Hypocrisy of War
WAR’S ENDLESS CYCLE
The smell of power is in the air, bright lights that pain my eyes can be seen everywhere.
The smell of death is in the air, bodies’ dead, mangled, while thier screams pierce into my ears.
No opposite of war just the carnage it brings, is this the life my mother planned for me?
The sight sound and oh god the smell when will it all end?
This little piece of hell they force me to bear burns and stains my brain, forever, ever more.
My enemy no not in my heart but human’s say go.
So I grab my weapon and charge being pointed the way to kill, as they the man sit back and gloat, “Our boys, our boy’s, how proud we are of our boys.”
10, 20, 30 years all the way till I die, this war I survived will never end for me.
And unless we teach children a way they won’t forget, will all the lives that died screams ever cease.
War oh war human’s way towards peace. Unless you’ve seen it first hand. PEACE CAN NEVER BE ACHIEVED! — Charles Marcello, Copyright 1994-2004
“Sometimes we try to justify this unsavory business on the cynical ground that by rationing out the means of violence we can somehow control the world’s violence. The fact is that we cannot have it both ways. Can we be both the world’s leading champion of peace and the world’s leading supplier of the weapons of war?” — Jimmy Carter in a 1976 campaign speech
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
— Leo Tolstoy
War and violence are fueled by human greed and never resolve any problems – in fact they make problems and conflicts much worse. We must stand for and firmly believe in the peaceful co-existence of all nations and peoples.
World Military Spending Out Does Anything Else
Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes … known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.
— James Madison, Political Observations, 1795
Military spending costs a lot … and “someone” receives all this money paid by all taxpayers
- The world spends some $1,500 billion (1.5 trillion) annually on the military
[military expenditure ]
- U.S. military spending – Dept. of Defense plus nuclear weapons – is equal to the military spending of the next 15 countries combined.
SOURCE: Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, armscontrolcenter.org
- The United States accounts for 47 percent of the world’s total military spending, however the U.S.’s share of the world’s GDP is about 21 percent.
- The Arms Trade is Big Business: In recent years, annual sales of arms reached 50-60 billion dollars
Source: Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, http://old.armscontrolcenter.org/archives/002279.php; our graph uses a more comparable figure of $515 from actual 2006 U.S. military spending
- International Institute for Strategic Studies
- This page: http://www.globalissues.org/article/74/the-arms-trade-is-big-business.
- To print all information e.g. expanded side notes, shows alternative links, use the print version: http://www.globalissues.org/print/article/74
America’s Hottest Export: Weapons
Source: Fortune, by Mina Kimes, writer February 24, 2011
Thanks to a surge in overseas demand, the F-15 and other aging U.S. weapons systems are hotter than they’ve been in years. The Department of Defense last year told Congress of plans to sell up to $103 billion in weapons to overseas buyers, a staggering rise from an average of $13 billion a year between 1995 and 2005, according to Deutsche Bank analyst Myles Walton. Signed agreements have tripled since 2000.
As defense giants like Boeing, Raytheon (RTN, Fortune 500), and Lockheed Martin (LMT, Fortune 500) increasingly seek to peddle their wares to well-financed (sometimes by the U.S.) international customers, they have a surprising ally: the President. “Obama is much more favorably disposed to arms exports than any of the previous Democratic administrations,” says Loren Thompson, a veteran defense consultant. Or, as Jeff Abramson, deputy director of the Arms Control Association, puts it: “There’s an Obama arms bazaar going on.”
Administration officials say the boom in arms exports is simply the result of healthy demand. Indeed, American-made arms are widely considered the best and most coveted weapons in the world. But the Obama team has hustled to pave the way for big sales like the Saudi deal; the President himself recently sought to secure a pending $4 billion aircraft deal with India. Obama is also backing a massive push to rewrite the rules that govern arms exports, a process that some say will reduce oversight of U.S. weapons sales.
For the administration, robust international arms sales advance domestic goals, like bolstering exports and supporting a defense workforce of more than 200,000. Weapons transfers are also a subtle yet potent form of diplomacy: By arming its allies, the U.S. can spread the burden of policing hot spots (the Middle East, the Korean peninsula). And arms exports give Obama’s State and Defense departments tremendous negotiating clout with buyers. But critics contend that supplying some nations with advanced weaponry is a risky strategy, especially as the Middle East, which is teeming with American-made arms, crackles with the sparks of regime change. While the U.S. sells weapons only to its allies, power can shift quickly — just look at Tunisia and Egypt. Even Saudi Arabia, with its 86-year-old monarch, could see a change in leadership. When friends become foes, arms exports become a liability. The government sold dozens of F-14 fighter jets to Iran in the 1970s before the Shah was deposed. Since then the U.S. has systematically destroyed F-14 parts to keep them out of Iran’s hands.
Weapons proliferation watchdogs expected the volume of exports to decline when Obama became President; instead the reverse has happened. Thompson pins the surge in large part on the recession.
Although most contractors have their headquarters elsewhere, they all have offices in D.C. for a reason: The industry does 80% to 90% of its business with the Pentagon. And business recently has been good: The U.S. government has more than doubled its defense budget since 2001, to about $700 billion, almost as much as every other country in the world spends combined. In December, Congress agreed to spend $725 billion on defense in 2011.
The countries with the biggest appetite for U.S. weapons are, conveniently, the same ones that have the money to buy them: oil-rich nations in the Middle East. Nearly 50% of foreign military sales signed between 2006 and 2009 were with Middle Eastern countries, according to the Congressional Research Service. During that time, Saudi Arabia purchased about $13 billion worth of American weapons; the UAE spent $11 billion. Iraq, poised to get rich from its own oil reserves, is a growing customer.
All major defense contractors are profiting from the region, but none more so than Boeing, which was the major beneficiary of the Saudi deal.
Arms exports coordinated by the Department of Defense have tripled since the beginning of the decade. Click here to see which countries in the Middle East have been buying U.S. weapons—and what they’ve asked for.
But defense is a business unlike any other. It benefits tremendously from taxpayer largesse: The government has given these private companies hundreds of billions of dollars for research and development, which enabled them to make best-in-class products that the rest of the world covets. They funneled that money back into the economy by creating thousands of gold-standard American jobs — jobs that have been disappearing even as U.S. weapons spending soared. Unlike most other businesses, arms makers play a central role in U.S. foreign policy, perhaps now more than ever. The U.S. has sent billions of dollars’ worth of arms to countries in the Middle East, like Egypt and Yemen, which are among the biggest recipients of U.S. military aid. As power shifts take hold, Obama may be forced to reconsider arms sales to the region negotiated in less tumultuous times. Chances are he’ll stay the course. Even dovish Presidents have succumbed to the utility of arms exports. Take Jimmy Carter, who addressed the issue in a 1976 campaign speech: “Sometimes we try to justify this unsavory business on the cynical ground that by rationing out the means of violence we can somehow control the world’s violence. The fact is that we cannot have it both ways. Can we be both the world’s leading champion of peace and the world’s leading supplier of the weapons of war?” Two years later Carter sold 200 fighter jets to the Mideast.
Source: Fortune, by Mina Kimes, writer February 24, 2011
Read online: http://money.cnn.com/2011/02/10/news/international/america_exports_weapons_full.fortune/index.htm
Military “Business Plan”
Here is a simple but very profitable “military business plan” used many times in the past by world’s military powers … and still in use today:
- Create and maintain powerful army
- Export arms
- Go to war – it stimulates economy
– Who gets rich? Owners of companies providing goods and services to the army
– Who Pays for the war? All taxpaying citizens
- Destroy the invaded country – the collateral damage is always huge and unavoidable
- Rebuild invaded country (if convenient) – postwar contracting is big business
– Who gets rich? Owners of companies who are chosen to rebuild
– Who pays? The people of invaded country
Cost of War
- 2011 War in Libia: $40 million per month (according Democrat’s congressman Earl Blumenauer)
- According to a recent report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost close to $1 trillion thus far.That is exactly what economists not on the White House payroll expected. (See this December 2002 report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.)
- According to the CRS, the marginal cost of continuing the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is about $11 billion per month, with no end in sight. Although there has been some decline in spending for the Iraq war, it has been more than offset by the rising cost of the war in Afghanistan. According to OMB director Peter Orszag, it costs about $1 million per year per soldier in the field, so adding 30,000 additional troops in Afghanistan, as President Obama is expected to do next week, will cost another $30 billion per year.
Example: U.S. Afghanistan & Iraq War Costs
Cost of War is a real-time cost estimation counter for the Iraq War and the Afghanistan War maintained by the National Priorities Project. As of June 1, 2010 both wars had a combined estimated cost of over 1 trillion dollars, separately the Iraq War had an estimated cost of 725 billion dollars and the Afghanistan War had an estimated cost of 275 billion dollars. The number is based on US Congress appropriations and does not include “future medical care for soldiers and veterans wounded in the war”.
As of February 2010, around $704 billion has been spent based on estimates of current expenditure rates, which range from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) estimate of $2 billion per week to $12 billion a month, an estimate by economist Joseph Stiglitz. Those figures are significantly more than typical estimates published just prior to the start of the Iraq War, many of which were based on a shorter term of involvement. For example, in a March 16, 2003 Meet the Press interview of Vice President Dick Cheney, held less than a week before the Iraq War began, host Tim Russert reported that “every analysis said this war itself would cost about $80 billion, recovery of Baghdad, perhaps of Iraq, about $10 billion per year. We should expect as American citizens that this would cost at least $100 billion for a two-year involvement.”.
Indirect and delayed costs
According to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report published in October 2007, the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could cost taxpayers a total of $2.4 trillion dollars by 2017 when counting the huge interest costs because combat is being financed with borrowed money. The CBO estimated that of the $2.4 trillion long-term price tag for the war, about $1.9 trillion of that would be spent on Iraq, or $6,300 per U.S. citizen.
Stiglitz, former chief economist of the World Bank and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, has stated the total costs of the Iraq War on the US economy will be three trillion dollars in a moderate scenario, and possibly more in the most recent published study, published in March 2008. Stiglitz has stated: “The figure we arrive at is more than $3 trillion. Our calculations are based on conservative assumptions…Needless to say, this number represents the cost only to the United States. It does not reflect the enormous cost to the rest of the world, or to Iraq.”
Long-term health care costs
A recent study indicated that the long term health care costs for wounded Iraq war veterans could range from $350 billion to $700 billion.
Military equipment lost
The U.S. has lost a number of pieces of military equipment during the war. The following statistics are from the Center for American Progress: they are approximations that include vehicles lost in non-combat-related accidents as of 2009.
Rebuilding Iraq: What will it cost?
By CNN’s Liz George
Wednesday, December 10, 2003
LONDON, England (CNN) — Analysts have said it could cost anything from $84 billion to nearly $500 billion to rebuild Iraq, a country battered by two wars in two decades and 12 years of United Nations sanctions.
One economist from America’s Yale University predicted rebuilding Iraq could cost up to $1.6 trillion over 10 years.
But the final cost of rebuilding a battered Iraq will depend on how quickly the country manages to get back on its feet — it does after all have the second largest oil reserves in the world, and a fertile agricultural economy.
If you want to make comparisons, so far the cost of rebuilding Afghanistan has topped $900 million.
After World War II — the Marshall Plan — a model for economic re-build — cost more than $13 billion over four years, and that was back in 1948.
The bill for reconstruction and redevelopment will include:
• The cost of aid to friends and allies in the region — Turkey, Jordan, and Israel — expect to cost $6 billion to $10 billion.
• Humanitarian assistance — food and medical supplies — expected to cost $1 billion to $10 billion.
• Governance assistance — paying Iraqi civil service and police salaries — $5 billion to $10 billion.
• Reconstruction and recovery is expected to cost between $10 to $105 billion dollars, depending upon the amount of destruction and the detail of rebuilding.
• Debt relief is expected to cost between $62 and $361 billion dollars.
Jan Randolph, Head of Economics and Forecasting at the World Markets Research Center, said: “We are talking about an economy that could be reflated relatively quickly with the right circumstances of course.
“That does require new investment, mainly in the oil sector, but it will also require a certain amount of humanitarian assistance, repair of the social infrastructure, that is the schools & hospitals and such like.”
Source: — http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/04/17/rebuilding.cost/index.html
Who is rebuilding Iraq?
U.S. Contractors Reap the Windfalls of Post-War Reconstruction
WASHINGTON, October 30, 2003 — More than 70 American companies and individuals have won up to $8 billion in contracts for work in postwar Iraq and Afghanistan over the last two years, according to a new study by the Center for Public Integrity. Those companies donated more money to the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush a little over $500,000 than to any other politician over the last dozen years, the Center found.
Kellogg, Brown & Root, the subsidiary of Halliburton which Vice President Dick Cheney led prior to being chosen as Bush’s running mate in August 2000 was the top recipient of federal contracts for the two countries, with more than $2.3 billion awarded to the company. Bechtel Group, a major government contractor with similarly high-ranking ties, was second at around $1.03 billion.
However, dozens of lower-profile, but well-connected, companies shared in the reconstruction bounty. Their tasks ranged from rebuilding Iraq’s government, police, military and media to providing translators for use in interrogations and psychological operations. There are even contractors to evaluate the contractors. (See company list.)
Nearly 60 percent of the companies had employees or board members who either served in or had close ties to the executive branch for Republican and Democratic administrations, for members of Congress of both parties, or at the highest levels of the military.
The results of the Center’s six-month investigation provide the most comprehensive list to date of American contractors in the two nations that were attacked in Washington’s war on terror. Based on the findings, it did not appear that any one government agency knew the total number of contractors or what they were doing. Congressional sources said they hoped such a full picture would emerge from the General Accounting Office, which has begun investigating the postwar contracting process amid allegations of fraud and cronyism.
The Center’s investigation focused on the three agencies that awarded most of the Iraq and Afghanistan contracts in 2002 and 2003 the Pentagon, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development. It found that nearly every one of the 10 largest contracts awarded for Iraq and Afghanistan went to companies employing former high-ranking government officials or individuals with close ties to those agencies or Congress.
In addition, those top 10 contractors were established political donors, contributing nearly $11 million to national political parties, candidates and political action committees since 1990, according to an analysis of campaign finance records.
Indeed, most of the companies that won contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan were political players. According to the Center’s analysis, the companies, their political action committees and their employees contributed a total of nearly $49 million to national political campaigns and parties since 1990. Donations to Republican Party committees the Republican National Committee, the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee outpaced those to Democratic committees, $12.7 million to $7.1 million. Among individual candidates, President George Bush received more money from these companies than any other, a little over $500,000.
The Center’s investigation found that 14 of the contractors were awarded U.S. government work in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Combined, those companies gave nearly $23 million in political contributions since 1990, and 13 employ former government officials or have close ties to various agencies and departments.
Although Afghanistan was once ground zero in Washington’s war on terrorism, spending on Iraq was more than double that on Afghanistan. According to the Center’s investigation, which examined contracts awarded in 2002 through September 2003, at least $5.7 billion in government funding was slated for U.S. contractors in Iraq, compared to nearly $2.7 billion for Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network, blamed for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, had been based in Afghanistan, and prior to the March 2003 war on Iraq, U.S. officials had said that a democratic Afghanistan was central to winning the war on terror. [...]
“Cost of War” Exhibit
Based on National Priorities Project Cost of War concept, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) launched an exhibit title titled “Cost of War” in May 2007, at the close of the National Eyes Wide Open Exhibit. It features ten budget trade-offs displayed on 3×7 foot full-color vinyl banners. AFSC uses to cost of the Iraq War estimated by economists Linda Bilmes and Joseph Stiglitz in the article “Economic Costs Of The Iraq War: An Appraisal Three Years After The Beginning Of The Conflict”, written in January 2006 that estimates the total daily cost of the Iraq War at $720 million. AFSC uses The National Priorities Project‘s per unit costs for human needs such as health care and education to make budget comparisons between the U.S. budget for human needs to “One Day of the Iraq War”. The ten banners read:
One Day of the Iraq War = 720 Million Dollars, How Would You Spend it?
- One Day of the Iraq War = 84 New Elementary Schools
- One Day of the Iraq War = 12,478 Elementary School Teachers
- One Day of the Iraq War = 95,364 Head Start Places for Children
- One Day of the Iraq War = 1,153,846 Children with Free School Lunches
- One Day of the Iraq War = 34,904 Four-Year Scholarships for University Students
- One Day of the Iraq War = 163,525 People with Health Care
- One Day of the Iraq War = 423,529 Children with Health Care
- One Day of the Iraq War = 6,482 Families with Homes
- One Day of the Iraq War = 1,274,336 Homes with Renewable Energy
There are currently 22 Cost of War exhibits located in North California, South California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas/Missouri, Maryland, Massachusetts/Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York/New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia.
Sources and Related Links
- Cost of War Official Site
- National Priorities Project Official Site
Spending for Peace vs Spending for War
“There is a large gap between what countries are prepared to allocate for military means to provide security and maintain their global and regional power status, on the one hand, and to alleviate poverty and promote economic development, on the other.” –SIPRI
While the UN is not perfect and has many internal issues that need addressing, it is revealing that the world can spend so much on their military but contribute so little to the goals of global security, international cooperation and peace. Indeed, compare the military spending with the entire budget of the United Nations:
The United Nations and all its agencies and funds spend about $30 billion each year, or about $4 for each of the world’s inhabitants. This is a very small sum compared to most government budgets and it is less than 3% of the world’s military spending. — , Global Policy Forum (accessed July 7, 2010)
The UN was created after World War II with leading efforts by the United States and key allies.
- The UN was set up to be .
- Yet, the UN’s entire budget is just a tiny fraction of the world’s military expenditure, approximately 1.8%
- As well as the above links, for more about the United Nations, see the following:
At the current level of spending (for 2009), it would take just a handful of years for the world’s donor countries to cover , 40 years ago.
Summarizing some key details from chapter 5 of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)’s 2010 Year Book on Armaments, Disarmament and International Security for 2008:
- World military expenditure in 2009 is estimated to have reached $1.531 trillion in current dollars;
- This represents a 6 per cent increase in real terms since 2008 and a 49 per cent increase since 2000;
- This corresponds to 2.7 per cent of world gross domestic product (GDP), or approximately $225 for each person in the world;
- The USA with its massive spending budget, is the principal determinant of the current world trend, and its military expenditure now accounts for just under half of the world total, at 46.5% of the world total;
SIPRI has commented in the past on the increasing concentration of military expenditure, i.e. that a small number of countries spend the largest sums. This trend carries on into 2009 spending. For example,
- The 15 countries with the highest spending account for over 82% of the total;
- The USA is responsible for 46.5 per cent of the world total, distantly followed by the China (6.6% of world share), France (4.2%), UK (3.8%), and Russia (3.5%):
World Peace and Aid Organizations
Here are few examples of world organizations trying to “spend money for peace”. As you can see their annual budgets are just microscopic fraction of what the world is spending on wars.
Secretary-General Introduces $4.89 Billion 2010-2011 Budget to Fifth Committee.
This budget is equal to the cost of 1 week of Iraq War.
The United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace. The UN was founded in 1945 after World War II to replace the League of Nations, to stop wars between countries, and to provide a platform for dialogue. It contains multiple subsidiary organizations to carry out its missions. There are currently 192 member states, including every internationally recognised sovereign state in the world but the Vatican City. From its offices around the world, the UN and its specialized agencies decide on substantive and administrative issues in regular meetings held throughout the year. — wikipedia
Budget Info Source: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2009/gaab3925.doc.htm
UNESCO -The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNICEF – United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund
UNICEF 2009 total expenditures: US $3.26 billion.
This budget is equal to the cost of nearly 5 days of Iraq War.
UNICEF was established on 11 December 1946 by the United Nations to meet the emergency needs of children in post-war Europe and China. In 1950, its mandate was broadened to address the long-term needs of children and women in developing countries everywhere. UNICEF became a permanent part of the United Nations system in 1953, when its name was shortened to the United Nations Children’s Fund. However, UNICEF retained its original acronym. UNICEF is the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realized. We have the global authority to influence decision-makers, and the variety of partners at grassroots level to turn the most innovative ideas into reality. That makes us unique among world organizations, and unique among those working with the young.
According to the World Bank, in 2007, 1.3 billion of the world’s 1.5 billion people 12–24 years old were living in developing countries.
The United States Government continues to be the largest donor to UNICEF,with a contribution of $301 million, followed by the United Kingdom ($213 million), Norway ($197 million), Netherlands ($196 million), and Sweden ($170 million). The Japan National Committee was the sixth largest donor to UNICEF in 2008, with a total contribution of $156 million, followed by the Government of Japan ($153 million), and the European Commission, including the Humanitarian Aid Office ($152 million). The Government of Canada, with $127 million in contributions, and the Government of Spain, with $102 million, are also among top 10 donors. UNICEF received $97.5 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) through the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and a total of $98.9 million in various multi-donor trust funds channelled through OCHA, UNDP, the World Bank and other organizations.
World Vision, founded in the USA in 1950, is an international evangelica relief and development organization whose stated goal is “to follow our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek justice and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God.” Working on six continents, World Vision is one of the largest relief and development organizations in the world with a 1.6 billion dollar budget (2007). The group’s total revenue, including grants, product and foreign donations is $2.6 billion (2008).
Are the Rich the reason for world’s problems?
“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” — Quote from the Bible, Matthew 19:24
“I sit on a man’s back choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that i am sorry for him and wish to lighten his load by all means possible….except by getting off his back.”
— Leo Tolstoy
Rich people make up a very small percent of the total population yet account for the majority of the wealth. In America the 3% of the population thrives while the other 97% struggles to survive. Similar statistics are true for most countries around the planet. Why is this?
This is because being extremely rich most often leads to a disease which takes away all moral responsibilities of people.
“The fact is, rich people rule the country and do not care about anything else other than their families wealth and power. Wealth is not enough for rich people. Without power, wealth is only transient. Rich people know that in order to control the country they must gain the power to make their own rules. This is why 100% people in powerful roles in the government are rich.
Instead of some middle-class Americans who actually care about the country, the rich care nothing except for keeping the power so they can create , modify and cheat the laws of the country to make more money for other rich people. Greed is killing America. The rich are killing America and sucking it dry. Whether it is having a house which is 5 times too big for the family, driving an 8 cylinder gas guzzling car, or cheating on their taxes to save money, rich people serve no good outside of their own families. Why do rich people account for a very small amount of the total amount of donations? They care nothing other than money and in this country money = power.”
Who pulls the strings (behind the scene)?
Listen to our children
“Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” — (Luke 18:15-17 ESV)
13 yr old girl addressing a UN Meeting on issue of environment:
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- Science behind the 2012 Doomsday – view the last segment: “Global Economic Collapse”
- The Georgia Guidestones