Permanent War Age (PWA) is the post-September 11, 2001 government political and economic strategy both domestically and internationally. Upon declaring “War against Terrorism” (October 7, 2002), George Bush ordered his military chiefs to calculate the costs of a long-range war against as many as 40 countries. War Secretary Donald Rumsfield got $48 billion on top of what had been planned for military expenses, an increase of 11.6%. A constant increase in military expense is now a permanent aspect of the warlord's policies. Since 9/11 the military expenditure increase is 41%.
Within the context of the PWA, the CIA received TEN times the amount of usual funds to bribe foreign public officers and other informers. Official restrictions on the CIA against use of murderers and torturers were lifted. (1)
United States capitalism has been partly dependent upon
huge military appropriations since long before World War 11, but Big Business
has been busy extracting even greater profits by expanding its warmongering
over the entire world since that war. The weapons industry is the basis
for maintaining the empire's foreign interests and for keeping the domestic
In the half century since WW11, the US has sent its military forces to 44 countries 63 times.
The Norwegian peace researcher at Gutenberg University,
Jørgen Johansen, has concluded that in just two centuries the US
has passed the Roman Empire, which existed nearly one thousand years,
in the number of military interventions.
“Of the 220 times, in round figures, the United States has used military might against other states the majority have been against international law, as well as the ruling conventions and laws concerning the use of military power.”(2)
Even before the 9/11 terror attack the US stood for 40% of the world's military expenditures. Its sum was 20 times that of China (nr. 2 in use of military funding), which had/has four times as many inhabitants. Just three years after 9/11 the US was spending HALF the entire world military expenditures. In 2004, that sum was $1.03 trillion. The USA, officially, used $524 billion, including “extra” funding for their wars against Afghanistan and Iraq.
In 2006, the entire national budget is proposed to be $2.57
trillion with $424 billion for military expenditures. But on top of that
must come the “extra” appropriations for the wars in Afghanistan
and Iraq, which will come to at least $100 billion. Yet that sum ($524
billion) is only official. Hidden within the overall budget is approximately
$450 for former war costs: for war veterans' pensions and enormous medical
expenses for the wounded and poisoned (by their own military biochemical
weapons of mass destruction), and for interests on the wars' debt. Peace
researchers estimate that the real military piece of national budget in
2001 was 47%. (3) At today's prices, that means each and every American
(280 billion), babies included, are forced—without their consultation
or consent—to spend $4000 per year for current and previous wars.
The costs of current wars is mostly “borrowed”, again without democratic consent, from pension funds, from social security. In just over two years time, the US government has spent $300 billion for the war against Iraq. It is difficult to know what the real expenditures for domestic social program, which actually benefit people, is when reading the budget. So much of the funding under “domestic programs” includes funding for police and secret service, for the Homeland Security and even for war. I calculate that the real expenditures for people programs is around $200 billion, or EIGHT percent as opposed to about FORTY-SEVEN percent for current and past war-making.
The military must support Big Business' natural development, which is to concentrate private ownership and thus profits in fewer and fewer hands and places. This leads to conflicting contradictions: uneven economic and social development the world over, with greater poverty both in numbers of poor and the extent of their poverty. The richest 500 corporations possess one-third of the entire world's accumulative gross nation product (GNP), and 90% of these firms have their headquarters in the US, Japan and Europe. The richest 225 individuals possess half the wealth of the all the people (six billion) on the planet (4).
The gap between the richest and poorest nations has nearly tripled since WW11. The least development countries get less in investment capital. In 1994, 41% of capital investments went into these countries; in 2000, that amount had been reduced to 19%.(5)
The free movement of capital—along with nation states' support—, the growing concentration of capital and investments, the monopoly's unlimited power, the increasing oil prices, and the chain reaction in the wake of the Enron energy company scandal has resulted in the turbulent economy and in political and military developments we are witness to over the world today.
The 1997 Asian financial crisis hit capitalism hard, not only in Japan but from Russia to Latin America. Its consequences, coupled with the over-accumulation of capital and goods in the US, has led to an uncontrollable debt for all American families, which surpasses their ability to pay. The world's only superpower economy stimulates preposterous speculation in quick buying and selling of stocks and foreign exchange, which means that the economy is founded upon soap bubbles.
The military shall, once again, rescue the situation. Production, sale and use of weapons must be stimulated so that more can be produced and sold, thus bringing many capitalist greater profits, which then can be used for even greater investments. But how can the military arrange for its weapons to be used, more so than just for training purposes. After the fall of the Soviet and European Communist parties' state control, the US had a difficult time rationalizing its huge military budget and it began to fall. General Colin Powell, in charge of the first US invasion against Iraq, told the “Toronto Star”: “I am running dry of villains.” (6)
The US soon converted its terrorist friend, Osama bin Laden, into a terrorist villain. From good guy to bad guy. (Much like it did with CIA-agent, Panama strong-man Manuel Noriega). Then it decided that its former friend and dictator, Saddam Hussein, was a terrorist bad guy, too. It wasn't the first President George Bush who took him on as a terrorist enemy, rather as an obstinate independent dictator, one who wished to weaken the oil power of its Great Britain-created neighbour, Kuwait. It wasn't until France convinced Hussein to go over to the new Euro valuta, in exchange for the UN-approved “oil-for-food” program, that the second President George Bush decided that Saddam Hussein must be replaced.
Economist William Engdahl formulated it this way: “All
indications point in the direction that the Iraq war was taken as the
easiest way to send a deadly preventative warning to OPEC and others not
to flirt with rejecting the petrodollar system in exchange for a system
based upon the Euro.” (7)
Permanent War Age Goals
1. Most important for the US is to maintain and strengthen its dominance over the entire world.
2. The US wishes to establish an extended military presence in Iraq and will use this territory to expand throughout the Middle East and beyond, especially where there is oil and other important resources, and/or where people resist US hegemony.
3. It will control the transportation of oil reserves from the Caucasus Mountains, once part of the Soviet Union, the world's richest oil location. That is the main reason for warring on Afghanistan.
4. It will destabilize Central Asia and begin destablizing China.
5. The War on Terrorism shall last a very, very long time, in order to make it profitable to transfer part of production for civilian use to military production beneficial to the most powerful corporations—weapons, oil and other mineral concerns, for heavy industry. (In June 2005, War Secretary Donald Rumsfield, told the world that he estimated the US would continue occupying Iraq for 12 years.) The war-occupation is hoped to decrease growing US unemployment. War shall also stop the fall in the exchange rate as well as growing consumer lack of confidence, all of which creates an overproduction of goods and sales deficits.
6. US capitalists do not, of course, want European capitalists to become stronger in a united, sovereign EU, at least not in the long run. Such unification would strengthen their ability to become a competing superpower with its own army. But, in the short run, the Bush administration can tolerate and support a united EU, with a constitution, as long as the US can control EU's foreign policy and as long as European capitalists will back up its wars in the “Third World”. All Big Business is obligated to follow US imperialism and dampen their own independence, especially where the poorest peoples struggle for an increase in the economic pie, which threatens the profits of all Big Business.
7. And so there are us in the “First World”, who will not accept their endless and chaotic profit-greed, their constant efforts to take from us what we have achieved in a social network, and those of us who reject their bloody wars. There is much life in a new and expanding anti-globalization movement, and a rebirth of the anti-war movement. If we hold on and grow, we could damage Big Business-hegemonists' interests. We must be stopped.
In that short time since a few angry people hit capital's Wall Street, its most important buildings, and its army's headquarters, Big Business and its government have nurtured state terrorism all the more. The Yankees have gained a lot. WAR HELPS!
Permanent War Age Results
1. Since the crusade—War on Terrorism—began, the Pentagon has increased both the usage and sale of weapons. The armament industry's congressional lobbying ($35 millions worth) has paid off. Stock value rise, and 2.2 million weapon-producing workers (2% of the working class) receive an indecent high wage for selling their labour for war.
2. The US puppet regime in Kabul has granted the Texas-based oil corporation Unocal's bid for a 850-kilometer long oil pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan and India. There are 200,000 billion tons of oil at stake, enough to supply US energy use for 30 years. The Taleban rulers had stood in Unocal's path.
3. The US has taken over Iraq though with tremendous costs and difficulties.
4. As the mass media and state leaders focus on the holy terror war, US elite troops and paramilitary forces have more or less quietly intervened against liberation forces or Muslim rebels in Yemen, Georgia, the Philippines and Colombia.
5. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the US has extended its military presence in over half the world's nations. The US has 500,000+ troops stationed in upwards to 400 military bases in over 100 countries. In addition to Eastern Europe, the Yankees are in several Euro-Asian countries, in territories previously under Russia and China control or influence: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, along with 14 military bases in Saudi Arabia. (The US occupied much of S.A. territory after its war against Afghanistan's progressive government, supported by the Soviet Union. US presence in S.A. is the key reason why bin Ladin became an of the US)
6. The US prevented a true solution to the conflict in Kashmir and thus a long-lasting peace between India and Pakistan, because that would release greater potential for India, which could threaten US economic interests. The US has been involved in Kashmir at least since the CIA, along with Pakistan's military intelligence unit, ISI, created the Mujahidin in Kashmir and Taleban in Afghanistan.
7. Atomic weapons once again are considered acceptable war weapons, rather than weapons of war deterrent. The war-terror world climate gives the green light to the right-wing part of The Establishment, to its long time desire to use atomic weapons. They also get their wish to set Russia and China on the list of possible targets for “tactical atomic weapons.” Also on the list are: Iran, North Korea, Libya, Syria, and possibly Cuba. Other weapons of mass destruction, most of them prohibited by the UN, are in use.
8. The US tried but failed twice in removing Venezuela's progressive president Hugo Chavez. A third attempt is reportedly on the drawing board. The CIA had, once again, miscalculated the strong support Chavez has from the poor, from the vast majority of people. Besides the social reforms for his people what most irritates the US is Chavez' backing of liberation forces in Colombia and his barter trade with Cuba: oil for health care and education. Venezuela is the world's fourth largest oil delivering country, most of which is still sold to the US.
9. The US has set Cuba's name on its “terrorist state” list, the so-called “evil axis” powers. Without offering any evidence, the US claims that Cuba is producing biological weapons—certainly a big lie as was theirs about Iraq. One is not expected to even ask the question about why the US produces and uses weapons it falsely accuses Cuba of producing, though the US does not content Cuba uses what it is not even producing. The biggest irony of this lie is that the US undersecretary of weapons control, John Bolton, patched the accusation together from the real fact that Cuba is a leading nation, and the only “third world” country, to have achieved expertise in creating and producing its own biotechnology industry, including the production of 12 of the 13 vaccines it uses for all of its children, and does so without any economic cost to the families. It seems that it is a crime, according to the natural laws of capitalism, to do such a human thing, an affront to the “free market economy.”
10. Bush's rhetorical attack upon Cuba is connected to its success in getting José Bustani removed as OPCW's chief of weapons inspection. The Brazilian-born public servant saw no difference between small and poor nations and large and rich nations. Bustani demanded the same access to control laboratories and chemical factories in the US as in every other land. When OPCW was forced, at economic gunpoint, to fire him, Bustani said, on April 21, 2002, that he sought to “Promote Iraq's signature to the Convention on Chemical Weapons...in accordance with the UN Security Council guidelines.” That was not in the US's interests.
11. The US assumes the “right” to board any skip anywhere in the world regardless of the flag it flies. This is an open affront to the sovereignty of every nation in the world.
12. Big Business wars gives them the “right” to reduce all the more its taxes to society's infrastructure, to people programs. From paying 20% of all taxes a handful of years ago, Big Business under Bush is now only contributing 10%.
13. The PWA shall be sold. We shall be afraid. Thus we will be passive supporters to their wars and terror laws, which reduce our civil liberties and the accumulated power of the working class.
14. The US government succeeded without opposition to codify the “Patriot Act”, which opens up for a police state: far-reaching surveillance of most everything and anyone it wishes, and the indefinite jailing on “suspicion of being a terrorist” without any rights to visitation, to an attorney, to court orders or trials. The government has a capacity to intern many millions of people under this law in 600 jails and concentrations camps—in addition to the illegally occupied Cuban territory known as Guantánamo base. The majority of these places are hidden and can hold 20,000 people. But one camp in Fairbanks Alaska is said to be able to hold two million people. These new interning capacities are paid for, in part, by the new ministry of “Homeland Security”, which currently receives $31 billion.
Since the “Patriot Law”, most European nations have proclaimed similar laws, again without consultation or approval of the people. Rulers definition of terror, against which they restrict our democratic rights of speech, press and to organize, does not include state terrorism. The definition is so broad most anything or anyone fits, except government and military officials. Loosely translated from the Danish law—which approximates the recommendation from the secret EU commission whose members are kept secret and whose criteria for placing groups on the terrorist list are withheld—states that terror is when two or more persons act with intent to create fear or seriously change or destroy the nation's political, economic or social structure. With such a law, the government's police forces can attack our collectively won rights, union rights, and act against social and political and economic opponents. It can easily be interpreted to disallow anyone from acting for socialism, since that would be against the nation's economic structure.
In something one would expect to find in “Alice in Wonderland”, the Danish government used the law for the first time in June 2005. It brought the pacifist, non-violence organization Greenpeace to court for committing “terror”. The judge found for the government, and fined the organization about $6000 for the acts of three of its members. Greenpeace has appealed. The horrendous act of terror consisted of crawling up—with ropes—the government's Agricultural building, in October 2003, and hanging a large white banner over several windows. The banner read: NO TO GMO PIGS.
Though the Danish government is afraid, until now, to come after a new group opposing the terrorist terror law. Uproar started protesting the terror law by collecting about $20,000 and giving them to two groups, which the Danish government and EU Commission, following the example of the US, placed on the terror list: the Palestinian PFLP and the Colombian liberationist army FARC . We divided the money evenly and even provided Denmark's police intelligence with evidence of our deed. The authorities are afraid to take the case to court, because we would have the opportunity to defy their secret criteria for placing groups on the list. Also on the list is the Turkish Kurdish liberation group PKK. There are others named; there may be others as yet not disclosed.
“We must go all the way back to when the Nazis had power in Germany to find anything similar to judge this law by,” said constitutional attorney Hans Kjellund. (8)
The Mass Media's Contribution
The mass media encourages the War on Terrorism by spreading
fear and so-called patriotic morality, and by censorship.
“Give war a chance,” read the September 13, 01 headline in the “Philadelphia Inquirer.”
“It is time to choose atomic weapons,” read the “Washington Times” headline, the day after.
The US government has gagged the media since 9/11, and the
media appeases by self-censuring. Television news has, for example, forbidden
any commentary from Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. The “Washington
Post” responsible editor revealed that the government told the newspaper
“a handful of times” in the first months following 9/11 that
is will control the news. The reason was that otherwise it would “bring
national security in danger.”
Thus, the media brokers for the government what the people will be told.
“The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country:” Nazi leader Hermann Goring.
Censorship and self-censuring are not enough for the world's self-proclaimed democratic nation number one. Just after 9/11, the Pentagon established “The Office of Strategic Influence” (direct translation from the Danish), in order to legitimize lying, which it admitted it would do. The “Office” sends anonymous e-mails and “news” free of charge to news bureaus world-wide. The objective is to cast US resisters in a bad light. Receivers of the “news” are not able to know if the information is true or not.
“This information will stretch from the blackest of black (ed. read “lying”) to the whitest of white,” said a spokesman for the Pentagon. (9)
The US thought, or said that it thought, it would be easy to take over Iraq. The ruling class is so arrogant and racist that it believed the Iraqi people would not continue fighting with any meaningful resistance forces. But since the beginning of occupation there has been an upswing of resistance. The occupation forces' reaction has been brutal. Thousands of civilians were murdered in Falluja in revenge for the liquidation there of four US mercenaries. The destruction of Falluja parallels the destruction of Lidice and Oradour in WW11. But there was so much unified and massive resistance in Falluja that the occupation forces were beaten back at first and called for a ceasefire. Later, they crushed the city, bringing it to ruins, using forbidden weapons, napalm, and depleted uranium (DU), which produces many diseases, including cancers, and genetic deformities in babies.
By June of 2005, reliable observers estimate that about
100,000 Iraqis have been murdered, overwhelmingly by US troops, and tens
of thousands have been tortured and imprisoned without any civil liberties
or judicial rights. The US claims “only” 25,000 Iraqis have
been killed and their “few” soldiers and mercenaries responsible
for the torture have been “brought to justice”.
Two years and four months after the US started its war, the aggressors are faced with massive resistance in Iraq, and growing resistance in Afghanistan. And their lies are no longer able to be hidden, entirely. Warring governments are also met with increasing resistance on the home fronts, especially in Great Britain. Thanks to a whistle-blower, like Daniel Ellsberg, one of Denmark's own military officer intelligence experts, Frank Grevil, leaked documents that show some of the lies that the Danish government used to rationalize its war declaration against Iraq. Denmark currently has 500 troops in the southern part of Iraq. For his “crime” of informing the people so that democracy would not be lost entirely, he has been convicted to six months in prison. He is out on appeal.
The US needs the claim that it “removed” a brutal dictator from power in Iraq because he opposed the people's will. That gave the US the “right” to teach the Iraqis what “democracy” is all about. The US also needs Osama bin Laden free in flight. He is its symbol of hate and fear, and thus the “need” for the Permanent War Age.
“You're either with us or against us!” Such has it actually been since the Monroe Doctrine (1823) when the US declared that the entire continents of the Americas was its back yard: Hands Off!. But since the end of WW11, the goal has extended to the entire universe. The US State Department's chief for national security planning, George Kennan, put it like it is, in the formerly secret Policy Planning Study of 1948:
“...We have about 50% of the world's wealth, but only 6.3% of its population...In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task...is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming. Our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives... we should cease talking about vague and...unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards and democratization...We have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans the better.”
Kennan was considered by the mass media to be a “liberal
dove”, just as John Kennedy, Bill Clinton and even Colin Powell
If permanent war cannot solve capital's economic crises, cannot provide it with “sufficient” profit, then it has its trump card: fascism. There is wind in fascism's sails both in the US and Europe. Once again they use racism as its foundation, which attracts a lot of whites, many are so-called Christians.
But there are many positive signs and trends. Consciousness about what the US and EU is really about is growing. More insiders are becoming whistle-blowers, and thus more people are understanding the Orwellian concept of “double speak”. Peace means war; Freedom means slavery; Ignorance is strength! Now it is time to escalate our resistance at home, the world over. The next step should be to create a broad national and international anti-capitalist movement. That could then evolve-explode into a strong movement for equality, for sharing our collective resources and production, and for collective decision-making, that is, for true democracy.
1. Newsweek, 12/17/01
2. My translation from the Norwegian Magazine, “Non-Violence”, as printed in the Danish daily, “The Worker”, 1/10/02.
3. Total outlays were $1,394 billion. Current military outlays were officially $325 billion, and unofficial past military war costs (vet benefits and national debt interest) was $334 billion. www. coloradicals.org.
4. United Nations Development Programs (UNDP) statistics.
5. United Nations Investment Report, 2000.
6. April 9, 1991. My translation from the Danish.
7. Translated from the Danish translation of Engdahl's article, “The New American Century?”
8. “The Worker”, March 23, 2002.
9. “New York Times” as translated from the Danish “The Worker”, February 23, 01.
Artiklerne på www.fritirak.dk er ikke nødvendigvis udtryk for Komiteen for et Frit Iraks holdning.
Copyright 2003-2005 www.fritirak.dk