Robert Dreyfuss asks a good question in an article posted at Salon. "Does anyone, anywhere, truly believe that we need to spend more than a trillion dollars a year to defend ourselves against small bands of al-Qaida fanatics?" Or perhaps the question should be are we spending the money on the right stuff?
According to the reputable Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation, there are at least 28 pricey weapons systems that, just by themselves, will rack up a whopping $44 billion in 2008. The projected cost of these 28 systems -- which include fighter jets, the B-2 bomber, the V-22 Osprey, various advanced naval vessels, cruise-missile systems, and the ultra-expensive aircraft carriers the Navy always demands -- will, in the end, be more than $1 trillion. And that's not even including the "Star Wars" missile defense system, which at the moment soaks up about $11 billion a year.
That's our hard earned tax dollars being blown on fancy aircraft that are meant to be used against armies of an enemy state at a time when we're not under a single viable threat by any government. Besides, we already possess at least twice the air superiority of any sovereign nation on the planet.
Since terrorists don't conveniently mass in platoons, they're useless in a war on terror. Their only possible function would be in the massive slaughter of innocent civilians, which is what's fueling the terrorist movement in the first place. And as for the Star Wars scam, we've been pouring billions into that program since Reagan was in office and they have yet to conduct a single successful test of the system.
It's clear to any objective observer whose vision is unclouded by fear of the overblown boogeymen of Islamofascism, that the so-called war on terror, just as the war on some drugs, are wars that meant to be waged forever for the enrichment of the mega-corporations, but are never really meant to be won. Winning would dry up the gravy train.
And here's another interesting statistic to ponder.
By one count, U.S. defense spending in 2008 will amount to 29 times the combined military spending of six so-called rogue states: Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria. The United States accounts for almost half -- approximately 48 percent -- of the entire world's spending on what we like to call "defense." Again, according to the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation, U.S. defense spending this year amounts to exactly twice the combined military spending of the next six biggest military powers: China, Russia, the U.K., France, Japan and Germany.In the Orwellian tongue of this administration, just as The Clean Skies Act was nothing more than a code word for state sponsored pollution, defense spending speaks to the defense of crony corporation welfare. It has nothing to do with national security at all and in fact contributes to the rise of terrorism.
Contrary to the president's oft-repeated fiction, the terrorists don't want to kill us - they know they can't and they don't have to. All they have to do is bankrupt us. And as long as the terrorists can spend pocket change to keep us at bay, while we allow our government to bleed out our national treasury out of fear of their largely over-stated power -- they win.