War State America

Why Is There No Smedley Butler Today?

Why no retired generals oppose America’s modern forever wars. By Danny Sjursen Common Dreams (2/20/20) There once lived an odd little man—five feet nine inches tall and barely 140 pounds sopping wet—who rocked the lecture circuit and the nation itself. For all but a few activist insiders and scholars, U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Darlington Butler is now lost to history. Yet more than a century ago, this strange contradiction of a man would become a national war hero, celebrated in pulp adventure novels, and then, 30 years later, as one of this country’s most prominent antiwar and anti-imperialist dissidents. Raised…

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UNCONSCIONABLE: American Universities Profit From Developing Nuclear Weapons

  By Beatrice Fihn Newsweek (11/13/19) Americans like a good comeback story, but the recent revitalization of the nuclear arms race is not one to be cheered. President Trump plans to charge the American taxpayer nearly $100,000 a minute to expand the nation’s nuclear weapons capabilities. Other nuclear-armed countries are doing the same. A new generation of nuclear weapons requires a new generation of workers to develop and maintain these weapons of mass destruction. The National Nuclear Security Administration reported to Congress that 40 percent of its workforce will be eligible to retire in the next five years. Defense spending produces…



US Government Lists Non-Violent ‘Valve Turner’ Climate Activists As Threat On Par With Murderous Neo-Nazis

The making of national security is rarely about security for the population. It’s about security for those in power. By Julia Conley Common Dreams (1/13/20) Climate action advocates on Monday condemned reports that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has placed non-violent environmental activists on a list of domestic terrorists alongside white supremacists and mass murderers. Citing documents received by the non-profit group Property of the People, The Guardian reports how the Climate Direct Action members who shut off tar sands pipeline operations in an act of civil disobedience in October 2016, were called “suspected environmental rights extremists” by DHS. In the document, the…


Southern Peace Activists Help Soldiers Become Conscientious Objectors

The South is arguably the engine of the U.S. war machine—but also a center for anti-war activism. By Olivia Paschal Facing South (1/17/20) The South is arguably the engine of the U.S. war machine. The region is home to Fort Bragg, the largest U.S. military base in the world. Southern states supply more soldiers than others; the region is home to three of the five states with the highest military recruitment numbers in 2016 – Florida, Georgia, and Texas. Its congressional delegations have historically been some of the most militaristic, and military contractors have long put many of their production facilities in Southern…


George Orwell, 70 Years Later

By John Rodden History News Network (1/20/20) Seventy years ago this Tuesday [1/21], George Orwell, the author of Nineteen Eighty-Four, died alone in a hospital sanitorium in London.  He had struggled for years with pulmonary tuberculosis, and his weak lungs hemorrhaged for the final time.  He was just 46, and just on the verge of fame, having published his great novel just seven months earlier in June 1949. Would the visionary author of Nineteen Eighty-Four—who always insisted on the full eighteen letters as his novel’s proper title, not the four screaming digits “1984”—have ever imagined that George Orwell might become the most…


The Bipartisan American War State: The Liars That Over & Over Send Our Children Off To Pointless War For Profit

“We have a government that is so easily dominated by psychopaths and sociopaths.” [Editor’s Note: This whole video is worth the time, but if nothing else, watch the opening video mash-up of the Republican and Democratic lies that have repeatedly thrown the nation into wars for corporate profits. The take-down of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent kow-towing to Trump’s war actions are revealing of the bipartisan evil we face. — Mark L. Taylor] The Real News (1/10/20) Two Iraq war veterans explain why Congress has failed to stop the endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and say the United States…


The Members Of Congress Who Profit From Sending Our Children To War

In the Senate, nearly one-third of the members of the Defense Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee own stocks in top defense contractors.  By Donald Shaw & David Moore Sludge (1/13/20) It was shortly after midnight in Baghdad on Friday, Jan. 3, when a missile strike ordered by President Trump killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. When stock markets opened the next day, dozens of members of Congress saw bumps in their portfolios as their holdings in defense contractors like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon increased in value on the possibility of war. Over the next three trading days, the leading defense industry…


How Presidents Wage War Without Congress

By Lulu Garcia-Navarro Morning Edition / NPR (1/12/19) The Constitution limits the president’s power to wage war but presidents have gotten around that and Congress has only rarely asserted itself successfully. Lulu Garcia-Navarro: Last week, the House of Representatives voted to require President Trump to seek congressional approval before taking further military action against Iran. The measure now goes to the Senate, where its fate is less certain. And President Trump is not expected to sign anything that restricts his authority, which raises the question, what are the limits to a president’s power to make war? We posed that question…


War Is A Racket: If You Know A Young Person Thinking Of Enlisting, Buy Them This Book. It Might Save Their Life & The Lives Of Others

“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify…


NPR Drops Obediently Into Place With Pro-War Interview

By Mark L. Taylor Commoner Call (1/6/20) On Friday morning (2/3) in a segment provocatively entitled Expert Warns Iran Likely Will Retaliate For U.S. Killing Of Top General, National Public Radio’s ‘Morning Edition’ host Steve Innskeep interviewed retired general Jack Keane, who the network website described as “a retired Army general who regularly talks to President Trump, about the U.S. strategy on Iran…”. But there is much, much more to the general than that bland, anodyne descriptor. A quick search found some very important information about Keane. Media Matters notes: “Jack Keane is a retired U.S. Army general and a longtime Fox News military…


Trump’s Past Tweets Accusing Obama Of Pending Attacks On Iran Expose His Own Personal Weaknesses

By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (1/6/20) Psychological projection is an unconscious defensive behavior in which those with troubled and weak personalities angrily and snidely accuse others of the very weaknesses they can’t face in themselves. Donald Trump is a naked poster boy of the phenomenon. This past week Trump’s psychological projections were broadcast worldwide with his ordered assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, leading to well-founded fears of renewed war in the Middle East. Throughout Barack Obama’s presidency Trump launched tweets accusing Obama of what he himself is now doing. In the process, he projected his own personal…


Ralph Nader On Eisenhower’s Warning: Prophetic & Presently Understated

    The American Conservative (7/6/18) The American Conservative hosted its annual crony capitalism conference at which Ralph Nader delivered a speech on the military industrial congressional complex titled “Eisenhower’s Warning: Prophetic and Presently Understated.” Nader is an author, consumer advocate, and former presidential candidate. He is one of America’s most effective social critics, and has emerged as a leading voice against the growing convergence of government and corporate interests. He is the author of Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State. Link To 32-Minute Video Eisenhower’s Famous Farewell ‘Military Industrial Complex’ Warning — Ike’s warning about the…


From Military Brig To Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s ‘Toxic’ Pet War Criminal Cashes In On Newfound Fame

Along with all sorts of items emblazoned with the logo “KILL BAD DUDES,” the site sells a “Waterboarding Instructor” shirt. By Dave Phillips The New York Times (12/31/19) A year ago, Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher was wearing drab prison scrubs at a brig near San Diego, facing murder charges that could have sent him to prison for the rest of his life. Now he is modeling his own lifestyle clothing brand, endorsing nutrition supplements and positioning himself as a conservative influencer with close ties to the man who helped clear him — President Trump. Chief Gallagher was…


The 18-Year Afghanistan Debacle: A West Point Combat Ranger Vet Talks With Chris Hedges About The Rule Of Our Republican & Democratic War Criminals

Torching lives, reputation, treasure, national values and reputation in an 18-year bonfire of racketeering, ignorance & lies by both Republicans & Democrats. [Editor’s Note: This discussion is an excellent overview of the revelations from the recent Washington Post series on the Afghanistan War papers. Given the bipartisan fraud, lying and complicity in this 18-year long corrupt war crime, the story is not getting the attention it deserves in the corporate media. — Mark L. Taylor] By Chris Hedges On Contact / RT (12/21/19) Chris Hedges talks to Spenser Rapone, former combat veteran and US Army Officer, about the Washington Post’s…


‘The Afghanistan Papers’: Bipartisan War On Truth Revealed In The Washington Post Series

“The American people have constantly been lied to.” — John F. Sopko, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). By Meghna Chakrabarti, Geoffrey Line & Stefano Kotsonis On Point / WBUR (12/23/19) The Washington Post’s massive investigation that U.S. officials misled the public about the Afghanistan War for almost 20 years. We talk with one of those same officials on what they said then, and what they think now. Guests: Craig Whitlock, investigative reporter focusing on national security for the Washington Post. (@CraigMWhitlock) Ryan Crocker, diplomat-in-residence, Princeton University. He has served as U.S. ambassador six times: Afghanistan (2011-2012), Iraq (2007-2009), Pakistan (2004-2007),…


The Phrase ‘White Nationalists’ Cut From Measure To Screen Military Enlistees

25% of American service members reported encountering white nationalists within their ranks. By Christopher Mathias HuffPost (12/19/19) A measure in the National Defense Authorization Act meant to keep white nationalists out of the U.S. military no longer mentions “white nationalists” after Congress quietly altered the text after it initially passed the House. The change, which has not been previously reported, could water down a House-passed amendment meant to address the threat of white nationalists in the military. The House language was specifically drafted to encourage screening for white nationalist beliefs in military enlistees. But after the Republican-controlled Senate passed its own…


Secret History Of The War In Afghanistan Reveals The Bipartisan Betrayal Of American Troops

  “We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan. We didn’t know what we were doing. We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking.” — Gen. Douglas Lute, Afghan War “Czar” adviser to both presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. (Access NPR interview with Lute.) ***** “Truth was rarely welcome. Bad news was often stifled. Every data point was altered to present the best picture possible. Surveys, for instance, were totally unreliable but reinforced everything we were doing was right. And we became a self-licking ice cream cone.” — Col. Bob Crowley, retired Army counter…


‘Democrats Must Do Better’: As Poverty Spreads, Corporate Dems Ignore Progressives & Vote With GOP To Pass Bloated $1.4 Trillion War Budget & Funding Of Trump’s Wall

  “We must fund the government without funding hate.” — Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (12/17/19) The leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus condemned the $1.4 trillion spending package that passed the House Tuesday, calling the legislation a massive giveaway to the Pentagon and a green light for President Donald Trump’s “immoral mass detention policies.” “The bill before us today will not stop the abuse and wrongful detention of people in custody, nor will it prevent the Trump administration from misusing federal funds to advance their horrific mass detention and deportation agenda,” Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.),…


American Service Members & Vets Are Down Range Of Russian Online Lies & Manipulation

  By Jasper Craven National Review (9/18/19) The post popped up in select Instagram feeds shortly before the election in 2016. Its photo depicted an anonymous black-clad woman on an airport tarmac, crying over a metal casket covered in an American flag. “Killary Clinton will never understand what it feels like to lose the person you love for the sake of your country,” the caption began. “Honoring the high cost paid by so many families to protect our freedom. Buy a T-shirt—help a veteran.” A little money and deviousness goes a long way for foreign actors in propagandizing veterans, who…


The U.S. Government Lied About The Afghanistan War. They Couldn’t Have Gotten By With It Without Lapdogs Like The Washington Post

Whenever there is a foreign policy “crisis,” you will never read or hear or see someone completely opposed to U.S. involvement given a voice in the media. Certainly not in the Post. By Ted Rall Common Dreams (12/11/19) “In ten years or so, we’ll leak the truth,” the Dead Kennedys sang. “But by then it’s only so much paper.” But it might just score you a Pulitzer Prize. Award bait and bragging rights are no doubt the principal goals of The Washington Post’s self-congratulatory data dump, “The Afghanistan Papers.” As the headline implies, the 2000 pages that a court ordered the Office…


‘Destruction Born Of U.S. Conceit’ — The Real Outrage Of The Afghan War Papers No One Wants To Address

They didn’t count the Afghans because the Afghans didn’t count. By Sophia A. McClennen Salon (12/14/19) On Monday, December 9, The Washington Post released a confidential trove of 2,000 pages of government documents that revealed that senior U.S. officials repeatedly failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan. They document in detail a practice of lying, deception and whitewashing that covered up unmistakable evidence that the war had no grand plan, no end in sight and no consistent leadership. The series of articles published by Craig Whitlock in the Post, along with the original documents themselves, detail a horrifying pattern of deception and…


Endless War Without Strategy: Bipartisan History Of Secrecy & Lies About The Afghan War Revealed

“The documents show the American people were lied to.” The Washington Post (12/9/19) For nearly two decades of fighting in Afghanistan, U.S. leaders have sounded a constant refrain: We are making progress. Government interview records obtained by The Washington Post after a three-year legal battle show otherwise. [The Washington Post also produced the excellent video below to go with this story. — Ed.] Read more: At War With The Truth Link To 17-Minute Video (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2019. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org ) ***** ‘Read Every Word Of This’: Washington…


David Harvey Talks About The Fatal Fallacies & Militarized Crimes Of Capitalism

    By Jeremy Scahill Intercepted Podcast (1/17/18) For the past year, we’ve all experienced an intense sort of political or news vertigo. It’s making us dumber by the day. Of course, part of this is due to the fact that Donald Trump is president and he constantly scoops the story of the latest outrage about himself by performing yet another outrage just as we start discussing the previous one. It’s exhausting and brain melting. But this is also because major media organizations have all chosen to constantly chase the rabbit. In a way, all of us in media are…


Trump Trots Out Recently Pardoned War Criminals At Secretive Florida Fundraiser

“Should any American soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any [prisoner]. . . I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary punishment as the enormity of the crime may require. Should it extend to death itself, it will not be disproportional to its guilt at such a time and in such a cause… for by such conduct they bring shame, disgrace and ruin to themselves and their country.” — George Washington, orders to the Northern Expeditionary Force, Sept. 14, 1775 By Tom Boggioni Raw Story (12/7/19) According to a report from the Miami…


‘New York Times’ Investigation Shows That In Addition To Killing Innocent Civilians Cluster Bombs Are Deadly For U.S. Troops

All Thing Considered / NPR (1/6/19) NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly speaks with New York Times reporter John Ismay about his investigation into the deadly history of unexploded cluster bombs accidentally killing U.S. troops that handle them. Link To 4-Minute Audio (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )


Humanity Is Riding Delusion To Extinction

“I’m rooting for humanity, no doubt, but my own limited life experience has made me unlikely to bet on our species.” By Danny Sjursen Truthdig (12/3/19) Horses sporting gas masks. That, of all things, has been on my mind lately. Bear with me, now. Gaze at the ever-so-cockamamie photo. A horse, wearing a gas mask. Nothing so illustrates the rank absurdity and irrationality of the human condition. It was during World War I—which killed an unheard-of nine million soldiers in just four years—that the armies of Europe still employed horses in an age of machine guns, airplanes (eventually), tanks and poison gas attacks….


Cashing In On Murder, Mayhem & Profit Making: Women CEO’s Of Top Weapons Manufactures Cash In On International Murder & Mayhem

“This is the diversity of the ruling class. This is what the ruling class does to let us think there has been progress.” By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (11/21/19) Jimmy Dore (10/23) and his panel of comedians take on a recent Fortune magazine feature celebrating the rise of women executives to lead American war profiteering corporations, beginning with Lockheed Martin’s CEO Maryliyn Hewson, who began her work life as an ambitious teen dishing up ice cream at her hometown Dairy Queen and now markets weapons of indiscriminate mass destruction used to maul, main and murder families around the…


‘Simply Barbaric’: Trump Administration Proposes Charging Asylum Fee For Refugees Fleeing Violence & Poverty

By Julia Conley Common Dreams (11/10/19) The Trump administration this coming week will formalize a proposal that could make it one of just four countries in the world that charge asylum-seekers for entry. As the New York Times reported late Friday, the administration plans to publish in the Federal Register a proposal to require a $50 application fee for asylum-seekers as well as a $490 charge for work permits. “It’s an unprecedented weaponization of government fees,” Doug Rand of the immigrant assistance company Boundless Immigration told the Times. Currently, the only countries in the world that charge asylum-seekers—who are often fleeing war, persecution, or violence in…


Sheldon Wolin & Inverted Totalitarianism: Don’t Call It Democracy. Putting Understanding To What America Has Become

A corporate war state cannot be a democratic state. By Chris Hedges TruthDig (11/2/15) Sheldon Wolin, our most important contemporary political theorist, died Oct. 21 [2015] at the age of 93. In his books “Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism” and “Politics and Vision,” a massive survey of Western political thought that his former student Cornel West calls “magisterial,” Wolin lays bare the realities of our bankrupt democracy, the causes behind the decline of American empire and the rise of a new and terrifying configuration of corporate power he calls “inverted totalitarianism.” Wendy Brown, a political…


Chris Hedges: The Enemy Within Is Deep Indeed

The deep state, incapable of reform and determined to retain its grip on power, will morph under the threat of popular unrest into a corporatized fascism. By Chris Hedges TruthDig (11/4/19) Our democracy is not in peril—we do not live in a democracy. The image of our democracy is in peril. The deep state—the generals, bankers, corporatists, lobbyists, intelligence chiefs, government bureaucrats and technocrats—is intent on salvaging the brand. It is hard to trumpet yourself as the world’s guardian of freedom and liberty with Donald Trump blathering on incoherently about himself, inciting racist violence, insulting our traditional allies along with…


US Military Fears Societal & Economic Collapse Due To Effects Of Rapidly Evolving Climate Crisis

    The Damage Report / The Young Turks (10/25/19) “According to a new U.S. Army report, Americans could face a horrifically grim future from climate change involving blackouts, disease, thirst, starvation and war. The study found that the US military itself might also collapse. This could all happen over the next two decades, the report notes. The senior US government officials who wrote the report are from several key agencies including the Army, Defense Intelligence Agency, and NASA. The study called on the Pentagon to urgently prepare for the possibility that domestic power, water, and food systems might collapse…


Trump’s Giant Loophole: Executive Control Of The Judicial Branch Is The Final Step To Tyranny

What happens when the judiciary is captured — and the bad guys are true fascists? Well, they turn the law itself into an instrument of violence. [Editor’s Note: This is an extremely important article to read and consider. Few people really understand the most dangerous moment we are facing in this nation. Whether by bumbling stupid luck or strategic calculation, Donald Trump has pushed the nation to the abyss of totalitarian fascism and time is short. — Mark L. Taylor] By Umair Haque Medium (10/25/19) In case you didn’t notice, yesterday [10/24] was an especially dark day for America democracy….


These Allegations Of Child Abuse Against Customs & Border Protection Go On For Tens Of Thousands Of Pages

One boy said he was threatened with rape if he didn’t behave. Several others were allegedly beaten while handcuffed. By Gaby Del Valle VICE News (10/18/19) Being run over by a vehicle, beaten while handcuffed, and even threatened with rape — they’re all examples of the treatment migrant children and teenagers have said they endured while in the custody of Customs and Border Protection. Some of the kids claim officers hit them for no reason. One boy said officers accused him of lying about his age and told him he’d be raped by an adult man if he didn’t tell the…


New York Area Fire Commissioners Make History With Call For New 9/11 Investigation

“We were the first fire district to pass this resolution. We won’t be the last.” [Editor’s Note: This group has done amazing work in the effort for truth about the 9/11 attacks. The A&E for 9/11 Truth web site is a good resource. Given the world changing and ongoing impacts, we deserve to know the truth of what happened on that day. The issue does not get the coverage it deserves. — Mark L. Taylor] By Ted Walter Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth (7/27/19) They started off by saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Ten minutes later, they were reading…


The Story Behind ‘Catch 22’ Was About Far More Than The Insanity Of War

  Outlook /BBC (6/25/19) Joseph Heller’s funny, tragic satirical anti-war novel was published in 1961 and sold millions. For many it epitomised the growing anti-establishment mood of the 1960s. Heller had served in a bomber squadron during World War Two. Though his experiences provide the setting for the book, its target was actually the America of the 1950s. Using interviews with the author from the BBC archive, Alex Last tells the story behind Catch-22. Link to 9-Minute Audio ***** Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ At 50 Morning Edition Saturday / NPR (7/6/19) Fifty years ago Kurt Vonnegut published his anti-war novel Slaughterhouse-Five. NPR’s…


10 Ways That The Climate Crisis & Militarism Are Intertwined

  By Medea Benjamin Common Dreams (9/26/19) The environmental justice movement that is surging globally is intentionally intersectional, showing how global warming is connected to issues such as race, poverty, migration and public health. One area intimately linked to the climate crisis that gets little attention, however, is militarism. Here are some of the ways these issues—and their solutions—are intertwined. 1. The US military protects Big Oil and other extractive industries. The US military has often been used to ensure that US companies have access to extractive industry materials, particularly oil, around the world.The 1991 Gulf War against Iraq was a blatant…


Chris Hedges: New Book Shines Light On Our Real & Invisible Government

All countries need good intelligence officials and agents, not the buffoons, gangsters, sadists and killers who, in the name of national security, do us so much damage. By Chris Hedges TruthDig (9/16/19) There are two forms of government in the United States. There is the visible government—the White House, Congress, the courts, state legislatures and governorships—and the invisible government, or deep state, where anonymous technocrats, intelligence operatives, generals, bankers, corporations and lobbyists manage foreign and domestic policy regardless of which political party holds a majority. The most powerful and important organs in the invisible government are the nation’s bloated and…


Joe Biden Lying About His Role In Disastrous Iraq War Is Typical Of American Pols & Shows Why We Have So Many Wars

In Biden’s case, he attempted to take a Sharpie to the entire war and black-out his name. By Jonathan Turley The Hill (9/7/19) Former French President Charles de Gaulle once explained that “since a politician never believes what he says, he is quite surprised to be taken at his word.” This week, no one is more surprised than President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden. Trump succeeded in turning an innocent mistake about the weather into a giant lie and then, after days of determined effort, into a full-fledged scandal. Biden succeeded in denying his own words in…


The Deep State Government Hiding In Plain Sight

[Editor’s Note: Be sure to watch all the way through to the end to catch Bill Moyer’s commentary. — Mark L. Taylor] Moyers & Company (4/15/16) Mike Lofgren, a congressional staff member for 28 years, joins Bill Moyers to talk about what he calls Washington’s “Deep State,” in which elected and unelected figures collude to protect and serve powerful vested interests. “It is how we had deregulation, financialization of the economy, the Wall Street bust, the erosion or our civil liberties and perpetual war,” Lofgren tells Moyers. Link to 27-Minute Video ***** Essay: Anatomy Of The Deep State In terms…