Warfare continues to become more professional and dehumanized every day.

The purpose of Extraordinary Edition is being revisited for winter, headed into 2013. U.S. foreign policy, Central Asia and the Middle East remain key focal points. Economics and culture on your front doorstep are coming into focus here.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Amy Goodman: We Can't Afford War

Truthdig.com piece by Democracy Now's Amy Goodman June 29

The point of this piece, as indicated by the title, is the current economic state of society in America and contradictory eternal strategy in Afghanistan (to put on hold the emerging issue of withdrawal from Iraq).

A separate note by Goodman mid-piece nearly warrants an entirely separate investigation and article. Oftentimes in his work, scholar Noam Chomsky has provided analysis of handling popular opinion when it falls inconsistent with the direction the powerful intend to move in the present. The following excerpt is an example of such late modern propaganda, which some would maintain exists only in the political culture of Soviet Russia or one of its authoritarian leftist side projects ... (excerpt)

The whistle-blower website WikiLeaks.org, which received international attention after releasing leaked video from a U.S. attack helicopter showing the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians and a Reuters cameraman and his driver in Baghdad, has just posted a confidential CIA memo detailing possible public relations strategies to counter waning public support for the Afghan War. The agency memo reads: “If domestic politics forces the Dutch to depart, politicians elsewhere might cite a precedent for ‘listening to the voters.’ French and German leaders have over the past two years taken steps to preempt an upsurge of opposition but their vulnerability may be higher now.”

Goodman's conclusion is a highly rational, morally inexorable argument that perplexes the mind in step with the current official rhetoric ...

(second excerpt)

I just returned from Toronto, covering the G-20 summit and the protests. The gathered leaders pledged, among other things, to reduce government deficits by 50 percent by 2013. In the U.S., that means cutting $800 billion, or about 20 percent of the budget. Two Nobel Prize-winning economists have weighed in with grave predictions. Joseph Stiglitz said, “There are many cases where these kinds of austerity measures have led to ... recessions into depressions.” And Paul Krugman wrote: “Who will pay the price for this triumph of orthodoxy? The answer is, tens of millions of unemployed workers, many of whom will go jobless for years, and some of whom will never work again.”

In order to make the cuts promised, Obama would have to raise taxes and cut social programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Or he could cut the war budget. I say “war budget” because it is not to be confused with a defense budget. Cities and states across the country are facing devastating budget crises. Pensions are being wiped out. Foreclosures are continuing at record levels. A true defense budget would shore up our schools, our roads, our towns, our social safety net. The U.S. House of Representatives is under pressure to pass a $33 billion Afghan War supplemental this week.

We can’t afford war.

Amy Goodman on Truthdig.com June 29, 2010

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