We Must Stop Our Nation’s Push For Relentless War

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Above photo: From the Anti War Committee.

Join the People’s Mobilization to Stop the US War Machine (and Save the Planet) September 20 to 23 in New York City. Click here for more information.

Former president Jimmy Carter recently made a profound and damning statement — the United States is the “most warlike nation in the history of the world.” Carter contrasted the United States with China, saying that China is building high-speed trains for its people while the United States is putting all of its resources into mass destruction. Where are high-speed trains in the United States, Carter appropriately wondered.

As if to prove Carter’s assertion, Vice President Mike Pence told the most recent graduating class at West Point that it “is a virtual certainty that you will fight on a battlefield for America at some point in your life. . . . You will lead soldiers in combat. It will happen.” Clearly referring to Venezuela, Pence continued, “Some of you may even be called upon to serve in this hemisphere.” In other words, Pence declared, war is inevitable, a certainty for this country.

Moreover, it was recently reported that the Pentagon is preparing for war against both Russia and China, even as Trump and his henchmen are openly threatening war against Iran and Venezuela, doubling down on the nearly 20-year war in Afghanistan, and aiding and abetting Saudi Arabia in its genocidal war in Yemen. One might think, and certainly hope, that there would be a massive outcry against what appears to be the imminent threat of another world war.

And yet, this threat has been met with near total silence. Indeed, to the extent that the mainstream media have reacted at all to Trump’s war plans, the reaction has been disappointment that Trump is not moving quickly enough toward military aggression. One example was a May 11 New York Times piece, “Trump Said He Would Tame Rogue Nations. Now They Are Challenging Him” — a piece which essentially goaded Trump into using military force against North Korea, Iran, and Venezuela.

Listen to our interview with Dan Kovalik about his new book, “The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela,” written with Oliver Stone on Clearing the FOG.

What the Times and other press sources fail to recognize is that it is the United States that is the rogue state by any true measure. And this truth is not lost on the citizens of the world who, in two global polls, ranked the United States as the greatest threat to world peace.

In the meantime, the promised and desperately needed infrastructure overhaul in this country is barely mentioned anymore; tent cities sheltering the homeless are rising up in nearly every major US city; nearly half of Americans cannot afford basic necessities; and basic health care is still out of reach of millions of Americans.

The mammoth elephant in the room is the insatiable military-industrial complex, which is diverting precious resources away from these causes and toward the cause of destroying other nations. Meanwhile, the US war machine is arguably the greatest contributor in the world to the global warming crisis. And, as a symbol of its environmental threat, the US military just opened an airstrip in the Galapagos Islands.

As the 2020 presidential campaigns begin, it is baffling to witness that none of this is a matter of debate. The one candidate who is willing to broach this subject — military veteran Tulsi Gabbard — is vilified and ridiculed as a result. And yet, don’t people realize that there will be no “Green New Deal,” or “Medicare for All,” or other such laudable social programs as long as we continue down our unending path of war? Indeed, the United States just made history this year by experiencing a historically high increase in the deficit during good economic times, and this is because we are now engaged in deficit spending on war instead of meeting human want.

In the end, the greatest single thing we can do, both for ourselves and for the world, is to stop the United States from starting its next war, while demanding that it end the wars it has already started. We must demand that our government stop putting resources into war and destruction and instead put those resources toward building, meeting human needs, and saving our environment. This will require the rebuilding of the US peace movement, which once helped stop the war in Vietnam and the US war on Central America, and which mobilized record numbers of people in opposing the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Such a peace movement is needed now more than ever, and it is literally a matter of life and death.

Oliver Stone is an Academy Award-winning filmmaker and author. Dan Kovalik teaches international human rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. They both contributed to the new book “The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela: How The US is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil.”

  • Infarction

    Since the late 1930s during the Great Depression the US economy remains based on a war economy. While FDR’s vast social programs provided a terrific morale boost to the very souls of the working class, it was the war industry that finally dragged the nation’s economy from the depths.

    And so it remains until today. But the globalization ushered in by Ronald Reagan and expanded by each successive administration sent nearly all manufacturing jobs to developing countries that capitalists could more easily exploit. The sole export that the home of the brave now produces is war. The same cast of criminals that advocated sending the jobs overseas were the bought and paid for pawns of Wall Street and the war industries.

    This cabal of corrupt financiers and warmongers with the complicity of their toadies in the White House, Congress and the courts have looted the nation’s treasure as they wasted the flower of the country’s youth on eternal wars for profit.

    Unless and until the corrupt capitalist regime is rooted out of our government and replaced with a socialist government that caters to We the People instead of the plutocrats who stupidly continue the world’s destruction, the policies of violence, repression, homelessness and hunger will continue to escalate.

  • ANTONIO

    I refused to “serve” in Viet Nam and history has proven me right. Communist Viet Nam, especially the dreaded Hanoi is a thriving country with a awesome capital city- an opera house that would be the envy of the Metropolitan in New York, sleek buildings and beautiful tree lined streets. Needless to say they have free education and medical care. It is still communist and the US trades with it. What was the point of several million dead- for what?

  • chetdude

    May I suggest that if the republicans and conserva-dems in the 1930s hadn’t fought and watered down the New Deal, there would have been no need for the war to jump start the war economy (that REPLACED the peacetime economy), removed much of the labor force allowing full employment and allowing women to enter the labor force and FORCING the Owner/Donor Class to share the spoils somewhat after the war was “won”…

    But the WAR itself was NOT NECESSARY nor the Forever War that followed (1944-Present). Expanding and widening the New Deal into a real “Democratic Socialist” (or horror of horrors – a Socialist system would have done a better job and probably wouldn’t have created our existential nightmare.