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Posts tagged: military industrial complex

bloodhole:

did you know that the main reason we have a school lunch program is that in 1946 kids were too underfed to qualify for military service bc i just found that out and am horrified

nobody cares about children’s well being without an ulterior motive

this is a really important contrast with the black panthers’ free breakfast program

One group of people is decidedly happy about the militarized response in Ferguson: those who work in the weapons industry. The array of police forces–the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the St. Louis county and city police and local Ferguson officers–that descended on the largely black Missouri city have used the products these corporations are selling in abundance. Tear gas, rubber bullets, smoke bombs, stun grenades, armored personnel carriers, sound cannons and high-caliber rifles have all been deployed to quell the unrest, though they have contributed to anger over police tactics.
Officers have tanks now. They have drones. They have automatic rifles, and planes, and helicopters, and they go through military-style boot camp training. It’s a constant complaint from what remains of this country’s civil liberties caucus. Just this last June, the ACLU issued a report on how police departments now possess arsenals in need of a use. Few paid attention, as usually happens.
 
The worst part of outfitting our police officers as soldiers has been psychological. Give a man access to drones, tanks, and body armor, and he’ll reasonably think that his job isn’t simply to maintain peace, but to eradicate danger. Instead of protecting and serving, police are searching and destroying.
 
If officers are soldiers, it follows that the neighborhoods they patrol are battlefields. And if they’re working battlefields, it follows that the population is the enemy. And because of correlations, rooted in historical injustice, between crime and income and income and race, the enemy population will consist largely of people of color, and especially of black men. Throughout the country, police officers are capturing, imprisoning, and killing black males at a ridiculous clip, waging a very literal war on people like Michael Brown.
Writing in The Nation in the summer of 1966, James Baldwin described an instance of police brutality that had taken place two years earlier, several months before the death of an African-American teen-ager at the hands of the N.Y.P.D. sparked the Harlem race riots.

On April 17, 1964, in Harlem, New York City, a young salesman, father of two, left a customer’s apartment and went into the streets. There was a great commotion in the streets, which, especially since it was a spring day, involved many people, including running, frightened, little boys. They were running from the police. Other people, in windows, left their windows, in terror of the police because the police had their guns out, and were aiming the guns at the roofs. Then the salesman noticed that two of the policemen were beating up a kid: “So I spoke up and asked them, ‘why are you beating him like that?’ Police jump up and start swinging on me. He put the gun on me and said, ‘get over there.’ I said, ‘what for?’ ”

An unwise question. Three of the policemen beat up the salesman in the streets. Then they took the young salesman, whose hands had been handcuffed behind his back, along with four others, much younger than the salesman, who were handcuffed in the same way, to the police station. There: “About thirty-five I’d say came into the room, and started beating, punching us in the jaw, in the stomach, in the chest, beating us with a padded club—spit on us, call us niggers, dogs, animals—they call us dogs and animals when I don’t see why we are the dogs and animals the way they are beating us. Like they beat me they beat the other kids and the elderly fellow. They throw him almost through one of the radiators. I thought he was dead over there.”

If you take out the date, there is little in this passage that anchors it to any particular moment in the past century. The beatings could have happened as easily in 2014 or 1914 as in 1964. The only difference is that the police now are armed to the teeth.
Every morning, I have to face the reality that my son is fighting for his life. It’s not clear whether he’ll live or die. All of this to find a small amount of drugs?
 
The only silver lining I can possibly see is that my baby Bou Bou’s story might make us angry enough that we stop accepting brutal SWAT raids as a normal way to fight the “war on drugs.” I know that this has happened to other families, here in Georgia and across the country. I know that SWAT teams are breaking into homes in the middle of the night, more often than not just to serve search warrants in drug cases. I know that too many local cops have stockpiled weapons that were made for soldiers to take to war. And as is usually the case with aggressive policing, I know that people of color and poor people are more likely to be targeted.
There are at least three ways in which [U.S. foreign] aid to Israel is different from that of any other country. First, since 1982, U.S. aid to Israel has been transferred in one lump sum at the beginning of each fiscal year, which immediately begins to collect interest in U.S. banks. Aid that goes to other countries is disbursed throughout the year in quarterly installments.

Second, Israel is not required to account for specific purchases. Most countries receive aid for very specific purposes and must account for how it is spent. Israel is allowed to place US aid into its general fund, effectively eliminating any distinctions between types of aid. Therefore, U.S. tax-payers are helping to fund an illegal occupation, the expansion of colonial-settlement projects, and gross human rights violations against the Palestinian civilian population.

A third difference is the sheer amount of aid the U.S. gives to Israel, unparalleled in the history of U.S. foreign policy. Israel usually receives roughly one third of the entire foreign aid budget, despite the fact that Israel comprises less than .001 of the world’s population and already has one of the world’s higher per capita incomes. In other words, Israel, a country of approximately 6 million people, is currently receiving more U.S. aid than all of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean combined when you take out Egypt and Colombia.

US Aid: The Lifeblood of Occupation (via rs620)

Not to mention one of the biggest functions of this aid is to prop up the US military industry.

Over the last 20 years, the U.S. has been slowly phasing out economic aid to Israel and gradually replacing it with increased military aid. In 2007, the Bush Administration and the Israeli government agreed to a 10-year, $30 billion military aid package FY 2009 to FY 2018. In 2012, the U.S. began giving Israel $3.1 billion a year (or an average of $8.5 million a day) and promised to provide that amount every year through FY 2018.

75% of this aid is used to purchase military equipment from the US ‘defense’ industry.

(via openlyawesome)

gofatyourself:

thinksquad:

There are precisely 1,400,852 Americans currently serving the military both at home and abroad.

Whisper — an app which allows users to anonymously post messages — gives us a glimpse into the deepest, most emotionally-tinged thoughts of these men and women.

http://mic.com/articles/92885/what-america-s-soldiers-and-their-families-really-think-about-the-military

So important.  I’m always saying that so many soldiers take that path because they don’t have any other option, like college.  In a lot of instances they are flat out lied to.  The government legit gives military branches money to fund a position that is intended to con people into joining the military. 

the story’s dramatic reveal is that starfleet has gone bad, which is telegraphed so obviously from the first scene with peter weller that part of the problem is not just how obvious that is but also how played out it feels? and i’m not just talking about how this is literally a rehash of a recurring plot thread from ds9 without the recurring part, but mashed up with the xenophobic ‘terra prime’ storyline from enterprise //that also starred peter weller//. i am talking about how this is a plot thread about post-9/11 escalation that is not only older than 9/11, but also was done better on ds9 in 1998, in the dark knight in 2008, and in the avengers //last summer//, and that’s just off the top of my head. and bear in mind that the reveal here is peter weller all ‘man nero fucked our shit up so of course we’re building gunships now’, where the reveal last year was captain america all ‘what the fuck is this, why are we resurrecting nazi superweapons’ and samuel l jackson just glares him down //and points at thor//.

nyarlathotep: soooo how bout that khan movie, amirite?

i am so stoked that cap 2 is taking the military escalation angle from the avengers and running with it

this-is-ryan:

animalstalkinginallcaps:

Walter, have you been mechanized?
BOOYAH! IT’S CALLED A DEFENSE BUDGET, MY FRIEND!
“INSURGENTS” IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN ARE FIGHTING US WITH ANTIQUE AK-47S? LET’S SEE THEM TRY TO USE THOSE ON A GODDAMNED DOLPHIN WITH LASERS. I’M NOT EVEN A PERSON! AND I HAVE LASERS, MOTHERFUCKER!
You don’t think that’s a bit excessive?
WE BOMB LIBYA FOR FUN! WE INVENTED GUNS THAT SHOOT AROUND CORNERS! WE SPEND TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS EVERY YEAR ON “DEFENSE” FOR A COUNTRY THAT IS ESSENTIALLY ISOLATED FROM EVERYTHING EXCEPT CANADA AND MEXICO SO THAT PEOPLE WITH SLINGSHOTS AND REVOLVERS DON’T “TERRORIZE” US! NOTHING EXCESSIVE ABOUT THAT. THAT’S OUR TAX DOLLARS IN ACTION! ALL THAT MONEY HAS TO GO SOMEWHERE. WHY NOT MY FINS?
But this is an illegal war started under false pretenses. Shouldn’t the government be trying to end it, not wasting the money of citizens who want their troops brought home? Shouldn’t we be letting these ‘insurgents’ get back to their lives?
YOU THINK MAYBE OUR RESOURCES WOULD BE BETTER SPENT ON INFRASTRUCTURE AND HEALTHCARE AT HOME? YOU THINK THESE BROWN STRANGERS WHO NEVER ACTUALLY ATTACKED AMERICA JUST WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE TO REBUILD THE CITIES WE ILLEGALLY INVADED AND DESTROYED? WELL, TOO BAD! GOING I’M GOING TO RISE UP FROM THE WAVES AND SAW THEM IN HALF WITH INTENSELY FOCUSED LIGHT! I GOT THAT BOOM BADOOM BOOM BOOM BADOOM BOOM BASS! I GOT THAT SUPERBASS! AND LASERS!

This is pretty much the best blog ever.

this-is-ryan:

animalstalkinginallcaps:

Walter, have you been mechanized?

BOOYAH! IT’S CALLED A DEFENSE BUDGET, MY FRIEND!

“INSURGENTS” IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN ARE FIGHTING US WITH ANTIQUE AK-47S? LET’S SEE THEM TRY TO USE THOSE ON A GODDAMNED DOLPHIN WITH LASERS. I’M NOT EVEN A PERSON! AND I HAVE LASERS, MOTHERFUCKER!

You don’t think that’s a bit excessive?

WE BOMB LIBYA FOR FUN! WE INVENTED GUNS THAT SHOOT AROUND CORNERS! WE SPEND TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS EVERY YEAR ON “DEFENSE” FOR A COUNTRY THAT IS ESSENTIALLY ISOLATED FROM EVERYTHING EXCEPT CANADA AND MEXICO SO THAT PEOPLE WITH SLINGSHOTS AND REVOLVERS DON’T “TERRORIZE” US! NOTHING EXCESSIVE ABOUT THAT. THAT’S OUR TAX DOLLARS IN ACTION! ALL THAT MONEY HAS TO GO SOMEWHERE. WHY NOT MY FINS?

But this is an illegal war started under false pretenses. Shouldn’t the government be trying to end it, not wasting the money of citizens who want their troops brought home? Shouldn’t we be letting these ‘insurgents’ get back to their lives?

YOU THINK MAYBE OUR RESOURCES WOULD BE BETTER SPENT ON INFRASTRUCTURE AND HEALTHCARE AT HOME? YOU THINK THESE BROWN STRANGERS WHO NEVER ACTUALLY ATTACKED AMERICA JUST WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE TO REBUILD THE CITIES WE ILLEGALLY INVADED AND DESTROYED? WELL, TOO BAD! GOING I’M GOING TO RISE UP FROM THE WAVES AND SAW THEM IN HALF WITH INTENSELY FOCUSED LIGHT! I GOT THAT BOOM BADOOM BOOM BOOM BADOOM BOOM BASS! I GOT THAT SUPERBASS! AND LASERS!

This is pretty much the best blog ever.