• The US military in 2019 was hiding Syria airstrikes that killed dozens of civilians
The two attacks in 2019 led to the deaths of up to 64 women and children, a possible war crime
The US military called the strikes ‘legitimate self-defence’, and said the victims could have been combatants as some, including at least one child, were armed
We should thank the New York Times for having done the necessary research and bringing this to the public’s knowledge. Here is the Reuters version published by The South China Morning Post on November on November 14, 2021.
This story – how many others have not yet come to the surface? – tells just about everything about the tragic moral status of a once-great, leading nation that the world looked up to.
It also proves a point I have made for years: Fake is one thing but nothing new, while omission is rising. The world should obviously be kept in the dark about this heart-breaking crime.
We begin to understand why the US consistently use the term “rules-based international order” instead of referring to international law such as the UN Charter, Geneva Conventions etc. It’s the rules that the US follows in violation of these laws that the world has built with great difficulty over a hundred years; they shall now be demolished to permit the Empire’s continued exceptional(ist) crimes around the world.
One also begins to understand better how US foreign policy today is mostly about psycho-political projection of its own dark sides: Blaming everyone else for things it does much worse itself.
Finally, the US military calls its killings of civilians in Syria “legitimate self-defence.” This is obscene. If so, why should we not see 9/11 as somebody’s legitimate act of self-defence – with the difference of course that that attack wasn’t military and did not take place across any international border?
• Lockheed Martin and other military contractors receive $ 11 billion in contracts on November 5, 2021
A peace friend of mine, Sharon Tennison of the incredibly important Center for Citizens Initiatives that – since 1983 – has built peace between US and Russian citizens, sends me this today:
“How is it that American citizens want diplomacy instead of conflict, good relations with other countries, their tax dollars spent toward noble causes … and yet our Congress still votes for the obscene types of expenditures below? Do you have an explanation for this? How does it happen?
Let’s raise our voices against any activities that contribute to the waging of wars, killing of human beings in other countries, ruining other nations’ economies, leaving destitute human beings without food, hospitals, schools or means of surviving in their parts of the world.
Ponder the facts below … this is how our tax dollars are being spent.“
And the facts Sharon Tennison refers to are gathered on this single page from Pentagon Military Contracts, November 5, 2021:
• Lockheed Martin Corp., Fort Worth, Texas, has been awarded a $10,863,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract…
• Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Orlando, Florida, has been awarded a $97,336,915 firm-fixed-price contract modification…
• The amount is $119,301,880: The purpose of this contract is to provide the Pentagon Force Protection Agency contracted security personnel to provide protection of its facilities, physical assets, and all other related operational activities for designated locations within the National Capital Region…
• Lockheed Martin Sippican Inc., Marion, Massachusetts, is awarded a $105,668,584 firm-fixed-price modification to previously-awarded contract…
• General Dynamics Electric Boat Corp., Groton, Connecticut, is awarded a not-to-exceed $66,637,726 undefinitized contract action modification to previously awarded contract…
• The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, is awarded a not-to-exceed $64,179,305 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract…
• Triumph Engine Control Systems LLC, West Hartford, Connecticut, is awarded a $12,142,360 firm-fixed-price contract…
• Perspecta Engineering Inc., Chantilly, Virginia, is awarded an $8,515,106 cost-plus-fixed-fee order…
• Luminex Corp., Austin, Texas, has been awarded a maximum $48,125,000 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract…
• Skanska USA Building Inc., San Antonio, Texas, was awarded a $42,335,000 firm-fixed-price contract.
The sum total is: US$ 11 427 241 876 – or US $ 11,4 billion.
Think of how much good this sum could have done to the Americans back home where, according to the US Census Bureau, the poverty rate in 2020 was still as high as 11,4% – 37 million people. Think of what good it would do to the world to spend such sums on civilian investments and development and thereby reduce warfare worldwide. Think of how much smaller the burden would be on future US generations if they would not have to pay back for the loans that finance virtually all of these militarism expenditures.
And think of the fact that President Biden’s much-talked-about infrastructure plan amounts to US$ 1,2 trillion, that is 1200 billion dollars. It is described as “the largest congressional action to confront climate change in U.S. history” in the mentioned source.
Thus, the military contracts awarded on November 5 amounts to only1% of that plan.
However, President Biden’s defence budget for 2022 amounts to US$ 715 billion – that is, 715 billion to be spent in one year. And that is not the entire budget because it is only Pentagon’s budget; lots of other defence-related costs fall outside Pentagon such as homeland defence, the costs of caring for veterans and what future US generations shall have to pay back on the loans that finance its wars.
According to CNN today, “once President Biden signs the bill, the law is set to deliver $550 billion of new federal investments in America’s infrastructure over five years, including money for roads, bridges, mass transit, rail, airports, ports and waterways.”
In short, a sum that is smaller than one year’s defence budget shall be invested over five years in the American infrastructure! Or, while the US spends a minimum of roughtly US$ 700 a year, the new infrastructure plan is around US$ 100 a year.
Think. And then think twice!
Is it really too strong to talk about perverse priorities and spiritual death – the latter to quote Martin Luther King, Jr? I do not think so.
And this is tragic beyond words for those of us who have never ever been anti-American – but, yes, admittedly anti-militarism, anti-war and anti-imperialism. This is increasingly the story of an empire that is eating up its own base, the republic itself, and cannot stop its addiction to violence.
Today, the United States does not have a Military-Industrial-Media-Academic Complex (MIMAC). It is a MIMAC. And additionally, that complex is “one of the largest climate polluters in history, consuming more liquid fuels and emitting more CO2e (carbon-dioxide equivalent) than most countries”. That too is indefensible.
Because of the global reach of the US, we are indeed all living in dark times and the light won’t appear again before the United States becomes a normal, cooperative country without imperialism and its unavoidable partners: militarism, arrogance, hubris, racism, climate destruction and violence addiction.
Correction, November 15, 2021, 23:50 CET
The first version of this article, published a few hours ago, contained a serious misstatement of the sum of the contract awarded to Lockheed Martin. It is not, as stated, $ 10 trillion but $ 10 billion. The Biden Infrastructure Bill is for a total of 1,2 trillion dollars (1,200,000,000,000 USD). The text has been changed and so has the main argument accordingly. My apologies to the readers for this serious misreading of the central figures.
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