Tuesday, March 10, 2015

We Have Met the Enemy, and He is Us . . . .

[ click pic to enlarge ]

American Exceptionalism personified:

U.S. weapons exporters lead the world in profits from the booming military arms and equipment business, driven by rising tensions and conflict around the world, according to a new report from London-based analysts.
The annual study by IHS Inc.—which looks at military markets in 65 nations, excluding small arms, munitions, and surveillance programs—finds that the United States is behind one-third of all equipment and weapons exports world-wide.
This is no small amount: in 2014, global "defense" trade surpassed $64.4 billion, the report finds.
"Defense trade rose by a landmark 13.4 percent over the past year," said Ben Moores, senior defense analyst at IHS Aerospace, Defense and Security, in a press statement. "This record figure has been driven by unparalleled demand from the emerging economies for military aircraft and an escalation of regional tensions in the Middle East and Asia Pacific."
The U.S., further, is the top profiteer from rising conflict across the Middle East, accounting for $8.4 billion in exports to this region in 2014, compared to $6 billion the previous year.
Meanwhile, U.S. allies in the expanding war against ISIS are boosting their weapons imports significantly.
Saudi Arabia blew past India to become the number one weapons importer in the world. Analysts predict that, in 2015, Saudi Arabia will account for one of every seven dollars spent on such imports.

We're #1!
We're #1!!

Well -- perhaps not in areas that have much of anything to do with bettering the human condition it appears.

We sure as shit can't make a television or any other electronics or major appliance worth a fuck any more.  Our automobiles get recalled more often than an old man's fond memories of his first piece of ass.  Most of our once thriving manufacturing industries have all been boarded up and the work farmed out to dollar a day slave laborers in Mexico, the Philippines and Asia.  Our national infrastructure is crumbling right before our eyes.  The middle class and unions, the very same Americans who rebuilt this country after WWII in to the most prosperous economy on the planet, are slowly being decimated by good old fashioned corporate greed and right wing fascism.

But meh -- who cares right?  'Cuz we sure do know how to make us a shitload of bombs and missiles and guns and tanks and drones and other such toys of mass destruction don't we?  Hell yeah!!  Oh - and we're not selfish when it comes to playtime with those toys either.  We share them some of our special "friends," you know - like Saudi Arabia, that wonderful country where 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers came from.

Yessirree -- when conservatives talk about American exceptionalism, you really do have to give them credit where credit is due.  For, if anything, in the past 5 decades at least, we certainly are unquestioningly exceptional when it comes to the business of dealing in the trades of death and wanton destruction around the world -- the results of our proxy wars and even our own wars of choice.

One of American history's greatest military leaders who later went to to be a two-term Republican president tried vainly to warn the country about the rise in power and influence of the military-industrial complex in his presidential farewell speech of 1961.  In that speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower recognized the need for a strong national defense, but he also foresaw the danger to and the damage that so much power in the hands of people who profit off of war could inflict on the country when he observed:

"...we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex... the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist ... Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together..."

As Eisenhower poignantly noted, "only and alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals," meaning basically that the only thing standing between a healthy, equitable and strong democracy and fascist tyranny was a populace of well-informed and vigilant citizens.

And that is all the more reason that The Gadfly puts as much effort as he does in to exposing the litany of misinformation and lying bullshit that is constantly being churned out by phony "news" organizations like Fox "News" as well as the ethically compromised (due to their corporate parenthood) news organizations like the majority of the remaining mainstream media outlets (yes, that includes CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc.) in this country.

The oligarchs and plutocrats and the CEO's of these ginormous defense industry corporations do not view a well-informed, alert citizenry as being something that is in their best interests, that is just the simple truth.  The dumber, more misinformed, more confused and more gullible that society is, the much easier is their task of co-opting the national treasury as their own piggy bank and using their ill-gotten wealth and blood-money to buy the politicians, government and media that they know will serve them unflaggingly, and do their bidding quite loyally.

Fox "News" especially, and to a lesser extent, the rest of the mainstream media news organizations have become very useful tools of the military-industrial-complex and the overlords who control it -- tools that they have used with great skill at dividing Americans into tribal camps snarling like dogs at each other and fighting over the economic table scraps that the fattened oligarchs deem fit to toss on the floor for us whenever it suits their fancy.  The sooner Americans wake up to that reality and accept it for the palpable threat that it is to their's and their children's freedom, the sooner "we the people" can get this country back on the noble, and truly exceptional path that our forefathers originally started it on.

Lastly, in regard to our corporate media, The Gadfly would like to share with you dear readers an infamous quote by quite an infamous historical figure who was frighteningly knowledgeable on the subject of media messaging -- messaging with the ultimate goal of manipulating and controlling the attitude and emotions of a misled civilian population:

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

One can interchange the word "State" in that quote with the phrase military-industrial-complex or oligarchy and it would still be 100% spot on.

The Gadfly will leave it up to you dear readers to research on your own that quote to find out who it came from, and in what historical context it was used in.  Just don't act surprised when you discover the answer.


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