Another searing article by West Point grad and former US Army officer Joachim Hagopian.
With the 115 year old tradition of the annual Army-Navy football classic on Saturday, the so called “America’s game” and “rivalry for the ages” is now once again upon us. This occasion never fails to pay reverent homage to America’s so called “cream of the crop” elitist military academies and always from the president to celebrities Americans give tribute to our armed forces. At this time we hear that familiar patriotic mantra “support our troops” mindlessly repeated. So it seems appropriate now to take a cold hard look to examine what it actually means to “support our troops.”
As both a West Point graduate and critic of the American Empire, to me the “support our troops” sentiment has long outworn its propagandized welcome. US Empire has been using that contrite expression to brainwash Americans and justify its wars and violence for far too long. It sprang up during this last decade’s protracted war losses in Iraq and Afghanistan. Never was it ever heard during the Vietnam War when our combat veterans returned home feeling defeated and suffering from untreated PTSD symptoms, shunned by a nation that had bitterly turned against them and their war, particularly by their own peer group. Fast forward to four decades and three war defeats later, and our government is still sending Americans off to fight and die inAfghanistan (9800 currently) and Iraq (3500 with another 100 on the way), and now in Syria (50 just proposed with more on the way while war-hawk Bobbsy twins McCain and Graham are calling for 20,000 more troops in Syria). But this century’s wars we keep hearing red, white and blue, flag waving Americans urging us to “support our troops.”
Over the long haul, supporting our troops has resulted in the United States being the most warring, aggressive nation on earth, bar none. As we’re about to enter 2016, our ultraviolent country will be killing other human beings somewhere on this planet for 223 out of the last 240 total years the US has been in existence. That’s 93% of our time as a nation-turned-Empire we’ve been destroying human life. That’s certainly nothing to be proud of. Yet it’s “our troops” who’ve been the murdering culprit. No compassionate, rational person could possibly place blindly obedient support behind such rampantly wanton disregard and contempt for fellow human life.
Another fact that Americans can’t be proud of is knowing that the most warring nation on earth just since World War II alone has murdered up to 30 million people around the globe with an estimated 90% of them being civilians. Having initiated 201 out of the total of 240 armed conflicts from the end of WWII to 2001, it then follows that between those years the US Empire of Chaos and Destruction has murdered 27 million innocent people whose lives have tragically been cut short through no fault of their own for simply living in the wrong place at the wrong time belonging to the wrong ethnic nationality targeted by America’s full spectrum dominance and global superpower hegemony. And that was before the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
And what does it take to be targeted as a US foreign enemy? Any country whose leaders choose to support their own citizens’ well-being, independence and quality of life over US Empire’s fascist transnational corporate interests is attacked economically through sanctions and embargos, politically through propaganda lies and threats, or militarily though unnatural disasters/weather warfare, occupied invasions involving long term bloody conflict or acts of terrorism, coups and assassinations. Just ask Cuba, Venezuela, Haiti, Panama, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Congo North Korea, Donbas, Palestine or Russia just to name more than a dozen.
People around the world have been victimized for well over a century by American Empire’s willful rape and pillage of their lands in the name of stolen natural resources and inhumane forced slave labor, and those are the nations whose puppet dictators willingly succumbed and acquiesced to US demands and pressures. In fact in the tradition of the British Empire, North America’s entire domestic and foreign history has been made of genocidal killing, enslaving, stealing and subjugating other darker-skinned races into death and submission. Given this context with the bigger picture perspective, “supporting our troops” is really supporting mass murder around the world. So bearing that sobering, grim reality in mind, it’s time for Americans to cease and desist with their jingoistic rah-rah that only adds insult to injury to the rest of the victimized world.
In 2008 the US spent more money every 5 seconds to wage an immoral, unlawful war in Iraq than the average working American earned all year long. 80% of America’s taxes are earmarked towards funding the annual Pentagon budget to wage war around the world. When that kind of war investment misappropriating US citizenry’s hard-earned tax dollars places such lopsided priority over the well-being of its own people, with over a decade of wearing down an overextended military forced into fighting three, four and even five consecutive combat tours on two simultaneous warfronts, it also overburdened and decimated America’s middle class. And now for the first time in nearly a half century, the US middle class is no longer a majority in the United States. A large chunk of it died when sinking into an expanding lower class of impoverished, poverty-stricken Americans barely making ends meet.
But considering the costs of war to victim nations where since 2003 the US has killed over a million people in Iraq alone, this figure released from a study earlier this year is admittedly a conservative estimate. The study concludes that up to two million in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan have been killed by America’s wars. These colossal crimes against humanity constitute supporting the US federal government as well as its military troops a moral crime. America’s complete and utter destruction of the world’s second and third largest oil producers in Iraq and Libya, turning them into failed states because their one time US allied leaders moved away from the US petrodollar is unconscionable, yet that’s the tragic outcome of blindly supporting our troops. More than any other single country, the US today is responsible for allowing ISIS to make billions in profit from stolen oil from Iraq and Syria financing the biggest terrorist group on the planet. And US partners-in-crime Turkey and Israel are the two biggest buyers of terrorist oil. So in effect supporting our troops is also supporting both crimes against humanity as well as worldwide terrorism.
Supporting our troops has contributed to the world becoming far more armed and dangerous today than at any prior time in our recorded human history. Our nation is also responsible for spearheading the biggest arms race in history where it’s not just the US Empire spending so many billions on weapons of mass destruction but due to Empire aggression it has forced Russia and China to answer by also significantly increasing their military spending. A dozen years ago the US defense budget nearly equaled the rest of the world combined. But during this century’s two protracted US wars plus smaller secret ones around the world, America’s military expenditures have soared to $682 billion in 2012 from $417.4 in 2003.
he exponential rise of American aggression likewise has pressured the unilaterally declared US enemies Russia and China to significantly increase their military spending as well. The US has gone from spending near half (46%) of the world’s military amount in 2003 to just 35% in 2014 due to Russia and China dramatically expanding their military budgets. In fact following America’s lead, both the world’s annual arms sales as well as its military budgets have exponentially skyrocketed amongst dozens of countries all seemingly gearing up for “the big one.” Not surprisingly, at 31% the US is also the biggest arms dealer on the planet followed by Russia’s 27% with China accounting for 5% during the period from 2010-2014 that totaled a 16% increase from arms sold from 2005-2009.
Events and developments have escalated tensions and confrontations between the US and Russia and China in recent weeks. With the US backing NATO member Turkey recklessly shooting down a Russian fighter jet resulting in a Russian rescue helicopter also brought down last month, in addition to the probable ISIS bomb taking down the Russian airliner killing all 224 onboard a month and a half ago, the US Navy destroyer skirting inside the twelve nautical mile range of built up Chinese islands in the South China Sea, the United States and the West appear to be baiting Putin and the East into World War III. And with nuclear powers going directly head-to-head in Syria, Ukraine and Asia, self-annihilation of the human race becomes a very real and grave risk culminating after a quarter century of US Empire belligerently operating as the sole global superpower and “global village” bully.
Out of nearly 200 countries no other nation on earth has more than a few military bases outside its own country except the United States. In contrast to the rest of the world, the US sends 1.5 million military occupiers on active duty to over a thousand military installations on every continent throughout the globe. Just this week the Pentagon announced a worldwide expansion of military bases without specifying a total number under the auspices of secrecy. West Africa, East Africa and Afghanistan are slotted for full scale bases. Meanwhile US Special Forces that covertly operate by stealth surprise often at night in guerilla-type, fast strike operations are busily secretly committing acts of terror in over 135 nations globally, that’s about 75% of the all world’s nations.
Let’s look at the way our federal government supports our troops. After sending over6800 US soldiers (along with 7000 civilian contractors) to their early graves fighting in America’s two longest running wars in the nation’s history, leaving one million wounded personnel filing VA claims ranging from life threatening physical injuries to emotionally crippling PTSD traumas and scars, the feds have betrayed our patriots serving our country by treasonously targeting all returning combat veterans as the biggest enemy threat on American soil. Indeed veterans, gun owners and dissidents are deemed to pose a greater danger than even the feds’ own created terrorist monster ISIS that Obama’s open border policy facilitates easy access to establishing terrorist cells inside America.
Those veterans seeking help are customarily snowed under by lethal Big Pharma poison, fast becoming addicted and even more unstable. Many are haplessly waiting and dying on lists for medical services that often don’t come soon enough. Exposing forty veterans who died awaiting services on invisible lists at the Phoenix VA hospital alone triggered a major scandal last year. For several years running on average twenty-two veterans have been killing themselves each and every day in the United States. The overloaded Veterans Administration has been caught grossly ill-prepared to adequately deal with the sheer enormity of the problem with so many severely damaged ex-soldiers in dire need of long term assistance and care. One study predicts that up to nearly a half million veterans will end up with criminal cases in the court system.
With nearly half (44%) of Congress millionaires and so few (19%) ever serving in uniform now, the DC warmongers are ever-at-the-ready to send young men and women from America’s lower class into harm’s way fighting Obama’s dirty little secret wars in multiple combat zones around the world that the public never even hears about. Yet you’ll see next to none of their own sons or daughters fighting in some far off war. The way our own government has used, abused and not supported our troops is despicable.
And then a sizeable percentage of those Americans who are so vocal in their claims of “supporting our troops,” are too frequently disingenuous. Often hypocrites merely mouth the same banal platitudes year after year from their ivory-towered, pretend world, living so far removed and disaffected from actual war conditions or even knowing anyone who wears a military uniform. Never fathoming the tragic insanity or bloody lifelong consequences that US wars ravage on millions worldwide, permanently damaging all involved, Americans who haven’t a clue will glibly pay lip service, “We owe so much to our soldiers who fight to keep us safe and free.” What bubble, planet or century are they living on or in?
Since the inside coup of 9/11 was perpetrated, US citizens have become the murderous neocons’ war on terror victims as well, terrorized by their own international crime cabal government and militarized police state that’s effectively stolen their freedom and civil liberties while the guilty treasonously continue violating sworn oaths to uphold and protect both the Constitution and American people. Yet too many brainwashed, dumbed down and clueless in America don’t seem to get it. Maybe it’s because they’re bombarded 24/7 by MSM lies and disinformation that never expose the ugliness of war as it really is. The ruling elite controls all aspects of mass media, engaging in widespread censorship of films, television and video games where violence and war are only glorified. Military, CIA and FBI liaisons control every aspect of what comes out of Hollywood these days.
But over four decades of a volunteer army comprised of less than half of one percent of the total US population also contributes greatly to the widening disconnect between the 99+% civilian population and the less than 1% Americans in uniform. The atrocities and horror that the imperialistic Empire’s killing machine has inflicted on Third World nations half a world away may as well be billions of miles away on another planet or galaxy. Out of sight, out of mind goes many civilians’ insulated, tunnel version reality.
Those currently in uniform need to be reminded that they have a sworn duty to protect America from domestic and foreign enemies. As citizens who no longer live in a democratic republic but now a totalitarian police state, they need to recognize that their federal government has a diabolical agenda to enslave and eliminate fellow Americans. Instead of criminalizing dissent, the real domestic enemy has become the federal government and all Americans need to accept this tragic development. Therefore, both those already in uniform as well as those ready to sign up and allow themselves to become their crime cabal’s latest cannon fodder in the elite’s wars need to stand up and be counted as patriots loyal to their nation and fellow citizens rather than adhere to blind obedience to their psychopathic masters. It’s no longer okay to support the troops when they’re misdirected into committing treason against their own citizenry. Military personnel need to take responsibility for their actions and do what’s right by both their Constitution as well as humanity.
2015 has been a tumultuous year when by globalist design terrorism has expanded to all corners of the earth, spreading death, war and destruction in its wake. Meanwhile, feeling its economic prowess slipping away in the face of the emerging power of Eastern rivals China and Russia, the United States government has already conceded losing its war to retain the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency.
So this late in the power elite’s endgame when we’re still hearing “support the troops,” in actuality it’s time to fight for our lives in support of humanity’s struggle for survival and good ultimately triumphing over evil.
Joachim Hagopian is a West Point graduate and former US Army officer. He has written a manuscript based on his unique military experience entitled “Don’t Let The Bastards Getcha Down.” It examines and focuses on US international relations, leadership and national security issues. After the military, Joachim earned a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and worked as a licensed therapist in the mental health field for more than a quarter century. He now concentrates on his writing and has a blog site at http://empireexposed.blogspot.co.id/.