“The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about Enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. “That’s not the way the world really works any more.” he continued, “we’re an empire now, and when we act we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality–judiciously, as you will–we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you , all of you, will be left to study what we do.”
-Ron Susskind in the 17 October 2004 New York Times Magazine in an interview with a George W. Bush Aide
The reality the Bush and now Obama Administrations and the Congresses who enable them so often with special appropriations for wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya with wars against Iran and North Korea on the horizon is $1.26 Trillion since January of 2002. That breaks down to $815 Billion for Iraq and $445.1 Billion to Afghanistan. Tens of billions are now being spent on the new war with Libya. We also have to be ready to hit the Iranian nuclear facilities at a moment’s notice or be ready to respond anywhere in the world where someone needs killing or a nation’s infrastructure needs demolishing.
The figures are from the National Priorities Project and as a long gone and forgotten Illinois legislator Russ Dierksen said “a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.”
The permanent war footing the United States has been on since September 11, 2001 with no signs that it is letting up is a reality created by Bush but fully continued and even expanded by Obama, Ryan and House Republicans, so quick to cut and gut Medicare and Social Security and remove people’s access to food stamps and more. In states, kids are seeing the size of classes they are in jump in the very poor school districts that need more teachers to help kids facing more challenges. Librarians and library budgets are being slashed. The wages of working people are being cut.
The National Priorities Project is a Godsend to anyone concerned about the madness of the U.S. War Empire. We had to come up with something for this situation, unprecedented in United States History. Even in the Cold War it was understood that adventures like Korea, Vietnam, and the Cuban Missile Crisis were not permanent features of the landscape. That last one especially if just one more thing had gone wrong. A quick view of the old classics Dr. Strangelove and Failsafe will get you in the mood.
Reality is something our government routinely manipulates. It always has. But with 9/11 and the push for American hegemony in the Middle East and Persian Gulf Oil region an American Empire was needed and Bush made sure that 9/11 was used to manipulate the reality Americans accepted.
So now we are very, very concerned we say to pollsters about the budget deficit. Oh, my God! If we do not get that spending down by midnight President Obama will not be able to wear his glass slippers home to the White House from kissing and not telling about the Shenanigans underway between House Republicans and the White House. John Boehner had something nice to say about Obama when the current budget deal for just this fiscal year was agreed to and that was confirmation that bad choices; immoral choices are being made.
It is simply a high priority for the United States to kill people and destroy things in distant parts of the globe and then spend billions more “reconstructing” what we destroy and bribing local leaders to do as we tell them in the Persian Gulf Region.
Medicare will cost $6,400 more if you plan to retire let’s say, ten years from now. That is the Obama budget plan and is billed as “more balanced” by the Concord Coalition in a statement through a spokeswoman today. Ryan’s plan is to add a layer of profit-seeking insurance companies that do not now play a role in the program as a way of saving money. Translation: under both the Obama and Ryan plans costs of getting healthcare to seniors under Medicare are being shifted from the U.S. Government to seniors themselves. And these are the same future seniors who are now seeing their wages slashed as they work madly toward some kind of retirement. Let’s just say oxygen tanks, walkers, scooters, and gumming your food is going to get more expensive.
Real Choices the U.S. Government makes in your name:
Less food stamp money for hungry people and Federal funding for schoolkids and their education: more cluster bombs and rocket fire from helicopters on Afghan villagers who may be involved with local insurgents. They certainly will be after their innocent family is killed by the U.S. War Empire Inc.
Less money for Social Security, Medicare and anything connected with what used to be called the “social safety net” which was shredded by Reagan in the 1980’s and has been patched and mended continually but is now going to have huge permanent holes bigger than the ones in the Ozone Layer, instead, American special forces and private contractors paid with tax dollars go out from the U.S. compound and smack people who those in power in Iraq want smacked down in hopes they will stop killing each other over there. We meanwhile advise them with serene confidence.
Less money for economic stimulus and job creation here at home: A task force at sea and one on land in the Gulf States ready to smack Iran.
It seems we’ve forgotten the economy and how middle class Americans have tons more money to spend, fancy new high-paying family supporting jobs. Now an unemployment rate currently at 8.8% is considered outstanding. Score one for Obama’s 2012 Re-election bid. To be fair, Republicans are hoping to cut Federal spending so much that we nosedive into another mini-recession during the year leading up to the election in 2012 which should be any time now.
Remember: you’re being manipulated by masters (and now mistresses) and the squabbling in Washington is just about whose manipulating is going to be used on a largely unsuspecting public.
The big difference between Obama and Ryan on the budget deficit is the tax increase on the richest one percent of us. Republicans see keeping that as a help to steady investment by investors of course, the people with all the money you no longer have. They will invest this money and have been already: two-thirds of it overseas.
This nation is making conscious choices that do not make sense. Struggles For Justice is NOT suggesting we gut the maintenance of our military strength against future attack. Nor should we deny what our fine young men and women need who are currently serving us in the U.S. Military. What we are suggesting are deep, deep cuts via the United States simply ending the U.S. War Empire.
The social justice Christian organization Sojourners has been distributing orange wristbands that say:
What would Jesus Cut?
Given the Messiah’s call for human beings to “love one another” and to “love your enemies” it seems a huge military budget would hardly be consistent with Christian discipleship at all. Active war making as a continuous and ongoing environment: the creation of a whole new reality mentioned to David Susskind would get even less support from Jesus Christ or those who truly are living in the Spirit of God.
Just imagine we spend a hundred billion a year on all of our active war making around the world for the next ten years. We actually spend more as the $1.26 Tillion figure shows. Republican House Budget god Paul Ryan and President Obama I Emperor of the Mighty American War Empire could be cutting a trillion dollars from our budget deficit in just the next decade by simply and only abandoning the war making we take for granted now.
To measure just how far reality has been distorted for you this is not even being discussed in main line media, or on Capitol Hill, or among the average American. We’ve been brainwashed into thinking that the moment we stop killing people all over our world that is the moment they come here and kill us and our economy and prestige as the ruler of the world, the leading nation of all the history of our world collapses.
Jesus might not care all that much if it did collapse. Struggles for Justice would not care much at all if it did collapse. You should untangle your mind and de-manipulate yourself from the manipulators in place since George W. Bush and Company after 9/11 and join the rest of us in the real reality: love, compassion, kindness, sharing, and all the things you learned in school but now abandon to be an adult. Be a child. Join Struggles For Justice. Cut the U.S. War Empire and place our resources where they help people and not kill them.