“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” – Martin Luther King, Jr., “A Time To Break Silence,” April 4, 1967, Riverside Church, New York City
Excerpts from a blog by S. Brian Willson Sept. 12, 2012 (www.brianwillson.com)
“War is always on our minds. It is promoted in holiday festivities such as Memorial Day, Armistice Day (now called Veteran’s Day), Independence Day and Patriots Day. There are fund drives for soldiers, homecomings, recruitment ads, military band concerts, war video games in every town and city, army-sponsored race cars, war movies and television shows, and war toys. Numerous colleges and universities receive millions in funding from the Department of War (euphemistically called “Defense”) for academic research.
“The US wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc. etc., are, in reality, only viscerally experienced by a small percentage of the US American people. No direct taxes on the people have been assessed to fund the wars. They are funded instead by debt. A de facto economic draft exists whereby those unable to find adequate employment in our economically depressed society are offered a subsidized job track in the military, and trained as combatants or placed in any number of supportive roles in imperial adventures around the globe.
“The US has doubled its national debt during these wars, making every US American alive today indebted in perpetuity. The domestic budget is being severely cut, requiring draconian cutbacks in education, libraries, medical care such as it is, all social safety net programs, fire and police departments, all city services, etc. “Austerity” budgets are being imposed all over the US (and the world) largely due to siphoning of national wealth into wars and the military industrial complex.
‘Unless everyone gets behind a national popular movement to end the wars, and to severely restrict the Pentagon budget, we as a nation will simply keep eroding into what we call a “Third World” country where a very tiny minority control the lives of the vast majority. A neofeudalism, if you will. Fewer and fewer local residents will be able to afford increased property taxes imposed by bond issues or other local tax increases to keep local jurisdictions afloat as the war economy sucks the nation dry.
‘War is a local issue! If and when people understand this we the people possess a political opportunity to reclaim our people’s republic. Short of that, we collapse while on our knees with hardly a whisper.”