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The lasting legacy of Ronald Wilson Reagan will be Star Wars and a bloated imperialist U.S. military budget. At the beginning of the recent war against Iraq, nearly two dozen years after Reagan first took office, his impact was plainly clear: the mainstream media pointed out that the U.S. military was estimated to be stronger than Rome at the height of her imperialism and stronger than Nazi Germany in 1940.
Reagan, starring in “The Return of the Cold War,” doubled President Carter’s military budget, increasing it from $145 billion to $290 billion in his first year. The Reagan-Bush Administration spent $1.5 trillion in their first five years, the largest military build-up during peacetime ever recorded. Star Wars was funded to the tune of tens of billions of dollars with the stated goal of nuclearizing space. But we were promised if the Soviet Union caved in there would be the mythical “peace dividend.” Americans would benefit from a much smaller military budget.
Then Bush the Elder assumed the Presidency and ushered in the first Gulf War, and the military budget remained at Cold War levels. With the fall of the Soviet Union and the election of Bill Clinton, a modest decrease in the defense budget placed it in the $270 billion range. Both Bush the Elder and Clinton allowed the Star Wars funding to lag. Now Bush the Younger has resurrected the dream of U.S. dominance of the Earth via the militarization of space.
According to Jane’s Defense Weekly, when the U.S. recently attacked Iraq, the Iraqi defense spending was $1 billion. The “axis of evil,” defined in President Bush’s January 2002 State of the Union address to include North Korea and Iran in addition to Iraq, had an estimated defense spending totaling $7 billion at the time. While the official rhetoric of the Bush administration still attempts in the most cynical fashion to portray the U.S. military as a force for good in the world, this old school propaganda is crashing beneath the weight of a $400 billion defense budget, soon to be half a trillion dollars. Moreover, public records, government websites and popular magazines tell the world that our real objective is “full spectrum dominance” of the planet.
The June issue of Popular Science spells out the future of the U.S. military in a cover story entitled, “Is This What War Will Come To?” (www.popsci.com ) Not surprisingly, the cover includes the words “Defense 2020: The Pentagon’s Weapons of the Future.” This is a reference to the U.S. military’s directed energy program under the U.S. Space Command, known as “Joint Vision 2020.” (www.dtic.mil/jointvision/jvpub2.htm ) This is where you’ll find the stated policy of the U.S. military -- “full spectrum dominance” of our planet.
“The projectile leaves the barrel at hypersonic velocity – Mach 7-plus – exits the Earth’s atmosphere, re-enters under satellite guidance and lands on the building less than six minutes later; its incredible velocity vaporizes the target with kinetic energy alone.”
Or, if you prefer, your tax dollars are building “a laser cannon that blasts from the air.” There’s also the phallic “Rods from Gods.” These are “space-launched darts that strike like meteors.” Paling in comparison is, “A gun that fires a million rounds a minute.” The casual and open nature of the reporting in Popular Science stands in sharp contrast to the network news that insists on parroting and giving credibility to the Bush propaganda that the U.S. is promoting peace. We’ve gone from Reagan’s slogan of “Peace through Strength” to the less subtle “America Uber Alles.”
Central Ohio, as usual, is involved in this military madness. Lieutenant Colonel JoAnn Erno, head of the power division at the Air Force Resource Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, is quoted on the development of “tactical lasers.”
But the Popular Science article is merely a part of a much greater military plan, which includes “using ‘weather as a force multiplier’” and controlling the weather for military purposes by the year 2025. (www.au.af.mil/au/2025/ ) In April 1997, President Clinton’s Defense Secretary William Cohen remarked at a terrorist conference at the University of Georgia, “Others are engaging even in an eco-type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves.”
How does Cohen know this, and why hasn’t the mainstream media seized upon the abundance of information in the public record regarding this terrorist threat?
Cohen knew it to be true because the so-called terrorists are emulating our own military tactics, they’re just doing it on the cheap a la ‘dirty bombs.” To expose these new unimaginably powerful weapons of mass destruction would indict the United States as a ruthless high-tech imperialist power.
At the crux of the U.S. directed energy program is the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) operating in Gakona, Alaska. (www.haarp.alaska.edu/haarp/ ) This ionosphere agitator is the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. While the government officially denies its military application, Dr. Arnold Barnes of Phillips Lab lectured on the military applications of HAARP at the United States Army’s Developmental Test Command Symposium in 1997, where the good doctor also outlined the history of the U.S. military’s involvement in “weather modification.” (www.dtc.army.mil/tts/1997/proceed/abarnes/ )
But these Star Wars weapons of mass destruction will not make us safer. Just as in Iraq, people will develop the means for “irregular warfare” against an arrogant and superior military power, just as our founders did against the British. And if you don’t believe me, you might want to consult the September 2001 issue of Popular Mechanics that tells us how anti-U.S. terrorists can build “electromagnetic bombs” that “could throw civilization back 200 years.” The cost: “terrorists can build them for $400.” (www.popularmechanics.com/science/military/2001/9/e-bomb/ )
The illusion that the U.S. is anything other than new Roman imperialism, a demented high-tech Christian crusade, or a budding Fourth Reich with better PR cannot be hidden from the reality of the massive U.S. military budget and its born-again Star Wars program.
Bob Fitrakis is the Editor of the Free Press (freepress.org ), a political science professor, attorney and co-author with Harvey Wasserman of George W. Bush vs. the Superpower of Peace.
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