wikileaks:-Cover-up of murder of civilians and journalists

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Re: wikileaks:-Cover-up of murder of civilians and journalists

Postby operator kos » Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:31 pm

Here's another unbelievable story...

"Sorry about killing your pregnant daughter then covering it up; here's two sheep".

And (CI)ABC wants us to believe that the locals eat this shit right up.

http://abcnews.go.com/WN/Afghanistan/special-forces-apologize-afghan-civilian-deaths-sheep/story?id=10320603&page=1

In the dusty Afghan village where U.S. troops killed two pregnant women and three other innocent civilians in February, a remarkable scene played out today between an aggrieved father and the most senior special operations officer in the United States military.

Vice Admiral William McRaven -- the commander of Joint Special Operations Command -- showed up with two sheep, and in the cultural understanding of the region, surrendered himself.

He didn't literally surrender. But he didn't have to. In the code followed by the southeastern Afghan family so devastated by the February incident, offering two sheep is the equivalent of begging for forgiveness.

And the father -- whose has lost two sons, two daughters and one grandchild -- accepted McRaven's apology, according to family members and Afghan investigators.

Presenting sheep is such a powerful form of requesting forgiveness that the father is now obligated not to take revenge, even though he has told reporters he wanted to become a suicide bomber.

"We were very happy he came to our house," said Mohammad Tahir, the brother of the two men and father of the 18-year-old woman who was killed, referring to McRaven. "We told him, 'Thank you very much. We will not keep anything in our heart against you.'"

The family only asked McRaven to hand over whoever gave him the intelligence that led the joint American and Afghan force to their home on the early morning of Feb. 12.

"You don't have to give him to us," the family told McRaven, Tahir said. "At least hand him over to the Afghan government."

The forgiveness will help defuse one of the most troubling cases of troops killing civilians in the eight-and-a-half-year war, one in which the United States has had to backtrack from statements multiple times and is accused of a cover-up.

On Feb. 12, NATO emailed a statement to reporters with the subject line, "Joint force operating in Gardez makes gruesome discovery."

"Several insurgents engaged the joint force in a fire fight and were killed," the statement read. "When the joint force entered the compound they conducted a thorough search of the area, and found the bodies of three women who had been tied up, gagged and killed. The bodies had been hidden in an adjacent room."

A Special Forces Cover Up in Afghanistan?

When that story was challenged by the family, senior NATO officials vociferously defended the incident, criticizing a reporter who quoted the family in a story and claiming the women had defensive wounds, an implication that they had been killed by their own family.

But family members and now Afghan investigators accuse the American and Afghan special forces unit of trying to cover up the deaths.

"They committed a crime on top of a crime," says the head of the Afghan team investigating the incident, Gen. Mohammad Mirza Yarmand.

Tahir goes even further, saying he saw American troops extract bullets from the women's bodies, an explosive charge in a conservative country where American troops are generally told to avoid interacting with women, especially in southern and eastern Afghanistan.

"I saw Americans taking bullets out of the body of my sister-in-law and they were pushing me away from the scene," Tahir said. "When I told them, 'Let me take them to hospital,' they said, 'Don't worry, the helicopter will be coming and we will take care of them.'"

Yarmand says the family found one bullet that was left inside one of the women.

A military spokesman denies any cover-up, saying in a statement to ABC News, "We have discovered no evidence that any of our forces did anything to manipulate the evidence or the bodies at the scene," according to Lt. Col. Joseph Breasseale, the deputy chief of public affairs for NATO forces in Kabul.

But the incident so inflamed the family, the father initially vowed to take revenge, "even if it breaks me into pieces."

"I have lost patience. I am obliged to revenge my martyrs," he told an ABC News cameraman on March 18. "I will destroy everything I have and will launch my own suicide attack. My heart is burning."

But today the father forgave, a lesson in the importance of cultural sensitivity, especially in a region dominated by people who follow a strict, centuries-old set of principles known as Pashtunwali.

McRaven asked for that forgiveness -- an act called Nanawati in Pashto -- one day after Afghan investigators presented their findings of the incident to Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the head of all foreign forces in Afghanistan.

McChrystal ordered McRaven to go for Nanawati, according to a U.S. military official, who said this was not the first time American troops have performed such an act.

McChrystal has made reducing civilian casualties a cornerstone of his policy since arriving in Kabul late last spring, an acknowledgement that perhaps more than any other action, civilian deaths can push Afghans away from the government and toward the insurgency.

To a certain extent, he has been successful. Last year, according to the United Nations, the number of civilians killed by international troops dropped to 596 from 828.

In the last month, McChrystal has brought more special forces troops under his control, and he has restricted how special forces can conduct raids at night, demanding that Afghans remain in the lead the entire way, although it's not clear whether the forces who conducted the raid on Feb. 12 are under his direct control.

"Despite their effectiveness and operational value, night raids come at a steep cost in terms of the perceptions of the Afghan people," McChrystal wrote in a directive released on March 5. "Night raids must be conducted with even greater care, additional constraints, and standardization throughout Afghanistan."

The apparent lack of care with which the troops conducted the raid on Feb. 12 pushed a family who supported the government away. It took a visit by a three-star for the family to move on and to forgive, which they apparently have.

And that may help quell the demand for an investigation, limiting the fallout of the incident.

"The good thing is they have accepted their mistake," Gen. Yarmand said today. "That makes all the difference in the case."
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Re: wikileaks:-Cover-up of murder of civilians and journalists

Postby Nordic » Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:42 pm

Gosh, I guess it's all okay now.

How heartwarming.

What a disgusting PR piece. Pure propaganda, and ABC publishes it like it's gospel.
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Re: wikileaks:-Cover-up of murder of civilians and journalists

Postby StarmanSkye » Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:29 pm

I agree totally Nordic; That is an absolutely repulsive piece of dreck. I felt contaminated just reading it, I didn't even have to see the byline to know it was being peddled by a premiere US mass-media psyoprop. What the incident reveals is the contrast between the situational faux-morality of America and the principled rigor of Tribal Afghan code of honor and duty. American 'leadership' has NO sense of decency, courage, honesty, no regard for ethical principles or a code of behavior. They think everything is secondary to 'the task' which is serving expediency. They will lie, cheat, kill, scheme, weasel, worm, manipulate, deny -- whatever it takes rather than accept responsibility for serious fuck-ups.

McCrystal or McCraven didn't choose this ceremonial apology on their own initiative, they had to be compelled by the shitstorm of bad-feelings, mistrust, bad-feelings and bad-press this botched 'raid' and killing and cover-up caused.

If it comes to accepting any additional personal risk instead of verifying whether someone is an innocent civilian or a suspected 'bad-guy', almost every soldier will shoot-first. That's a REAL difference from how most front-line troops treated civilians in the countries US troops were liberating in Europe in WWII. It's probably a symptom of widespread frustration in the 'mission' they are tasked with, which doesn't seem practical, practical or even something the troops can really believe in. How ya gonna win a war against a noun?
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Re: wikileaks:-Cover-up of murder of civilians and journalists

Postby smiths » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:10 pm

Digital economy bill rushed through wash-up in late night session

The government forced through the controversial digital economy bill with the aid of the Conservative party last night, attaining a crucial third reading – which means it will get royal assent and become law – after just two hours of debate in the Commons.

The Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming protested that this could mean the blocking of the whistleblower site Wikileaks, which carries only copyrighted work. Stephen Timms for the government said that it would not want to see the clause used to restrict freedom of speech – but gave no assurance that sites like Wikileaks would not be blocked.

Don Foster, the Liberal Democrats' spokesman for culture, media and sport, protested that the clause was too wide-ranging: "it could apply to Google," he complained, adding that its inclusion of the phrase about "likely to be used" meant that a site could be blocked on its assumed intentions rather than its actions.

Numerous MPs complained that the bill was too important and its ramifications too great for it to be pushed through in this "wash-up" period in which bills are not given the usual detailed examination.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/20 ... rd-reading
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Re: wikileaks:-Cover-up of murder of civilians and journalists

Postby apologydue » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:36 pm

Thanks for that smiths. We all know it is coming. There will come a day when we can no longer get real news. Archiving sites for posterity, so that it does not get swept into the memory hole is important. The things we archive now, will be in the future, considered strange arcane knowledge by the few that care to read and struggle to understand it. Someday it will be similar to alchemy texts. People will struggle to understand what we now easily comprehend.


As it happens more and more coded language will come into play as people attempt to communicate without getting understood by the establishment. Sort of the same way drug dealers talk on cell phones. I think it is referred to as a 'fine reading game'. The near future will become more and more interesting for those of us that see.
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Re: wikileaks:-Cover-up of murder of civilians and journalists

Postby DeltaDawn » Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:36 am

O.K....being a dummy here, and gonna get beat up again!!!! But ultimately, the problem here (to me) seems to be that soldiers?? (children & cowards lately to me) come home and tell ya'll what happens when we are in war!!!

We CANnot, beat up our soldiers for doing what they are told and what they believe is the right thing for their countries!!!! The nightmares they live with for decades later, should be enough for 'civilians' to just RESPECT what they are "trying" to do for their causes. Trust me, they are living with worse 'horror' for years after what you have all just read/looked at and shuddered at.

Should I be banned immediately for my support????? yeah, maybe???...'whatever'....but don't judge what ANY soldier does or thinks until you've walked where they've been and lived in their minds, where 'orders'...they have no idea where they've come from runs 'ridiculous' mandates through a damn squack box, and you must follow them or be in contempt!!!

RESPECT I say!!!!!! and NO, once again, I say, I'm not pro-war, I'm PRO soldiers.....they deserve our support, no matter what country you are from.....including Iraq, Aghganistan, Palestine....wherever, you may desire to bring up!!!!!!
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Re: wikileaks:-Cover-up of murder of civilians and journalists

Postby barracuda » Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:53 am

You're entitled to your opinion, Dawn, you won't be banned for it. But most people who willingly take a job in which you are handed a gun and taught to kill people under orders simply don't get much sympathy from me when things don't subsequently turn out to be a bed of roses. Killing under order is not an impulse I can really respect anymore, frankly, whether gang member, mafiosa, or U.S. Army.
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Re: wikileaks:-Cover-up of murder of civilians and journalists

Postby 23 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:53 am

I must be missing something here, DD.

No one put a gun to their head for them to enter soldiering.

It was a voluntary decision to join an all-volunteer army.

If some of them were drafted, I'd feel differently about some of them.

But this is an all-volunteer army... comprised of people who are willing to carry out harmful actions... on orders that come from a chain of command.

Not my favorite kind of civilized human, I'm afraid.

I'd be a lot more trusting of a conscription army.

Or a reluctant soldier who doesn't get his jollies off from being a soldier.

Or even a citizen-soldier over a professional one any day.

The general populace would probably give a lot more shit about their exploits too.
Last edited by 23 on Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: wikileaks:-Cover-up of murder of civilians and journalists

Postby barracuda » Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:54 am

Agreed, 23. Please bring back the draft.
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Re: wikileaks:-Cover-up of murder of civilians and journalists

Postby apologydue » Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:23 am

From my prior posts it should be obvious that I do not condone nor support any of the wars we have in this world. They are instigated by crooks to make money on the backs of innocents.

But...

I feel like Delta Dawn's message is being lost by his poor wording.

It seems that he is saying that young boys truly believe the lie that America is under attack. They volunteer with enthusiasm to protect America. When they get to the war zone they enthusiastically kill anything that appears to be a threat to America.

I think his reference "nightmares for decades" refers to the fact that after they have been in the war zone for a while they realize that they have been had and lied to. Regardless of the fact that they understand they have been lied to they have to continue to fight to survive and avoid prosecution by the Army for disobeying orders. After the fog of war sets in it is sort of like being on acid all day every day. The whole world becomes surreal and unbelievable.

I do not take his words as support for atrocity. I take his message, poorly worded as it is, as an attempt to describe what it is like when an enthusiastic youth dashes off with noble intent to defend his country.

Most civilians sit at home and cheer as soldiers kill innocents because they don't know any better. Soldiers are no different and they have been fooled as well.

The armchair warriors do not have nightmares from what the soldiers did.

But...

The soldiers have nightmares from what they did for the armchair warriors.
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Re: wikileaks:-Cover-up of murder of civilians and journalists

Postby JackRiddler » Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:06 am

Finally brought myself to watch it. It's half an hour later and I'm only feeling more upset by the minute. Have looked around and found a few - not too many - rationalizations, a particularly sickening one by George Packer of the New Yorker (another transmission belt for WMD lies and war support back in 2003) in which the shooting of the rescuers carrying the wounded man turns into "bad judgement."

(EDIT: Cut out response to DD's early comments. No need.)

Now here's where you can read about some soldiers who fought for our freedoms - those who caused...
THE COLLAPSE OF THE ARMED FORCES
By Col. Robert D. Heinl, Jr.
North American Newspaper Alliance
Armed Forces Journal, 7 June, 1971
http://www.chss.montclair.edu/english/f ... heinl.html

Veteran of a dozen combat actions and most decorate Marine in history until that point, Smedley Butler also had some useful things to say once he retired:

"War Is A Racket"

Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, USMC, 1881 - 1940, double recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor wrote:
"I spent 33 years and 4 months in active service as a member of our country's most agile military force--the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from second lieutenant to Major General. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism. I suspected I was part of a racket all the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all members of the military profession I never had an original thought until I left the service."

...

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

And war is the most profitable racket in the world!
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Re: wikileaks:-Cover-up of murder of civilians and journalists

Postby 82_28 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:22 am

We CANnot, beat up our soldiers for doing what they are told and what they believe is the right thing for their countries!!!!


We cannot beat up, threaten, attack, murder, scare ANYBODY homeboy for any reason. If you believe in a God, as most soldiers are wont to do supposedly, you cannot dis-"engage" from this marketing god the war is snidely and obviously aimed by. I don't give a shit about the military but I give a shit about people. Who knows, maybe you've never heard of Smedley Butler. So here he is for the hell of it.

WAR IS A RACKET

CHAPTER ONE

WAR IS A RACKET

WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.

How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?

Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few – the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.

And what is this bill?

This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.

For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it. Now that I see the international war clouds gathering, as they are today, I must face it and speak out.

Again they are choosing sides. France and Russia met and agreed to stand side by side. Italy and Austria hurried to make a similar agreement. Poland and Germany cast sheep's eyes at each other, forgetting for the nonce [one unique occasion], their dispute over the Polish Corridor.

The assassination of King Alexander of Jugoslavia [Yugoslavia] complicated matters. Jugoslavia and Hungary, long bitter enemies, were almost at each other's throats. Italy was ready to jump in. But France was waiting. So was Czechoslovakia. All of them are looking ahead to war. Not the people – not those who fight and pay and die – only those who foment wars and remain safely at home to profit.

There are 40,000,000 men under arms in the world today, and our statesmen and diplomats have the temerity to say that war is not in the making.

Hell's bells! Are these 40,000,000 men being trained to be dancers?

Not in Italy, to be sure. Premier Mussolini knows what they are being trained for. He, at least, is frank enough to speak out. Only the other day, Il Duce in "International Conciliation," the publication of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said:

"And above all, Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace... War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the people who have the courage to meet it."

Undoubtedly Mussolini means exactly what he says. His well-trained army, his great fleet of planes, and even his navy are ready for war – anxious for it, apparently. His recent stand at the side of Hungary in the latter's dispute with Jugoslavia showed that. And the hurried mobilization of his troops on the Austrian border after the assassination of Dollfuss showed it too. There are others in Europe too whose sabre rattling presages war, sooner or later.

Herr Hitler, with his rearming Germany and his constant demands for more and more arms, is an equal if not greater menace to peace. France only recently increased the term of military service for its youth from a year to eighteen months.

Yes, all over, nations are camping in their arms. The mad dogs of Europe are on the loose. In the Orient the maneuvering is more adroit. Back in 1904, when Russia and Japan fought, we kicked out our old friends the Russians and backed Japan. Then our very generous international bankers were financing Japan. Now the trend is to poison us against the Japanese. What does the "open door" policy to China mean to us? Our trade with China is about $90,000,000 a year. Or the Philippine Islands? We have spent about $600,000,000 in the Philippines in thirty-five years and we (our bankers and industrialists and speculators) have private investments there of less than $200,000,000.

Then, to save that China trade of about $90,000,000, or to protect these private investments of less than $200,000,000 in the Philippines, we would be all stirred up to hate Japan and go to war – a war that might well cost us tens of billions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of lives of Americans, and many more hundreds of thousands of physically maimed and mentally unbalanced men.

Of course, for this loss, there would be a compensating profit – fortunes would be made. Millions and billions of dollars would be piled up. By a few. Munitions makers. Bankers. Ship builders. Manufacturers. Meat packers. Speculators. They would fare well.

Yes, they are getting ready for another war. Why shouldn't they? It pays high dividends.

But what does it profit the men who are killed? What does it profit their mothers and sisters, their wives and their sweethearts? What does it profit their children?

What does it profit anyone except the very few to whom war means huge profits?

Yes, and what does it profit the nation?

Take our own case. Until 1898 we didn't own a bit of territory outside the mainland of North America. At that time our national debt was a little more than $1,000,000,000. Then we became "internationally minded." We forgot, or shunted aside, the advice of the Father of our country. We forgot George Washington's warning about "entangling alliances." We went to war. We acquired outside territory. At the end of the World War period, as a direct result of our fiddling in international affairs, our national debt had jumped to over $25,000,000,000. Our total favorable trade balance during the twenty-five-year period was about $24,000,000,000. Therefore, on a purely bookkeeping basis, we ran a little behind year for year, and that foreign trade might well have been ours without the wars.

It would have been far cheaper (not to say safer) for the average American who pays the bills to stay out of foreign entanglements. For a very few this racket, like bootlegging and other underworld rackets, brings fancy profits, but the cost of operations is always transferred to the people – who do not profit.

CHAPTER TWO

WHO MAKES THE PROFITS?

The World War, rather our brief participation in it, has cost the United States some $52,000,000,000. Figure it out. That means $400 to every American man, woman, and child. And we haven't paid the debt yet. We are paying it, our children will pay it, and our children's children probably still will be paying the cost of that war.

The normal profits of a business concern in the United States are six, eight, ten, and sometimes twelve percent. But war-time profits – ah! that is another matter – twenty, sixty, one hundred, three hundred, and even eighteen hundred per cent – the sky is the limit. All that traffic will bear. Uncle Sam has the money. Let's get it.

Of course, it isn't put that crudely in war time. It is dressed into speeches about patriotism, love of country, and "we must all put our shoulders to the wheel," but the profits jump and leap and skyrocket – and are safely pocketed. Let's just take a few examples:

Take our friends the du Ponts, the powder people – didn't one of them testify before a Senate committee recently that their powder won the war? Or saved the world for democracy? Or something? How did they do in the war? They were a patriotic corporation. Well, the average earnings of the du Ponts for the period 1910 to 1914 were $6,000,000 a year. It wasn't much, but the du Ponts managed to get along on it. Now let's look at their average yearly profit during the war years, 1914 to 1918. Fifty-eight million dollars a year profit we find! Nearly ten times that of normal times, and the profits of normal times were pretty good. An increase in profits of more than 950 per cent.

Take one of our little steel companies that patriotically shunted aside the making of rails and girders and bridges to manufacture war materials. Well, their 1910-1914 yearly earnings averaged $6,000,000. Then came the war. And, like loyal citizens, Bethlehem Steel promptly turned to munitions making. Did their profits jump – or did they let Uncle Sam in for a bargain? Well, their 1914-1918 average was $49,000,000 a year!

Or, let's take United States Steel. The normal earnings during the five-year period prior to the war were $105,000,000 a year. Not bad. Then along came the war and up went the profits. The average yearly profit for the period 1914-1918 was $240,000,000. Not bad.

There you have some of the steel and powder earnings. Let's look at something else. A little copper, perhaps. That always does well in war times.

Anaconda, for instance. Average yearly earnings during the pre-war years 1910-1914 of $10,000,000. During the war years 1914-1918 profits leaped to $34,000,000 per year.

Or Utah Copper. Average of $5,000,000 per year during the 1910-1914 period. Jumped to an average of $21,000,000 yearly profits for the war period.

Let's group these five, with three smaller companies. The total yearly average profits of the pre-war period 1910-1914 were $137,480,000. Then along came the war. The average yearly profits for this group skyrocketed to $408,300,000.

A little increase in profits of approximately 200 per cent.

Does war pay? It paid them. But they aren't the only ones. There are still others. Let's take leather.

For the three-year period before the war the total profits of Central Leather Company were $3,500,000. That was approximately $1,167,000 a year. Well, in 1916 Central Leather returned a profit of $15,000,000, a small increase of 1,100 per cent. That's all. The General Chemical Company averaged a profit for the three years before the war of a little over $800,000 a year. Came the war, and the profits jumped to $12,000,000. a leap of 1,400 per cent.

International Nickel Company – and you can't have a war without nickel – showed an increase in profits from a mere average of $4,000,000 a year to $73,000,000 yearly. Not bad? An increase of more than 1,700 per cent.

American Sugar Refining Company averaged $2,000,000 a year for the three years before the war. In 1916 a profit of $6,000,000 was recorded.

Listen to Senate Document No. 259. The Sixty-Fifth Congress, reporting on corporate earnings and government revenues. Considering the profits of 122 meat packers, 153 cotton manufacturers, 299 garment makers, 49 steel plants, and 340 coal producers during the war. Profits under 25 per cent were exceptional. For instance the coal companies made between 100 per cent and 7,856 per cent on their capital stock during the war. The Chicago packers doubled and tripled their earnings.

And let us not forget the bankers who financed the great war. If anyone had the cream of the profits it was the bankers. Being partnerships rather than incorporated organizations, they do not have to report to stockholders. And their profits were as secret as they were immense. How the bankers made their millions and their billions I do not know, because those little secrets never become public – even before a Senate investigatory body.

But here's how some of the other patriotic industrialists and speculators chiseled their way into war profits.

Take the shoe people. They like war. It brings business with abnormal profits. They made huge profits on sales abroad to our allies. Perhaps, like the munitions manufacturers and armament makers, they also sold to the enemy. For a dollar is a dollar whether it comes from Germany or from France. But they did well by Uncle Sam too. For instance, they sold Uncle Sam 35,000,000 pairs of hobnailed service shoes. There were 4,000,000 soldiers. Eight pairs, and more, to a soldier. My regiment during the war had only one pair to a soldier. Some of these shoes probably are still in existence. They were good shoes. But when the war was over Uncle Sam has a matter of 25,000,000 pairs left over. Bought – and paid for. Profits recorded and pocketed.

There was still lots of leather left. So the leather people sold your Uncle Sam hundreds of thousands of McClellan saddles for the cavalry. But there wasn't any American cavalry overseas! Somebody had to get rid of this leather, however. Somebody had to make a profit in it – so we had a lot of McClellan saddles. And we probably have those yet.

Also somebody had a lot of mosquito netting. They sold your Uncle Sam 20,000,000 mosquito nets for the use of the soldiers overseas. I suppose the boys were expected to put it over them as they tried to sleep in muddy trenches – one hand scratching cooties on their backs and the other making passes at scurrying rats. Well, not one of these mosquito nets ever got to France!

Anyhow, these thoughtful manufacturers wanted to make sure that no soldier would be without his mosquito net, so 40,000,000 additional yards of mosquito netting were sold to Uncle Sam.

There were pretty good profits in mosquito netting in those days, even if there were no mosquitoes in France. I suppose, if the war had lasted just a little longer, the enterprising mosquito netting manufacturers would have sold your Uncle Sam a couple of consignments of mosquitoes to plant in France so that more mosquito netting would be in order.

Airplane and engine manufacturers felt they, too, should get their just profits out of this war. Why not? Everybody else was getting theirs. So $1,000,000,000 – count them if you live long enough – was spent by Uncle Sam in building airplane engines that never left the ground! Not one plane, or motor, out of the billion dollars worth ordered, ever got into a battle in France. Just the same the manufacturers made their little profit of 30, 100, or perhaps 300 per cent.

Undershirts for soldiers cost 14� [cents] to make and uncle Sam paid 30� to 40� each for them – a nice little profit for the undershirt manufacturer. And the stocking manufacturer and the uniform manufacturers and the cap manufacturers and the steel helmet manufacturers – all got theirs.

Why, when the war was over some 4,000,000 sets of equipment – knapsacks and the things that go to fill them – crammed warehouses on this side. Now they are being scrapped because the regulations have changed the contents. But the manufacturers collected their wartime profits on them – and they will do it all over again the next time.

There were lots of brilliant ideas for profit making during the war.

One very versatile patriot sold Uncle Sam twelve dozen 48-inch wrenches. Oh, they were very nice wrenches. The only trouble was that there was only one nut ever made that was large enough for these wrenches. That is the one that holds the turbines at Niagara Falls. Well, after Uncle Sam had bought them and the manufacturer had pocketed the profit, the wrenches were put on freight cars and shunted all around the United States in an effort to find a use for them. When the Armistice was signed it was indeed a sad blow to the wrench manufacturer. He was just about to make some nuts to fit the wrenches. Then he planned to sell these, too, to your Uncle Sam.

Still another had the brilliant idea that colonels shouldn't ride in automobiles, nor should they even ride on horseback. One has probably seen a picture of Andy Jackson riding in a buckboard. Well, some 6,000 buckboards were sold to Uncle Sam for the use of colonels! Not one of them was used. But the buckboard manufacturer got his war profit.

The shipbuilders felt they should come in on some of it, too. They built a lot of ships that made a lot of profit. More than $3,000,000,000 worth. Some of the ships were all right. But $635,000,000 worth of them were made of wood and wouldn't float! The seams opened up – and they sank. We paid for them, though. And somebody pocketed the profits.

It has been estimated by statisticians and economists and researchers that the war cost your Uncle Sam $52,000,000,000. Of this sum, $39,000,000,000 was expended in the actual war itself. This expenditure yielded $16,000,000,000 in profits. That is how the 21,000 billionaires and millionaires got that way. This $16,000,000,000 profits is not to be sneezed at. It is quite a tidy sum. And it went to a very few.

The Senate (Nye) committee probe of the munitions industry and its wartime profits, despite its sensational disclosures, hardly has scratched the surface.

Even so, it has had some effect. The State Department has been studying "for some time" methods of keeping out of war. The War Department suddenly decides it has a wonderful plan to spring. The Administration names a committee – with the War and Navy Departments ably represented under the chairmanship of a Wall Street speculator – to limit profits in war time. To what extent isn't suggested. Hmmm. Possibly the profits of 300 and 600 and 1,600 per cent of those who turned blood into gold in the World War would be limited to some smaller figure.

Apparently, however, the plan does not call for any limitation of losses – that is, the losses of those who fight the war. As far as I have been able to ascertain there is nothing in the scheme to limit a soldier to the loss of but one eye, or one arm, or to limit his wounds to one or two or three. Or to limit the loss of life.

There is nothing in this scheme, apparently, that says not more than 12 per cent of a regiment shall be wounded in battle, or that not more than 7 per cent in a division shall be killed.

Of course, the committee cannot be bothered with such trifling matters.

CHAPTER THREE

WHO PAYS THE BILLS?

Who provides the profits – these nice little profits of 20, 100, 300, 1,500 and 1,800 per cent? We all pay them – in taxation. We paid the bankers their profits when we bought Liberty Bonds at $100.00 and sold them back at $84 or $86 to the bankers. These bankers collected $100 plus. It was a simple manipulation. The bankers control the security marts. It was easy for them to depress the price of these bonds. Then all of us – the people – got frightened and sold the bonds at $84 or $86. The bankers bought them. Then these same bankers stimulated a boom and government bonds went to par – and above. Then the bankers collected their profits.

But the soldier pays the biggest part of the bill.

If you don't believe this, visit the American cemeteries on the battlefields abroad. Or visit any of the veteran's hospitals in the United States. On a tour of the country, in the midst of which I am at the time of this writing, I have visited eighteen government hospitals for veterans. In them are a total of about 50,000 destroyed men – men who were the pick of the nation eighteen years ago. The very able chief surgeon at the government hospital; at Milwaukee, where there are 3,800 of the living dead, told me that mortality among veterans is three times as great as among those who stayed at home.

Boys with a normal viewpoint were taken out of the fields and offices and factories and classrooms and put into the ranks. There they were remolded; they were made over; they were made to "about face"; to regard murder as the order of the day. They were put shoulder to shoulder and, through mass psychology, they were entirely changed. We used them for a couple of years and trained them to think nothing at all of killing or of being killed.

Then, suddenly, we discharged them and told them to make another "about face" ! This time they had to do their own readjustment, sans [without] mass psychology, sans officers' aid and advice and sans nation-wide propaganda. We didn't need them any more. So we scattered them about without any "three-minute" or "Liberty Loan" speeches or parades. Many, too many, of these fine young boys are eventually destroyed, mentally, because they could not make that final "about face" alone.

In the government hospital in Marion, Indiana, 1,800 of these boys are in pens! Five hundred of them in a barracks with steel bars and wires all around outside the buildings and on the porches. These already have been mentally destroyed. These boys don't even look like human beings. Oh, the looks on their faces! Physically, they are in good shape; mentally, they are gone.

There are thousands and thousands of these cases, and more and more are coming in all the time. The tremendous excitement of the war, the sudden cutting off of that excitement – the young boys couldn't stand it.

That's a part of the bill. So much for the dead – they have paid their part of the war profits. So much for the mentally and physically wounded – they are paying now their share of the war profits. But the others paid, too – they paid with heartbreaks when they tore themselves away from their firesides and their families to don the uniform of Uncle Sam – on which a profit had been made. They paid another part in the training camps where they were regimented and drilled while others took their jobs and their places in the lives of their communities. The paid for it in the trenches where they shot and were shot; where they were hungry for days at a time; where they slept in the mud and the cold and in the rain – with the moans and shrieks of the dying for a horrible lullaby.

But don't forget – the soldier paid part of the dollars and cents bill too.

Up to and including the Spanish-American War, we had a prize system, and soldiers and sailors fought for money. During the Civil War they were paid bonuses, in many instances, before they went into service. The government, or states, paid as high as $1,200 for an enlistment. In the Spanish-American War they gave prize money. When we captured any vessels, the soldiers all got their share – at least, they were supposed to. Then it was found that we could reduce the cost of wars by taking all the prize money and keeping it, but conscripting [drafting] the soldier anyway. Then soldiers couldn't bargain for their labor, Everyone else could bargain, but the soldier couldn't.

Napoleon once said,

"All men are enamored of decorations...they positively hunger for them."

So by developing the Napoleonic system – the medal business – the government learned it could get soldiers for less money, because the boys liked to be decorated. Until the Civil War there were no medals. Then the Congressional Medal of Honor was handed out. It made enlistments easier. After the Civil War no new medals were issued until the Spanish-American War.

In the World War, we used propaganda to make the boys accept conscription. They were made to feel ashamed if they didn't join the army.

So vicious was this war propaganda that even God was brought into it. With few exceptions our clergymen joined in the clamor to kill, kill, kill. To kill the Germans. God is on our side...it is His will that the Germans be killed.

And in Germany, the good pastors called upon the Germans to kill the allies...to please the same God. That was a part of the general propaganda, built up to make people war conscious and murder conscious.

Beautiful ideals were painted for our boys who were sent out to die. This was the "war to end all wars." This was the "war to make the world safe for democracy." No one mentioned to them, as they marched away, that their going and their dying would mean huge war profits. No one told these American soldiers that they might be shot down by bullets made by their own brothers here. No one told them that the ships on which they were going to cross might be torpedoed by submarines built with United States patents. They were just told it was to be a "glorious adventure."

Thus, having stuffed patriotism down their throats, it was decided to make them help pay for the war, too. So, we gave them the large salary of $30 a month.

All they had to do for this munificent sum was to leave their dear ones behind, give up their jobs, lie in swampy trenches, eat canned willy (when they could get it) and kill and kill and kill...and be killed.

But wait!

Half of that wage (just a little more than a riveter in a shipyard or a laborer in a munitions factory safe at home made in a day) was promptly taken from him to support his dependents, so that they would not become a charge upon his community. Then we made him pay what amounted to accident insurance – something the employer pays for in an enlightened state – and that cost him $6 a month. He had less than $9 a month left.

Then, the most crowning insolence of all – he was virtually blackjacked into paying for his own ammunition, clothing, and food by being made to buy Liberty Bonds. Most soldiers got no money at all on pay days.

We made them buy Liberty Bonds at $100 and then we bought them back – when they came back from the war and couldn't find work – at $84 and $86. And the soldiers bought about $2,000,000,000 worth of these bonds!

Yes, the soldier pays the greater part of the bill. His family pays too. They pay it in the same heart-break that he does. As he suffers, they suffer. At nights, as he lay in the trenches and watched shrapnel burst about him, they lay home in their beds and tossed sleeplessly – his father, his mother, his wife, his sisters, his brothers, his sons, and his daughters.

When he returned home minus an eye, or minus a leg or with his mind broken, they suffered too – as much as and even sometimes more than he. Yes, and they, too, contributed their dollars to the profits of the munitions makers and bankers and shipbuilders and the manufacturers and the speculators made. They, too, bought Liberty Bonds and contributed to the profit of the bankers after the Armistice in the hocus-pocus of manipulated Liberty Bond prices.

And even now the families of the wounded men and of the mentally broken and those who never were able to readjust themselves are still suffering and still paying.

CHAPTER FOUR

HOW TO SMASH THIS RACKET!

WELL, it's a racket, all right.

A few profit – and the many pay. But there is a way to stop it. You can't end it by disarmament conferences. You can't eliminate it by peace parleys at Geneva. Well-meaning but impractical groups can't wipe it out by resolutions. It can be smashed effectively only by taking the profit out of war.

The only way to smash this racket is to conscript capital and industry and labor before the nations manhood can be conscripted. One month before the Government can conscript the young men of the nation – it must conscript capital and industry and labor. Let the officers and the directors and the high-powered executives of our armament factories and our munitions makers and our shipbuilders and our airplane builders and the manufacturers of all the other things that provide profit in war time as well as the bankers and the speculators, be conscripted – to get $30 a month, the same wage as the lads in the trenches get.

Let the workers in these plants get the same wages – all the workers, all presidents, all executives, all directors, all managers, all bankers –

yes, and all generals and all admirals and all officers and all politicians and all government office holders – everyone in the nation be restricted to a total monthly income not to exceed that paid to the soldier in the trenches!

Let all these kings and tycoons and masters of business and all those workers in industry and all our senators and governors and majors pay half of their monthly $30 wage to their families and pay war risk insurance and buy Liberty Bonds.

Why shouldn't they?

They aren't running any risk of being killed or of having their bodies mangled or their minds shattered. They aren't sleeping in muddy trenches. They aren't hungry. The soldiers are!

Give capital and industry and labor thirty days to think it over and you will find, by that time, there will be no war. That will smash the war racket – that and nothing else.

Maybe I am a little too optimistic. Capital still has some say. So capital won't permit the taking of the profit out of war until the people – those who do the suffering and still pay the price – make up their minds that those they elect to office shall do their bidding, and not that of the profiteers.

Another step necessary in this fight to smash the war racket is the limited plebiscite to determine whether a war should be declared. A plebiscite not of all the voters but merely of those who would be called upon to do the fighting and dying. There wouldn't be very much sense in having a 76-year-old president of a munitions factory or the flat-footed head of an international banking firm or the cross-eyed manager of a uniform manufacturing plant – all of whom see visions of tremendous profits in the event of war – voting on whether the nation should go to war or not. They never would be called upon to shoulder arms – to sleep in a trench and to be shot. Only those who would be called upon to risk their lives for their country should have the privilege of voting to determine whether the nation should go to war.

There is ample precedent for restricting the voting to those affected. Many of our states have restrictions on those permitted to vote. In most, it is necessary to be able to read and write before you may vote. In some, you must own property. It would be a simple matter each year for the men coming of military age to register in their communities as they did in the draft during the World War and be examined physically. Those who could pass and who would therefore be called upon to bear arms in the event of war would be eligible to vote in a limited plebiscite. They should be the ones to have the power to decide – and not a Congress few of whose members are within the age limit and fewer still of whom are in physical condition to bear arms. Only those who must suffer should have the right to vote.

A third step in this business of smashing the war racket is to make certain that our military forces are truly forces for defense only.

At each session of Congress the question of further naval appropriations comes up. The swivel-chair admirals of Washington (and there are always a lot of them) are very adroit lobbyists. And they are smart. They don't shout that "We need a lot of battleships to war on this nation or that nation." Oh no. First of all, they let it be known that America is menaced by a great naval power. Almost any day, these admirals will tell you, the great fleet of this supposed enemy will strike suddenly and annihilate 125,000,000 people. Just like that. Then they begin to cry for a larger navy. For what? To fight the enemy? Oh my, no. Oh, no. For defense purposes only.

Then, incidentally, they announce maneuvers in the Pacific. For defense. Uh, huh.

The Pacific is a great big ocean. We have a tremendous coastline on the Pacific. Will the maneuvers be off the coast, two or three hundred miles? Oh, no. The maneuvers will be two thousand, yes, perhaps even thirty-five hundred miles, off the coast.

The Japanese, a proud people, of course will be pleased beyond expression to see the united States fleet so close to Nippon's shores. Even as pleased as would be the residents of California were they to dimly discern through the morning mist, the Japanese fleet playing at war games off Los Angeles.

The ships of our navy, it can be seen, should be specifically limited, by law, to within 200 miles of our coastline. Had that been the law in 1898 the Maine would never have gone to Havana Harbor. She never would have been blown up. There would have been no war with Spain with its attendant loss of life. Two hundred miles is ample, in the opinion of experts, for defense purposes. Our nation cannot start an offensive war if its ships can't go further than 200 miles from the coastline. Planes might be permitted to go as far as 500 miles from the coast for purposes of reconnaissance. And the army should never leave the territorial limits of our nation.

To summarize: Three steps must be taken to smash the war racket.

We must take the profit out of war.

We must permit the youth of the land who would bear arms to decide whether or not there should be war.

We must limit our military forces to home defense purposes.

CHAPTER FIVE

TO HELL WITH WAR!

I am not a fool as to believe that war is a thing of the past. I know the people do not want war, but there is no use in saying we cannot be pushed into another war.

Looking back, Woodrow Wilson was re-elected president in 1916 on a platform that he had "kept us out of war" and on the implied promise that he would "keep us out of war." Yet, five months later he asked Congress to declare war on Germany.

In that five-month interval the people had not been asked whether they had changed their minds. The 4,000,000 young men who put on uniforms and marched or sailed away were not asked whether they wanted to go forth to suffer and die.

Then what caused our government to change its mind so suddenly?

Money.

An allied commission, it may be recalled, came over shortly before the war declaration and called on the President. The President summoned a group of advisers. The head of the commission spoke. Stripped of its diplomatic language, this is what he told the President and his group:



"There is no use kidding ourselves any longer. The cause of the allies is lost. We now owe you (American bankers, American munitions makers, American manufacturers, American speculators, American exporters) five or six billion dollars.

If we lose (and without the help of the United States we must lose) we, England, France and Italy, cannot pay back this money...and Germany won't.

So..."

Had secrecy been outlawed as far as war negotiations were concerned, and had the press been invited to be present at that conference, or had radio been available to broadcast the proceedings, America never would have entered the World War. But this conference, like all war discussions, was shrouded in utmost secrecy. When our boys were sent off to war they were told it was a "war to make the world safe for democracy" and a "war to end all wars."

Well, eighteen years after, the world has less of democracy than it had then. Besides, what business is it of ours whether Russia or Germany or England or France or Italy or Austria live under democracies or monarchies? Whether they are Fascists or Communists? Our problem is to preserve our own democracy.

And very little, if anything, has been accomplished to assure us that the World War was really the war to end all wars.

Yes, we have had disarmament conferences and limitations of arms conferences. They don't mean a thing. One has just failed; the results of another have been nullified. We send our professional soldiers and our sailors and our politicians and our diplomats to these conferences. And what happens?

The professional soldiers and sailors don't want to disarm. No admiral wants to be without a ship. No general wants to be without a command. Both mean men without jobs. They are not for disarmament. They cannot be for limitations of arms. And at all these conferences, lurking in the background but all-powerful, just the same, are the sinister agents of those who profit by war. They see to it that these conferences do not disarm or seriously limit armaments.

The chief aim of any power at any of these conferences has not been to achieve disarmament to prevent war but rather to get more armament for itself and less for any potential foe.

There is only one way to disarm with any semblance of practicability. That is for all nations to get together and scrap every ship, every gun, every rifle, every tank, every war plane. Even this, if it were possible, would not be enough.

The next war, according to experts, will be fought not with battleships, not by artillery, not with rifles and not with machine guns. It will be fought with deadly chemicals and gases.

Secretly each nation is studying and perfecting newer and ghastlier means of annihilating its foes wholesale. Yes, ships will continue to be built, for the shipbuilders must make their profits. And guns still will be manufactured and powder and rifles will be made, for the munitions makers must make their huge profits. And the soldiers, of course, must wear uniforms, for the manufacturer must make their war profits too.

But victory or defeat will be determined by the skill and ingenuity of our scientists.

If we put them to work making poison gas and more and more fiendish mechanical and explosive instruments of destruction, they will have no time for the constructive job of building greater prosperity for all peoples. By putting them to this useful job, we can all make more money out of peace than we can out of war – even the munitions makers.

So...I say,

TO HELL WITH WAR!


http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/artic ... racket.htm
There is no me. There is no you. There is all. There is no you. There is no me. And that is all. A profound acceptance of an enormous pageantry. A haunting certainty that the unifying principle of this universe is love. -- Propagandhi
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Re: wikileaks:-Cover-up of murder of civilians and journalists

Postby apologydue » Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:42 am

"War Is A Racket"

I read it. It is a good book.
Leaving things better than I found it is my goal, my attempt to sweep up my trash.
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Re: wikileaks:-Cover-up of murder of civilians and journalists

Postby Nordic » Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:50 am

They're all victims.

It's a failure of leadership.

The fish rots from the head.

Somebody whose future was to work in the Walmart or the Dairy Queen, if they're lucky, and instead joined the military so they could pay for college and see the world, and believed Iraq attacked us on 9/11 because that's what their drill instructor told them ..... and found themselves murdering civilians in Iraq or Afghanistan .....

Those people are victims, too.

That's why the whole thing is such a massive crime.

This particular crime, still ongoing, started with the theft of the 2000 election. The psyops trigger was 9/11, and everything else has been the result.

Hell, even Pat Tillman joined up out of a sense of patriotism, only to discover it was a sham. He was killed for it of course.

But your average kid? Just a sucker. A victim.

That being said, there are always instances, and plenty of them, of racist thugs abusing the power of the gun to sadistically fuck with people. You always have those, and you especially have those in these ongoing "wars" because they ran out of recruits and started taking ANYBODY.

But the failure there is still in the leadership. I've been in enough leadership situations in my life to know that if you let a lynch mob mentality take over among those who are under your wing, that it will spin rapidly out of control. Especially with young amped-up ignorant men of the species.

Part of my horror at this video (and there are many layers and levels to my horror) is that the men in the helicopter seem pretty intent on finding an excuse to shoot.

That's a failure of leadership. They're given permission to shoot. Again, failure of leadership.

The fish rots from the head.
"He who wounds the ecosphere literally wounds God" -- Philip K. Dick
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