All art in this article are the works of Pawel Kuczynski.
The United States no longer produces much. Except wars. Since World War II we have been producing war after war, more or less continually engaged in actual war or in semi-war, getting ready for the next active engagement, assumed to lie just around the corner. Always a question of whom do we invade next.
Remember Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Afghanistan, the two Iraq wars and Libya? The show goes on and on. War is our foreign policy. Wars are us. We do not mention here or account for all the other armed incursions we have made, wars by proxy, clandestine wars, wars not approved by Congress, economic embargoes, drone attacks, cyber warfare. Nor schools to train foreign military and paramilitary terrorist groups to terrorize dissidents in their own countries. Nor militarizing our domestic police with tanks and big-time war hardware for use against our own dissidents. Mercenary soldiers. Worldwide torture centers. NSA collection of private data, phone conversations, emails to wage the never ending war against terror.
We can fight for whatever reasons suit us. Fear of communism. The domino theory. Keep the world safe for democracy. Nation building in the middle east. Fight terrorism. Get the dictators. Keep the pipelines open for our oil deliveries.
We feel free to invade other countries. What we do is right, always right. We are the shining city on the hill. There is a providence which guides us to invade any country for its own good, something which normally is considered the greatest of war crimes. But what we do is inescapably good. American exceptionalism.
“In a country where military spending already accounts for 55 percent of all federal discretionary spending and military expenditures are greater than all the military spending of the next 10 largest countries combined.”
The U.S. military’s recourse to private contractors has strengthened the profit motive for war-making and prolonged wars as well. Unlike the citizen-soldiers of past eras, the mobilized warrior corporations of America’s new mercenary moment – the Halliburton/KBRs (nearly $40 billion in contracts for the Iraq War alone), the DynCorps ($4.1 billion to train 150,000 Iraqi police), and the Blackwater/Xe/Academis ($1.3 billion in Iraq, along with boatloads of controversy) – have no incentive to demobilize.
Let us remember our soldiers who died. Let us remember the living wounded, the soldiers with PTSD, their families. We do not remember our opponents, our enemies, those soldiers and civilians who died through the course of our wars, killed by our soldiers, or by helicopter fire, missiles, or drones. Our slaughter terrorizing civilians by drone attacks generates more terrorist threats to the United States.
We need not think about the cost of these wars, the money which could have been spent here at home for Americans. We are always ready to pay any price, always ready to sacrifice for a good cause. After all, we are, or were a wealthy nation. We still are, at least for the 1%.