Wednesday, July 1, 2009
U.S. Foreign Policy: Diplomacy or Gunfights?
In the Sorrows of Empire, Chalmers Johnson notes that "the Pentagon's budget is almost twenty times larger than the State Department's" (p. 137); that "Since 1991, the United States has been by far the largest single seller of munitions on the earth. From 1997 to 2001, it exported $44.82 billions in arms ...."(p. 133); that "The General Accounting Office has identified at least 185 black programs [i.e., covert operations abroad whose budgets are kept secret] and notes that they have increased eightfold during the 1981-1986 period. There is no authoritative total, but the GAO once estimated that $30 to $35 billion per year [!!!] was devoted to secret military and intelligence spending" (p.118); points out that by using depleted uranium [DU] ammunition "the military is deliberately flouting a 1996 United Nations resolution that classified DU ammunition as an illegal weapon of mass destruction" (p.101); and concludes that "One certain legacy of the war in Iraq is that American political and military leaders can no longer be believed or trusted" (p. 95).