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Underpants-Gnomes-WAR

In some ways this election cycle is like something out of the Twilight Zone, and in some ways it is just like any other. There is nothing unusual about having no good choices. That’s the norm. It is unusual for people to actually get upset about it. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have, at times, tried to position themselves as the anti-war candidate. Hillary, however, threatened war with Iran in her 2008 AIPAC speech and in her 2016 AIPAC speech. Trump has advocated using NATO to fight terrorism, and the establishment of a Syrian “safe zone”.

While I think that Trump has a much better record of actually opposing war, I don’t have any delusions about him being truly against foreign interventionism. I don’t think that the same can be said of Hillary Clinton supporters, who remain in denial of the blood on her hands. Bernie Sanders supporters have a solid case for their candidate as advocating peace, but he also supported the F-35 money pit because Lockheed placed the research center in his hometown of Burlington, VT. Bernie is just as corrupt as any politician, and always has been. He was in second place behind Hillary as the biggest recipients of campaign funds from defense contractors. Gary Johnson may claim to be anti-war, but he was all amped up to send troops into Africa in 2012 to chase down Kony (and kill his child soldiers?), and wants to keep troops in the Middle East.

Both the left and the right engage in war, they just justify it in different ways. The right will talk about “nation building”, which is ironic considering how many democratically elected governments they have toppled. The left calls the same thing “humanitarian aid”, which is ironic considering how many people they have killed. The truth is that wars are fought with a profit motive, and both sides of the political isle benefit. There are no white knights in this arena.

The no-bid contracts awarded to Dick Cheney’s former employer, Halliburton, in Iraq are now old news. Although it is difficult to prove a quid-pro-quo in that kind of situation, the potential for abuse of power is obvious. The same can be expected from Hillary Clinton, who once referred to the war in Iraq as a “business opportunity”.

From International Business Times:
“The quote was included in an email released by the State Department on Wednesday that specifically mentioned JPMorgan and Exxon Mobil. JPMorgan was selected by the U.S. government to run a key import-export bank in Iraq and in 2013 announced plans to expand its operations in the country. Exxon Mobil signed a deal to redevelop Iraqi oil fields. JPMorgan has collectively paid the Clintons and the Clinton Foundation at least $450,000 for speeches, and Exxon Mobil has donated over $1 million to the family’s foundation.”

Anyone can be bought, but Clinton appears to be particularly easy to buy. She recent documentary based on the book “Clinton Cash” has brought the long standing allegations of pay-to-play schemes and bribes to the attention of the public. Included in the documentary are her shifts in position on the XL Pipeline and the sale of Uranium to Russia, as well as the awarding of a gold mining contract to her brother in Haiti following the earthquake disaster. Even the accusations against Dick Cheney pale in comparison.

Of course, most people live in perpetual fear of terrorism. They see the corruption is worth the safety from terror that it provides. I won’t deny that radical Islamic terror has existed for hundreds of years, but the recent increase in attacks can also be easily linked to the military interventions of the last few decades. The risk of blowback has only increased under the Obama administration. Between his love of drone warfare, which kills innocent people 90% of the time, his overthrow of Gaddafi, which created a power vacuum exploited by ISIS, and his support of immigration from areas that he has helped to destabilize, the potential for terrorism does exit.

I’m not, however, particularly worried. Immigrants only pose a threat to us if we are unable to defend ourselves. Fortunately, the second amendment guarantees the individual right to gun ownership, for now. When allegedly ISIS affiliated gunmen showed up to a “draw Muhammad” event in Garland, TX, they met armed resistance, and only the terrorists were killed.

As long as our politicians are given the power to engage in “military actions” without oversight or Congressional approval, and as long as our media acts as propaganda for the defense industry, this will continue. The power of the State creates a perverse incentive to go to war for the profit of individual members of both the private and public sector. This is a massive drain on our economy. Every dollar spent on every bomb is a dollar that could have been spent in the private sector, providing jobs and a higher standard of living. We have saddled our children and our children’s children with a massive amount of debt for the benefit of a select few, at the detriment of most of the world.

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