Skip to main content

View Diary: We are ALL dependent on the government! (44 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  a conversation I had in Costa Rica . . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Costa Rica has historically had one of the highest standards of living in South America---everyone gets health care, electricity, water and phone service, no matter how deep in the jungle up a mountainside you might live. In a conversation over some cold Imperials, a native explained why---Costa Rica disbanded its army in the early 30's and has never had a standing army since.  That meant that in contrast to the other Central American countries like Guatemala or Nicaragua, which could simply send the army to shoot the poor any time they got uppity, the Costa Rican government HAD no army to shoot anyone, and therefore has always been forced to pay attention to the needs of its people and provide them with the things they need.

    •  And noe the US military is there in force -- (0+ / 0-)

      Thousands of Marines, a flotilla of "littoral combat vessels," lots of Air Power, supposedly at the invitation of the CR government. Supposedly part of the Global War on Drugs. Maybe more accurately just another excrescence of the evil that ol' Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler characterized, after decades of "making the world safe for the predations of the United Fruit Company" and other early extra-national corporate "persons." His words and the picture he paints say it all:

      WAR is a racket. It always has been.

      It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

      A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

      In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.

      How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?

      Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few -- the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.

      And what is this bill?

      This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.

      For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it. Now that I see the international war clouds gathering, as they are today, I must face it and speak out.

      An of course there's more, all totally current and applicable to what we call "war" and "defense" today.

      Keep an eye on what CENTCOM and SOCOM and AFRICOM and all those catchy obfuscations are up to. It's like trying to keep track of the metastatic spread of a horribly malignant cancer. And so many of us believe "they" are doing it all for "our" benefit...

      "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

      by jm214 on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 05:48:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site