The curent military budget received 53% of every tax dollar.
The Macon Telegraph
Monday, January 11, 2016
YOUR SAY: War is a racket with profits to the rich and losses in blood
By RONALD L. CAIN Special to The Telegraph
Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler said: "War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives."
President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney started two wars — Iraq and Afghanistan. In so doing, they were responsible for over 5,000 Americans being killed. (That is more than were killed in the 9/11 attack.) And according to many reports, something like 125,000 veterans have committed suicide.
Thousands more have been seriously wounded. Many permanently disabled. But the government does little to help them. Rep. Paul Ryan has proposed cuts to military retirement. U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham has proposed veterans pay more for their medical care.
At every opportunity, Republicans put themselves in front of the camera applauding returning veterans. Their praise is worth no more than an "attaboy," as they continuously oppose every proposal to aid and assist returning veterans. Makes one wonder why most veterans continue to vote for those Republicans.
Ads on TV are soliciting donations to aid veterans. Why do we have to depend on charitable organizations to solicit donations for the care of our veterans, while we continue to give billions of taxpayer dollars and subsidies to Wall Street, corporate America and the rich?
NOTE: Many of these charitable organizations spend more on salaries and office expenses than they do providing aid and assistance to veterans. As has been suggested, do your own research. Find local charities that are aiding veterans, or small charities that are well-ranked by Charity Navigator or Charity Watch. One of the highest ranked and most respected veteran's charity is The Fisher House.
No one, but especially not our veterans, should need to rely on charity to survive. A country that forces veterans to beg for food at pantries in order to avoid taxing the wealthy is morally corrupt. The way our veterans are being treated is a national disgrace.
They waved and cheered when they sent young soldiers into war (Iraq and Afghanistan). Once they returned, they were ignored and forgotten. Republicans have steadfastly opposed and/or blocked every proposal to aid and assist our veterans and their families.
Companies like Dick Cheney's old company — Halliburton, that made millions — and others that profited from the Iraq-Afghanistan wars should be required to fund programs to help returning veterans. Between 50,000-75,000 veterans are homeless each night. Thousands more are going hungry. Spouses and children of those killed live in abject poverty.
Today, our military has over 600 military bases around the world supposedly to protect our freedom. They are not there to protect our freedom. They are there to protect corporate interest. The true face of the enemy begins to emerge. Beyond the violent terrorist and extremist stand the rich and powerful investors and shadow men who understand that warfare is big business — and will do whatever it takes to keep turning a profit on blood and suffering.
The United States spends more on it's military than all other major nations combined. The United States is the most militarized nation on Earth. Yet, Republicans steadfastly argue for more military spending. No nation can avoid its obligation and responsibility to provide for it's national security. But a nation that spends more on its military than it spends on its infrastructure cannot long stand.
We commonly hear the theme that these veterans fought to protect our freedom. That theme is jingoistic propaganda that amounts to brainwashing. The veterans who were killed; those who were wounded; many who were permanently disabled did not serve to protect your freedom or mine. These last wars, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, were for corporate profit. And to paraphrase Gen. Butler: "... the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives." (And, yes, I'm a Vietnam era veteran.)
Ronald L. Cain is a resident of Houston County, Georgia.