By Dick Bennett
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette served its readers and our democracy well on Feb. 1 when it printed a report on the Pentagon’s 2010 “Quadrennial Defense Review.” The Quarterly “Defense” Review reveals the Pentagon’s plan for global dominance.
1. Permanent War
“’This is truly a wartime’” QDR, Pentagon Secretary Robert Gates wrote.
Well, when was it not since 1941? Permanent war has been and is the condition of the U.S. Security/Warfare State-from WWII to Cold War to War on Drugs to War on Terror.
2. Preparing Wars
“The U.S. military is drawing up a new air-sea battle plan in response to threats, such as China’s persistent military build-up and Iran’s possession of advance weapons.”
Threat/fear-mongering is a major manipulation used by U.S. leaders for the perpetual build-up of U.S. militarization. See J. W. Fulbright’s The Pentagon Propaganda Machine. Yes, probably China is developing new missiles and submarines, and Iran definitely is “fielding small attack boats in the Persian Gulf,” but China’s military spending is down “to 7.5 percent” this year, the lowest level in more than 20 years” (“China Vows to Push for a ‘Fairer’ Society” an AP story by Christopher Bodeen in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on March 10, 2010).
And the U.S. during all these years has spent billions each year on Research and Development, modernizing weapons and now “the joint Air Force-Navy plan would combine…to conduct long-range strikes that could utilize a new generation of bombers, a new cruise missile and drones launched from aircraft carriers.”
Imagine the leaders and people of China and Iran reading this battle plan containing initiatives and increased budget for striking their countries! What can our bullies be thinking with this long-range plan for extending air war? Seventy more years of wasteful, illegal, futile, brutal, endless wars?
3. Defending Empire
“The Air Force and Navy are seeking more effective ways of ensuring continued access to the west Pacific and countering potential threats to American bases and personnel” there.
Sound familiar? In a colonial conflict over control of the west Pacific and eastern Asian resources (French Indo-China, British Malaysia and Hong Kong, Japanese Korea and China), the U.S. in World War II in the Pacific sided with the western colonial powers and embargoed Japanese oil and rubber. Many historians explain this “commitment to empire” motivating the Pacific WWII. For example, Joseph Gerson in “Hiroshima Eyes” describes “the underlying continuity of U.S. foreign and military policy: the expansion and maintenance of empire in the Pacific and Asia.”
Let us thank Gienger and Capaccio for their report about the QDR-even though they do not perceive the contradictions and ironies in what they write-and the ADG for printing it, although this newspaper might have been proud of the militarism exposed. And with this information, let us all resist the militarism and imperialism that have conquered our country.
Dick Bennett is the founder of Fayetteville’s OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology.