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How the Military Controls America

by Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org

Unlike corporations that sell to consumers, Lockheed Martin and the other top contractors to the U.S. Government are highly if not totally dependent upon sales to governments, for their profits, especially sales to their own government, which they control — they control their home market, which is the U.S. Government, and they use it to sell to its allied governments, all of which foreign governments constitute the export markets for their products and services.

These corporations control the U.S. Government, and they control NATO. And, here is how they do it, which is essential to understand, in order to be able to make reliable sense of America’s foreign policies, such as which nations are ‘allies’ of the U.S. Government (such as Saudi Arabia and Israel), and which nations are its ‘enemies’ (such as Libya and Syria) — and are thus presumably suitable for America to invade, or else to overthrow by means of a coup. First, the nation’s head-of-state becomes demonized; then, the invasion or coup happens. And, that’s it. And here’s how.

Because America (unlike Russia) privatized the weapons-industry (and even privatizes to mercenaries some of its battlefield killing and dying), there are, in America, profits for investors to make in invasions and in military occupations of foreign countries; and the billionaires who control these corporations can and do — and, for their financial purposes, they must — buy Congress and the President, so as to keep those profits flowing to themselves.

That’s the nature of the war-business, since its markets are governments — but not those governments that the aristocracy want to overthrow and replace. The foreign governments that are to be overthrown are not markets, but are instead targets. The bloodshed and misery go to those unfortunate lands. But if you control these corporations, then you need these invasions and occupations, and you certainly aren’t concerned about any of the victims, who (unlike those profits) are irrelevant to your business.

In fact, to the exact contrary: killing people and destroying buildings etc., are what you sell — that’s what you (as a billionaire with a controlling interest in one of the 100 top contractors to the U.S. Government) are selling to your own government, and to all of the other governments that your country’s cooperative propaganda will characterize as being ‘enemies’ — Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, etc. — and definitely not as being ‘allies’, such as are being characterized these corporations’ foreign markets: Saudi Arabia, EU-NATO, Israel, etcetera.

In fact, as regards your biggest foreign markets, they will be those ‘allies’; so, you (that is, the nation’s aristocracy, who own also the news-media etc.) defend them, and you want the U.S. military (the taxpayers and the troops) to support and defend them. It’s defending your market, even though you as the controlling owner of such a corporation aren’t paying the tab for it. The rest of the country is actually paying for all of it, so you’re “free-riding” the public, in this business. It’s the unique nature of the war-business, and a unique boon to its investors.

Thus, on 21 May 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump sold to the Saud family, who own Saudi Arabia, an all-time-record $350 billion of U.S. arms-makers’ products, which they’re now obligated to buy during the following ten years, with an up-front commitment of $100 billion during just the first year, so as to make even that one-year commitment an all-time record. This deal is by far the biggest part of Trump’s boost to American manufacturers — but it’s only to military manufacturers, the people who depend virtually 100% on sales to governments, specifically to ‘friendly’ governments: to ‘allies’, such as, in this case, to the Saud family.

In fact, the Sauds’ war against their neighbor Yemen is a good example of just how this sort of operation (profit to the billionaires, bloodshed and destruction to — in this case — the Yemenites) works:

Yemen’s war goes back to the “Arab Spring” revolution in Yemen, which overthrew the U.S.-and-Saud-backed President, former Colonel and then General, Saleh. Wikipedia says of him:

According to the UN Sanctions Panel, by 2012 Saleh has amassed fortune worth $32-60 billion hidden in at least twenty countries making him one of the richest people in the world. Saleh was gaining $2 billion a year from 1978 to 2012 mainly through illegal methods, such as embezzlement, extortion and theft of funds from Yemen’s fuel subsidy program.”

And, furthermore:

New York Times Middle Eastern correspondent Robert F. Worth described Saleh as reaching an understanding with powerful feudal ‘big sheikhs’ to become ‘part of a Mafia-style spoils system that substituted for governance’. Worth accused Saleh of exceeding the aggrandizement of other Middle Eastern strongmen by managing to ‘rake off tens of billions of dollars in public funds for himself and his family’ despite the extreme poverty of his country.”

Saleh fled to Saudi Arabia. Yemen’s Army installed the Vice President, and former General, Hadi to succeed him. Then, there was a second revolution, and, on 21 January 2015, the Shia Houthi tribe took over, and the rabidly anti-Shia Saud family promptly started their bombing of Yemen, using American training, weaponry and tactical and refueling support.

The U.S. Government — like its ally the Saud family — is rabidly anti-Shia. That’s to say: The U.S. aristocracy, like Saudi Arabia’s aristocracy (the royal family), is rabidly anti-Shia. But, whereas for the Sauds, this is motivated more by hate than by greed, it’s more greed than hate on the U.S. side, because at least ever since the U.S. coup in the leading Shia country, Iran, in 1953, it’s been purely about greed, specifically that of the oil (and other) companies who also (in addition to the armaments-firms) control U.S. foreign policies. (For example, international oil companies need to extract and sell oil from many countries. They’re highly dependent upon the military, though not nearly to the extent that the weapons-firms are.)

The most recent poll that has been taken of American public opinion regarding America’s arming and training Saudi forces to fly over and bomb Yemen was taken during November 2017, tabulated on 28 January 2018, and finally published a month later, on 28 February 2018.

This “Nationwide Voter Survey – Report on Results – January 28, 2018” asked 1,000 scientifically sampled American voters, “Question: Congress is considering a bi-partisan bill to withdraw U.S. forces from the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Would you say that you support or oppose this bill?” It reported that, “Support” was 51.9%, “Oppose” was 21.5%, no opinion was 26.6%; and, so, 71% of the opinions were “Support”; only 29% were “Oppose.”

That’s more than two-thirds supporting this bill to consider withdrawing U.S. forces from that war. But, when the vote was taken in the U.S. Senate, it was 55% opposing the bill, opposing, that is, consideration of the matter, and 44% supporting consideration of the matter (and not voting was 1% of the 100 Senators).

55% of Senators didn’t want the Senate to even consider the matter. Here’s how the issue had managed to get even that far:

  • On 4 December 2017, just weeks after that poll of Americans was taken, Russian Television headlined “Saleh’s death means a fresh hell beckons for Yemen”, and the U.S. Government’s participation in the bombing of Yemen then did increase. This event — the murder of Saleh — raised the Yemen war to broader public attention in the country that was supplying the bombs and the weapons to the Sauds.
  • On 28 February 2018, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders was the lone sponsor of “S.J.Res.54 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)”: “This joint resolution directs the President to remove U.S. Armed Forces from hostilities in or affecting Yemen, except those engaged in operations directed at Al Qaeda, within 30 days unless: (1) the President requests and Congress authorizes a later date, or (2) a declaration of war or specific authorization for the use of the Armed Forces has been enacted.”
  • On March 19th, NBC bannered “Senators to force vote to redefine U.S. role in Yemen” — that was merely to force a vote in the Senate, not actually to vote on the issue itself. However, given how overwhelmingly America’s voters opposed America’s arming the Sauds to slaughter the Yemenese, this vote in the Senate to consider the measure was the gateway to each Senator’s being forced to go public about supporting this highly unpopular armament of the Saudis; and, so, if it had gotten that far (to a final vote on the issue itself), the arms-makers might lose the vote, because Senators would then be voting not ‘merely’ on a procedural matter, but on the actual issue itself. So, this vote was about the gateway, not about the destination.
  • The next day, Breitbart News headlined “Administration, Bipartisan Interventionist Establishment Kill Aisle-Crossing Effort to Rein In U.S. Military Involvement in Yemen” and presented a full and documented account, which opened: “The Senate resolution invoking the War Powers Act to demand the administration seek congressional authorization or withdraw American support from Saudi Arabia’s military operations in Yemen was defeated Tuesday by a vote of 55-44.” The peace-activist, David Swanson, headlined at Washingtonsblog, “Why 55 U.S. Senators Voted for Genocide in Yemen”, and he alleged that the vote would have been even more lopsided than 55% for the weapons-industry, if some of the Senators who voted among the 44 non-bloodthirsty ones hadn’t been in such close political races. The weapons-industry won’t hold against a Senator his/her voting against them if their vote won’t even be needed in order to win. Token-votes against them are acceptable. All that’s necessary is winning the minimum number of votes. Anything more than that is just icing on the cake.

So, this explains how the U.S. Government really ignores public opinion and only pretends to be a democracy. It’s done by fooling the public. On the issue of which countries are ‘allies’ and which are ‘enemies’, and other issues regarding national defense, all necessary means are applied in order to achieve, as Walter Lippmann in 1921 called it, “the manufacture of consent.” He wrote:

That the manufacture of consent is capable of great refinements no one, I think, denies. The process by which public opinions arise is certainly no less intricate than it has appeared in these pages, and the opportunities for manipulation open to anyone who understands the process are plain enough. The creation of consent is not a new art. It is a very old one which was supposed to have died out with the appearance of democracy. But it has not died out. It has, in fact, improved enormously in technic, because it is now based on analysis rather than on rule of thumb. And so, as a result of psychological research, coupled with the modern means of communication, the practice of democracy has turned a corner. A revolution is taking place, infinitely more significant than any shifting of economic power.

The CIA virtually controls the ‘news’ media.

Furthermore, even corporations that aren’t on that list of top 100 U.S. Government contractors can be crucially dependent upon their income from the U.S. Government. For example, since 2014, Amazon Web Services has supplied to the U.S. Government (CIA, Pentagon, NSA, etc.) its cloud-computing services, which has since produced virtually all of Amazon’s profits (also see “Cloud Business Drives Amazon’s Profits”), though Amazon doesn’t even so much as show up on that list of 100 top contractors to the U.S. Government; so, this extremely profitable business is more important to Jeff Bezos (the owner also of the Washington Post) than all the rest of his investments put together are.

The most corrupt part of the U.S. Government is the ‘Defense’ part. That also happens to be — and by far — the most popular part, the most respected (by the American public) part. That’s a toxic combination: toxic not only for a government’s domestic policies, but especially for a government’s foreign policies — such as for identifying which nations are ‘allies’, and which nations are ‘enemies’. This type of mega-toxic combination can’t exist in a nation whose press isn’t being effectively controlled by the same general group that effectively controls the Government (in America, that’s the richest few, by means of their many paid agents), the Deep State. In America, one key to it is that the ‘Defense’ firms are privately owned.

*

POSTSCRIPT:

On March 24th, Zero Hedge headlined an opinion-article “The Death of Democracy” and Alasdair Macleod said that, “The Deep State is on course to take control of Congress. If this happens, it will be the next step in a global trend of side-lining democracy in the West, driven in large part by American foreign policy. It has led to governments everywhere increasing control over their people, in an inversion of democratic principles.”

Furthermore: “The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has identified 102 seats as ‘competitive’ in its red-to-blue campaign programme. Eighty of these seats are vulnerable Republicans, and 22 are seats where the incumbent is retiring. 57 of the 221 candidates standing for the Democratic nomination in these 102 districts are current or past agents of the military-intelligence complex. And of those 102 districts, 44 have one of these candidates, 11 have two, and one has three. Furthermore, there are indications that the financial backers of the Democratic Party are supporting this influx of intelligence operatives, and that they are well-funded.”

Macleod went on to say that they’ve already apparently taken over Trump: “There can be no doubt that the chaos in the White House since Trump’s victory has reflected a fight behind the scenes for control of foreign policy, homeland security and military spending. It has been about the CIA’s ultimately successful attempts to ensure Trump backtracked on relevant electoral promises and complies with its own agenda. So far, Trump has backed down on Russia, North Korea, Iran and on military spending, suggesting he is well on the way to becoming the Deep State’s lackey. It now seems the CIA wants to control the balance of power in Congress.”

His conclusion is: “If the US military-intelligence complex manages to pack out Congress, it will be the killer blow for any democracy remaining in America. It will clear the field for a secret state organisation, which has shown little or no regard for human life and the rule of law, to accelerate its warlike agenda. It will have unfettered access to the national finances to accelerate its programme of global aggression, and damn the consequences for anyone else.”

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

27 Comments

  1. Tom Paine says

    The general public is distracted by pursuing their own self centered pleasures and either too low in intelligence to notice or higher in intelligence enough to ignore rocking the boat as they are enjoying the fruits of the crimes. The middle class of the British Imperium comes to mind.
    Others with the requisite intelligence and a moral sense are in denial as the truth is too horrible to face so conspiracy theory washes the slate clean.
    There are also a significant number of violent animals that enjoy the killing vicariously; a more exciting type of football game.

    • it’s called complicity. when we go for a drive or buy food at the store we are supporting it. that’s why nobody complains. it goes back to sumeria and assyria and even hoboken.

  2. Some mail from the real world; posted on Saker Vineyard by Godfree Roberts on March 29, 2018 12:19 am UTC:

    “China has a true military alliance with North Korea but that, as far as we know is the only one–and which explains why the US has not and will not attack the DPRK.

    It has an undefined alliance with Russia and cooperates ever more closely with it but what that means operationally we have yet to discover–but here’s an educated guess:

    If the West pushes Russia too far then China will draw energy towards itself by, for example, extending an ADIZ over–and closing the Straits of–Taiwan and the entire SCS to military vessels. Permanently. That costs nothing and sends a strong signal.

    If that proves insufficient, China will sink the first (preferably) Japanese, Australian or British destroyer that defies it.

    If the US defies it, China will sink a USN vessel and leave the US with distasteful options: China is militarily superior to the US within 1,000 km of its shores and land borders and the US cannot sustain an attack there because of its extended supply lines and the vulnerability of its foreign bases. If it risks an attack on Chinese vessels on the high seas it risks retaliation in kind and, of course, the dismal prospect of seeing all of its cities vaporized in 45 minutes.

    Every day China’s position in its Near Seas becomes stronger. Every day it launches a new fighter, bomber or naval vessel at a rate the US cannot match.

    It currently has eight Type 055 cruisers commissioned or under construction, for example, and they are the most powerful surface combatants afloat, each equipped with 132 missile launch tubes and each salvoe capable of wiping out an entire battle fleet several times over–at a range of 1,000 miles. The gap is much smaller than our media would have us believe.

    And, after all the huffing and puffing, though fleets sometimes win battles, economies always win wars and China’s economy is much bigger than America’s and growing three times faster”

    • i figure it’s a lot simpler. we’ve pissed russia off for a long time and they can likely bomb us into oblivion. maybe discretion before valor is called for from our fine brass.

  3. Evil and literally thick-brain creatures in Military are the real dangerous traitors behind the scene. Theses psychopaths are ones that are spraying us every day from the sky too.

  4. Harry Stotle says

    “So, this explains how the U.S. Government really ignores public opinion and only pretends to be a democracy. It’s done by fooling the public.” – its worth pausing to flesh this point out a bit further.

    I agree entirely with Eric that the US deep state is a rapacious and amoral structure that employs all and any means to satisfy its insatiable lust for profit and power, including devastation of entire regions – I mean that’s a given.

    But the current anti-democractic arrangements can only be sustained by tacit support from the wider public and in my book it is no longer good enough to say they have been ‘fooled’ – Eric isn’t fooled, I’m not fooled, and virtually the entire Off-G community is not fooled, so how can we rationalise popular support of extreme political violence by suggesting the public has been ‘fooled’.

    I’m not saying media propaganda (or endless Hollywood output santising war) does not play a part, but most of this content can be deconstructed with even the flimsiest research, so my guess is that if the public remain blind to it, it is because they want to be blind.
    Its a depressing thought but it doesn’t seem to take much to appeal to the base instincts of the public, enabling many of them to become emotionally detached from the international terror at the bedrock of US foreign policy.

    The people who are shout “YOU-S-AY” when drones attack Yemen are exactly the same people who would have been complicit during the utter insanity that gripped Germany and Europe not so very long ago – given all the anti-Russian rhetoric a growing number of people are beginning to fear that we may even be heading in a similar direction.

    • Harry – I quite agree. There is certainly more at work than the effectiveness of the American propaganda apparatus. I keep hearing Charles de Gaulle’s words echo when I think of my fellow American’s collective refusal to face reality. De Gaulle returned from JFK’s funeral and told his information minister that he knew the U.S. State had killed JFK but that the American people didn’t want to face this reality. His comment about we Americans was: (“They don’t want to know. They don’t want to find out. They won’t let themselves find out.”) So of course the CIA conveniently created the term: “conspiracy theory” so we Americans “never have to find out” what is really happening in the world.

      De Gaulle’s observation is as true today as it was in 1963. The only difference between the “conservative” Americans I know who are propagandized by watching Fox News, and the “liberal” Americans I know who watch PBS or listen to NPR, are that the latter group gets their non-stop fact-free imperial war propaganda with more sophisticated musical interludes and more pretentious banter. In America you are “free” to hear the message that “Putin is bad” with either country, classical or even jazz music in the background on either “conservative” or “liberal” media. It seems to me that there is a massive amount of existential bad faith at play in the American psyche that is based in deep unconscious or only partially conscious fear. I was only 11 years old when they assassinated Kennedy, and by the time I was 15 they’ed completed the job and had assassinated MalcolmX, MLK, and Bobby too. Before our very eyes the U.S. government killed the entire top tier of progressive leadership in America. There was a powerful – “message” – conveyed in such clear ruthless brutality. I “got that message” consciously and it shaped my life. My friends and family who still can’t face that message “consciously” watch PBS and listen to NPR for solace.

    • Re. “in my book it is no longer good enough to say they have been ‘fooled’ – Eric isn’t fooled, I’m not fooled, and virtually the entire Off-G community is not fooled, so how can we rationalise popular support of extreme political violence by suggesting the public has been ‘fooled’.”:

      My answer: Do you think you’re normal? I know that I am not. To presume that you are a typical representative of the broad national population would be idiotic. I don’t understand why you did it.

      • Harry Stotle says

        I said it because the sleight of hand used to the fool the public (by the media, or the state) is on par with the childrens trick when an adult pretends to remove the end of their thumb.

        In other words the charade is pretty self evident with a little bit of enquiry.

        In my opinion a lack of cognitive skills is not the fundamental reason why so many of the public continue to support brutal policies despite the evidence that is available to all of us.
        For example large swathes of the British population are willing to give the benefit of the doubt to a serial liar like Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson (over the alleged poisoning of the Skripals) even if it means conflict with Russia.

        My contention is that at some level they are drawn to confrontation, or at least a romantcised form of nationalism, so it might be worth exploring why this might be the case rather than seeing them as passive recipients of propaganda.

        • Self-evident to you and to other intelligent and accurately informed people, but obviously not to the mass; and your blaming the mass for being less intelligent and less-informed than the hired deceivers, is blame-the-victim stuff, which is evil because the blame should instead be to the billionaires who have hired those professional deceivers — not to their suckers. So they’re not intelligent, and so forth, but they’re not what has caused these invasions.

  5. @fair dinkum. Reminds me of the Meteorologist’s reply to a BBC interviewer in the 1960s. Asked whether he thought Hydrogen Bomb testing was affecting the weather he replied, “It’s not so delicately poised”.

  6. rtj1211 says

    Did anyone else crack up laughing yesterday as Morocco launched its bid to host the 2026 Football World Cup, citing its ‘exceptionally low murder rate’ and ‘very low gun circulation’ as key positive reasons to support the application?

    What a marvellous sign of global unity it would be if warmongering of the USA were punished through not hosting any international sports events in future until mass murder is confessed by Nikki Haley to be a more serious crime than a bit of sport doping, eh?

  7. Meanwhile in the real world, a short post on the Vineyard re an Industrial achievement that benefits Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok: Anonymous on March 27, 2018 · at 7:45 pm UTC

    “Nord Stream signed off fully today. Berlin, Moskva, Beijing, are allies [or “partners”, Putin’s preferred term]. The nightmare of the Anglo Saxons [actually, of the A-Z-C]. No one cares about them any more.”

    [When will the Paper Tiger stop playing with paper money and start making things again that people want?]

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