It’s Time to Stop America’s Wars and Take Back Democracy

What if I told you that, with the help of the mainstream media, we have been kept distracted with Clinton’s servers and Trump’s groping to keep us from being aware that our government has been funding the death of innocent civilians in the Middle East? It’s nothing new. Killing people is what we do. Perpetual war is good for the economy — or more specifically, for the few elites who make obscene amounts of money from the United States War Machine.

Except for 5 years, the US has continually been at war somewhere in the world since 1941. Why is it that we are sending our troops to be slaughtered abroad when not one of the countries we have invaded has committed an act of war on American soil? Why is the US now one of the most despised nations in the world, when we should be an example of freedom and human rights? It’s because those in the higher echelons of power have been making money from war at least since World War II. It is how the government has pursued its program of American Empire. And it’s likely to only get worse under a Clinton presidency.

Hillary Clinton may be the most pro-war presidential candidate we have ever had — even more so than her hawkish Republican predecessors. Her imperialist world view rivals that of the British empire at its height. An article in Salon details how she has been far more eager to get us involved in military conflicts than even major army generals and President Obama himself.

Militant since her youth, one of Clinton’s foreign policy advisers said in a New York Times article, “Her affinity for the armed forces is rooted in a lifelong belief that the calculated use of military power is vital to defending national interests, that American intervention does more good than harm and that the writ of the United States properly reaches, as Bush once put it, into ‘any dark corner of the world.’” Those dark corners are now lit up with American missiles.

Our government is supporting Saudi atrocities in Yemen

Starving in Yemen – Reuters: Abduljabbar Zeyad

What the media has not been telling you is that our government is currently supporting Saudi Arabian war crimes. A significant part of our annual funding is not going to help “liberate” an oppressed people. Far from it. It is paying for the bombing of innocent civilians in Syria and is helping cause massive starvation in Yemen. You don’t see the photos of these victims on the news because our government knows that if you see what they’re doing you just might be disgusted enough to do something about it.

American warships are helping to enforce a Saudi naval blockade that is keeping vital supplies from getting to the people of Yemen to help our good friends the Saudis, who want to install their preferred leader in Yemen.

The Obama administration has supplied American-made Boeing F-15 fighter jets to enable Saudi Arabia to bomb places like hospitals, funeral halls, and schools. About 4500 people, including an estimated 2800 civilians, have been killed with aid from the US, with another 23,500 wounded. Approximately 90% of Yemen’s food and medical supplies are imported, and our naval blockade is quite literally starving the people.

In a Yemen hospital without food or medicine – Reuters: Mohammed al-Sayaghi

An article in The Intercept about a recent US-backed twin missile strike on a marketplace in Yemen tells a chilling story:

“Mohammed Awath Thabet, a 52-year-old teacher who helped collect the bodies of the dead after the twin strike, said at least 50 people, all civilians ranging from teenagers to men in their 60s, were killed in total. “After 50 it was hard to tell,” Thabet said. “The rest were all body parts. People cut to pieces. What parts belonged to who? We couldn’t tell. Some were animal parts. Some were human,” he added, pointing to a brown stain on a nearby cinderblock wall left by a man’s head that had been stuck to it by the force of the blast. He and other witnesses said that there were no conceivable military targets or Houthi fighters in the area.”

It’s all about the gas. Once again, the US government’s support of a fossil fuel pipeline is causing death and misery, contributing to increased terrorism, and bringing us to the brink of war with Russia. Not content to pollute only the water and sacred lands running through parts of our own country in its insistence on our continued use of fossil fuels, our government is hell-bent on the development of a natural gas pipeline to Europe that will run from Qatar through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, and Turkey.

Syria burning – Tony Ryan

But Syria is not playing nice, with Syrian president Bashar al Assad rejecting the pipeline the US government wants and instead opting for the Russian-backed pipeline project that bypasses Saudi Arabia. Now the US insistence on ousting Assad begins to make more sense.

Clinton has made an art of legalized bribery

Andrew Shapiro, an assistant secretary of state under Hillary Clinton, said about a pending major arms sale to Saudi Arabia in 2010, “It will send a strong message to countries in the region that we are committed to support the security of our key partners and allies in the Arabian Gulf and broader Middle East. And it will enhance Saudi Arabia’s ability to deter and defend against threats to its borders and to its oil infrastructure, which is critical to our economic interests.” Clinton told him this sale was personally a “top priority.”

I’m not surprised it was her top priority, given both Qatar and Saudi Arabia “donated” millions to the Clinton Foundation. An article by David Sirota and Andrew Perez details the many arms deals made by Clinton with countries that have been accused of multiple human rights violations and that happened to donate large sums to the Clinton Foundation. In all, “the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments have given money to the Clinton Foundation,” which amounted to “nearly double the value of American arms sales made to those countries and approved by the State Department during the same period of President George W. Bush’s second term.”

The attacks on 9/11 were perpetrated by Saudi citizens, but you don’t see us dropping bombs on Saudi Arabia. In fact, they are and have been our ally for decades. It’s certainly not due to their stellar human rights record.

What the mainstream media won’t show you – Tony Ryan

One of the most astounding parts of the US State Department’s 2010 Human Rights Report on Saudi Arabia was what it listed as the country’s significant human rights problems: “…no right to change the government peacefully; torture and physical abuse; poor prison and detention center conditions; arbitrary arrest and incommunicado detention; denial of fair and public trials and lack of due process in the judicial system; political prisoners; restrictions on civil liberties such as freedoms of speech (including the Internet), assembly, association, movement, and severe restrictions on religious freedom; and corruption and lack of government transparency.”

Ironically, the human rights violations above could just as easily have been attributed to the United States: rigged primaries, waterboarding, Guantanamo Bay, the National Defense Authorization Act that can put Americans in prison indefinitely without due process, prosecution of the DAPL water protectors, the murder of black Americans by an increasingly militarized police force, a biased mainstream media, “protest zones,” corruption, and lack of government transparency.

It would be hilarious if it weren’t so tragic. The number of Saudi Arabia’s human rights violations are not significantly more than that of our own country. Yet, while we condemn their human rights record, they are still considered our allies and have received most favored nation status.

Tens of thousands of our soldiers have been deployed in the Middle East for nothing more than a children’s crusade. Most of these brave man and women believed they were joining the military to defend their fellow citizens from harm. Instead, they are being used as pawns in this grab for power and unbridled wealth — to keep rich oil and gas investors in multi-million-dollar homes and fancy yachts while the majority of the population is struggling to make ends meet in minimum wage jobs.

How is it we are in all these wars without the approval of Congress?

Why are we invading sovereign countries without their permission? And how is it that the US has entered into all these wars without the approval of Congress? It is without question unconstitutional.

Obama said in 2007, “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” He seems to have conveniently forgotten this statement once he took office.

According to the War Powers Resolution, the president must notify Congress within 48 hours of sending military forces into action. Armed forces can stay engaged for no more than 60 days, with an additional 30 day withdrawal period unless there is a formal Congressional authorization of military force or a declaration of war.

In September 2014, Obama authorized air strikes, supposedly against ISIS, without congressional approval. This was under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force that came into effect after 9/11 — a law that nobody challenged because we were all taught to fear foreign “terrorists.” Meanwhile, the real terrorists were the ones running our government, who had an easy time stripping our constitutional guarantees to privacy and civil rights. Wave the “terrorism” flag and you can get a fearful people to agree to anything. It’s worked for them brilliantly.

Our state of perpetual war is why we can’t have nice things

To justify its bloated military budget, its surveillance state, and its arms sales, our government must manufacture a constant enemy. The amount we spend on funding the military each year is obscene — nearly $600 billion. There is absolutely no reason why more than half of our annual expenditures go to the military in what is supposedly peacetime. I haven’t noticed any foreign invasions of our country lately.

Do you know why we don’t have universal health care, free higher education, renewable energy and an infrastructure that’s not crumbling? Look no further than the graphic below.

 

Why are we subsidizing fossil fuel companies to the tune of over $20 billion a year when we need to completely rid ourselves of these polluting energy sources? Because those companies are major donors to the people in power.

In the meantime, our own country’s infrastructure is crumbling, our public schools rank among the lowest in the developed world, we are destroying the environment through maintaining polluting energy systems, continuing to build oil pipelines and pursuing fracking when other countries are already far ahead of us in developing renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

The US energy industry will have to adapt or die. It’s as simple as that. We should not be subsidizing a polluting industry that sends our men and women in the military to foreign countries to be sacrificed for the defense of the profits of Wall Street and fat cat oil companies.

So what can we do?

We’ve got a better chance of stopping war and corruption in its tracks by voting for a president who is not in the pockets of big business, the banks, and the oil companies. But given the widespread election fraud committed over the past few years, and the fact that it’s been shown the average citizen has no influence on our government’s policies, we need to demand significant electoral reform.

No need to wait until the election. We must begin immediately to tell those in our government that we will no longer stand for wars committed in our name.

Our first opportunity begins Sunday, October 23rd, when there will be a nationwide March to Take Back Democracy. The march in Washington D.C. for election reform will begin at 10 a.m. at the Washington Monument. Join us as we march against election fraud, voter suppression, biased media, and money-ruled politics.

Then, on Monday, October 24th, an anti-war action will take place, again at the capitol, the exact time and place of which will be specified on Sunday in fliers that will be available at the march.

Reforming our government will take prolonged, massive acts of civil resistance. But little by little, we will chip away at the rotten structure supporting the modern robber barons that have taken over our government. Removing our military from the Middle East will be the most effective thing we can do to reduce acts of terrorism worldwide so we can start rebuilding our country again, investing those trillions of military dollars in projects that benefit the majority of the people, not just the oligarchs.

This is only the beginning. Welcome to the second American Revolution.

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