Tag Archives: militarism

defining characteristics of Facism

Trump:

If it walks like a duck, and if it quacks like a duck…then it’s time to make some decisions about whether you really like listening to ducks.

the most sophisticated weapons award

The ever more sophisticated weapons piling up in the arsenals of the wealthiest and the mightiest can kill the illiterate, the ill, the poor and the hungry, but they cannot kill ignorance, illness, poverty or hunger. -Fidel Castro

The world championship game for the wealthiest and mightiest is in the last quarter and our lead isn’t as great as it once was. There are others who now have a shot at the title.

However, no other country can come close to the “Most and Best Sophisticated Weapons” Award. We win that hands down.

No other nation can even compete. The playing field isn’t level, and we make the rules, so we win. Game over.

The United States puts more money into its military defense budget than the next five countries combined.  We always have enough money for our military and ever more sophisticated weapons.

What is truly sad, and Castro’s right about this, is that all the shiny new weapons in the world cannot make our country right. And even though we still think that might makes right. It never has, and it never will. No gun, no weapon, no matter how sophisticated, can make its wielder moral, just or compassionate.

We still haven’t figured out how to make a weapon sophisticated enough to destroy poverty, to feed our own hungry, or to cure the sick.  And if we ever created a weapon sophisticated enough to target ignorance, well…we might just realize the only award we have actually won is “the Booby Prize.”

Stealing from the hungry

President Dwight D Eisenhower’s justly famous quote has never been more appropriate. The truth of his words are reflected in the SIPRI’s 2013 report. For those who might not remember, Eisenhower said:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

Here is a brief summary of how our rampant militarism is contributing to global poverty and hunger. Imagine the difference even a small portion of these resources could make in ending the suffering of  millions of our hungry family.

This summary is from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)’s Year Book 2013 summary on military expenditure:

  • World military expenditure in 2012 is estimated to have reached $1.756 trillion;
  • This is a 0.4 per cent decrease in real terms than in 2011 — the first fall since 1998;
  • The total is still higher than in any year between the end of World War II and 2010;
  • This corresponds to 2.5 per cent of world gross domestic product (GDP), or approximately $249 for each person in the world;

The USA with its massive spending budget, has long been the principal determinant of the current world trend, often accounting for close to half of all the world’s military expenditure. The effects of global financial crisis and the post-Iraq/Afghanistan military operations have seen a decline in its spending, now accounting for 39% of spending in 2012.

SIPRI has commented in the past on the increasing concentration of military expenditure, i.e. that a small number of countries spend the largest sums. This trend carries on into 2012 spending. For example,

  • The 15 countries with the highest spending account for over 81% of the total;
  • The USA is responsible for 39 per cent of the world total, distantly followed by the China (9.5% of world share), Russia (5.2%), UK (3.5%) and Japan (3.4%)

Military spending is concentrated in North America, Europe, and increasingly, Asia: