Review of Addicted to War by Joel Andreas

Why the US can’t kick militarism

(N.B. This publication is unavailable outside the United States and is endorsed by Veterans for Peace
however you may order on the web.)

[ Links to Wars - Grand Deception  - Index - Other Military Leaders who speak of evils of war:
Gen. Smedley Butler: War is a Racquet; Wm. Guy Carr - Pawns in the Game ]

Addicted to War Index Chapters & Titles

1 Manifest Destiny

2 Cold War

3 New World Order

4 War on Terrorism

5 War Profiteers

6 High Price of Militarism

7 Militarism & the Media

8 Resisting Militarism

9 Do Something about it

Chapter One :  Manifest Destiny      - - - ^ Index

“When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and assume, among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them….”

-Thomas Jefferson, from the Declaration of Independence, 1776.

“We must march from ocean to ocean, ….It is the destiny of the white race.”

-Representative Giles of Maryland.

The leaders of the new independent colonies believed that were preordained to rule all of North America. This was so obvious to them that they called it Manifest Destiny. This manifest destiny soon led to genocidal wars against the Native American peoples. The U.S. Army ruthlessly seized their land, driving them west and slaughtering those who resisted and they were confined to reservations.

“I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people’s dream died there. It was a beautiful dream …the nation’s hoop is broken and scattered.”

-Black Elk, spiritual leader of the Lakota people and survivor of the Wounded Knee massacre in South Dakota.

By 1848, the United States had seized nearly half of Mexico’s territory. General Zachary Taylor ordered scores of U.S. soldiers executed for refusing to fight in Mexico.

“Our condition at home is forcing us to commercial expansion … Day by day, production is exceeding home consumption … We are after markets, the greatest markets in the world.”

“I firmly believe that when any territory outside the present territorial limits of the United States becomes necessary for our defense or essential for our commercial development, we ought to lose no time in acquiring it.”

-Senator Orville Platt of Connecticut.   1894

To become a world power the U.S. built a world-class navy. A gung-ho Theodore Roosevelt was put in charge of it

“I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one.”

-T. Roosevelt, 1897

In 1898, taking a fancy to several Spanish colonies, including Cuba and the Phillipines, the US declared war on Spain. Rebels were already fighting for independence in both countries and Spain was on the verge of defeat.  Washington declared that it was on the rebels’ side and Spain quickly capitulated.  But the U.S. soon made it clear that it had no intention of leaving.

The Phillipines are ours forever… and just beyond the Phillipines are China’s illimitable markets … the Pacific is our ocean.”

Senator Albert Beveridge of Indiana  1900

The power that rules the Pacific is the power that rules the world… That power is and will forever be the American Republic.”

Elaborate racist theories were invented to justify colonialism and these theories were adopted enthusiastically in Washington.

“We are the ruling race of the world… We will not renounce our part in the mission of our race, trustee, under God of the civilization of the world…He has marked us as his chosen people… He has made us as his chosen people… He has made us adept in government that we may administer government among savage and senile peoples.”

Senator Albert Beveridge of Indiana 1900

The Filipinos fought the new invaders just as they had fought the Spanish. The U.S. subjugated the Philippines with brute force.  US soldiers were ordered to “Burn all and kill all,” and they did. By the time the Filipinos were defeated, 600,000 had died.

The Phillipines, Puerto Rico, and Guam were made into U.S. colonies in 1898. Cuba was formally given its independence, but along with it the Cubans were given the Platt Amendment, which stipulated that the U.S. Navy would operate a base in Cuba forever, that the U.S. marines would intervene at will, and that Washington would determine Cuba’s foreign and financial policies. During the same period, the US overthrew Hawaii’s Queen Liluokalani and transformed these unspoiled Pacific Islands into a U.S. Navy base surrounded by Dole and Del Monte Plantations.  In 1903, after Theodore Roosevelt became president, he sent gunboats to secure Panama’s seperation from Colombia.  The Colombian government had refused Roosevelt’s terms for building a canal. The U.S. Marines invaded China, Russia, North Africa, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean between 1898 and 1934Between 1898 and 1934, the marines specifically invaded Cuba four times, Nicaragua five times, Honduras seven times, the Dominican Republic four times, Haiti twice, Guatemala once, Panama twice, Mexico three times, and Colombia four times. In many countries, the Marines stayed on as an occupying army, sometimes for decades.  When the Marines finally went home, they typically left the countries they had occupied in the hands of a friendly dictator, armed to the teeth to suppress his own people.

Behind the marines came legions of U.S. business executives ready not only to sell their goods but also to set up plantations, drill oil wells, and stake out mining claims.  The marines returned when called upon to enforce slave-like working conditions and put down strikes, protests, and rebellions.

I accept responsibility for] active intervention to secure our capitalists opportunity for profitable investments.”

President William Howard Taft, 1910,

A reporter described what took place after U.S. troops landed in Haiti in 1915 to put down a peasant rebellion: ‘American marines opened fire with machine guns from airplanes on defenseless Haitian villages, killing men, women and children in the open market places for sport.  50,000 Haitians were killed. 

“The U.S. would declare war on Germany because it was the only way of maintaining our present pre-eminent trade status.”

Ambassador W.H. Page,  Woodrow Wilson’s American ambassador to England 1917

I spent 33 years and 4 months in active military service… And during that period I spent most of my time as a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers.  In short, I was a rackateer, a gangster for capitalism.”

Thus, I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914.. I helped make Haiti and Cuba, a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in.  I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street.”

“ I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912.  I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for American fruit companies in 1903.  In China in 1927, I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.”

Our boys were sent off to die with beautiful ideals painted in front of them. No one told them that dollars and cents were the real reason they were marching off to kill and die.”

General Smedley Butler, who was one of the most celebrated leaders of all these marine expeditions.

World War II left the USA in a position of political, economic and military superiority.

We must set the pace and assume the responsibility of the majority stockholder in this corporation known as the world”

Leo Welch, former Chairman of the Board Standard Oil of New Jersey (Now Exxon) 1946.


Chapter 2   The “Cold War” and the exploits of the so=called “World Policeman”      - - - ^ Index

 The U.S. eagerly assumed responsibility for determining the economic policies and selecting the management of what it considered to be the subsidiary companies that made up the “corporation known as the world.”

To put down insubordination in the world, thus known as the corporation, such as disorder and disloyalty in its sphere, the new majority stockholder also appointed itself the “world policemen”.  During the Cold War, Washington intervened militarily in foreign countries more than 200 times.



Fortunately, the ambitious plans of the U.S. State Department for Asia and the Pacific were upset by revolutions and anti-colonial wars from China to Malaysia.  A major confrontation developed in Korea. Washington decided to intervene directly to show that Western military technology could defeat any Asian army.

U.S. warships, bombers, and artillery reduced much of Korea to rubble.  Over 4,500,000 Koreans died; three out of four were civilians. 54,000 U.S. soldiers returned home in coffins.  But the U.S. military, for all its technological superiority, did not prevail.

-Dominican Republic, 1965

After a U.S.-backed military coup, Dominicans rose up to demand the re-instatement of the overthrown president (who they had elected in a popular vote).  Washington, however, was determined to keep its men in power, no matter who the Dominicans voted for. 22, 000 U.S. troops were sent to suppress the uprising. 3,000 people were gunned down in the streets of Santo Domingo.

-Vietnam, 1964-1973

For ten years, The Pentagon tried to preserve a corrupt South Vietnamese regime which had been inherited from the French colonial empire.  The U.S. warplanes dropped seven million tons of bombs on Vietnam. That’s the equivalent of one 350-pound bomb per person. 400,000 tonnes of napalm were rained down on the tiny country.  Agent Orange and other toxic herbicides were used to destroy millions of acres of farmland and forests. Villages were burned to the ground and their residents massacred. Altogether, two million people died in the Indochina War, most of them civilians killed. Almost 60,000 U.S. soldiers were killed and 300,000 wounded and yet despite the ferocity of the U.S. firepower, they still lost, which in my view is an excellent and justifiable outcome. A pity so many people suffered the carnage unleashed by the Evil Empire.

-Lebanon, 1982-1983

After the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the U.S. Marines intervened directly in the Lebanese civil war, taking the side of Israel and the right-wing Falange militia which had just massacred 2000 Palestinian civilians.

241 Marines paid for this intervention with their lives when their barracks were blown up by a truck bomb.

-Grenada, 1983

About 110,000 people live on the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada.

But, according to Ronald Reagan, Grenada represented a threat to U.S. security.  So he ordered the Pentagon toseize the island and install a new government more to his liking.

-Libya, 1986

Washington loved King Idris, the Libyan monarch who happily turned over his country’s oil reserves to Standard Oil for next to nothing.  It hates Colonel Qadhafi, eho threw the king out.  In 1986, Reagan ordered U.S. warplanes to bomb the Libyan capital, Tripoli, claiming that Gadhafi was responsible for a bomb attack at a German disco that killed two U.S, soldiers.  It’s unlikely that very many of  the hundreds of Libyans killed or injured in the U.S. bombing raid knew anything about the German bombing.




After WWII, Britain was compelled to dispose of its colonial empire in the Middle East. The British gave a huge hunk of the land known as Palestine to European Jews displaced by the Holocaust.  The problem was that there were already people living there. The result has been five decades of  violence and war. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were driven from their homes in what became Israel. The U.S. provides crucial political support and billions of dollars a year in aid to Israel which includes the most advanced weaponry.


The Pentagon and the C.I.A. armed and trained security forces and death squads that killed hundreds of thousands of people, mostly unarmed peasants, in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala in support of right wing dictatorial regimes.

Many of the military officers responsible for the worst atrocities in Central America were trained at the Pentagon’s School of the Americas in Georgia. The school trains officers from all over Latin America. Its training manuals recommend torture and summary execution. Its graduates have returned to establish military regimes and terrorize their own people.

Today, bloody U.S.-backed counter-insurgency wars continue in Colombia, Mexico, Peru, the Phillipines and other countries.  In Colombia, a corrupt U.S.-backed army fights alongside paramilitary forces that have slaughtered whole villages and hundreds of opposition union leaders and politicians.  The U.S. has been getting more deeply involved, under the cover of the War on Drugs, providing billions of dollars of arms used to continue the killing.

The C.I.A. and the Pentagon have also organized proxy armies to overthrow governments that are not well-liked in Washington.  In 1961, for instance, U.S. warships ferried a small army of mercenaries to Cuba, hoping to reverse the Cuban Revolution, i.e. the Bay of Pigs.


For years the C.I.A. backed Portugal’s efforts to hang on to its colonies in Southern Africa, helping them stave off independence wars in Angola and Mozambique.

In 1975, after a democratic revolution in Portugal, the Portuguese called it quits.

But the C.I.A. and Pentagon didn’t.  Instead it teamed up with the apartheid regime in South Africa to supply a mercenary army to fight the new government in independent Angola. And in Mozambique, top U.S. and South African politicians and ex-military officers sponsored a particularly brutal bunch of mercenaries who massacred tens of thousands of peasants.


After the Nicaraguan people overthrew the U.S. backed dictatorship of the Somoza family in 1979, the C.I.A. gathered together the remnants of Somoza’s hated National Guard and sent them back to Nicaragua with all the weapons they could carry- to loot, burn and kill.

“ [ The contras are ] the moral equivalent of our founding fathers.”

Ronald Reagan, 1985.


In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan to prop up a friendly regime.  Soviet occupation met fierce popular resistance. The C.I.A. stepped in to arm, finance and train the Afghan mujahedin guerillas, working closely with the Pakistani and Saudi governments.  With generous support from Washington and its allies, the mujahedin defeated the Soviets after a brutal decade-long war.

Among the C.I.A.’s collaborators in this war was a Saudi named Osama bin Laden.


Chapter 3   The “New World Order”      - - - ^ Index

In 1989, as the Eastern Bloc began to crumble, top U.S. government strategists gathered to discuss the world situation.  The Soviet Union, they happily agreed, was no longer able or inclined to counter U.S. military intervention abroad.  It was time, they decided, to demonstrate U.S. military power to the world.

-PANAMA 1989

Panama was the first country selected to be the much weaker enemy. George H.W. Bush continued this tradition in 1989, sending in 25,000 troops supposedly to arrest a drug dealer.   Of course, this was only a pretext to the hidden agenda of ensuring U.S. control over the Panama Canal and the extensive U.S. military bases in that country. A new Panamanian president was sworn in at a U.S. air base moments before the invasion. The man picked for the job, Guillermo Endara, ran a bank that is notorious for money laundering.

According to Panamanian human rights groups, several thousand people were killed in the U.S. invasion. 26 were U.S. soldiers. 50 were Panamanian soldiers. The rest were civilians, cut down by the overwhelming U.S. firepower poured into crowded neighbourhoods in poor sections of Panama City and Colon. Many of the dead were put in garbage bags and secretly buried in mass graves.


In 1920, hundreds of British soldiers and many more Iraqis died when the British Army suppressed a revolt against British rule. Britain ended up installing a hand-picked “King of Iraq”  The new monarch promptly signed a deal with British and American oil companies giving them the right to exploit all of Iraq’s oil for 75 years in exchange for a pittance in royalties.

The Middle East possesses almost two-thirds of the world’s known oil reserves. Control over the flow of oil by U.S. and British companies gave Washington strategic power over Europe, Japan and the developing world.  The U.S. State Department declared that Middle Eastern oil was ‘….a stupendous source of strategic power ……one of the greatest prizes in world history’.

In 1958, U.S. and British oil companies were startled when the King of Iraq was overthrown.  The new leader, a nationalist military officer named Abdel Karim Qasim,

demanded changes in the sweetheart deals the monarchy had made with the oil companies.  He also helped form OPEC,  the cartel of oil producing countries.

In 1963, the CIA collaborated with the Ba’ath party to murder Qasim and overthrow his government.  The Ba’ath Party was also nationalist. It systematically killed its Leftist opponents and the CIA was happy to help.

Among the CIA’s collaborators in the 1963 coup was a young military officer named Saddam Hussein, who later emerged as the top leader in Iraq. But Hussein soon disappointed his accomplices in the U.S. by nationalizing the Iraqi oil industry.  Other Arab leaders followed suit, greatly alarming U.S. officials.

“Oil is much too important a commodity to be left in the hands of the Arabs.”

-Henry Kissinger.

Then, in 1980, Hussein did something that made him much more popular in Washington. After the 1979 Iranian Revolution, American strategists considered Iran the main threat to U.S. interests in the Middle East.  The U.S. and its allies, therefore, were happy to provide Hussein with advanced weaponry.  U.S. even sold Iraq materials to make chemical and biological weapons, including highly lethal strains of anthrax. Over 100,000 Iranian soldiers were killed or injured by poison gas.

When Saddam invaded Kuwait, George H.W. Bush worried that the huge Iraqi army had become a threat to the U.S. domination of the Middle East. 

Our jobs, our way of life, our own freedom, and the freedom of friendly countries around the world would all suffer if control of the world’s great oil reserves fell into the hands of Saddam Hussein.”

-George H.W. Bush, August 1990.

Bush decided that Saddam had to be punished for trespassing on as oil-rich U.S. protectorate.

The Pentagon and the CIA launched the most intensive bombing campaign in history using conventional bombs, cluster bombs (designed to rip bodies apart), napalm and phosphorus (which cling to and burn skin), and fuel-air explosives (which have the impact of small nuclear bombs). Later, the U.S. used munitions tipped with depleted uranium, which is now suspected of a cause of cancer among both Iraqis and U.S. soldiers and their children.  Iraq was bombed back to a pre-industrial age and tens of thousands were killed.  Iraq had already begun to withdraw from Kuwait when Bush launched the ground war.  The main aim of the ground war was, not to drive the Iraqi troops out of Kuwait, but to keep them from leaving.  The gate was closed and tens of thousands of soldiers, who were trying to go home, were systematically slaughtered. Elsewhere, U.S. tanks and bulldozers intentionally buried tens of thousands of soldiers alive in their trenches in a tactic designed mainly to “destroy Iraqi defenders.”

For over a decade, the U.S. insisted on maintaining the most severe economic sanctions regime in history, continuing to strangle the devastated Iraqi economy.

In 1999, UNICEF estimated that infant and child mortality had more than doubled since the war.  It attributed this sharp increase in mortality mainly to malnutrition and deteriorating health conditions caused by the war and ongoing sanctions. It estimated that half a million more children died as a result.  That’s 5, 200 children a month.

Bush’s successor, Bill Clinton, not only kept up the sanctions, but also continued to bomb Iraq regularly for 8 years.

-KOSOVO, 1999

In the late 1990s, after enduring years of abuse at the hands of a Serbian-dominated Yugoslav government, Albanian rebels in Kosovo started a war of secession. The U.S. usually does not support minority groups demanding seperation.  But it all depends on whether the U.S. supports the government of the country facing dismemberment. For instance, the U.S. supports Kurdish separatists in Iraq and Iran, but across the border in Turkey, a close ally, Washington has provided tons of arms to crush the Kurds.

Because Yugoslav strongman, Slobodan Milosevic, was being less than cooperative with U.S. efforts to extend its influence in Eastern Europe, breaking up Yugoslavia was a cause the U.S. could warm up to.  The Clinton Administration embraced the Kosovo Liberation Army, despite their drug dealing, ethnic extremism and brutality.  Following established practice, the Administration issued an ultimatum the Yugoslavs could not possibly accept.

The consequent NATO bombing turned an ugly but small-scale Yugoslav counter-insurgency operation into a massive ethnic cleansing drive. After the bombing began, Serbian soldiers and militia members began driving hundreds of thousands of Albanians out of the country and killed thousands of others.  When the Albanians returned under NATO protection, Serbian and Gypsy residents were driven out and killed.  Ultimately, the war served U.S. political objectives, while causing tremendous death and suffering on all sides and greatly aggravating ethnic tensions.


Chapter 4   The “War on Terrorism”      - - - ^ Index

After the September 11 attacks, Osama bin Laden released a videotaped message. He praised the attacks and called for more.

What America is tasting now is something insignificant compared to what we have tasted for scores of years.  Our nation (the Islamic world) has been tasting this humiliation and degradation for more than 80 years.  His sons are killed, its blood is shed, its sanctuaries are attacked and no-one bears and no-one heeds. Millions of innocent children are being killed Iraq without committing any sins…..  To America, I say only a few words to it and its people,  I swear to God, who has elevated the skies without pillars, neither America nor the people who live in it will dream of security before we live it here in Palestine and not before all the infidel armies leave the land of Muhammad, peace be upon him.”

-Osama bin Laden, Oct. 7, 2001.

NB Remember that George H. Bush embraced Osama bin Laden whilst he was fighting with the Murajahadin against the Russians in Afghanistan and supplied all the weapons and military training needed to defeat them.

The Bush Administration responded according to bin Laden’s script with the declaration of War on Terrorism.

“This will be a monumental struggle of good versus evil… This crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take a while.”

-George W. Bush   September 12th. And 16th. 2001.

-CUBA, 1997

For over forty years, Miami has served as the base of operations for well-financed groups of Cuban exiles that have carried out violent terrorist attacks on Cuba. It’s not difficult for the U.S. government to find evidence involving these terrorist organizations because the CIA and the Pentagon trained many of their members. Take, for instance, Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch, suspected masterminds of the bombing of a Cuban passenger airliner that claimed the lives of 73 people. Carriles found a job supplying arms to the Contras.   Bosch was convicted of a bazooka attack on a ship in Miami harbour but has long been protected from extradition on the insistence of George W.H. Bush’s son Jeb.

“All of Castro’s planes are war planes”

-Orlando Bosch, 1987, defending the bombing of the civilian Cuban plane that claimed the lives of 73 people.

My experience in the CIA gave me the right credentials for the job.”

-Orlando Bosch, 1987.


Bush’s War on Terrorism began with U.S. warplanes bombing Afghanistan, the unfortunate country where bin Laden chose to locate his headquarters. The CIA jumped into bed with brutal regional warlords whereby the opium trade once again flourishes.

Iraq 2003

“We can’t wait for the final proof – the smoking gun – that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.”

-George W. Bush  October. 2002.

From the day they took office, Bush and his key lieutenants set their sights on Iraq. After 9-11, they packaged an invasion as part of the ‘war on terrorism’. To win U.N. backing, they claimed Saddam Hussein was developing nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. The threat was so imminent, they said, that an immediate invasion was imperative.

“Get those &%#* inspectors out of the way….I’m ready to bomb the place!”

-George W. Bush 

This doesn’t mean necessarily, that other governments have to fall, they can moderate their behavior.”

-Senior Government US Official, April 2003 .

The Bush Administration had big plans. Based upon Iraq’s tremendous oil wealth and U.S. military might, American officials hoped to create a client regime in Iraq and use it as a base of U.S. power in the heart of the Arab Middle East. They brought in a group of émigré politicians, intending to install them as leaders. Their favorite was Ahmed Chalabi, a wealthy businessman who was convicted of bank fraud in Jordan.

American companies have a big shot at Iraqi oil.”

-Ahmed Chalabi  Sept. 2002.

Chalabi won the hearts of U.S. officials in part by declaring that he favoured pulling Iraq out of OPEC, and then privatizing Iraqi oil and selling it off to foreign companies.

U.S. oil company executives and bankers were assigned to look after the Iraqi oil industry and central bank. U.S. military officers were placed in charge of Iraqi cities.

We didn’t take on this huge burden not to take significant dominating control”

-Colin Powell US Secretary of State April  2003.

In a post-war situation like this, if you start holding elections, the people who are rejectionists tend to win.”

-Paul Bremer, head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, June 2003.

(By ‘rejectionists’ Bremer meant those who oppose US occupation)

Now all Iraqis can taste liberty in their native land!”

US Attorney General John Ashcroft after he sent a team to rebuild Iraq’s system of courts and prisons in 2003

Facing a hostile population, the U.S. military killed scores of Iraqis as they protested against the occupation. Journalists were gunned down as they covered U.S. military operations. Others, who were in the wrong place at the wrong time were shot at military checkpoints or when soldiers raided their neighbourhoods.

As US soldiers and Iraqis died in daily battles, Bush’s response was swaggering cowboy rhetoric.

There are some who feel like….they can attack us there.  My answer is == bring them on!”

-George W. Bush, Washington, DC July 2003.

The U.S. occupation of Iraq followed the familiar path of previous colonial adventures. Iraqis organized armed resistance and the U.S. military took increasingly harsh punitive measures against the population, inspiring fear.

By Spring, 2004 , it was clear that Bush’s grandiose plans had collapsed.

They don’t want us here and we don’t want to be here.”

Unidentified American soldier in Baghdad.

By invading and occupying Muslim countries, the U.S. is only inviting more attacks on U.S. soldiers and other American targets.  The Pentagon has promised to respond with more violence. Unfortunately, there are some people who profit handsomely from this addiction.

We will export death and violence to the four corner in defense of our great nation.”

-US Special Forces Officer


Chapter 5 The War Profiteers      - - - ^ Index

Few politicians can match Dick Cheney’s appetite for war. As George H.W. Bush’s Secretary of  Defence he presided over wars against Panama and Iraq.

Over 100,000 companies feed at the Pentagon trough. But the big money goes to a handful of huge corporations during 1999 including :

  • United Technologies    $ 2.4  billion
  • Textron                         $ 1.4  billion

General Dynamics      $ 4.6  billion

Boeing                          $11.6 billion

Northrop Grumman     $ 3.2  billion

Lockheed Martin        $12.7 billion

Baytheon                     $ 6.4  billion

General Electric          $ 1.7  billion

Halliburton                   $ 1.4  billion

Halliburton is raking in hundreds of millions of dollars for feeding and housing U.S. troops and it got the biggest post-war reconstruction. In 1995, Dick Cheney was named CEO of Halliburton, the biggest oil services company and a major military contractor on the planet, and it got the biggest post-war reconstruction prize – a secret no-bid contract to rebuild Iraqi oil facilities that will likely be worth billions. Cheney pocketed millions in salary and stock options every year.. He ended up with a $45 million stake.  Cheney got draft deferments five times to avoid fighting in Vietnam. He’s served on the boards of several huge war contractors, and his wife – Lynne – joined the board of Lockheed Martin. After Cheney returned to the White House in  2001, Lockheed got the biggest plum in Pentagon history – a contract worth hundreds of billions to make the next generation of fighter jets.

As head of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board, Richard Perle was a chief architect

Both the war on Iraq and Donald Rumsfeld’s efforts to ‘revolutionize’ military technology’. In 2001, Perle joined Henry Kissinger and other Washington insiders to form a company called Trireme Partners. Trireme raises venture capital from wealthy individuals and invests it in weapons companies, betting on those it expects will get lucrative government contracts. Perle has also served as an advisor to the Israeli government. His advice is always the same- ‘War is the answer!’ Perle has particularly pushed for war against three countries he considers Israel’s main enemies – Iraq, Iran and Syria. 

Cheney, Perle and their friends go back and forth through a revolving door that connects jobs at the Pentagon and The White House.  Lots of money changes hands in Washington as weapons manufacturers make generous contributions to politicians and politicians hand out fat Pentagon contracts to weapons manufacturers.

Under the banner of funding the ‘War on Terrorism’, Congress has abandoned efforts to avoid budget deficits. Instead, every year it gives the Pentagon what amounts to a blank check.

Missile defense, like the ‘War on Terrorism’, promises to protect Americans from danger while actually creating a much more dangerous world. China has promised to buy more and better missiles which could overwhelm the U.S. “missile shield.” This will spur a nuclear arms race in Asia. The scenario is if China builds more missiles, then India will. If India does, then Pakistan will and so on…

As potential nuclear targets in Russia have declined, the Pentagon 


Chapter 6: The High Price of Militarism:      - - - ^ Index

Since 1948, the U.S. has spent more than $15 trillion ($15,000,000,000,000) to build up its military might. That adds up to more than  the cumulative monetary value of all human-made wealth in the U.S. The U.S. spends over $776 billion every year to the cause of feeding its addiction to war at the expense of bridges, roads, schools, other infrastructure and social welfare.  Schools are run down and overcrowded. In some inner-city high schools, 80% of the students drop out. More than a fifth of all adults can’t read a job application or a street sign.

Skyrocketing prices are causing a crisis in health care. 43 million people have no insurance and millions more have inadequate insurance. More and more people don’t get the medical care they need because they can’t afford it. Yet public hospitals are being closed and the government has failed to enact any serious health care reform. Every 50 minutes, a child in the U.S. dies as a result of poverty or hunger. Yet Congress has been exceedingly stingy in funding maternal and child health programs.

With rents rising and wages falling, millions of families are living on the verge of eviction. Millions of people end up living on the streets. Yet when it comes to funding for housing and homelessness, most of Washington seems to have adopted Reagan’s attitude. 

“Those people want to live on the streets” Reagan.

Drug addiction and alcoholism are crippling millions of people and devastating families and whole communities. Yet there are not enough public treatment centers to handle even a fraction of these seeking help, and many centers are closing their doors for lack of funding.

The price of militarism includes the building of nuclear weapons. More than 100 nuclear weapons plants owned by the Energy Department have been dumping radioactive waste into the air, in rivers, and leaking it into the soil and groundwater for decades.

The government now estimates it will take 25,000 workers at least 30 years to clean up the mess at these plants- at a cost of $300 billion or more.

What’s more, nuclear weapons tests have spread deadly plutonium which is radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years across large tracts of the Southwest and the South Pacific.  Many of the 458,000 U.S. soldiers who participated in the atomic testing program are now dying of cancer.

Another cost of militarism is the loss of civil liberties. “Homeland security” has become a slogan for eliminating civil rights protections long deemed inconvenient by the FBI and other police agencies.


In the name of “Homeland security” you can now be jailed indefinitely without trial. The police and the FBI – and even the CIA – can more easily spy on you, reading your mail and email, listening in on your phone, and breaking into your home. 


Thousands of immigrants have been called in for questioning simply because they came from predominantly Muslim countries.

Many have been jailed for long periods on baseless suspicions.

The ones who end up on the front lines in this addiction to war are usually kids who can’t find a job or pay for college. Almost all of them are from working-class families, and a disproportionate number are African Americans, Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans and Native Americans.

Many Gulf War veterans are suffering the effects of Gulf War Syndrome.  Those who survive continue to be haunted by the wars they fought in. The number of Vietnam vets who have killed themselves since the war is greater than the number of  U.S. soldiers who died in the war. Hundreds of thousands of veterans have ended up living on the streets. Every year, more than a thousand U.S. soldiers and sailors are killed in military accidents.  Also, hundreds of active-duty soldiers and sailors commit suicide. Indoctrination into the culture of militarism starts early.  Television, videos and video games make killing seem not only glorious, but fun.  High school principles lock the doors and hire armed guards, supposedly to protect the kids from drug dealers, pimp, and other dangerous characters.  But they roll out the red carpet for the most dangerous characters of all – the military recruiters.  The recruiters, who are not quite as honest as used car salesmen, come armed with slick brochures and glossy promises.


Chapter 7 – Militarism and the Media      - - - ^ Index

When it comes to war, the networks discard all pretenses of objectivity.  After the 1991 Gulf War, one of the Bush Administration’s top war planners spoke to a group of prominent journalists and thanked them for their help.  “[Television was] our chief tool in selling our policy.

Richard Hass, National Security Council, 1991.

Lawrence Grossman, who was in charge of  PBS and NBC NEWS for many years, described the role of the press this way: “ The job of  the President is to set the agenda and the job of  the press is to follow the agenda that the leadership sets.”

The TV networks are owned by some of the largest corporations in the world – NBC is owned by GE, CBS by Viacom, ABC by Disney, Fox by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, and CNN by Time Warner.  The members of  the boards of directors of these corporations also around the world, such as Boeing, Coca-Cola, Texaco, Chevron, EDS, Lucent, Daimler-Chrysler, Citigroup, Xerox, Philip Morris, Worldcom, JP Morgan Chase, Rockwell Automation, and Honeywell.  In fact, the corporations that control the television industry are fully integrated into the military-industrial complex.

For example, General Electric has major investments around the world, which it expects the Pentagon to protect.  It is also a charter member of the military-industrial complex. GE is the country’s largest military contractor, raking in billions of dollars every year.  It produces parts for every nuclear weapon in the U.S. arsenal, makes jet engines for military aircraft, and creates all kinds of profitable electronic gadgets for the Pentagon. It’s also the company that secretly released millions of curies of deadly radiation from the Hanford nuclear weapons facility in Washington state and produced faulty nuclear power plants that dot the U.S. countryside.

In 1950, President Truman named Charles Wilson, G.E.’s board chairman, to head the Office of Defense Mobilization. In that capacity, Wilson told members of the Newspaper Publishers Association.

If the people were not convinced [that the Free World is in mortal danger ] it would be impossible for Congress to vote the vast sums now being spent to avert this danger.  With the support of public opinion, as marshaled by the press, we are off to a good start.  It is our job – yours and mine- to keep our people convinced that the only way to keep disaster away from our shores is to build up America’s might.

-Charles Wilson, 1950.  [ recent movie - Wilson's War - for huge profits - outside of constitutional authority]

Under Wilson, G.E. got into the media business itself to promote its pro-war message. In 1954, it hired a floundering actor named Ronald Reagan to be its corporate spokesman.  G.E. furnished Reagan with an all-electric house and gave him his own TV show, which was called “G.E. Theater.” The corporation also supplied Reagan with  “The Speech”. He continued to deliver variations of “The Speech” throughout his career. Then in 1986, G.E. bought its own TV network – NBC.  Good evening, I’m Tom Brokow and is the NBC Nightly News. General Electric and the other huge corporations that own the news media are hardly unbiased sources of information. Yet most of the news available to us - about war and peace and everything else – is filtered through their perspective. This gives them a powerful influence on public opinion.


Chapter 8   Resisting Militarism      - - - ^ Index

The anti-war movement grew especially strong during the war to conquer the Philippines.

 “ I have seen that we do not intend to free but to subjugate the Philippines.  And so I am an anti-imperialist .  I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land… I have a strong aversion to sending our bright boys out there to fight with a disgraced musket under a polluted flag.”

Mark Twain, Vice President, Anti-Imperialist League, 1900

Let’s go back to Charles Wilson’s era, when he and the media were mobilizing support for the Korean War.  At first they were very successful. But despite their impressive efforts, the support didn’t last long. After the body bags started coming home, the majority of people turned against the war.

The government and the media once again did their best to whip up support for the war on Vietnam.  But as the war escalated, the greatest anti-war movement in U.S. history arose. At first, the opposition was small but determined. By 1969, opposition grew to 750,000 people marching on Washington, and millions more marching in cities across the country.

In May 1970, after police and National Guard troops fired on anti-war demonstrations, killing four students at Kent State in Ohio and two students at Jackson State in Mississippi, students at 400 universities across the country went on strike – the first general student strike in U.S. history.

When police shot and killed three people during the Chicano Moratorium against the war in August 1971, a rebellion raged through East Los Angeles for three days.

Resistance to the war took many forms; people refused to pay war taxes. People burned their draft cards. The most famous draft resister was Muhammid Ali. People blocked the path of trains hauling troops and munitions bound for the war.

14,000 people were arrested when they moved to shut down Washington, D.C., for three days in 1971. It was the largest mass arrest in U.S. history! Even more serious for the Pentagon, discipline was breaking down among the troops in Vietnam. Soldiers saw no reason to fight and they didn’t.  By the end of the ‘60s, a virtual civil war simmered between soldiers and officers.  Even more serious for the Pentagon, discipline was breaking down among the troops in Vietnam. By every conceivable indicator, our army that now remains in Vietnam is in a state now approaching collapse, with individual units avoiding or having refused combat, murdering their officers and non-commissioned officers, drug-ridden and dispirited where not near mutinous.”

-Col. Robert Heinl, U.S.M.C. retired, 1971.

Record numbers of soldiers and sailors deserted or went AWOL.  Organized resistance was developing among the troops. Contingents of soldiers and sailors were marching at the head of anti-war demonstrations. In April 1971, more than a thousand Vietnam veterans gathered at the Capitol building in Washington and threw back the medals they had received in the war.

“ The weakest chink in our armor is American public opinion. Our people won’t stand firm in the face of heavy losses, and they can bring down the government.

-President Lyndon Johnson,  1968.

Because U.S. leaders knew that Americans would not stand for large numbers of U.S. war casualties, they had to restrain their military impulse.  They kept on bombing other countries, but for almost two decades they did not send large numbers of U.S. soldiers to fight on foreign soil.

Bush’s war against terrorism by invading Iraq ended up polarizing the American population and isolating the United States internationally. And the ugly reality of the American occupation of Iraq has further alienated people here and around the world.

While the killing continues in Afghanistan and Iraq, Pentagon strategists are busy planning the next round of wars. We seemed to have reached a point where war is constantly on the agenda in Washington.


Chapter 9 Do something about it!         - - - ^ Index

Organizations are listed on Frank Dorrel’s website