezhnoy explained.

Titov space center, which is run by Russia’s Aerospace Defense Troops, controls around 80 percent of the country’s satellite fleet, both military and civilian. Russia’s space troops, in their current form, were created in 2011 through the integration of several military branches responsible for…control of outer space.

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Secret Agenda in Syria?

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Is there a secret agenda afoot in America’s rush to war in Syria?
In an August 2013 article titled “ Larry Summers and the Secret ‘End-game’ Memo,” Greg Palast posted evidence of a secret late-1990s plan devised by Wall Street and U.S. Treasury officials to open banking to the lucrative derivatives business. To pull this off required the relaxation of banking regulations not just in the US but globally. The vehicle to be used was the Financial Services Agreement of the World Trade Organization.
The “end-game” would require not just coercing support among WTO members but taking down those countries refusing to join. Some key countries remained holdouts from the WTO, including Iraq, Libya, Iran and Syria. In these Islamic countries, banks are largely state-owned; and “usury” – charging rent for the “use” of money – is viewed as a sin, if not a crime. That puts them at odds with the Western model of rent extraction by private middlemen.
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Four Chemical Attacks U.S. Wants You to Forget | Brainwash Update

Abby Martin speaks about the blatant hypocrisy regarding Obama’s “red line” of chemical attacks as the motivating factor to intervene militarily in Syria, citing the top four chemical weapons attacks that the US military does not want you to know about.

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Are Military Suicides Doing It For The Money?

United_States_Army_Suicide_Prevention_PosterIt has been well documented that US military servicemen and women have been committing suicide at alarming rates, but now it appears that their motivation may not be entirely due to the terrible things they’ve seen and done: for some of them, it’s for the money. Alan Zarembo reports for the LA Times:

Army Spc. James Christian Paquette walked into the benefits office at Ft. Wainwright, Alaska, with a question: Did his military life insurance policy pay in cases of suicide? He was assured that it did.

Less than two weeks later, he shot and killed himself — and his family collected $400,000.

His widow struggles with the question of whether he would have proceeded with his plan if suicide had not been covered. “He just wanted to know we would be provided for,” Jami Calahan said. “It may have been a weight taken away.”

The role of life insurance has not been closely examined in the quest to understand why 352 active-duty service members took their own lives last year — more than double the number a decade earlier.

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On Sovereignty And Double Standards

double standardVia The New Inquiry, Aaron Bady explains that acting arbitrarily is the point:

American foreign policy is full of double standards. But if we observe the hypocrisy of our leaders and are scandalized by it—John Kerry lunching with the Assads, Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein—then we actually misunderstand what “foreign policy” is and is for.

If American foreign policy is anything, it is not even-handed and impartial. It is a state arrogating to itself the right to make arbitrary choices, to make the rules while other countries only follow them. And to prove that distinction the US must not only establish “red lines,” and enforce them, but it is the very arbitrary nature of those red lines which allows them to function as signs on the international stage. Lawlessness is how a state proves itself sovereign; submission to law is the sign of the weak.

“Legality” only obscures the real issue, which is why we are hearing so much talk about it, why so many commentators are pretending it matters.

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Senators Who Voted Yes on Syrian Strike Received More Defense Cash Than Those Who Didn’t

vaderIt’s no surprise, really, but it’s always sickening to see yet another clear sign that democracy is an illusion. (It’s particularly obvious in this case, given that the majority of Americans do not want a military strike against Syria.)

Via WIRED:

Senators voting Wednesday to authorize a Syria strike received, on average, 83 percent more campaign financing from defense contractors than lawmakers voting against war.

Overall, political action committees and employees from defense and intelligence firms such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, United Technologies, Honeywell International, and others ponied up $1,006,887 to the 17 members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who voted yes or no on the authorization Wednesday, according to an analysis by Maplight, the Berkeley-based nonprofit that performed the inquiry at WIRED’s request.

Committee members who voted to authorize what the resolution called a “limited” strike averaged $72,850 in defense campaign financing from the pot. Committee members who voted against the resolution averaged $39,770, according to the data.

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