In the 242-year existence of the U.S. (1776–2018), the nation has been involved in 79 wars.
If we define a “war year” as one during which the U.S. was involved in war part or all of the year, and if we define a “peace year” as one during which the U.S. was not involved in war, then the record shows there were 224 war years (92.5 percent) and only 18 peace years (7.5 percent).
There have been 45 presidents. If we define a “war president” as one whose entire term included at least one war year, and if we define a “peace president” as one whose entire term included only peace years, then the record shows there were 45 war presidents and no peace presidents!
In addition to the aforementioned 79 wars, the U.S. is involved in many “secret wars.” In 2017, U.S. Special Operations forces, including Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets, deployed to 149 countries around the world, according to figures provided to TomDispatch by U.S. Special Operations Command. That’s about 75 percent of the nations on the planet and represents a jump from the 138 countries that saw such deployments in 2016 under the Obama administration. It’s also a jump of nearly 150 percent from the last days of George W. Bush’s White House. This record-setting number of deployments comes as American commandos are battling a plethora of terror groups in quasi-wars that stretch from Africa and the Middle East to Asia.
This written by the father of the climber John Bachar.
Prisoner of the Military-Industrial Complex
President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his farewell address to the nation on Jan. 17, 1961, warned against a formidable union of defense contractors and the armed forces:
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
We shall see below how much his wisdom has been ignored.
‘The Greatest Purveyor of Violence in the World Today: My Own Government’
“Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” was a speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1967, at Riverside Church in New York City.
MLK proclaimed that “my conscience leaves me no other choice,” and he described the war’s destructive effects on both America’s poor and Vietnamese peasants, and insisted that it was morally imperative for the United States to take radical steps to halt the war through nonviolent means.
He recounted his “experience” in the ghettos of the North over the last three years—especially the last three summers:
As I have walked among the desperate, rejected and angry young men I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked—and rightly so—what about Vietnam? They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today—my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.
The historical record shows that MLK’s impassioned and humane plea for nonviolence has fallen on the deaf ears of the military-industrial complex.
Consequences of the Out-of-Control Military-Industrial Complex, the American Empire and the National Security/Surveillance State