Poll: Americans support the military-industrial complex above all else

Global Research, April 27, 2017

A new Morning Consult/POLITICO survey, published on 26 April, indicates that most American voters support the military-industrial complex more than they support any other recipient of U.S. federal government spending.

The military-industrial complex includes almost all federal contractors, the top ten of which, in the ranking of the “Top 100 Contractors of the U.S. federal government”, are all military suppliers:

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1: Lockheed Martin.
2: Boeing.
3: General Dynamics.
4: Raytheon.
5: Northrop Grumman.
6: McKesson.
7: United Technologies.
8: L-3.
9: Bechtel.
10: BAE.

Those ten firms would be the likeliest main beneficiaries from today’s America’s extremely pro-military-industrial-complex public, which is clearly revealed in this poll.

2,032 American voters were asked in the poll a list of objectives that might be so important as to justify “the government must shut down.” Only one single objective was close to being supported by an absolute majority of the respondents, so that the government’s going to shut-down would, in those respondents’ view, be justified for Congress to do in order to achieve that given objective, which was stated as: 

“Increase funding for defense and homeland security.” 47% of respondents (just shy of an absolute majority, which is 50+%) chose that goal as being so drastically important; 39% chose instead the answer, “NOT important enough to prompt a shutdown.” 14% chose “Don’t Know / No Opinion.” In other words: 47% were in support of any member of Congress who refused to vote to fund the government unless the proposed legislation to keep the government going would “Increase funding for defense and homeland security” (increase funding that’s going mainly to those ten firms).

Increased spending on the military-industrial complex (which is incontestably the most corrupt portion of the U.S. federal government) is so extremely important to 47% of America’s voters, according to this poll. Those 47% are like a huge cheering section for those ten corporate stocks: they’re willing to shut down the federal government if the taxpayer-money going to those ten firms isn’t increased.

The second-highest-supported listed objective, “Continue to make cost-sharing payments to health insurance companies,” was supported by only 42% of respondents. Exactly the same percentage, 42%, chose “NOT important enough to prompt a shutdown.” So: only “Increase funding for defense and homeland security” was supported, in this poll, by more people than opposed it — and it was supported by 47% and opposed by only 39%; so, it was supported by 47/39, or 1.21 times as many respondents, as the number of respondents who opposed it. The proponents of increasing the military-industrial-complex don’t merely dominate; they clearly dominate.

The third-highest-supported objective, at 35%, was “Provide health care benefits to retired coal miners.” 44% said that that goal isn’t worth shutting down the government in order for it to be attained. I.e.: more think that those miners should be left to die than think that continuing to provide for their black-lung treatments (etc.) is essential.

The lowest support of all, at only 27%, was “Fund a wall along the Mexican border.” Donald Trump’s alleged support for that is shared by far fewer Americans than oppose it. 61% of respondents on that say it’s “NOT important enough to prompt a shutdown.”

In between was the 32% who wanted to shut down the government unless it would “Decrease funding for domestic programs.” By contrast, 48% said that that goal was “NOT important enough to prompt a shutdown.” In other words: congressmen who would vote to shut down the federal government unless the proposed budget reduces “funding for domestic programs” would be opposed by a very large majority (48% to 32%) of America’s voters: 50% more Americans oppose than support it.

Americans, according to this poll, very strongly, by a 47% to 39% margin, absolutely demand “Increase funding for defense and homeland security,” but by an even stronger 48% to 32% margin, they do NOT absolutely demand “Decrease funding for domestic programs.” (This poll did not inquire regarding whether there is more support for increasing domestic programs than for decreasing those programs.)

Retired U.S. Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who, as the Chief of Staff to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell had been deceived into believing the military-industrial-complex’s hired allegations in 2002 about Saddam Hussein and “WMD,” became afterward an opponent of that very same operation which had deceived him, has since said (at 11:06- on the video here) about that operation which had deceived him:

It is a corporate complex that is growing and it surrounds everything else, including what I call fateful decision-making. … You are serving the ulterior purposes of the leadership of the country. … You are serving corporate and commercial interests, you are serving the interests of people who bureaucratically are seeking power within the structure, and you are serving the interests of what is basically an incompetent governing process. 

This latest poll makes very clear that the majority of the U.S. public are satisfied with that situation, or else don’t know that it’s even the case. Of course, if they don’t know the reality about this matter, then they’ve been deceived by the news media they’re being exposed to, and/or by whatever other sources have influenced them regarding it; but, otherwise, they really do love the military-industrial-complex, and they authentically demand that more and more of their tax-dollars go toward paying for it.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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German researchers find overwhelming Crimean support for Russian annexation

Posted on Oriental Review, February 10, 2015

By Konstantin KOSARETSKY (Ukraine) 

A few days ago an interesting study, “The Socio-Political Sentiments in Crimea,” was released by the Ukrainian branch of GfK, the well-known German social research organization, as part of the Free Crimea initiative. Intriguingly, the primary objectives of this project, launched with the support of the governmental Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, were to “debunk aggressive Russian propaganda” and to “reintegrate Crimea into Ukraine.” Thus the researchers can hardly be suspected of being Russian sympathizers. So let’s take a look at the results.

The attitudes of Crimeans were studied in January 2015. This representative sample included 800 respondents living on the peninsula, from all age and social categories. The poll had an error margin of 3.5%.

In answer to the most important question: “Do you endorse Russia’s annexation of Crimea?82% of the respondents answered “yes, definitely,” and another 11% – “yes, for the most part.” Only 2% gave an unambiguously negative response, and another 2% offered a relatively negative assessment. Three percent did not specify their position.

We feel that this study fully validates the results of the referendum on reunification with Russia that was held on March 16, 2014. At that time 83% of Crimeans went to the polling stations and almost 97% expressed support for reunification.

Ukrainians continue to question whether this was a credible outcome, but it is now backed up by the data obtained by the Germans. The 82% of the respondents who expressed their full confidence in the results of the Russian election make up the core of the electorate who turned up at the ballot boxes on March 16, 2014.

These figures are also relevant in terms of another important question. The former chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars, Mustafa Dzhemilev, has repeatedly stated that all Tatars on the peninsula are opposed to reunification with Russia. Dzhemilev’s statements have been widely quoted by the media, which present them as entirely authoritative and undisputed.

But let’s think about that – Crimean Tatars make up 12% of the Crimean population, yet only 4% of those polled conveyed disapproval of Crimea’s reunification with Russia. And that 4% very likely includes not only Tatars, but also Ukrainians and citizens of other ethnicities. There’s an inconsistency here. Of course further study is needed on this issue, but the results obtained by GFK cast doubt on whether Mustafa Dzhemilev or the entire Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars is an accurate barometer of the feelings of the Crimean Tatar community.

Those few respondents who disapproved reunification were then asked “Why do you fully or mostly disapprove annexation?Only 20% of them (i.e., less than 1% of the total sample) claimed that they preferred to live in the state of Ukraine. The most common response, offered by 55% of those who opposed reunification, was “Annexations was not fully legitimate, it should be brought into accord with the international law.” Which means that, in theory, they do not object to the idea of living in Russia, but rather question the legitimacy of the transition.

GFK1

No doubt it would be a good idea to hold such a referendum under the auspices of international legislation and in accordance with Ukrainian law. But would laws ever be passed that would grant Ukrainian regions the right to secede? Back in the totalitarian Soviet Union, Ukraine exercised its right to a referendum without a single shot being fired, while in “democratic Ukraine,” separatists are either burned alive as in Odessa, or are shot along with the elderly and children as is happening in the Donbass.

In answer to a question about their financial circumstances, 21% of Crimeans said that in the last year their position had “improved significantly,” while another 30% claimed it had “somewhat improved.” Only 13% of that population has experienced a setback, to a greater or lesser extent. This suggests that, despite EU sanctions on the peninsula’s economy, and despite Ukraine’s partial blockade on communication from Crimea, the reunification with Russia has provided most Crimeans with material gains. But even among those who have not reaped those sorts of benefits, there are few signs of nostalgia for their old Ukrainian citizenship: although 13% of citizens have seen their financial well-being decline, only 4% disapprove of the reunification with Russia. These figures suggest that economic sanctions are an ineffective means of persuading the residents of the Crimea to view Ukraine more favorably.

The results of the survey indicate that 28% of the residents of the peninsula regularly watch Ukrainian TV, and another 20% regularly consult Ukrainian news websites. This proves that no steps have been taken in Crimea to restrict access to Ukrainian sources of information, such as Ukraine has done in relation to Russian media.

And now the moment of truth: “What is your opinion of what is being written by the Ukrainian media about Crimea?” Who could be a more objective judge on this issue than the residents of the peninsula themselves? Who else but they – who have been fated to experience all the pros and cons of both Ukrainian and Russian citizenship – could better evaluate the accuracy of the information being published? Perhaps no one.

However, only 1% of those surveyed reported that the Ukrainian media “provides entirely truthful information” and 4% said it was “more often truthful than deceitful.” But 45% of respondents see “completely untrue information” on Ukrainian TV, and another 35% claim those broadcasts are “more often deceitful than truthful.” The rest either do not watch Ukrainian news programs or do not pay attention to information in those programs about Crimea.

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This is the verdict on the contemporary Ukrainian press, as handed down by an impartial panel of eight hundred jurors.

But if those who shape the media coverage in Ukraine today are so biased in regard to Crimea, how can we expect them to report objectively on other critical problems associated with this country? Can we trust Kiev’s official stance on the tragedy of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17? Or on the causes of the humanitarian crisis in the Donbass? Or on the presence of Russian troops inside Ukraine? Or on the human fatalities in Odessa or the victims of the “Heavenly Hundred”?

GfK’s study demands a clear answer to these questions.

Konstantin Kosaretsky is the Ukrainian freelance journalist and writer.

http://orientalreview.org/2015/02/10/german-sociologists-on-crimeas-choice/