THE devastating impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout continue to take a toll on the world and provide ample reason to reconsider where taxpayers’ money is being spent.
Several countries have even come to the conclusion that their budget would be better spent where it can potentially ameliorate the economic pressure on their citizens.
In the US, however, while such reassessments are long overdue, along with the trillions of dollars, Congress and successive administrations have lavished on the Pentagon, lawmakers have decided to once again shower the Pentagon with even more cash than it had asked for.
Interestingly enough, this comes as the massive US arsenal and fighting force deployed worldwide have proven to be powerless against grave non military threats to national security.
When it comes to US spending priorities, the numbers seem especially misguided in an era of tight budgets to come. And now, lawmakers have once again opted to shower the Pentagon with cash rather than address the country’s most pressing issues – matters which have left tens of millions of Americans breathing foul air, drinking tainted water, and struggling to pay for food, housing and health care.
Gas prices in the US are at an all-time high, rent prices have reached record highs, increasing consistently for the last 13 consecutive months.
Inflation is increasing so sharply that even the cost of basic utilities has risen by nearly 30% in the last 12 months. There are growing fears that the economy is poised to fall into a recession.
And now, at a time when Americans are fighting to keep roofs over their heads and feed their families, Congress plans to allocate a record $838.8 billion in spending to the Pentagon, which is nearly 40 billion more than the military had originally asked for.
American taxpayers should be angry. They are angry; many are not only angry, they are incensed, and they are protesting but, unfortunately, too many elected representatives in this country aren’t listening to their constituents.
They’re listening to the representatives and the lobbyists of the military industrial complex, such as Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, and General Electric.
So when you have those companies, and so many others, that are pouring millions and millions and millions of dollars into the political campaigns of members of Congress, and members of the Senate, and the President.
When they are pouring millions of dollars into their political campaigns, when they spend an inordinate amount of time on Capitol Hill lobbying for their interests, then you’re going to wind up with policies and programmes that are sending money to the Pentagon instead of sending money into states for schools, and retirement programmes, and the other types of social welfare programmes that are needed.
There are around 30 million people without health insurance in the United States.
Yet the US Congress is on track to give the Pentagon $37 billion more than what the military asked for.
This comes when Congress could have used the money to pay for a variety of things Americans so desperately need right now, such as school lunches, affordable housing and utility assistance programmes.
Lowering taxes by that amount, or giving this money directly to the American people, could put more than $100 in the pocket of every single American at a time when they desperately need it.
Not only would spending in such ways benefit individual recipients and communities it would also help revitalise the US economy and make it more equitable.
According to the US Labor Department, the annual inflation rate rose to 8.6% in May, shattering any of relief from the skyrocketing inflation.
As has been well documented, defence spending is one of the least economically productive ways a government can spend its money. On the other hand, spending on education, health care and lowering taxes, for example, have all been shown to create more and higher paying jobs.
So why is Congress poised to give government contractors the biggest taxpayer funded payday they’ve ever received despite the heavy economic implications that the move has on the country?
Well, the reason that the United States government is pursuing war strategies is because America is still in imperial hegemonic times.
And so you have people like Tony Blinken, and Avril Haines, Samantha Power Jake Solomon, Victoria Nuland, that are influencing decision makers in policy to try to start fights with Russia, try to start conflicts with China, to continue to try to start conflicts with Iran, to justify this immense military spending.
Meanwhile, gasoline prices have hit another all-time high in the United States, as President Joe Biden continues his war on American energy, amid the conflict in Ukraine.
In short, this is the military industrial complex and it is working overtime to raise the Pentagon budget at the expense of the taxpayer.
And while much of Washington is in on the racket and will also profit from this wasteful government spending, it will be the Americans struggling to keep the lights on who will inevitably have to pay the stiffest price.
It seems that the region has always been a war zone, at least in recent memory, and that there have always been one or two countries ravaged by conflict and destruction in the region.
- A senior member of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council says US President Joe Biden’s recent trip to West Asia was only meant to serve Israel at the cost of Arab and Muslim nations.
Mohammed Ali al-Houthi made the remarks while addressing a massive ceremony in the Yemeni capital Sana’a to mark Eid al-Ghadir, an occasion when Shia Muslims celebrate the anniversary of the day Prophet Mohammad appointed Imam Ali, the first Shia Imam, as his successor and the leader of Muslims, Yemen’s al-Masirah television network reported on Sunday.
Houthi said Biden, like his predecessors and former US presidents, did not come to West Asia ‘to serve Islamic causes, but he came to serve Zionists and Israel … (and) to spend Arabs’ and Muslims’ money to protect Israel.’
He also noted that the summit of the leaders of the United States and the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which was held in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, was not on behalf of Islam, just as it was not focused on humanitarian issues.
‘The whole summit was for Israel. We condemn whatever comes out of this insignificant summit that was held only to serve the usurper,’ he added.
Houthi further warned ‘the usurping Zionist regime’ that it will be defeated, stressing that the Yemeni people and the Arab nation are still alive, even if some Arab states normalise their ties with Israel.
‘The usurper regime will not be able to gain power through compromising regimes, as it did not gain power through the normalisation of ties with some Arab states in the past,’ he said.
Biden arrived in the Israeli-occupied territories last Wednesday and met with the Israeli officials as well as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. He then travelled to Saudi Arabia on Friday to hold meetings with King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (known as MBS), and other high-ranking officials.
Speaking at the GCC+3 summit in the Saudi port city of Jeddah on Saturday, Biden said America would not leave the Middle East, saying any vacuum left would be filled by Washington’s rivals.
He warned the Arab states participating in the summit of efforts by certain countries to undermine ‘the rules-based order’.
Biden said that he aimed to use the joint meeting with some of the Middle East Arab state heads as an opportunity to assert US leadership not only over the region, but also over other regions across the globe.
The summit brought Biden together with the heads of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq.
The summit’s host, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), claimed the meeting was held ‘at a time when the world is witnessing great challenges’.
In addition to Israel, the United States itself has been cited time and again by Iranian officials and many world leaders as the root cause of instability in the Middle East, and elsewhere.
The Islamic Republic believes cooperation among neighbouring countries, without foreign meddling, is the only way to achieve sustainable peace and stability among the regional states of the Middle East.