The Magazine of Future Warfare
War fever swept the United States in 2002 as politicians, media corporations, and American Generals spread blatant lies about the urgent need to invade Iraq. In September 2002, I printed a 1933 speech, "War is just a Racket," by former Marine Corps General Smedly Butler in which he describes how the need for wars are fabricated by insiders so they can profit. The March 2003 invasion of Iraq was no different; the US military conquered Iraq to make money for racketeers. The $300 billion spent thus far was not burned, it was transferred to insiders who made fat profits. They have declared there is no end in sight for this war, so they will profit until most Americans accept the ugly reality that this war is just a racket.
Iraq was a ripe target to recolonize as Saddam Hussein had no allies and the world's second largest oil reserves. Oil profits could be diverted to major American oil and construction firms to repair the damage caused by the 1990 Gulf war and the subsequent embargo. In addition, Hussein had defaulted on loans to western banks because of the economic embargo and that money needed collection. Overthrowing Hussein and his nationalistic Baathist supporters and installing a puppet regime would allow many American millionaires to make millions more. It would also justify a huge increase in military spending and allow the US military to build bases in Iraq to better support Israel and western puppet dictators around the Persian Gulf.
However, Hussein was an effective leader who couldn't be overthrown, so the US government spent a decade trying to assassinate him. The United States armed Kurd and Shiite terror groups in Iraq, and frequently blocked an end to the UN economic embargo even after Iraq complied with UN demands and destroyed all of its WMDs by 1995. Saddam hung on, and began to realize the USA would never accept him as an ally again. Therefore, he began to fight back by openly supporting Palestinian resistance to Israeli ethnic cleansing. He then urged a revolt against the weakening US dollar by demanding oil payments in euros. Saddam had to go quickly, so insiders demanded the final solution -- a military invasion.
The US military had been preparing to invade Iraq long before the Bush administration took office. Equipment and supplies were stockpiled in the region while Iraqi air defenses were continually attacked under the "no fly zone" excuse invented by the US military. Detailed rapid deployment and invasion plans were drawn up. US Special Forces armed Kurds and bribed Iraqi Generals to disband their units once the invasion began. The Army even awarded lucrative LOGCAP contracts to allow American corporations to prepare for Iraqi reconstruction years before the invasion. The 9-11 terror attacks were exploited to provide cover for the conquest of Iraq. In his book "Against All Enemies," Richard Clarke, the former head of counter-terrorism at the National Security Council, was stunned when Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld wanted to attack Iraq after 9-11. He complained to Colin Powell:
"I thought I was missing something here," I vented. "Having been attacked by al Qaeda, for us now to go bombing Iraq in response would be like our invading Mexico after the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor." Powell shook his head. "It's not over yet."
The invasion of Iraq began with a needless "shock and awe" bombing campaign which caused billions of dollars in damage and killed thousands of innocents. I criticized this as immoral and counterproductive in an April 2003 editorial "Bombing For Fun." In hindsight, the more the US military destroyed, the more reconstruction was needed resulting in greater profits for insiders. This also explains why there were no plans to maintain civil order after the invasion and why US troops stood around why looters ransacked major Iraqi cities since that created even more reconstruction opportunities.
Experts had assumed the Iraqi army would be employed by the United States to provide stability so US troops could return home. This was the plan according to Jay Gardner, the man initially charged with rebuilding Iraq. We now know the US military always planned on staying in Iraq, it even announced last year that it was building 14 first-class "enduring" bases. The Iraqi army may have posed a threat once they realized the Americans came to colonize and US troops would never leave. This is why Gardner was quickly replaced by an unknown consultant with no Middle East experience, L. Paul Bremer, who began recolonization by cleansing Iraq of all institutional leadership by disbanding the army, police forces, and firing all senior and mid-level civil servants.
US troops still occupy Germany and Japan since the end World War II, so why does anyone believe the US military will withdraw from Iraq? The recent reduction in US troops in Germany and South Korea was presented as a rational cost-cutting move. It is now clear this is designed to free manpower and resources for permanent bases in Iraq, which has become the center of American power in the Middle East where the US military is free to do whatever it pleases without permission from a sovereign government. Why else would Bremer authorize the construction of the world's largest embassy in the heart of Baghdad?
Bremer also alienated Iraqis as he "privatized" Iraq's national industries, although "piratized" is a more accurate term. Iraqi industries were given away to American corporations, with American oil companies first in line. Bremer also awarded numerous "no bid" contracts to insider companies like Dick Cheney's Halliburton. The waste and corruption was so bad that the US Army Comptroller recently testified before Congress that it was the worst he had seen in his career. The plunder was so blatant that there is no accounting for billions of dollars in hundred dollar bills that were flown in by the planeload and disappeared.
Back in the USA, defense contractors banked loot as military spending soared 40%, all from borrowed dollars. The need for this increase was not debated and excludes the cost of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US military has now spent more dollars chasing down a few hundred terrorists than it did on the entire Korean war, and annual military spending exceeds the peak of the Vietnam war, even after adjusting for inflation. Now that the "threat" from Iraq has been eliminated, no one dare suggests that the military budget be reduced to help balance the budget. In contrast, Generals are excited that their decade long political push for a larger active duty Army and Marine Corps now enjoys strong support. While the US economy and stock market sputter along from the war drain, certain industries have enjoyed record profits and soaring stock prices, primarily defense contractors, oil companies, and those with lucrative Iraq contracts.
Proof that the Iraq war is just a racket is overwhelming and this fact is accepted by most everyone around the world, except in the United States where the corporate media creates reality. No one on television will dare utter the truth that Iraq was better off with Saddam in charge, or that Iraq was invaded because of its oil reserves. No one will suggest that no member of the Bush administration was fired or has apologized for "mistakes" in Iraq because they did what they were ordered. In contrast, all the key players have been rewarded with medals and promotions for the successful conquest and plunder.
This is why racketeers insist that US troops must remain in Iraq for years to "finish the job." Americans were once told the "job" was to rid Iraq of WMDs, then the job became capturing Saddam Hussein, then the job was to establish democracy. Those jobs have been accomplished, so it is now obvious that the job of the US military was always to colonize Iraq and establish permanent military bases, a job which may take decades. While thoughtful analysts argue that withdrawing most US troops would weaken the insurgency and save money, they ignore the reality that withdrawing US troops has never been a goal.
Money is flowing freely to insiders while Generals have great fun living in Saddam's palaces and helicoptering about to conduct major military operations against Iraqis they "freed.". Despite their image of patriotic icons, corporations have perfected an indirect kickback scheme in which senior Generals like Tommy Franks become millionaires upon retirement, so long as they keep their mouth shut and follow orders. This is why many politicians, CEOs, and Generals continue to state the invasion of Iraq was a good thing. They are not lying or deceitful, they really think invading Iraq was "good" because it was good for their organization, career, or bank account. The fact that it was unjustified, illegal according to international laws and treaties, opposed by the UN, opposed by most US allies, bad for the war on terror, and disastrous for the Iraqi people, American taxpayer, America's image, and devastating to hundreds of thousands of American soldiers and their families are minor concerns.
Some bewildered US soldiers express confusion as to why the Iraqis do not express gratitude for American reconstruction efforts, oblivious that the US military caused all the destruction and chaos in the first place. If someone blew up your house killing your daughter, would you express gratitude if he offered to help you rebuild it while you lived in a tent? These facts infuriate most members of the US military, who rush to the warm glow of their corporate television shows for comfort to hear a millionaire model tell them they are fighting for "freedom" and anyone who says otherwise is an "extreme leftist." Most soldiers cannot accept that they are being misused as corporate mercenaries. This is not a new problem, as General Butler noted back in 1933:
I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service.
Carlton Meyer editorG2mil@Gmail.com
G2mil editorials may be freely distributed without permission
Fall 2005 Articles
Letters - comments from G2mil readers
have been returned to the Members Library
Fire Support Coordination - a chapter in my book
Ban Sports Competition - between the service academies
Hyping Terrorism in the Philippines - no real threat
Understanding Peak Oil - the world is running low
US Army Restructuring - where the small brigades will reside
Chopper Down Over Kunan - SpecOps rescue in Afghanistan goes awry
Former Pentagon Officials Find Wealth - with contractors
The military strike option against Iran - problematic
GAO Report on US Military Pay (pdf) - much better than most think
The Pentagon's Surprisingly Sober Look at China - no real threat
A Tale of Two Wars - Baghdad is like 1967 Saigon
Canada flexes its muscles - war with Denmark?
Russia Will Equip Iranian Subs - with missiles
The worst kind of military news - casualty assistance officers
Get Out the Vote - fixing the Iraqi elections
The Modernization of the Chinese Navy - an update
Barnaul Bullets - stronger is better
Pentagon Poised to Resume Production - of antipersonnel mines
Third US Military Prosecutor Quits at Gitmo - rigged trials alleged
Why Did the Trade Center Skyscrapers Collapse? - yes, why?
Ridder's Baghdad Chief Replies to Criticism - outside the Green Zone
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