Paul Joseph Watson
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Barack Obama’s election promise to bring “change” to Washington and reverse the juggernaut of the Bush war machine has proven to be nothing more than a cruel hoax, emphasized by his recent actions on Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq and his latest demand for a total of around $800 billion in war funds and subsidiary costs just to cover the rest of 2009.
“According to the US defense officials, Obama needs USD 75.5 billion for 2009 to cover the cost of the additional troops deployed in to Afghanistan this year and an another USD 130 billion for the rest of fiscal 2009,” reports Press TV.
An additional $534 billion is required for the Defense Department, added to another figure of $65.9 billion that has already been approved by Congress, bringing the total figure to over $805 billion dollars.
As Wikipedia states, “The military budget is that portion of the United States discretionary federal budget that is allocated to the Department of Defense. This military budget pays the salaries, training, and healthcare of uniformed and civilian personnel, maintains arms, equipment and facilities, funds operations, and develops and buys new equipment. The budget funds all branches of the U.S. military: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.”
We can be assured that the vast majority of the $805 billion is going into the war chest because seperate programs such as nuclear weapons research, maintenance and production are included in the Department of Energy budget. Every single component bar one of the DoD budget is up 5-10% compared to 2008, with the budget for “military construction” increasing by a whopping 19.1%.
The most expensive programs in the DoD budget are things like missile defense, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the F-22 Raptor, as well as the DDG 1000 Destroyer, the F/A-18E/F Hornet and the V-22 Osprey. These are all war-related programs, so mainstream media reports that a mere $200 billion war chest is being demanded do not include the cost of any of these programs which form part of the $500 billion-plus DoD budget.
The demand to refill the war coffers arrives in the same month as Obama’s announcement to send at least 17,000, and eventually perhaps as many as 30,000, extra troops to Afghanistan – over seven years after the U.S. invaded in 2001.
Obama has also recently beefed the U.S. military role in Pakistan beyond that pursued by the Bush administration and “expanded the covert war run by the Central Intelligence Agency inside Pakistan,” according to the New York TImes, with an increase in missile attacks by drone aircraft.
All this within just one month of Obama’s inauguration on the back of an election campaign won on the basis of changing the warmongering policies of the Bush administration!
Meanwhile, despite public pronouncements by Obama that a plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq is in progress, the details of the agreement actually establish a permanent presence of a sizable occupying force in perpetuity.
Despite his pre-election promises it’s interesting to note that the new WhiteHouse.gov website, in the “foreign policy” section, contains nothing whatsoever about Obama’s plans for Iraq. That’s probably because he will simply be following the exact same course undertaken by the Bush administration in publicly stating an intention for withdrawal while privately ensuring that tens of thousands of U.S. troops will remain in Iraq in perpetuity for the reason they were sent there in the first place – to safeguard a U.S. geopolitical foothold in the middle east and maintain control over whatever puppet government is installed.
As Chris Floyd points out in his article today, “The hypocrisy – the literally murderous hypocrisy – of claiming that this plan “leaves Iraq to its people and responsibly ends this war,” as Obama asserted in his State of the Union speech, is sickening. It does no such thing, and he knows it.”
In reality, after the “withdrawal” of U.S. troops in 19 months, “Mr. Obama plans to leave behind a “residual force” of tens of thousands of troops to continue training Iraqi security forces, hunt down foreign terrorist cells and guard American institutions,” reported the New York Times.
A senior military officer spelled it out more plainly to the Los Angeles TImes, “‘When President Obama said we were going to get out within 16 months, some people heard, ‘get out,’ and everyone’s gone. But that is not going to happen,’ the officer said.”
“By implementing his war continuation plan, Obama will complete the work of Bush and his militarist clique,” writes Floyd, and in doing so send, “an apparently endless stream of American troops to die — and, in even greater numbers, to kill — in a criminal action that has helped bankrupt our own country while sending waves of violent instability and extremism around the world. It will further enfilth a cesspool of corruption and war profiteering that has already reached staggering, world-historical proportions.”
The ultimate course for Iraq is something closer to what Obama’s presidential rival John McCain conceded – that U.S. troops will remain in the country for 100 years and probably beyond, long after Barack Obama leaves the White House and long after his empty mantra of “change” washes away like a footprint in the sand.