Veterans for Peace Radio Hour

August 1, 2014

The Crazy Has Hit New Lows, (Or Highs As Per Your Point Of View)

 

 

The makers and sellers of arms are at it again, just as before 1917 and 1941, manufacturers of weapons are well on their way ensuring people will die through their malfeasance. US based companies sell arms to just about anyone at exorbitant prices, and not one of those corporate officers will have anything to lose in the bargain. Most assuredly, they, their sons and daughters, and those who consider themselves “nobler than thou” will never spill a drop of blood while they enrich themselves at a horrible human cost.

Here’s a simple illustration: We sell arms to Qatar, which in turn gives or sells them to Hamas, same basic thing with the Saudi’s. We sell arms and ammunition to Israel directly, thereby enhancing the threat all the way around, setting the stage for more death and dismemberment, more  non-combatants killed and more orphans are created. This is just a tiny observation of the entire network of arms dealing that brings with it assured death for hundreds of thousands if not millions of human beings now and in the future. This is not a cheap thrill movie out of Hollywood where everybody has a “great time” blowing up the “bad” guys with precision, it is real and incredibly deadly. It is also remarkable for it’s stupidity from all sides.

Hamas tosses essentially a garbage can they call a missile into Israel, Israel tosses several highly accurate missiles, bombs and artillery back to Gaza, where the people have no place to hide, no where to run, the targets are easy for Israel, and the “collateral damage” is considered part of a very odd equation based on retaliation for the “first strike”; has anyone, from either side actually sat down and thought this though?

The only people who are gaining anything are the industrialists, the more war, the better business is, accountants are in their glory while taxpayers and shareholders lose. How does one think the huge “bonuses” officers at companies that supply the machinery of death? That money is directly siphoned off from taxpayers and shareholders in various companies, when that money could easily be used to prevent  war. In our incredible ignorance, we permit the greediest bastards on the earth use us as playthings, mere pawns in their game of death. I find it incredible that few, if any, of us for Peace can be heard above the chanting for war and the din of that war the purveyors so badly need to prevent a bruised ego.

Some may say this is about religion, rest assured, it isn’t. Many times in the past people of different cultures worked side by side to create wondrous accomplishments that were proud reminders of how easy it is to get along when tasks are common and evenly distributed. Often, when a society was threatened, people of very different cultures came together to fend off the threat, today, cultural differences are used as weapons in the battles against morality and justice. When I hear anyone speak of religion I honestly get sickened. Every religion teaches the capacity of love, compassion, empathy and a host of other good things, like forgiveness, justice and helping one’s fellow human beings through tough times. But all I ever see is the dark side, the side that lies and betrays the goodness being taught, demanding the ultimate sacrifice for profit and gain, condemning others for their beliefs and shouting out hate filled diatribes when they should be feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. The “moral” justification for organized murder, what we call war, come from heartless minds of those who thrive on hate and controversy; I think it’s about time the whole world stood up and shouted out, “ENOUGH!” 

So here we are in the world of “Whack-a-Mole”, something pops up, just beat it back into the hole with all the force you need. Pretty pathetic way to live life, perpetually scared, standing around waiting for the next mole to pop up so we can whack it with a hammer. Worse still, we “justify” our deeds with our inaction against those who put the cash and power gained as they create more havoc for an already absurdly violent world.

The cycle of death and destruction must be broken and only people can do that by coming together in the common causes of Peace, Justice and Equality. I’ve had it up to my eyes with war mongering psychopaths. I’m done standing in the shit that sociopathic industrialists and money lenders leave behind. We need a social revolution, peaceful and inspired to break the cycle. Not selling arms to anyone would be a start, although that void would be filled by some other nation with a chip on it’s shoulder. We, as a species, need to come together and put an end to all of this. The road is rough, but visionaries of the past have cut the initial route, what we need to do is smooth it out and ensure it’s upkeep. Most assuredly, I don’t have all of the answers, but I believe when we come together we can find most of them. I would be gratified to leave a peaceful world to my son, stepdaughters and grandkids, it’s not impossible but we’re going to have to learn to live together before we extinguish life on the planet.

Peace to all,

Bob

PS: Don’t forget to perform a random act of kindness today!

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April 22, 2014

Points to Ponder on Military Extravagance

 

I find it difficult for people to simply accept what they hear on TV, the radio or read in conventional newspapers. The idea that we must spend more on defense is insane to say the least. No other nation can attack us conventionally, there are some issues with terrorist attacks, but the idea that we can be invaded in the traditional sense is nothing less than insane. We could easily cut 1/3 of our military budget and remain safe from attacks. If we actually did things properly, we would not have to worry about outside terrorist attacks either, in fact, our biggest problem with terrorism is hate groups already well established in the US comprised of disgruntled citizens.

I recall Reagan ordering USS Missouri recommissioned at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. Since Big MO ran on oil, it cost an incredible amount to just have her churn up the sea, not to mention the man power required, training, upgrades and a host of other things…just so Reagan could take a page from nearly a century earlier from Teddy Roosevelt’s book, when battleships were the kings of the sea. They lost that status with the advent of aircraft carriers and missiles that could be fired from 50+ miles away sending them to the bottom.

Please don’t get me wrong, I believe we need to defend our nation, but to my point of view, this is a bit overkill. We have F-35’s at some $65M a pop that can’t even fly, we have F-22’s where pilots pass out from anoxia, some have refused to fly the F-22 because nothing short of a crash dummy can survive the flight. We are contracting ships that start taking on water the moment they are launched because of cheap foreign steel and poor welding. Ground troops have to carry so many items they can barely move in close quarters where a good portion of the fighting goes on. I carried two canteens of water, a couple of belts of M-60 ammo, an M-16 or M-14 depending on the mission and a tee-shirt and a pair of Army issued jungle cammies/greens. I sat on my flak jacket because I did not wish to lose my heritage to the rounds that came trough the floor of the slick I was in; (it was amazing the punishment those birds could take). Just as today, we looked for things to make out lives just a little easier…and longer lasting.

We searched for things “out of place”, what had moved? Was there new earth to be seen where a hole had been dug? Was a tree bent a certain way? We use all of our senses, were insects chirping or silent? Were birds moving through the trees and chirping, or suddenly a flock take off from their perches? Did monkeys seem inordinately noisy, you got to use everything, a breeze would send the scent of fresh shit your way, you can tell the difference between human and animal shit, after all, it’s what you eat. LRRP’s would spend a week or more eating local food, never touching anything from the US, you had to stink like the area you were in. You could smell Ivory soap at 300+ meters.

We wasted an incredible amount of ammo, the “Mad Minute” alone used a battalions worth of ammo during that small amount of time, and it did no good, after being caught once at sundown, the VC/NVA  just hunkered down behind a berm, rocks or anything else until it was over. No one was scratched, but it made us feel good, somewhat safer. But we still had to double the sentries and send out more listening posts. Outside the wire, it was a different world, and woe be to the man who forgot the sign/countersign.

Napalm, White Phosporus, ( Willie Pete), Agent Orange, numerous and sundry chemical exposures of unknown forms creating diseases of unknown etiology, (some still unknown), that manifest themselves in various cancers, glandular disorders and a host of other problems that are some 40-50 years later making themselves known. In our current debacles, we have “depleted uranium”, designed to punch through armor; since the Afghans have little to no armor, it is used on people and their homes. The residual effect is a radioactive nightmare that kills silently and deforms children while still in the womb, leaving faceless, legless, armless replicas of what should be a healthy baby. Nightmarish photos exist of disastrously deformed babies, paid for by our tax dollars.

But we have these things now, so we use them. What nightmare situations are in our near and if we survive, distant future?

War is expensive, you use a bullet, rocket, artillery round but once, then you have to get more, the cycle continues, built on the false hope that war can “cure” war. What “cures” war is Equality, Justice and a motivation to lay down the arms we use to kill and maim others. It takes us to another level of communication, where intellect is king, not who has the heavier tank, or bigger nuclear device. If we are all to be free from war and skirmishes we need to understand the needs of people and act to make those needs accessible. Food, clothing and a place to live top the list. Taking care of these three things would move us closer to Peace, We can then fine tune the outcome, help with irrigation, seeds for edible plants, factories to make clothes and other items, concrete to build homes sturdy enough to withstand desert storms. No more exploitation of the locals, no more empire building, no more theft of resources, no more killing.

Peace,

Bob

 

February 26, 2014

Hagel’s plan to shrink military criticized (The Globe, AP)

  • The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II is an American twin-engine, straight-wing jet aircraft developed by Fairchild-Republic in the early 1970s. Wikipedia
  • Range: 800 miles (1,287 km)
  • Weight: 24,960 lbs (11,320 kg)
  • Unit cost: 11,800,000–11,800,000 USD (1994)

In a piece by Robert Burns of the AP on page A9 , 2-25-2014; Chuck Hagel lays out a plan to bring the military  down to a size that was just before WWII, (or close to it).

Let’s face facts, times, weaponry, politics, wealth and a hundred other things have changed over the past decade plus, hell, even in the past few years it seems as if things are almost completely out of control. There is a ray of sunshine here piercing through the fog. We are the worlds premier power on the globe, not the only one, but now, we’re at the top of the heap militarily, that gives us a chance to seek alternatives to war, (it also increases the possibility of a catastrophic event, but that is a can of worms for another day).

Some of the “highlights” are quite simple, a reduction in manpower, a somewhat obvious choice if we are not planning on creating a cataclysm somewhere in the world. A trade-off in choppers is well overdo as well; what does the National Guard need Apache Attack helicopters for? The obvious trade would be for the Regular Army to have the AH-1’s and we receive Blackhawks which could easily fill the void to answer to state/national needs. When people need food or water immediately, you’re not going to get those items there on an Apache, but Blackhawks are perfect. Rescuing people from a Blackhawk beats shooting them to pieces with a mini-gun on an Apache.

On the Naval side of this, 11 aircraft carriers seem a bit much, but some of these are always in port being worked on, so all 11 are not on constant deployment. The firepower these behemoths can unleash is unbelievable, it should also be known they are huge targets as well, and the loss of even one would kill thousands of sailors in one fell swoop, no one wants that, even an attacker, if they could get through the defenses, would face massive retaliation, which of course benefits no one, particularly those on the receiving end of said retaliation.

A-10 “Warthogs” would be phased out. These are jet propelled tank killers, they do an excellent job at what they were designed for, but their lack of speed makes them vulnerable, so they need air cover, which was to be the F-35, a machine that has so many flaws, as they are built, they are moved to a “parking” area in AZ. The simple truth is, they can’t fly, not exactly what one is looking for in a state of the art aircraft. Each pilot has to have a helmet specifically designed for the individual head of the pilot, the initial cost was some $250,000 apiece, it’s now up to a cool half a million dollars, just for a helmet. So you’ve got this really cool helmet, but it’s not an “off the shelf deal”, it fits a single pilot, in a single aircraft that is prone to the wings shaking so badly, they just about fall off, (which makes the plane a ‘dumb bomb’ as it goes down. The problem is so bad, pilots are refusing to fly prototypes that supposedly fixed the initial problems. Last week, the VTOL, (Vertical Take Off and Landing), versions, crashed. From what I hear, the pilots survived.

The U-2, which was replaced by the SR-71, (now retired), is coming off-line. I’m not sure if anything is going to replace it, or whether the USAF will rely strictly on satellites or some other form of clandestine, (think drones), method of ground to HQ communication.

The sliver of daylight in all of this, is that while ground troop reduction, sailor reduction, airman reduction, etc, shows me that the US is planning on cutting back on military hardware, this is a good thing, even if there is something “hidden” we are not yet aware of. The point is, less personnel, less of a chance to go traipsing off starting wars. For decades, the military has believed that air/sea power were the keys to “victory”; anyone who has had their boots on the ground will tell you, “it ain’t over until the Infantry is there”. Less Infantry, less of a chance to attack other countries. We need to defend ourselves, but the empire building days must come to close. The corporate masters can hire their own mercenaries, (at a premium price), and quit having our young men and women shoved into harms way to protect corporate interests. The oil companies can use the subsidies Uncle Sam gives them to raise their own protective forces. In the mean time, we can send our children off to colleges and they can spend their time figuring a way to get off of fossil fuels once and for all.

I wish you all Peace,

Bob

January 6, 2014

How Much More Can We Spend On The Military?

Think about this for just  a second, we are the most protected nation on earth, the most powerful militarily that the world has ever known, yet we have no enemies that are capable of attacking us, either conventionally or nuclear. No one has the capability to conquer us in the conventional sense, where we are vulnerable  is in the financial sector, essentially because we spend far too much on “defense”, (which is actually “offense” since we are the provocateurs in most conflicts around the world).

The US has, through direct and indirect military intervention, created a worldwide net of enemies. Our clandestine branches of the government has done more to destroy relationships between nations that could ever do us any harm, beginning a spiral that comes back to haunt us. Our forays into Iraq and Afghanistan are outstanding examples of just how we can create hell on earth for not just those we attack, but for ourselves as well. There was no need to attack either of these countries, much less Libya or any place else. The course we have set has created great animosity toward this nation, boots on the ground are bad enough, but drone attacks are completely unnecessary and the “collateral damage”, (read death and maiming civilians and non-combatants), is inexcusable.

The base line is, there is a lot of money to be made in creating and deploying, then using, the arms we build. When a bomb is dropped, it’s a single use object that does damage. It must be replaced by another; the more we use, the more must replaced with an attendant rise in price and bombs to offset ordinance used. Ultimately, the American taxpayer must pay for all of this, at a premium no less because we are borrowing immense amounts of cash from China and elsewhere. The idiocy of this is so blatant, while the people who are making millions/billions off of the arms merchants and builders, we go further into debt while the “upper crust” sheds crocodile tears and complains about their rate of taxation. While none of these people ever wore a uniform, much less faced any danger, they insist that others go on being killed and maimed while their profit margins sky-rocket. It’s all about money, bloodstained money raked in over the bodies of our troops, innocent victims such as civilians and non-combatants.

A “War on Terror” is an absurdity in the first place, it is a war that can not be won and it is immoral for the simple fact that none of the people who are being slaughtered had anything to do with the attack on 9-11. The entire scenario is little more than a smokescreen to gain the mineral wealth of the countries we’ve invaded…without a declaration of war.

Then there is the “Homeland Security” issue, where police have gained unimaginable power over the citizens of this nation. Billions have been pumped into law enforcement to upgrade and enhance their capabilities. Much of this is military grade offensive weaponry; someone needs to explain to me and the rest of the country just why law enforcement needs such high-grade devices that can bring down buildings, stun or kill hundreds of people and degrade our Constitution.

We need to stand up and ask the right questions, beginning with, “why” any of this is happening. We need to question  those in authority at every turn if we are to keep, no enhance, our freedom. At one time we were a beacon for all those who searched for a better way of life; we have lost our ability to see long-range the big picture of our actions. There have been many sacrifices to our Liberty, we must put an end to the sham and demand accountability of those who are destroying our nation.

Equality+Justice=Peace

Bob

February 25, 2013

$160,000 a pop for a Hellfire missile

Filed under: The Military Industrial Complex — bobfunke @ 2:26

 

Doesn’t seem like much in the Grand Scheme of Things, but the way we’re using these things, they really add up. A drone flies over and targets individuals, say a group of men talking, perhaps about he price of bread, and $160,000 later, (not to mention all of the “pilots” and keeping the drone in the air and maintaining the thing); they are vaporized. Later, we find out an “error” was made and there were women and children that were not seen. Four men discussing the price of bread, 15 dead and maimed.

This happens more often than not. “Targets” are difficult identify from a moving aerial vehicle, there are no uniforms that distinguish an “enemy”, drones can’t see through walls or under tarps protecting people from the sun while they shop or eat. Since we use these notorious objects, we have to build more…at $160,000 a pop. Generally, when demand goes up, the price goes down; not so in the military-industrial complex. From horse meat and dog sold during the Civil War, exorbitant prices have been demanded for the tools of war.

Here is a simple plan, easy enough for a general to understand, disarm drones, use them only for surveillance, identify targets and then get boots on the ground and capture the individuals you want to interrogate and talk to. No torture, no dead and maimed children, no orphans, you talk to the person just as the police talk to a suspect.

The vast majority of people on this earth want Peace. No one wants to be “vaporized” or endanger their children and wives. Stand down, put the arms to rest, stop creating more enemies by killing, above all, innocents. Bring food, medical care, blankets, methods to clean the water, not bombs or Hellfire missiles.  Bring seeds to create a farming community that an be self sustaining, bring compassion, understanding and humanity.

We could feed a village and buy books for a village for $160,000, and more; we could rebuild what we’ve destroyed, our integrity.

Who loses? Raytheon, GE, and a host of other providers of death and destruction.

Who wins? Humanity

The choice is ours, and we need to stop this madness immediately.

Bob

June 1, 2012

How can we afford to keep these wars going?

Filed under: The Military Industrial Complex — bobfunke @ 2:26

 

bush started these wars, there was no honest reason to go into Iraq or Afghanistan, (except to get bin-Laden), since that was not accomplished until Obama, what was bush’s “plan”…yes, even morons can plan.

My point is, we have dumped the Treasury out and then, after going cash-broke, we figure we can go on a credit card war spending spree…until demands come in for repayment. How much longer can we continue this debacle?

Virtually all of the cash is being spent on the military and Homeland Security, does anyone think this is wise?

How much more could be done if spent these vast sums on enriching not just ourselves through the infrastructure and various other programs that help not just the good citizens of this nation, but others as well?

I can think of 500 things off the top of my head we could use this money and resources on, so can each of you…and none of  it needs to got to war profiteers…or should I say, traitors?

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