July 4, 2010
An Army Times story on July 2nd reports that the unemployment rate rose to 11.5 percent for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, highlighting another reason why the U.S. government for its own sake keeps the wars going– the massive influx of vets who would come home with no jobs waiting for them if the wars were to come to an end.
With the economy crumbling at home the wars have relieved a large burden from the job market’s shoulders, continuing a perpetual mission in which each soldier is busy fighting insurgencies and drawing taxpayer funded paychecks to do it. Many young people have turned to military service rather than seeking private industry jobs because from a personal monetary standpoint the rewards are more lucrative than making minimum wage or going into debt to get a degree and spending a decade paying it off.
If the wars were to magically end tomorrow the U.S. would be facing an even greater job crisis as vets would find themselves back in the U.S., plunged into the same pool as the rest of the unemployed. Though specialized training from their Army experience may put them in a better position than others of seizing the few technical jobs available, the number of jobs still wouldn’t increase, meaning regardless of who takes the jobs, unemployment would rise and escalate the civil strife in America that is already under way.
As reported in the past, DHS now demonizes returned veterans along with anti-war and anti-fed activists as potential domestic terrorists. Indeed, veterans have played an important role in social movements that have come about because of the “let them eat cake” attitudes of governments that ignore or perpetuate the plight of their people. The American Revolution was led by former officers of the British Crown, most notable among them General George Washington. During the 1930’s shunned World War One veterans who were denied their promised bonuses by Congress marched on Washington D.C, an event in history that ended with U.S. troops killing some of them and destroying the tent city the veterans had set up. While only the federal government would have the nerve to equate our founding fathers who were fighting the tyranny of a mad king, and peaceful protesters (then and now), with terrorists, the fact that the government singles out the otherwise patriotic veteran population whom it once relied on to expand its empire as a potential threat shows just how grim it expects the situation to get for the people under its thumb.
On top of that, ending the wars would result in the reduction of private industry jobs.
Only a cold cynic would use the economic reality of the current day to justify the continuation of the wars, and therefore nobody from the White House or the Congress would ever openly express such sentiments. However, the transformation of war into a business in America over the course of the last century has resulted in it becoming an industry that many have come to rely on, and which needs to be stimulated every decade or so by the government in order to stay alive. War doesn’t just employ soldiers but also the people who arm them. Private workers for companies such as Raytheon for example, whether consciously or not, are dependent on the continuing need for weapons and combat tools for their jobs to remain secure. With little being done to encourage the creation of small private business and entrepreneurship, government is taking it upon itself to create new jobs…and since the census only happens every ten years, and since there’s only so many temporary “stimulus projects” that can be done, war remains the number one government backed industry to hold back the flood of unemployed Americans.
Smedley Butler once said “War is a racket”. Not only that– it’s a subsidized business, and without it the elites sucking America dry would find themselves boxed in by an angry mob of jobless citizens seeking to retake their government and their livelihoods. This is why, if ordinary people do nothing, the wars will never end, and why the government will always find ways to create new ones.
This article was posted: Sunday, July 4, 2010 at 8:02 am