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The Masters of War

The Masters of War

“Masters Of War”

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks.

You that never done nothin’
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it’s your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly.

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain.

You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion’
As young people’s blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud.

You’ve thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain’t worth the blood
That runs in your veins.

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I’m young
You might say I’m unlearned
But there’s one thing I know
Though I’m younger than you
That even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do.

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul.

And I hope that you die
And your death’ll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I’ll watch while you’re lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I’ll stand over your grave
‘Til I’m sure that you’re dead. (Bob Dylan)

I started formulating the idea for this essay after watching a documentary on how Tommy Chong of Cheech & Chong, was set-up by the D.E.A. and sent to prison for nine months for selling bongs over the Internet. After this video, I watched another documentary on how the crack epidemic started and led to the explosion of crystal meth usage. During the documentary, someone mentioned that the drug trade wouldn’t be able to operate were it not for the collusion of the largest banks in America. All of a sudden it struck me, hey, wait a minute, many of the “Super Banks” that are “Too big to fail,” played a significant role in the current “recession” (I say Depression) and they also play a role in the drug trade because they allow the drug traffickers to launder their money? I felt that this is definitely worthy of pursuing further and hopefully connecting some significant dots. In both documentaries dealing with the “drug trade,” it was brought out that the government & George “Dubya” Bush, the Coward from Crawford (my phrase) in particular, are now equating drug users with terrorists. This is spooky because I know that pretty much most of the Bill of Rights, has been shredded under the guise of waging war on terrorists. Therefore, all they have to do now is label you a terrorist, a terrorist sympathizer, a terrorist supporter, etc. and they can lock you up, throw away the key, & no one will ever hear from you again.

Paranoid? Conspiracy nut? Well, before you dismiss me and write me off as just another ranting & raving nutcase—and I do likewise with many sites I’ve stumbled across on the Internet—please bear with me for a little bit and allow me to present my argument. First of all, I’m not saying this is all a grand conspiracy because frankly, the wealthy just aren’t that brilliant. No, it basically boils down to their short-sighted thinking which usually doesn’t extend much beyond the next financial quarter in their accounting cycles. It is mostly simple greed and stupidity because they don’t see the big picture and realize that by squeezing the life out of us i.e. taxing us to death, throwing us out of work, etc., they’re wiping-out their markets and sowing the seeds of hatred so deep that it may one day come back to bite them in their butts?

To return to the title of this essay, I got the idea of using this powerful song and its title because of the connection to the terms like: the War on Drugs, the War on Terrorism, the Culture Wars, and the military wars (declared or not) that have been waged non-stop my entire life by our government. And speaking of wars, it just came to me as to how I can tie all these “wars” together. The longest running war that America has been engaged in is the war against communism. Think about it. Ever since WWII, we have been indoctrinated into believing that communism was our mortal enemy but if you step back and reflect on it for awhile I believe you will come to the same conclusion that I have i.e. communism is actually the enemy of capitalism and democracy is the enemy of capitalism as well. Just consider how worked-up the talking heads get whenever someone suggests that the government do something to help out the working class and the middle class of America “Oh no, that’s socialism,” or “That’s the road to communism.” But when the Super Banks “too big to fail” more accurately “too big to jail,” got in serious financial trouble due to their fraud and greed, then it’s necessary for the government to do a socialist thing like bail-them out with our tax dollars. Chomsky said it very succinctly “It’s socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor.”

You may think I’m going off the deep-end but be patient please. Who do you think funds the pugnacious pundits like Limbaugh, Beck, O’Reilly, Coulter, etc.? And what is the consistent message? It’s “government is bad, government interferes with the free market,” etc. Yet every time we turn around, that same “bad” government is protecting industries from competition with foreign corporations, providing them with subsidies, giving them tax breaks to the point that one in four corporations pay no taxes and many get huge tax refunds, etc. So tell me where is this magical “free market,” these hypocritical hyenas keep praising? If it’s suppose to be all about free trade & the free market, how come it never applies to the wealthy corporate CEOs but only to us? We start to fall behind in our mortgage payments and we’re told “tough luck, it’s your fault.” Or we have a small business and it starts to fail, again its “tough luck” or “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.” If you take the time and do a little research, you’ll be amazed at just how extensive the infrastructure of this country is financed by us, the taxpayers, and all these corporations who lay us off by the millions and move overseas for even greater profits and still have businesses here using all the infrastructure to conduct their businesses but pay no taxes.

The writers and censors of most of our history textbooks and the producers of our nightly news have assimilated so deeply the prevailing and dominant propaganda PR that most of us aren’t even aware that the Russians were our allies in WWII against the Nazis and if it hadn’t been for these “God-less communists,” we may not have won the war against the fascist Nazis? Yes indeed, whenever anyone dares to suggest that all Americans should have medical insurance or care, the “self-made” millionaires come unglued and hurl charges of socialism and communism. And they are against any government program whatsoever that helps the poor, the unemployed, the disabled, the elderly, etc. Why is it then that those senators and congressmen that just want to serve their country and become millionaires, aren’t willing to give up their health insurance that is the best in the land and is paid for by us? You see, we’re not suppose to connect the dots i.e. these are just all isolated issues and have nothing to do with one another. People like me are labeled anti-American, traitors, communists, etc. for daring to criticize this system that rewards the rich and leaves the rest of us to live in the gutter. Perhaps this is the silver lining to this terrible economic state of affairs brought about by the greed and corruption of the “superior ones?” Maybe we’re getting closer to the point where enough of us will connect the dots and see that it really all boils down to a war of the rich against the poor and the working classes? And in that vein, let me share a bit with you that I just discovered on the Internet, food for thought perhaps?

. Lenin on the special role of the banks
The dominance of the bankers was dramatically revealed on a larger scale when the financial crisis first broke out in September 2008 after the failure of Lehman Brothers. Bailout money poured into the coffers of the banks in return for the government taking shares in them. There was talk about the “nationalization” of the banks—a government takeover.
When the smoke cleared, there had been no government takeover of the banks. What really emerged was that the biggest, most powerful banks had made great inroads in taking over the financial reins of the government.
This is a confirmation of the Marxist analysis of imperialist society which V.I. Lenin, the architect of the Bolshevik revolution, elaborated in his book “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism,” written in 1916 during World War I.
Lenin described the evolution of capitalism from its competitive stage in the 19th century to its monopoly stage in the 20th century. He showed how the means of production grew to gigantic proportions and how the imperialist powers divided up the globe among themselves into colonies and spheres of influence. He described the growth of giant monopolistic corporate cartels and syndicates that dominated the resources and markets of the globe. He pointed to the growing export of capital abroad and the super-exploitation of the colonial peoples.
Looking at the power behind it all, he singled out the role of the banks and how they came to dominate industry and created finance capital. In a famous section entitled “The Banks and Their New Role,” he wrote:
“The principal and primary function of banks is to serve as middlemen in the making of payments. In so doing they transform inactive money capital into active, that is, into capital yielding a profit; they collect all kinds of money revenues and place them at the disposal of the capitalist class.
“As banking develops and becomes concentrated in a small number of establishments, the banks grow from modest middlemen into powerful monopolies having at their command almost the whole of the money capital of all the capitalists and small businessmen and also the larger part of the means of production and sources of raw materials in any one country and in a number of countries. This transformation of numerous modest middlemen into a handful of monopolists is one of the fundamental processes in the growth of capitalism into capitalist imperialism.” (Lenin’s works can be found on www.marxists.org.)
Later in the same work, Lenin described the parasitic nature of the financiers, which is so prominent in the present crisis:
“It is characteristic of capitalism in general that the ownership of capital is separated from the application of capital to production, that money capital is separated from industrial or productive capital, and that the rentier who lives entirely on income obtained from money capital is separated from the entrepreneur and from all who are directly concerned in the management of capital. Imperialism, or the domination of finance capital, is that highest stage of capitalism in which this separation reaches vast proportions. The supremacy of finance capital over all other forms of capital means the predominance of the rentier and of the financial oligarchy.”
Much has been written of late about the so-called “financialization of capital,” as if it were a new discovery. The wealth of the banks and the magnitude of their speculation have grown immensely with the growth of capitalist imperialism. But Lenin described its evolution and fundamental features almost a century ago. Wall Street’s insatiable lust for profit cannot be treated in isolation from the analysis of imperialism as a form of society.
Lenin showed that the dominance of finance capital is an inevitable and irreversible stage of the capitalist system. Competitive capitalism grows into monopoly capitalism—the stage in which finance capital and the financial oligarchy have risen to the pinnacle of the system of exploitation and wage slavery, at home and abroad.
Banks suck profits from everywhere
The banks are tied to big oil, big industry, the insurance companies, all the hedge funds, the private equity funds, the mortgage brokers, the stock exchange and every other institution in society that thrives off the stolen labor of the workers.
The banks profit from every war and every intervention because wars are economic enterprises that take financing and involve fees and interest. The banks get profit from the government, which borrows from them at high interest rates to pay for wars. They also get profit from the military-industrial complex itself, which they finance. Plus they profit from the spoils when the Pentagon conquers territory.
The banks profit from every layoff, every plant closing, every speed-up, because every business, large and small, is in debt to the banks and pays interest out of the surplus value it has wrung from the workers.
They profit from the debt of the workers. After workers are exploited on the job, their wages are converted into profit for the banks in the form of fees and exorbitant interest payments. Banks will make loans to corporations to break strikes but will deny loans to companies to pay workers’ benefits, as in the Republic Windows and Doors case.
Banks profit from the high cost of education, both from the interest they get from student loans and the fees from college and university trust funds that they manage. They profit from the health care crisis because they are completely intertwined with the insurance companies, the pharmaceutical companies and the medical-industrial complex.
And they make money from racism, which brings extra profits because of the lower wages paid to Black, Latino/a, Asian, Middle Eastern and Native peoples and because divisions within the working class keep all wages down and profits up.
The banks profit from sexism because women get paid less than men, to say nothing of women’s unpaid labor in the home—which, among other things, provides the next generation of workers for the bosses free of charge.
They profit from lesbian, gay, bi and trans oppression, not only because it is divisive but because LGBT people are deprived of countless economic and social benefits available to straight people—benefits that would have to come out of the coffers of the government or the bosses.
There is no aspect of capitalist society in the imperialist epoch that is untouched by the bankers.
Banks get rich while workers sink
So it should be no surprise that Timothy Geithner, Larry Summers and other lackeys of the bankers—who are high-paid government officials but are lackeys nevertheless—scurry about trying to save their masters while the entire ship of the working class is sinking.
When the government orchestrated the bankruptcy of General Motors, tens of thousands of workers’ jobs were destroyed through plant closings. But the biggest banks—including JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Credit Suisse, all of whom were getting money from the government—made sure that the bankruptcy settlement guaranteed them every penny of the $6 billion in loans they were owed. Other syndicates of bondholders also got paid off.
When the financial meltdown came in the fall of 2008 and the banks were in trouble, within days they had Henry Paulson write a three-page piece of legislation granting them $750 billion. Paulson, a former co-chair of Goldman Sachs and secretary of the Treasury under George W. Bush, made sure the legislation specified that neither Congress nor the courts could review or alter this colossal grant.
When Congress rebelled and voted down this outrageous giveaway over fear of mass anger, the bankers simply turned up the heat and got the vote reversed over the space of a weekend.
After a struggle among the banks, a small number of them emerged stronger than before the crisis. Banks that were bailed out because they were “too big to fail” have gotten bigger, richer and financially and politically more powerful.
What was revealed in microcosm in the Republic Windows and Doors strike is now being revealed on a society-wide scale. Financial vultures are using their power to swallow up more and more of the wealth of society while the working class is plunged into economic and social disaster.
Goldman Sachs announced that it made a record $3.1 billion in profits in the last quarter. It is scheduled to fork out $5.3 billion in bonuses to its team of bankers. (New York Times, Oct. 16) JPMorgan Chase had third-quarter profits of $3.6 billion, seven times higher than a year ago. (AFP, Oct. 14)
Meanwhile, home foreclosures went up 23 percent in the month of September. Workers are living out of their cars and being pushed into homeless shelters.
This is the perfect capitalist symmetry of wealth and exploitation. Bankers get rich while the masses are plunged deeper into crisis. The stock market goes up to 10,000 while unemployment edges up to 10 percent. (Real unemployment is nearer 18 percent.)
The latest numbers on the government stimulus plan reveal that $16 billion has been spent to create 30,000 jobs—a paltry result. About 8 million jobs have been lost and the number is climbing. But the bankers’ stimulus plan has yielded billions in profits and stock market riches. http://www.workers.org/2009/us/banks_1029/

Not to insult your intelligence but in case you aren’t aware of it, the wealthy have long made it clear and publicly known that they are opposed to every social welfare program that was created under FDR’s “New Deal.” And FDR had to be pushed by the people to institute most of the reforms of the New Deal. Moreover, the people raised hell and demanded the reforms because they had suffered through the greatest financial crisis in American history thanks to the greed, corruption, & fraud of the bankers and other Wall St. players of the time. In fact, the “Great Depression” was originally called “The Republican Depression,” but this was too honest and the PR firms went to work to camouflage the reality that like today, it was the same old double-standard wealthy who caused so much suffering and misery for the overwhelming majority of Americans. And the simple, hard-working, law-abiding, taxpaying American citizens had done nothing to cause the crisis. Yes, my friends, the gluttonous elite have long ago declared war on public education, social security, Medicare, welfare, unemployment, pensions, minimum wage, time and a half pay, etc. They have the right to receive all the help they get from the government but we don’t have a right to a penny from the government or from them as employers. Everything from the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, etc. is theirs and we are only allowed to take up space in their cities as long as we’re not a public eyesore that they have to look at and as long as we shut up and pay our taxes and buy whatever they’re selling.

Yes indeed, if we don’t pay our taxes. If we get a D.U.I. If we write a bad check, etc. we are terrible criminals and go to jail, pay outrageous fines, and have a criminal record that follows us the rest of our lives and often makes it nearly impossible to get a decent paying job. But if you’re rich, no problem. In fact, the large corporations who commit fraud daily and pollute our environment, poison our food, air, & water that makes us terribly sick or kills us, have to appear in court now and then and simply pay a relatively small fine in relation to the profits they made from breaking the law, and it’s not even on their record that they did these horrible things. This is what passes for law and order or justice in America. Here’s a brief paragraph from a great, investigative journalist for Rolling Stone magazine, his name is Matt Taibbi:

Nobody goes to jail. This is the mantra of the financial-crisis era, one that saw virtually every major bank and financial company on Wall Street embroiled in obscene criminal scandals that impoverished millions and collectively destroyed hundreds of billions, in fact, trillions of dollars of the world’s wealth — and nobody went to jail. Nobody, that is, except Bernie Madoff, a flamboyant and pathological celebrity con artist, whose victims happened to be other rich and famous people.The rest of them, all of them, got off. Not a single executive who ran the companies that cooked up and cashed in on the phony financial boom — an industrywide scam that involved the mass sale of mismarked, fraudulent mortgage-backed securities — has ever been convicted. Their names by now are familiar to even the most casual Middle American news consumer: companies like AIG, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley. Most of these firms were directly involved in elaborate fraud and theft. Lehman Brothers hid billions in loans from its investors. Bank of America lied about billions in bonuses. Goldman Sachs failed to tell clients how it put together the born-to-lose toxic mortgage deals it was selling. What’s more, many of these companies had corporate chieftains whose actions cost investors billions — from AIG derivatives chief Joe Cassano, who assured investors they would not lose even “one dollar” just months before his unit imploded, to the $263 million in compensation that former Lehman chief Dick “The Gorilla” Fuld conveniently failed to disclose. Yet not one of them has faced time behind bars. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/why-isnt-wall-street-in-jail-20110216?print=true

Just as cops, judges, etc. don’t go to jail when they are pulled over for driving drunk, the bankers, hedge fund managers, etc. don’t go to jail for robbing us of billions of dollars and causing us to lose our homes, our jobs, etc. No, but if you’re a drug dealer or smoke a little pot, three strikes and you’re out! The “War on Drugs,” is a smoke screen for jail the poor, the minorities, the dissidents, in short, anyone who displeases the powers that be or who is superfluous i.e. doesn’t make them any money. I have had a couple of D.U.I.s and you’d think I was a mass murderer or something by the way I’m treated by this “legal system,” of ours. And what really aggravates the hell out of me is the self-righteous moralizing by the authorities. I really feel like throwing something at the television or the radio every time I see or hear one of those commercials telling us how bad it is for us to drink and drive, not because I feel it is okay to drink and drive but because the double standard is so blatant that they hypocrisy really rubs me the wrong way. I had a cop pull me over once but I either wasn’t too intoxicated or he was simply a decent guy but he told me as he gave me a ride home, “Half the cops in Portland are drunks and drive drunk all the time.” And since we’re on the subject of crime, in brief, my mom worked for AT&T for 36 years but when she died, they said she didn’t have a pension. My aunt, who was co-executor with me, wouldn’t give up and after months of hounding them via telephone, got an honest employee who said, oh yeah, there’s $39,000 in an account for her. I told them to take out the taxes before I got my share and even filled out a form saying for them to do so. A year later, the IRS said I owed $4,000 in taxes from this but I was so fed up with all the government & corporate B.S. that I simply ignored the IRS and they have recently caught up with me and I’m paying through the nose now but those good old corporations who are robbing us all blind, including AT&T, and who manufacture pretexts for us to go to war e.g. Bush & the “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq, are smiling like a gang of Cheshire cats as they get away with rape, robbery, & murder.

Notwithstanding, we are reassured and told repeatedly that things are getting better. I sure as hell don’t see any improvements in my life or the lives of anyone I know. We’re also told that this is merely a recession but I say bullshit, we’re living in a depression and things look bleak for as far as the eye can see. On top of all this, Obama the Oreo in the Oval Office (whom I voted for but won’t again) consistently talks tough but gives in to his corporate masters every chance he gets and even before they demand he do so. Yeah, America, land of the free and home of the brave, Not! The rich are free to do whatever they please and rarely face any consequences for their crimes but you and I are severely punished and are held to far higher standards than those corporate cockroaches. I recently watched another PBS Frontline expose called Breaking the Bank which delved into the Super Banks like Bank of America and their role in the financial catastrophe. Professor Elizabeth Warren, whom Obama was suppose to appoint to the new Consumer Protection Agency but caved-in again to his Daddy War Bucks and chicken-out and appointed someone else, is a hell of a good person and a person of integrity but I have to disagree with her final statement in this expose.
JOE NOCERA, New York Times: This is the kind of disaster, like the aftermath of the Great Depression and the crash of ’29, that causes people to say, “There’s something fundamentally wrong here. There’s something fundamentally broken. And we can’t fix it with a new agency, or you know, just a piecemeal approach. We have to kind of tear down the structure and start all over.”
NARRATOR: But whatever happens, the era that propelled John Thain, Ken Lewis and Hank Paulson to the top of the financial world is over.
ELIZABETH WARREN, Chair, Congressional Oversight Panel: The party’s over. The financial institutions are down for the count. This is one of those pivot points in American history. That old economy, that old way of looking at things, that old way of putting on a party- it’s over. It’s over. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/breakingthebank/

Ms. Warren & Mr. Nocera speak pretty confidently and seem to be assuring us that this kind of financial meltdown can never happen again. I say, come on get real? Very little regulation has been put in place to prevent the same thing from happening again and Obama has told Wall St. and the U.S. public repeatedly that he’s not interested in looking back whether it’s the crimes of the Bush-whacker & company or the Wall St. wizards and let’s just move forward. When I first heard this I thought, wait a minute, if you or I commit a crime, does the judge or the legal system say, well, that was in the past, let’s move forward and just don’t do it again? I knew as soon as Obama appointed Geitner, Summers, & Bernanke to some of the highest positions in our government responsible for steering our economy that we were in for more of the same. And of course with the sharks starting to circle in a feeding frenzy for the next presidential election, Obama is turning on the rhetoric propaganda machine again and pretending he cares about putting Americans back to work. Well, he fooled me good the first time around but I have seen what a corporate crocodile he is and won’t be fooled again by his public speaking charisma.

I want to add one last thing regarding the Frontline story I quoted from above and Ms. Warren’s final statement, in my perspective it seems she’s saying, it was these corrupt private institutions and ignores the fact that these “private” institutions couldn’t have done what they did without the collusion and turning a blind-eye by the government. The “revolving door” in Washington D.C. is common knowledge and that’s one of the major reasons we have so much corruption in our government because the politicians leave office after a few years and are hired by the corporations they were suppose to regulate when in political office. In short, the revolving door, the lobbyists, and the money involved in running for office guarantee us that we’ll never get a fair shake from this thoroughly corrupt and rotten government bought and paid for by the corporate behemoths bribing them. For Ms. Warren to ignore this is either extremely naïve or disingenuous. The next big scam that may dwarf the banking and oil swindles is the cap and trade scheme on carbon emissions, but before I get to that, let me finish up on the War on Drugs with a good piece written by my intellectual hero, Noam Chomsky:

Sects and Death

The war on (certain) drugs
Noam Chomsky in What Uncle Sam Really Wants
One substitute for the disappearing Evil Empire has been the threat of drug traffickers from Latin America. In early September 1989, a major government-media blitz was launched by the President. That month the AP wires carried more stories about drugs than about Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa combined. If you looked at television, every news program had a big section on how drugs were destroying our society, becoming the greatest threat to our existence, etc.
The effect on public opinion was immediate. When Bush won the 1988 election, people said the budget deficit was the biggest problem facing the country. Only about 3% named drugs. After the media blitz, concern over the budget was way down and drugs had soared to about 40% to 45%, which is highly unusual for an open question (where no specific answers are suggested).
Now, when some client state complains that the US government isn’t sending it enough money, they no longer say, “we need it to stop the Russians” – rather, “we need it to stop drug trafficking.” Like the Soviet threat, this enemy provides a good excuse for a US military presence where there’s rebel activity or other unrest.
So internationally, “the war on drugs” provides a cover for intervention. Domestically, it has little to do with drugs but a lot to do with distracting the population, increasing repression in the inner cities, and building support for the attack on civil liberties.
That’s not to say that “substance abuse” isn’t a serious problem. At the time the drug war was launched, deaths from tobacco were estimated at about 300,000 a year, with perhaps another 100,000 from alcohol. But these aren’t the drugs the Bush administration targeted. It went after illegal drugs, which had caused many fewer deaths – over 3500 a year – according to official figures. One reason for going after these drugs was that their use had been declining for some years, so the Bush administration could safely predict that its drug war would “succeed” in lowering drug use.
The Administration also targeted marijuana, which hadn’t caused any known deaths among some 60 million users. In fact, the crackdown has exacerbated the drug problem – many marijuana users have turned from this relatively harmless drug to more dangerous drugs like cocaine, which are easier to conceal.
Just as the drug war was launched with great fanfare in September 1989, the US Trade Representative (USTR) panel held a hearing in Washington to consider a tobacco industry request that the US impose sanctions on Thailand in retaliation for its efforts to restrict US tobacco imports and advertising. Such US government actions had already rammed this lethal addictive narcotic down the throats of consumers in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, with human costs of the kind already indicated.
The US Surgeon General, Everett Koop, testified at the USTR panel that “when we are pleading with foreign governments to stop the flow of cocaine, it is the height of hypocrisy for the United States to export tobacco.” He added, “years from now, our nation will look back on this application of free trade policy and find it scandalous.”
Thai witnesses also protested, predicting that the consequence of US sanctions would be to reverse a decline in smoking achieved by their government’s campaign against tobacco use. Responding to the US tobacco companies’ claim that their product is the best in the world, a Thai witness said, “Certainly in the Golden Triangle we have some of the best products, but we never ask the principle of free trade to govern such products. In fact we suppressed [them].” Critics recalled the Opium War 150 years earlier, when the British government compelled China to open its doors to opium from British India, sanctimoniously pleading the virtues of free trade as they forcefully imposed large-scale drug addiction on China.
Here we have the biggest drug story of the day. Imagine the screaming headlines: “U.S. Government The World’s Leading Drug Peddler.” It would surely sell papers. But the story passed virtually unreported, and with not a hint of the obvious conclusions.
Another aspect of the drug problem, which also received little attention, is the leading role of the US government in stimulating drug trafficking since World War II. This happened in part when the US began its postwar task of undermining the anti-fascist resistance and the labor movement became an important target.
In France, the threat of political power and influence of the labor movement was enhanced by its steps to impede the flow of arms to French forces seeking to reconquer their former colony of Vietnam with US aid. So the CIA undertook to weaken and split the French labor movement – with the aid of top American labor leaders, who were quite proud of their role.
The task required strikebreakers and goons. There was an obvious supplier: the Mafia. Of course, they didn’t take on this work just for the fun of it. They wanted a return for their efforts. And it was given to them: they were authorized to reestablish the heroin racket that had been suppressed by the fascist governments – the famous “French connection” that dominated the drug trade until the 1960s.
By then, the center of the drug trade shifted to Indochina, particularly Laos and Thailand. The shift was again a by-product of a CIA operation – the “secret war” fought in those countries during the Vietnam War by a CIA mercenary army. They also wanted a payoff for their contributions. Later, as the CIA shifted its activities to Pakistan and Afghanistan, the drug racket boomed there.
The clandestine war against Nicaragua also provided a shot in the arm to drug traffickers in the region, as illegal CIA arms flights to the US mercenary forces offered an easy way to ship drugs back to the US, sometimes through US Air Force bases, traffickers report.
The close correlation between the drug racket and international terrorism (sometimes called “counterinsurgency,” “low intensity conflict” or some other euphemism) is not surprising. Clandestine operations need plenty of money, which should be undetectable. And they need criminal operatives as well. The rest follows. http://deoxy.org/usdrugs.htm

The three key points to keep in mind from this passage by Professor Chomsky are that the War on Drugs; 1) has a lot to do with distracting the population i.e. us, the gullible citizens; 2) increasing repression in the inner cities; & 3) building support for the attack on civil liberties. In brief, the War on Drugs is a guise or ploy designed to dupe the gullible into believing the government and the wealthy care about our well-being, yeah, that’s why they fight national health care tooth and nail. And by focusing the nightly news on sensational stories of drug use and busts in the inner cities, they distract us from the much more serious crimes they are committing like on Wall St. or starting wars of imperial aggression around the world. This “war” also gives them an excuse to beat, jail, and kill those in the inner cities who refuse to go quietly as they are being screwed over by this rigged system of ours. And finally, by painting a horrific picture of drug abuse and the crimes associated with it, it allows the powers that be to slowly erode our rights as former citizens of a democracy. Moreover, as I mentioned early in this essay, they are now trying to link drug users with terrorists by waging a propaganda campaign claiming that by buying drugs, people are in effect, supporting the drug cartels that often finance terrorists. This is George Orwell’s 1984 nightmare world coming true and we sit idly by watching mind-numbing television programs and sports while the Masters of War grow ever more powerful and steal our power bit by bit.

The last “war” I want to mention that is being waged against us is sometimes referred to as the “Culture War,” or “Class War,” and it’s almost amusing at how indignant the powers that be get when every now and then some critic points out their tactics and they scream “You’re stirring-up class war,” you see, we’re not suppose to realize or acknowledge that they are screwing us and that it’s a deliberate campaign on their part. All the sinister machinations of the power elite have been in place for several decades and they fan the flames regularly via vile cretins like Limbaugh, Beck, & O’Reilly but we’re not suppose to point this out or we’re being the trouble makers, not them. I recommend a book titled What’s the Matter with Kansas? By Thomas Frank if you’d like to get a much deeper look into this phenomenon i.e. it’s truly remarkable how they can/have persuaded people who are suffering economically due to the policies and practices of the “conservatives,” to vote against their own economic best interests by whipping up emotional fervor on “safe issues,” which will never be resolved e.g. abortion, gay rights, etc. I’m going to include a bit here from a blog site that I just stumbled upon to give you a bit of an overview and then I’m going to wind down this essay.

Culture War Is Class War
Class War is disguised as Culture War. The Wealthy Elite–the “Filthy Rich”–foment Culture War among the masses to distract and cover their real economic motives.
Culture War, Class War explores the resulting cultural divide and how it was instigated and kept alive for fifty years in America by certain elite powers and how and why they choose to benefit while tearing families in two and keeping America paralyzed.
This website looks into why America’s “privileged class”—its “royalty,” “blue bloods”—started a “culture war” against the middle class, working class, the poor…and the educated, artists, and humanists in the early 1970s. We discover how their fear of Sixties activism panicked them into an all-out assault against elements that threatened their wealth and privilege in all institutions of American society—media, education, medicine, government, politics, publication, religion, especially higher education, and so on—and restructured them.
Finally, we see how this culture war continues today: blatantly so in the Tea Party movement, the Republican Party, the Wall Street giveaways at the expense of jobs, tax cuts for the “filthy rich” and corporations, budget battles and cuts in government services and entitlement programs, rampant anti-environmentalism, and anti-minority, anti-immigrant laws and attacks.
For example, we see rabid culture war/class war in the abortion debate; attacks on unions in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and many other states; ever shrinking civil and human rights, including suspension of habeas corpus; runaway imprisonment of minorities and free-thinkers through egregious anti-drug and anti-sex/anti-gender laws; indefinite imprisonment without trial and torture of political prisoners; and much, much more. A few recent examples of the extremes of this attack include politicians like Congressman Barton who kowtow to corporations, even defending British Petroleum from having to pay for its atrocious oil spill, and a candidate—Republican of course—for the Arizona Senator’s race who actually ran on the platform of doing away with Social Security and Medicare.

http://culturewarclasswar.wordpress.com/

I am going to conclude by offering you some questions to ponder:

Who is it that tells us we must once again go to war?
And who tells the politicians to tell us we must go to war to defend freedom, democracy, and the free market?
Did you know that J.P. Morgan bought defective rifles for $3 apiece and sold them to the government for $17 apiece during the Civil War?
Do you know that the U.S. Marine Corps invaded Nicaragua nine times last century to protect United Fruit Corporation’s interests & the Bush family was major shareholders in United Fruit?
Why does our government turn its back on our returning soldiers?
Why are so many of the homeless, veterans?
Why has the government denied medical care/health insurance for so many of the police, firemen, & emergency medical personnel who sacrificed so courageously in the aftermath of 9/11?
Why have we been at war, police actions, etc. consistently or non-stop for the past 50 years? (See Gore Vidal’s Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: How We Got to Be So Hated, pgs. 22-41)
Why did “Dubya” (Georgie Bush) forbid the coffins of soldiers returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan to be photographed?
Why did the Coward from Crawford joke about not finding any weapons of mass destruction in the Oval Office?
Why did Bush deny he said Saddam Hussein had anything to do with 9/11 and say he wasn’t concerned about catching Osama bin Laden a few years after 9/11?
Is stealing presidential elections and bailing out the “Banksters” against our wishes Democracy?
Are government subsidies to giant corporations, tax breaks for the wealthy but not the poor, & tax refunds to corporations that make billions while millions of Americans are losing their homes, their jobs, their pensions, their health insurance, their dignity, examples of the “free market?”
Is freedom simply the freedom of the power elite to totally subjugate us and make us wage slaves and be rewarded for shutting down factories here?
Is all this what we, the soldiers, the taxpayers, the working poor, the shrinking middle class, the law abiding citizens fight and die for?

They, the puppet masters behind the curtains like the Wizard of Oz, don’t seem to learn the lessons of waging all their wars against us. Why? Because they don’t pay the financial costs or the ultimate costs i.e. their lives, like we do. They reap the profits, the fame, the mansions, private jets, luxury yachts, etc. and all the rest of us reap the pain, the suffering, the humiliation, and the death that results from their wars and crimes against humanity. When will we take back our God-given rights from the “Masters of War?” Time to man the barricades comrades. Viva la Revolucion!
Persevere,
Rob DeLoss, September 17, 2011

Addendum
After writing this essay today, I wanted to just relax and zone-out so I sat down in my easy chair and started re-watching the movie Lord of War with Nicholas Cage. I dozed off part way through the movie but was awake for the last half of the film. The final notes that were on the screen at the end of the movie struck me as especially relevant to this essay and that’s why I’m adding them here:

“This film is based on actual events. While private gunrunners continue to thrive, the world’s biggest arm suppliers are the U.S., U.K., Russia, France, and China. They are also the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.”

I thought it’d be instructive to look up exactly what the purpose of the U.N. Security Council is and here it is:

“The U.N. Security Council is one of the principal organs of the U.N. and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action. Its powers are exercised through United Nations Security Council resolutions….There are 15 members of the Security Council, consisting of five veto-wielding, permanent members (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, & the United States).

I then watched the last part of a speech by Michael Moore at Barnes & Noble bookstore in New York City and he mentioned that Paul Simon was to sing his song “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” at a 9/11 memorial but at the last minute switched to “The Sounds of Silence” and the scroll under Simon as he was singing, was showing the words to Bridge Over Troubled Waters. A reminder? A warning? By the way, “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” was one of the songs that I had the church play at my brother’s funeral.

Hello darkness, my old friend. I’ve come to talk with you again.
Because a vision softly creeping left it’s seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain still remains within the sound of silence.

In restless dreams I walked alone, narrow streets of cobblestone
‘neath the halo of a street lamp, I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night and touched the sound of silence.

And in the naked light I saw ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking, people hearing without listening.
People writing songs that voices never shared, no one dared disturb the sound of silence.

“Fools,” said I, “you do not know, silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you, take my arms that I might reach you.”
But my words like silent raindrops fell and echoed in the wells of silence.

And the people bowed and prayed to the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out it’s warning in the words that it was forming.
And the sign said “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls and whispered in the sound of silence.”

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