|THE BEACON (image by Ari Kalinowski)|
Dodging slavish coverage of pronouncements about the future (sic) of our attempted military dominance of the planet, I skipped links to USA Today / Fox News / et al. and went for the Guardian. I was glad I did. Here are some nuggets from Ed Pilkington's informative article "Barack Obama sets out plans for leaner military in historic strategy shift."
Obama became the first president to announce a strategy change directly from inside the Pentagon..."Yes our military will be leaner, but the world must know the United States is going to maintain our military superiority with armed forces that are agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies and threats."
For good measure, [Obama] added that the defence budget would continue to be larger than it was at the end of George Bush's term, and larger than the military spending of the next 10 countries put together.Former CIA director and current Secretary of "Defense" Panetta was also on hand to help cover the talking points, saying:
"Make no mistake, we will have the capability to defeat more than one force at any time."
|Ethan Miller/Getty Images|
Air Force Senior William Swain operates a sensor control for an MQ-9 Reaper during a training mission on Aug. 8, 2007, at Creech Air Force Base.
Panetta said: "As we reduce the overall defence budget, we will protect and in some cases increase our investments in special operations forces, new technologies like unmanned systems, space and in particular cyberspace capabilities and in the capacity to quickly mobilise."Promising more drones horrifies me, but the last part made me giggle i.e. the notion that the bloated empire of defense contracting will be able to beat the 99% in cyberspace. LOL
Putting a narrative out there is a stronger suit for the 1% than information control. Right now corporate bosses could be playing us by promising to spend less at a splashy news conference, but actually planning to -- oops -- lose a billion or trillion dollars to bad accounting practices concealed in a future endless fog of war. As I noted here yesterday, that's the gambit with announcing fewer generals while actually appointing more of them. Speaking of narrative, here's a refreshing dose of truth about the U.S. military budget and strategy from Medea Benjamin and Charles Davis that just landed in my inbox.
Now we hear Democrats like Obama and Panetta accusing Republicans in Congress of blocking funding for the military. Without a hint of shame. I think that when our government officials "threaten" China with our mighty force, we need to remember who holds the IOU's. These celebrity spokesmen work for corporations, ones who own them so wholly they can compel them to embarrass themselves delivering lines like "winning the future." Or this gem, delivered by Obama on the occasion of the "end" of the war on Iraq:
“That’s part of what makes us special as Americans. Unlike the old empires, we don’t make these sacrifices for territory or for resources. We do it because it’s right.”What I am thinking is, if the U.S. starts using drones a lot more against people around the edges of China, won't that still be the 1% attacking the 99% ? There are a whole lot of false dichotomies floating around in the air when the big boys assemble and speak into microphones at the Pentagon, that is for sure.
Occupy False Dichotomy!