Friday, July 31, 2009

Toilet Seats For Sale

Three Good Reasons To Liquidate Our Empire, Chalmers Johnson and Tom Engelhardt.

After the initial paragraphs of boo-to-America and Chalmers and Tom plugging their books and/or website, we come to the Three Good Reasons To Liquidate Our Empire And Ten Steps to Take to Do So, by Mr. Johnson.

Dismantling the empire for 3 reasons and how-to in 10 steps.

Reason number 1, empire is expensive. Johnson: "According to the 2008 official Pentagon inventory of our military bases around the world, our empire consists of 865 facilities in more than 40 countries and overseas U.S. territories."

Again, as I have said before, these stats, are based on the Pentagon's real estate/real property inventory list, and does not represent 865 military bases - but list real property and "facilities." The number of "bases" is closer to 250-ish. This "865 military bases" is used as it conjures in the mind of the average reader the image of huge bases of operation swarming with armed-to-the-teeth troops menacing the world. Also never mentioned is that two-thirds of our "bases" are here at home. A "facility" on the inventory list could be a guard shack, a warehouse, an outhouse. It could be an ammo depot in Japan which has 30 or so US military personnel and 400 Japanese employees, who probably want their jobs.

Johnson's solution to US hegemony - liquidate the "massive concentration" of military outside the US; it is "unimaginably expensive." (If the "left" dream comes true we will need that massive concentration of troops inside the US.) Yes it is expensive Bubba. But not so much because the US pays to maintain a presence on foreign soil - but because of good ol' pork here at home, especially if your brother-in-law has the contract for $600 toilet seats. (Ask John Murtha about military pork - he turned against the Iraq war when his military pork was reduced, because contracts were going literally for boots and gear, not the "high tech" or R&D of Murtha's district, a.k.a. earmarks.)

Does Johnson not know that the US is paid to maintain their foreign presence? Does he think the US presence is only on our dime? Does he not know the Japanese government bears about 75 percent of the burden of the U.S. military infrastructure and presence in Japan? And Korea likewise. Go on, look it up. It's those damn toilet seats that are unimaginably expensive.

Johnson cites a guy named Turse as suggesting the US sell the base assets of Diego Garcia and Gitmo - stating we could get an easy 4.8 billion for vacating these prime spots.

Excuse me sir, are you saying we sell military base assets such as communications and intelligence equipment, weaponry, aircraft, land and sea ports, buildings, air strips? Think China might be interested, or Iran? Maybe Castro could borrow enough from Hugo to buy our military assets - he already owns the land Gitmo sits on. If Turse had suggested we raze Diego and Gitmo and vacate I would have thought better of him, but to sell the base "assets" as military move-in-ready real estate is rather stupid for obvious reasons.

Second reason to liquidate, according to Johnson: "We Are Going to Lose the War in Afghanistan and It Will Help Bankrupt Us." Yes, that may be true but not so much for the reasons Johnson claims, and in the section under this heading he uses knee-jerk citations - not to prove anything - but to heighten the indignation of certain readers. To begin, the fact that the Brits and Russians couldn't win in Afghanistan is not proof that the US will lose.

Johnson then cites other authors who claim, "Pashtun tribes, almost genetically expert at guerrilla warfare after resisting centuries of all comers and fighting among themselves when no comers were available, plagued attempts to extend the Pax Britannica into their mountain homeland." There you go folks - these tribes are fierce, fighting (killing) outsiders and one another, because genetically, almost, they're just born fighters (killers). Johnson then cites another book who's author cited Lloyd George (British PM in WWI), who supposedly gloated (and the US behaves the same today), "We insisted on reserving the right to bomb niggers." That phrase is also included in works by Chomsky and others.

I will never understand how white folks on the "left" recruit and convince nonwhites by pointing out that white folks are racist, except "left" white folks. Don't sign up on that one Bubba.

Kind of makes me wonder who the real bigots are when decades-old racial slurs and comments on genetic violence are used on the current readership. Worst of all, Johnson is much more intellectual than the piece above would seem. He is writing down - to an audience that will have gut reactions to talk of economic waste, racism, rape.

We should never have committed to these wars - but folks, according to history, which self-appointed scholars and experts constantly cherry pick and point to - we better win now that we are in them - because anything less and the price will be further social and economic degradation at home, and the non-US replacement Empire will not be particularly pleasant to knuckle-dragging dumbed down Joe Blows who dismantled their own empire because it made them feel good about themselves.

Lastly, reason #3, Johnson lists as: "We Need to End the Secret Shame of Our Empire of Bases." Rape and sexual assault by US troops. Rape of their fellow soldiers and rape of civilians. He says, the "... U.S. military has created a worldwide sexual playground for its personnel and protected them to a large extent from the consequences of their behavior." Geeze, you could say Hollywood and MSM has done that domestically ... sexual playground without consequences ...

Rape, another knee-jerk issue, with statistics and stories that can be cherry-picked and assembled to read whichever way you like. Strangely, myself and not one military female I have known in the last 30 years was raped or assaulted. I do know 3 civilian women raped and beaten by nonmilitary men. The "left" as usual tries to connect the root cause of criminal behavior to the military. It's not your fault, the uniform made you do it. Dismantle empire and crime will disappear.

Johnson: "The military itself has done next to nothing to protect its own female soldiers or to defend the rights of innocent bystanders forced to live next to our often racially biased and predatory troops. "The military’s record of prosecuting rapists is not just lousy, it’s atrocious," writes Herbert. In territories occupied by American military forces, the high command and the State Department make strenuous efforts to enact so-called "Status of Forces Agreements" (SOFAs) that will prevent host governments from gaining jurisdiction over our troops who commit crimes overseas. The SOFAs also make it easier for our military to spirit culprits out of a country before they can be apprehended by local authorities."

The high profile case Johnson cites is the 1995 rape of a 12-year-old Japanese girl by 2 marines and a sailor. The SOFA agreement does not make it easier to "spirit culprits out of the country" as the military has no desire to shelter thugs and human misfits, and the host country indicts quickly, usually within days. The 3 men above were turned over to Japanese authorities where they were sent to prison until their release in 2003; one complaining of forced slave labor in an electronics plant. All were dishonorably discharged. The victim and family were paid reparations. A more recent case of a 14-year-old girl was dismissed as the girl retracted her accusation.

Rape is not "ubiquitous around all of our bases on every continent" for the simple fact that nearly all inhabitants around the base have livelihoods and relationships with and/or depend on base personnel, including prostitution. Another fact, never mentioned, is that some folks have now discovered that an accusation, an accident, a complaint directed at US troops can be lucrative. Never mentioned are the times when military personnel come to the aid of locals during natural disasters, medical emergencies, fire fighting, or building schools, clinics, roads, and other infrastructure. (Yea, they could be doing that at home.)

Those now and then anti-US base protests in Japan and South Korea are flatulence in the wind, instigated by local political factions who have another agenda, while the US "left" plays it as the US horror show trampling on innocence abroad. Wow Bubba, Americans must be the most wicked people on the planet, allowing so much evil in their name.

Johnson's list of 10 steps to liquidate the empire are the usual for the left/progressive crowd who swear they think deeply but it's surface only:

1. Go green. Our bases pollute. I kid you not, it's number one on the list.

2. Use talent/resources elsewhere (those raping grunts could fill potholes).

3. Dismantling would end torture. Guffaw guffaw. Torture was unheard of until GWB approved waterboarding? Better yet would be to dismantle cable TV and MSM - they perpetuate domestic torture.

4. Cut the train of camp followers who follow our military enclaves around the world, the dependents, civilian employees of DoD, and hucksters - along with their expensive medical facilities, housing requirements, swimming pools, clubs, golf courses, and so forth. These followers apparently are of no value as they have no connection to jobs, see #5.

5. Discredit the myth that the military is connected to jobs, scientific research, and defense. Is that because the military is connected to congress crooks who use mythical research and defense contracts worth real money to buy votes?

6. Stop being an arms dealer and close the School of the Americas (always a "left" favorite), a tune I have heard for 40 years.

7. Abolish ROTC in schools (another favorite "left" buzzphrase), there are other outlets for young men and women in school (gangs, drugs, havin' babies, besides kids are getting so obese they can't do the required PT).

8. Restore discipline and accountability in the military and scale back on private contractors. This may put a lid on those $600 toilet seats. :)

9. Reduce size of our standing army and deal better with our wounded troops. (Always have to add something that sounds similar to "support the troops.")

10. Stop relying on the military as a chief means of achieving foreign policy objectives. This one sounds reasonable to me - but - can we reason with those almost genetic fighting mentalities who turn on one another if there is no other, and still stone their women for diddling?

I used to agree with anything Chalmers Johnson penned. During the Korean war he served as a Navy officer in Japan, was a consultant for the CIA, and ran the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of California, Berkeley for years. Hmmm very interesting ... is that xenophobia I smell?

Yessirr, we should dismantle and downsize and reduce and discredit and abolish and stop and liquidate the empire. Just because other wannabe superpowers are not liquidating ... let us set the example ... or make it easy for them to take our spot ... let's have a going out of business sale, we have a lot of used toilet seats.

1 comment:

CoachingByPeter said...

It's understandable that investments in a long-rising market would be overpriced. The longer an uptrend continues, the more investors become convinced that it will continue forever. Confident that the fundamental value will continue to increase and hoping that the premium itself will rise.

Content © 2005-2020 by Kate/A.