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"In the largest military buildup since the Vietnam War, President Bush plans to increase military spending by $120 billion over the next five-years. This would bring the 2007 military budget to an astounding $451 billion." 

What this means is that the official DoD budget (excluding the CIA as well as billions of dollars of unrecorded military and intelligence expenditures, would be 50 percent greater than the GDP of the Russian Federation. 


The United States of Enron-Pentagon, Inc.

                                                                    by Douglas Mattern

Liberal Slant , 14  February 2002

Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG),  globalresearch.ca,     February 2002


Steven Kosiak, an analyst for the Center For Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, reports that 2003 military spending will be 11 percent higher than average expenditures during the Cold War, and by 2007 this will increase to 20 percent higher.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman asks why this huge buildup in response to an attack by maniacs armed with box cutters? More than one-third of the $68 billion allocated for new weapons in the 2003 budget is for cold war type weapons. Several billion dollars are allocated for cluster bomb systems that have been condemned by human rights groups around the world. There is no rationale for this level of military spending other than a clear intent for the United States to be the New World Empire, dominating the globe economically and militarily, including the militarization of space.

This astronomical military spending must be seen in light of Bush’ s $1.35 trillion tax cut over a 10-year period, with nearly nearly half of this money going to the richest 1 percent of Americans. So the question is where is the money to come from to pay for all the weapons? LA Times reporter Peter Gosselin gives us the answer, “President Bush relies on one source of new money more than any other to pay for his proposals: the trillions of dollars in Social Security funds being set aside for the start of the baby boom retirement.”

The clear winner in this mad scheme is the military industry. As William D. Hartung of the World Policy Institute puts it, Bush’s budget will “leave no defense contractor behind.” The other winners are corporate America and the rich elite that is rapidly turning our democracy into a plutocracy.

The losers, of course, are working people and the environment, as funding for social and environment needs are transferred to military spending and tax cuts for the rich. It’s becoming just one big Enron, or as New York columnist Frank Rich states it: “The United States of Enron.”

In Latin America, Argentines are banging pots and pans over this kind of corruption. It’s time for Americans to reach for their own pots and start banging. Or perhaps we should follow what the television anchorman did in the movie “Network” when he learned that corporations were ruling everything. He pleaded for people to go to their windows and shout “I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore.” In the movie, windows opened and shouting spread across the country.

Only peaceful protest by enough of the American people can stop the mass giveaway of our wealth for the military, corporate America, the rich few, and put it back in good government to pay for the social, educational, medical, and environmental programs this country so desperately needs.

Douglas Mattern is president of the Association of World Citizens (AWC); a San Francisco based international peace organization with branches in 50 countries, and with UN NGO status. The website for AWC is www.worldcitizens.org. Douglas is a contributing writer for Liberal Slant. Copyright Douglas Mattern  2002. Reprinted for fair use only

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