Thursday, May 24, 2007

Blacks and Iraq - Exodus Mentality

Blogger -Exodus Mentality - Responds to Blacks and Iraq post by African American Opinion Blog. The response was so powerful I had to repost it here at the Independent Bloggers' Alliance.

We can’t seriously talk about Iraq unless we are willing to also discuss American imperialistic activities and the worldwide hegemony desired by the current administration.
The United States has permanent military bases in every significant country in the world. “According to the Defense Department’s annual “Base Structure Report” for fiscal year 2003, which itemizes foreign and domestic U.S. military real estate, the Pentagon currently owns or rents 702 overseas bases in about 130 countries and HAS another 6,000 bases in the United States and its territories. Pentagon bureaucrats calculate that it would require at least $113.2 billion to replace just the foreign bases — surely far too low a figure but still larger than the gross domestic product of most countries — and an estimated $591,519.8 million to replace all of them. The military high command deploys to our overseas bases some 253,288 uniformed personnel, plus an equal number of dependents and Department of Defense civilian officials, and employs an additional 44,446 locally hired foreigners. The Pentagon claims that these bases contain 44,870 barracks, hangars, hospitals, and other buildings, which it owns, and that it leases 4,844 more.

These numbers, although staggeringly large, do not begin to cover all the actual bases we occupy globally. The 2003 Base Status Report fails to mention, for instance, any garrisons in Kosovo — even though it is the site of the huge Camp Bondsteel, built in 1999 and maintained ever since by Kellogg, Brown & Root. The Report similarly omits bases in Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Qatar, and Uzbekistan, although the U.S. military has established colossal base structures throughout the so-called arc of instability in the two-and-a-half years since 9/11.

For Okinawa, the southernmost island of Japan, which has been an American military colony for the past 58 years, the report deceptively lists only one Marine base, Camp Butler, when in fact Okinawa “hosts” ten Marine Corps bases, including Marine Corps Air Station Futenma occupying 1,186 acres in the center of that modest-sized island’s second largest city. (Manhattan’s Central Park, by contrast, is only 843 acres.) The Pentagon similarly fails to note all of the $5-billion-worth of military and espionage installations in Britain, which have long been conveniently disguised as Royal Air Force bases. If there were an honest count, the actual size of our military empire would probably top 1,000 different bases in other people’s countries, but no one — possibly not even the Pentagon — knows the exact number for sure, although it has been distinctly on the rise in recent years.” This information is from TomDispatch via

How stupid do you have to be to see that this is not a Defense Department, it’s an OFFENSE department? Why does this country feel the need to rule the world by force of arms? We call it protecting the world, but who asked for our protection, and exactly who are we protecting them from? Certainly not an old Muslim guy hiding out in a Pakistani mountain cave. How long are we going to ignore this?

We would also need to get into the whole nuclear arms race insanity. The simple fact of the matter is the idea of using nuclear weapons in this day and age is morally corrupt. We wouldn’t dare use one on anyone that had a chance of shooting a nuke back at us, which makes our continued production and threats to use nuclear weapons more pathetic than the school yard bully.

And once we come out and say that the United States can no longer rule the world through the threat of violence, what then? We still have to figure out a way for us all to live in harmony with each other and with this planet. The way things seem to be deteriorating, it seems that we are running out of time to find those solutions.

And let’s not forget that it’s not the politicians that we have to convince to stop the war. It;s the people who are making billions of dollars off the war and off the other economic opportunities the U.S. has appropriated for itself and protects with its vast armed forces. Let’s not continue to pretend that a politician job is not represent us but to get re-elected. That takes money, and therefore he who has the gold makes the rules. As long as war is profitable, those making the profit will ensure that there is always a war going on.

Addressing Iraq, especially form the viewpoint of Black Americans who are all too familiar with th heavy hand of power in this country, requires much more than just a superficial discussion about timetable for troop withdrawals. They could take all the “troops” out right now and there would still be any army or “Civilian military contractors”, better known as mercenaries, remaining in Iraq to keep the bloodshed going. Black people have to be forward thinking enough to recognize that this is no longer the same world it was, the good old days of world war are over, because the war machine has grown into a doomsday device and we dare not open Pandora’s box.

If we as an AfroSphere collective are to pick up this issue, let’s not go at this half-assed.