Friday, October 21, 2011

Occupy the Pentagon

Wall Street is certainly a locus of appropriate focus for a movement that hopes to break the cycle of extreme disparity of wealth and income in our world, but the Pentagon may actually be a better place to contend. Why?
Without violence or the threat of violence, the global disparity--which was apparently not much of an issue to the American people until that class warfare worsened and came home--could not long exist. The gun and the bomb makes it all possible. When a thief finds your car unlocked and running and takes it, that is stealing. When he holds a gun to your head and makes you hand over the keys and then he drives off with it, that is robbery. The Pentagon is what makes robbery possible globally, whether it's robbery committed directly by US troops or robbery done by foreign troops merely supplied by the Pentagon.

The profits of war are not all in war materiels in the arsenals of the branches of the US military. When Congress authorizes "foreign aid" and that aid is bombers, jet fighters, cannons, bombs, bullets and exotic urban fighting weaponry supplied to our "allies," the war profiteers rake in obscene levels of profit from no-bid and cost-plus contracts. When Israel or Saudi Arabia buys weapons from our Pentagon, those weapons are all made by private contractors and are often produced at higher profit margins than anything else. But even when Congress just gives it away the private contractors profit enormously and in all cases the elites are enriched while the middle class pays for it all. Contractors and the military alike have many lobbyists clamoring for more more more and every time someone suggests a slowdown in Pentagon funding the military handwringers go into high whine, starting with Sec. Panetta.

Since military spending produces the fewest jobs per billion dollars spent, it is the Pentagon that robs jobs from Americans, keeps repressive governments in power elsewhere--usually repressive toward their own 99 percent--and thus is both the engine and the enforcer of the very situation that the Occupy movement is addressing. Some occupations are addressing this, e.g. Occupy Minnesota.

In reality or symbolically, it is time to Occupy the Pentagon. While occupying it, convert it to a peaceforce that can lead the defense of freedom from poverty and liberation from inequality. If it cannot be converted it should be defunded.

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