War Is a Force That Pays the 1 Percent: Occupying American Foreign Policy Monday 14 November 2011 by: J.A. Myerson, Truthout


War Is a Force That Pays the 1 Percent: Occupying American Foreign Policy
Monday 14 November 2011
by: J.A. Myerson, Truthout | News Analysis

The man on the left served with the Marines in Southern Afghanistan from 2001-2006. The man on the right is now a public school teacher who served with the Army from 1986-1989. (Photo: pfarnac1)

If the last decade was the era of occupations that everyone called liberations, then the 99 percent movement is seeking to make this the era of liberations everyone calls occupations.

"It's clear that the interests of the majority of people in this country do not align with the military-industrial complex who put corporate profiteering based on destruction ahead of the needs of people," said Alex Kane, a journalist and activist. "The nexus of power that Occupy is looking to challenge in this country does not stop at Wall Street. Military profiteering is an integral part of the system and it should be challenged."

The "liberation" of Afghanistan has yielded a corrupt government in Kabul, where Hamid Karzai, the former CIA-paid fundraiser for the Mujahideen, is positioning himself as chief lapdog for the Taliban and the ISI (the Pakistan intelligence agency), this alliance acting alongside American bombs to create, in the words of one member of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, "no positive change." Well, no positive change for some. For others, like Karzai's wealthy friends, embezzling great chunks of the $70 billion worth of security assistance and development projects American taxpayers have spent in Afghanistan since the invasion has yielded quite a large chunk of positive change.

The "liberation" of Iraq was so successful that America is getting all her troops out of there by the end of 2011, unless you count the thousands of mercenaries who will remain there to enrich their corporate ownership on the 99 percent's dime. The Obama administration would also like you please to ignore its forthcoming troop buildup in the region simultaneous to the "withdrawal" from Iraq and the huge amount of money it will cost American taxpayers, who are told we're too broke to stimulate the economy.

America appears to have "liberated" Libya right into quasi-theocratic governance, its transitional government announcing that the decision regarding what to do with the body of its summarily raped and executed former dictator would be taken by the head of the Islamic Fatwa society. This is not actually a problem for America, whose mind is on other things. "It may not be quite the country that NATO thought it was fighting for (when Sharia is implemented in Libya)," said Libya expert David Hartwell, senior analyst at HIS Jane's. "But the huge amounts of oil and gas in Libya will make everyone learn how to reconcile themselves with the new Libya."

The state of these "liberations" all point to the great need for a different type of liberation, that of American democracy from the corporate interests that pull its levers to facilitate their accumulation of wealth. That is precisely the focus of the Wall Street occupiers, whose movement has attracted solidarity occupations and protests in cities around the world.

The 1 percent knows what good business war is, owing partly to America's seemingly insatiable will to spend its money on military affairs and the ease with which the national security state can be gamed to furnish private corporations with windfall profit-yielding public contracts. More than half of the discretionary budget is devoted to military matters, as though there were no use for that money domestically. Rakaa Iriscience of Dilated Peoples puts it well in the aptly titled "Big Business": "If more than half the budget goes to military spending, less than half goes to whatever it's defending."

And the 1 percent are making out like bandits. Robert Greenwald provides a handy comparison at Firedog Lake:

Military Contractor CEO Pay in 2010

Northrop Grumman CEO Wes Bush: $22.84 million.

Lockheed Martin CEO Robert Stevens: $21.89 million.

Boeing CEO James McNerney: $19.4 million.

Financial Sector CEO Pay in 2010

JP Morgan Chase CEO James Dimon: $20.81 million.

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf: $18.97 million.

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan: $1.94 million.

Lobbying Expenditures for 2010

Lockheed Martin: $12.7 million.

Northrop Grumman: $15.7 million.

Boeing: $17.89 million.

JP Morgan Chase:$7.41 million.

Wells Fargo: $5.43 million.

Bank of America: $3.98 million.

War profiteers benefit from the same corrupt system that bolsters the wealth of stock traders: this country provides more democracy, freedom and protection to the very wealthy than to the average citizen.

Mercenaries with well-placed lobbyists get off scot-free for massacres, while staggering numbers of poor people of color (who have no lobbyists) are imprisoned and disenfranchised for nonviolent attempts to survive in a jobless economy. Every time we are told about the lack of money available for teachers and home heating assistance for the poor, we should recall that the Pentagon simply lost more than $6 billion in Iraq, and there is no serious attempt afoot to account for it.

Instead of facing justice, the mercenary industry continues to receive snuggles and handouts from our highest democratic leadership. Jeremy Scahill reports that the Obama administration has furnished Chicago mercenary firm Triple Canopy with millions of dollars to continue where Blackwater left off in Iraq.

Surely, this is not the democracy that Iraq war veterans Scott Olson and Kayvan Sabeghi were hoping to export to other countries. Now, both have been nearly killed in crackdowns on dissent by police officers sworn to uphold a document prohibiting governmental abridgement of the right of the people peaceably to assemble. Protesters spurred on by the Occupy movement have already surrounded the White House to protest special favors paid to the 1 percent by the government at the expense of atrocities; perhaps they'll head to the Pentagon next.

Or perhaps, as with the Move Your Money campaign and foreclosure resistance, they won't only protest, but also take direct self-reliant action to confront the system. "It is no secret that Israel receives $3.1 billion per year in military aid from the United States," says Anna Lekas-Miller, a New York University student who spends a lot of time at Liberty Plaza. "However, what many Americans are not aware of, is that their investments and retirement funds are directly invested in companies that fund and facilitate the occupation of Palestine rather than to education or healthcare in the United States. Let's empower ourselves on how to stop corporations in the United States from wreaking havoc on the world."

And now, onward to Iran

The author of the following article, Craig Murray, was the British Ambassador to Uzbekistan who got fired for refusing to drop the issue of the Uzebek regime's use of horrific torture (up to and including boiling people alive) against its suspected enemies. Murray also became convinced that innocent people were being tortured by the totalitarian regime in Uzbekistan into falsely confessing to be Al Qaeda members. The US and the UK counted the Uzbek dictator as a valuable ally in their "war on terror" and didn't want to let a minor issue like boiling people alive to come between friends. Because Murray kept pressing the torture issue with his superiors and asking that some action be taken by the British government to try to stop it, he was recalled to England and fired from the Foreign Service.

Matthew Gould and the Plot to Attack Iran
By Craig Murray

On 29 May 2011 The Jerusalem Post reported: “British Ambassador Matthew Gould declared his commitment to Israel and the principles of Zionism on Thursday”.

Remember this background, it is unusual behaviour for a diplomat, and it is important.

The six meetings between British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould and Minister of Defence Liam Fox and Adam Werritty together – only two of which were revealed by Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell in his “investigation” into Werritty’s unauthorised role in the Ministry of Defence – raise vital concerns about a secret agenda for war at the core of government, comparable to Blair’s determination to drive through a war on Iraq..


Matthew Gould was Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Iran, a country which Werritty frequently visited, and where Werritty claimed to have British government support for plots against Ahmadinejad. Gould worked at the British Embassy in Washington; the Fox-Werritty Atlantic Bridge fake charity was active in building links between British and American neo-conservatives and particularly ultra-zionists. Gould’s responsibilities at the Embassy included co-ordination on US policy towards Iran. The first meeting of all three, which the FCO refuses to date, probably stems from this period.

According to my source, there is a long history of contact between Gould and Werritty. The FCO refuse to give any information on Gould-Werritty meetings or communications except those meetings where Fox was present – and those have only been admitted gradually, one by one. We may not have them all even yet.

My source says that co-ordinating with Israel and the US on diplomatic preparation for an attack on Iran was the subject of all these meetings. That absolutely fits with the jobs Gould held at the relevant times. The FCO refuses to say what was discussed. My source says that, most crucially, Iran was discussed at the Tel Aviv dinner, and the others present represented Mossad. The FCO again refuses to say who was present or what was discussed.

On Wednesday 2 November it was revealed in the press that under Fox the MOD had prepared secret and detailed contingency plans for British participation in an attack on Iran.

There are very important questions here. Was Gould really discussing neo-con plans for attacking Iran with Werritty and eventually with Fox before the Conservatives were even in government? Why did O’Donnell’s report so carefully mislead on the Fox-Gould-Werritty axis? How far was the FCO aware of MOD preparations for attacking Iran? Is there a neo-con cell of senior ministers and officials, co-ordinating with Israel and the United States, and keeping their designs hidden from the Conservative’s coalition partners?

The government could clear up these matters if it answered some of the questions it refuses to answer, even when asked formally by a member of parliament. The media have largely moved on from the Fox-Werritty affair, but have barely skimmed the surface of the key questions it raises. They relate to secrecy, democratic accountabilty and preparations to launch a war, preparations which bypass the safeguards of good government. The refusal to give straight answers to simple questions by a member of perliament strikes at the very root of our democracy.

Is this not precisely the situation we were in with Blair and Iraq? Have no lessons been learnt?