I learned from an article by Dan Froomkin in the February 6, 2012 issue of the Huffington Post that the war industry has a new website, www.secondtonone.org. He writes that “Facing the possibility of actual defense spending cuts for the first time since the end of the Cold War, the nation's biggest defense contractors have put aside their traditional hyper-competitiveness and joined forces in a messaging and advocacy blitz under the slogan "Second to None."
No one should be surprised by this new website, but I should have expected it in advance because I have studied warfare welfare for over a decade.
The government’s dowry to its corporate partner is overflowing with bailouts for “companies too big to let fail;” debt forgiveness; discounted insurance; excessive government payments for contract work; giveaways of public resources; loan guarantees; privatization; price support loans; quotas; subsidies; supply restrictions; tariff protections; tax breaks. These “ordinary” forms of corporate welfare collectively dwarf social welfare programs. They are ordinary because they do not include “extraordinary warfare welfare,” extraordinary in that it is monstrous, deadly, and if left alone will by itself eventually ruin America by triggering disastrous blowbacks by foreign agents. I think you can count on it.
Wars hot or cold, military interventions visible or covert, military occupations, and military base installations have been a constant in America’s history. From 1893 to 1934 the U.S. occupied numerous foreign lands; some U.S. corporations collaborated with the Nazis; and since the end of WWII the U.S. has engaged in almost countless and endless wars as well as overthrows of legitimate governments and populist activists fighting against their own repressive regimes. In sum, since WWII, the U.S. has been the most warring and belligerent nation on the planet.
What is the point of all the killing, all the squandering of American money and goodwill, and all the risking of more revengeful attacks reaching our own homeland. The point is simply and starkly this. The corpocracy’s militarism fattens the defense industry, including beefing up its sale of arms (the U.S. is the world’s top arms seller); opens up, protects, and expands corporations’ foreign markets and exploitation of natural resources (oil and minerals) and cheap labor; keeps the corpocracy’s politicians in office; gives military brass something to command and oversee; gives paychecks (and sometimes battlefield death sentences) to America’s youth who would otherwise be unemployed; and distracts the American public from growing socioeconomic deterioration at home (believe me, the U.S. compared to other “advanced countries” looks like a third-world country except for its modern war machine).
The has led people to expect and tamely accept endless wars; it scares people with fear mongering, half truths and outright lies (or very bad judgment by President Obama in his military escalations); it evokes jingoistic patriotism (my country right or wrong); it blathers about building nations; it slanders peace seekers as either weaklings soft on the enemy or as traitors; and now we are treated with www.secondtonone.org. The warfare welfare queen, worried about the possibility of a miniscule drop in her government trough, is now out and about begging and whining. It’s sickening. Is it also treasonous?
According to the US Constitution treason consists only “in levying war against the U.S., in adhering to her enemies, in giving them aid and comfort,” and only if there were two witnesses to the treasonous act. “Adhering to her enemies” means giving support or loyalty to them. How would that play out within the framework of the Constitution?
Professor Charles Derber, in his book Regime Change, contends that “---today’s regime (i.e. today’s corpocracy) can survive only by practicing a foreign policy of bad faith that [he calls] ‘marry-your-enemy.’” In other words, today’s corpocracy needs a foreign enemy or two or three in order to stay a corpocracy. If a foreign enemy isn’t conveniently at hand the corpocracy will manage to create one. Creating a foreign enemy would, it seems to me, certainly qualify as a treasonous act.
But it could be argued I suppose that the corpocracy doesn’t directly and deliberately cultivate foreign enemies and that they are thus an unintended consequence of the corpocracy’s policies and actions. Yet it can’t be denied that the defense industry, the military establishment, and the career politicians still benefit from those very same policies and actions. The origin of the terrorist groups, Al Qaeda and the Taliban, for instance, can be traced at least in part to the corpocracy’s overbearing and longstanding presence and exploitation in their lands. Yet, I can’t imagine the corpocracy having planned behind closed doors to create these terrorist groups. To do so I should think would be a blatantly treasonous act. On the other hand, perhaps I naively underestimate the venality and treachery of the corpocracy and their confidence in being absolutely immune from any accountability worth their hides.
The law treats a person who has committed treason as a traitor. As columnist Frank Rich noted in one of his columns for the New York Times a few years ago, “---if there’s to be a witch hunt for traitors, the top of our government is where it should begin.” He was writing about how every time the corpocracy’s war-like actions are exposed or questioned the corpocracy never fails to go on a McCarthy-like traitor hunt. Mr. Rich, should we not include defense contractor CEO’s in the hunt?
But getting back to the Constitution, who in power pays attention to it any more? The U.S. Supreme Court certainly doesn’t as witnessed for example by its fraudulent rulings that corporations have constitution rights even though corporations aren’t mentioned in the Constitution and its framers loathed corporations. Furthermore, evidence abounds that the U.S. is becoming a more oppressive, fascist-like state. It would take brave courage, conviction, and moral certainty for any anti-corpocracy litigation center, what few there are, to try and prosecute government officials and war industry CEOs for treason. The effort might boomerang with the accusers being accused of treason!
Short of risking a vindictive jail sentence handed down by the government, there are many politically and legally safe ways to end warfare welfare and the corpocracy as a whole (see, e.g., The Devil’s Marriage).