Mar 13

America Rides the Tiger

In Brief—Quite aside from “advisors” being sent to fight Boko Haram in Africa, the American military has quietly militarized the United States while the people have been numbed by years of swimming in America’s mainstream media-assisted propaganda.

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The Way to Kill a Frog—

Curiosity killed the cat, they say, but the old saying goes on to add that satisfaction brought it back. Rather than satisfaction, my research revealed that not only does the United States stand astride the world militarily, it owns the country. Frightening is more appropriate than satisfaction.

To those who might say that I am anti-American or merely dreaming this up, I will point out that the facts revealed by research surprised me. Still doubt it? I suggest you read on and that you do your own research. It is said that the truth shall set you free. Be prepared to be set free. Oh, and the way to kill a frog is to put it in tepid water that is slowly brought to a boil.

Octopus logoGallup reports that the U.S. military is the most trusted institution in America (78%). It leads heavily over second place Small Businesses (64%) and well ahead of the police, religion, the Supreme Court, the presidency and Big Business. Lowest is Congress at only 12%.

According to Politifact, the American government spends more on its military than the next eight nations combined. And that is only what the Pentagon reports. We have no idea how much is not reported. America throws money at its military.

I researched military bases (all services) in the U.S. The military has bases in every state except little New Hampshire. Put clearly, there are bases in 49 of the 50 states.

How about military contractors? These are the folks who provide everything needed by the military from guns to toilets. This is tough to pin down and incomplete, but Wikipedia lists the top 100 military contractors. To be on this list requires that these companies have contracts for $7 million or more. That minimal figure is dwarfed by virtually all of the contractors. It’s a very long list. No doubt the management of these companies are aligned with American military interests. You will note that some of these companies are foreign companies, but the vast majority are in America where the money is shoveled out.

Earlier, I alluded to the enormous influence the military exerts on American life. Here are some of the details of that influence.

Congress pays the bills for the military. The Pentagon submits an annual bill that Congress pays without question. Now, these military guys are not stupid, so do you expect that they will figure out ways to scrimp to save taxpayer money? Even as the Pentagon and its supporters complain about the sequestration, demanding that the poor get less so our “national defense” won’t suffer, Congress regularly gives the Pentagon more than it requests. Their thinking is that it’s necessary to keep the military happy.

Authorized by Congress, police departments throughout the country receive military equipment. Despite citizen complaints and minimal action by the administration, the police are an arm of the military. As if military equipment isn’t enough, The National Security Agency (NSA) provides intelligence to police departments. That is, they snoop on us.

How about America’s schools? Courtesy of the No Child Left Behind Act, the military has access to America’s high schools. Every year, recruiters tell students of the many “benefits” offered to any student who will sign up. To the disadvantaged youths in American society, the military offer is seen as a chance to earn a living. Nothing is said about war, death, post-traumatic-stress and suicide. Even as I write this, the military continues to ignore the stress suffered by traumatized soldiers…and cuts corners.

The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) offers junior and senior high school students as well as college students training in the military arts. This training comes with uniforms.

Defense Department “career-awareness” days and entertaining weapons displays entrance everybody. Hell, bring the whole family and join in the fun checking out armed helicopters.

What about military partnerships with businesses, large and small? Jolly St. Nick distributes military recruitment propaganda to children in San Diego. The San Diego School District confirms this.

Toys? Walk into any Walmart and see G.I. Joe dolls aplenty. And TV cartoons are part of the colorful entertainment that grabs the eyeballs of kids after school.

Movies? America leads the world in spreading its military propaganda far and wide around the globe. Sylvester Stallone has gotten rich wielding an M-16 and flexing his muscles in that snappy camouflage costume.

National holidays extol the patriotism and dedication of America’s military “defenders.” And let us not forget the generals who suggested that women as well as men should be required to sign up for the draft.

And the capper…kindergarten students are provided with worksheets on which they graph their preferences as to which branch of the armed services they and their classmates find most attractive. It’s offered free on the Internet. Cash-strapped American schools leap at the chance to get free material.

I suggest you read Truthouts article “Why Is My Kindergartner Being Groomed for the Military at School?” You may believe the article is exaggerating or lying, but clicking on my highlighted areas will reveal the shocking truth.

If you harbor even the slightest doubt that America’s military has taken over the country, you’re not paying attention.

The Chinese have a proverb that says, “He who rides the tiger is afraid to dismount.” It means that once started, it is dangerous to stop. Plainly, our country has been swallowed by its military tiger. The U.S. military has carried out a silent coup in America.

 

 

 

8 comments

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  1. You write this as if military presents and influence is a recent phenomena.
    Military contractors go back to the earliest needs of the U.S. Army. The Wright Brothers being notable contractor wannabes, demonstrating flight to the U.S. Army and leading to the death of first lieutenant Thomas Selfridge, the first man to die in a powered airplane crash during one of those demonstrations.
    The ROTC began as part of the National Defense Act of 1916. This program commissioned its first class of lieutenants in 1920. Recruiters visiting High schools goes back nearly that far as well. I remember welcoming them to my high school campus, mostly because I got out of gym class due to their presentation.
    The G.I. Joe doll was released in the early 60′ and was by no means the first military toy….tin soldiers go back to the era of our forefathers and earlier!
    In times of conflict the military always has a high profile….and since we, as a nation, can’t seem to refrain from conflict, it’s presents will grow and grow. Why this country can’t seem to get a grasp on taking care of the men and women we send of to those conflicts is baffling. It’s a disgrace at best, and criminal by definition.
    The Right-wing elements in this country, who are largely responsible for our war mentality, may now be reaping the rewards of their intransigence and narrow minded views and actions in the form of Donald Trump. They have created this monster…..and while they may be enamored of him now, time will reveal, to even the most ignorant, that the American way that they so revere, will be trampled under his guidance. I may be wrong about this, however….I’m beginning to realize that the America that I love and value is not the same America that they claim has been stolen from them.
    They want to ‘go back’ to a time that they seem to aggrandize. Perhaps back to segregation, worker abuse, child labor, DDT, death-trap automobiles, insane asylums, corporal punishment, and wars of glory…. Wars that actors like Ronald Reagan and John Wayne can bring to the big screen and remind us of how really great we are.

      • Don Bay on March 14, 2016 at 10:40
        Author

      This piece was intended to illustrate how America has been militarized over the years. It is not a recent phenomenon but one that has taken place gradually until, like the octopus in the illustration, it reaches its tentacles into every part of American society…indeed, the world. Like Topsy, it has “grow’d.”

      Certainly, as you point out, contractors have been around almost since the country was founded. Also, I was briefly a member of the Air Force ROTC in college (I quit when I saw where I was headed). Though they were not allowed to recruit when they started, now the No Child Left Behind Act specifically allows recruiters to do their thing at schools and colleges throughout the country.

      While a military “coup” is usually sudden with the military taking over, no traditional coup is needed as long as the military owns a compliant congress and administration. The military is in every nook and cranny of America and they get all the money they want so why be obvious?

      As I said at the outset, this piece is intended to show how thoroughly America has been militarized. The thoroughness surprised even me, so I wrote about it to help others see just how we have been quietly sucked in.

      The moral to this story is that a gradual absorption is more effective than a sudden coup. Looks like the Republicans have learned this.

  2. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. Dwight D. Eisenhower farewell speech.

    The general warned us and we didn’t pay attention. Or maybe we did, and that’s what the people want. Well, we’ve clearly decided to ride the tiger.

      • Don Bay on March 14, 2016 at 10:50
        Author

      The words of President Eisenhower were prophetic. We didn’t listen or it was too late. Regardless, America is thoroughly militarized today. As you say, America has ridden the tiger.

      I am compelled to add that all great empires throughout human history fade and disappear. That appears to be America’s fate, too, and it has already begun.

      1. It would appear that the slide to ruin is beginning….

          • Don Bay on March 15, 2016 at 10:09
            Author

          History shows that all empires fall. “Not with a bang but a whimper” comes to mind. It was a promising experiment before it started coming unraveled.

    • Donna Boe on March 25, 2016 at 02:55

    I am still hoping that Pres. Obama will issue an executive order compelling all military contractors to disclose their political contributions and lobby expenses. – at least I telephone the White House at least once a week asking Obama to do this.
    Also, peace organizations should have access to schools to recruit for non-military jobs.
    These, of course, are only small dents in the military-industrial complex, but at least it would be something.

      • Don Bay on March 25, 2016 at 07:11
        Author

      Good for you in telephoning the White House. You are one of very few who take the time to do so.

      A policy of having all government contractors—including military contractors…and there are many—report their political and lobbying expenses is essential to open government. What exists now is anything but an open government.

      I’m not familiar with the policies affecting peace organizations having access to schools, but I harbor the suspicion that schools restrict access to peace organizations. As a thoroughly militarized nation, most schools probably restrict peace organizations from participation. The exception, if any, would be schools affiliated with the Quaker faith.

      Small dents are better than no dents in America’s military tiger.

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