Quit Lying to Ourselves: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

A good friend has been sending me articles by Richard Fernandez from over at PJ Media — and I’ve yet to read one that wasn’t excellent. In the above titled post, Fernandez writes about a matter where Republicans and conservatives are failing in the information war because most Republicans and conservatives don’t even have a clue that it’s happening. Here’s an excerpt from the piece:

Just recently Hollywood released a Tom Hanks starrer titled the Bridge of Spies about a plane — the U2 — and a reconnaissance program which also wasn’t there.  When the Cold War started the United States had no idea what the Soviets were up to.  ”Into the 1950s, the best intelligence the American government had on the interior of the Soviet Union were German Luftwaffe photographs taken during the war of territory west of the Ural Mountains.”

President Obama’s claim that he has “ended” America’s wars refers only to its most visible aspect: the deployment of regular infantry units to the battlefield. But that says nothing about private military contractors, proxy warriors or even robot combatants. All that is going great guns. As Sean McFate writes in his book, The Modern Mercenary, that Amercan presidents in their quest for “plausible deniability” have taken “sheep dipping” to its logical conclusion: they are outsourcing the dying to contractors.

Contractors have been present on US battlefields since theAmerican revolution, but never before has the country relied so heavily on their services to wage war. … The market’s value remains unknown … what is known is that from 1999 to 2008, the US Department of Defense contract obligations … increased from $165 billion to $414 billion. In 2010, DOD obligated … an amount seven times the United Kingdom’s entire defense budget … this only entails DOD contract obligations and does not include contract made by other government agencies … the actual amount … remains unknown…

During World War II, contractors accounted for only 10% of the military workforce, compared with 50% in Iraq today …. [in Afghanistan contractors outnumbered troops 2:1 in 2010] … contractors are also paying the ultimate sacrifice … in 2003 contractor deaths represented only 4% of all fatalities … in 2010 more contractors were killed than military personnel, marking the first time in history that corporate casualties outweighed military losses on the battlefields.

Despite the fact that America is engaged in military action in at least seven countries it is apparently sufficient for president Obama to avoid deploying regular troops to evade the restrictions placed on activities designated as “war”. Though even that claim is questionable it spares the president from the need to explain his strategic goals to the American public or go before Congress to obtain an authorization for the use of military force.

This ability to wage war-not-war creates an enormous shift of power away from Congress to the Executive Branch. The result is not the actual cessation of American wars but their continuation and proliferation by unaccountable and covert means. The collapse of whole countries, the widespread bombings, the confrontation between Russia, the US, Iran and the Gulf States, the generation of millions of refugees from South Asia and MENA, not even counting the 2 million displaced persons in Ukraine are phenomena inexplicable under the theory that Obama has restored peace to the world.

Read more: PJ Media