SAN FRANCISCO, USA, Oct. 06 (IPS) – It’s bad enough that the mainstream media regularly calls the Pentagon’s budget a “defense” budget. But the fact that progressives in Congress and even many anti-war activists do the same thing is an indication of how deeply entrenched the state of the nation’s war state is in American political culture.
The Department of Defense’s misleading first name does not support the use of “defense” as an adjective in its budget. In contrast, the ubiquitous use of phrases such as “defense budget” and “defense spending” – virtually always written with a lowercase “D” – reinforces this misconception that compares a massive U.S. military operation to a defense. In the real world, the United States spends more on its military than any of the other 10 countries. And most of those countries are military allies. What about military bases abroad?
The United States currently has 5,050, Russia about two dozen and China one. David Vin, author of the landmark book “Base Nation,” an American university professor, simply wrote a report that states that “the United States has at least three times as many foreign bases as any other country.”
These U.S. bases abroad “cost taxpayers an estimated 55 55 billion annually.” Earlier this autumn, Vine noted that President Biden was “perpetuating the United States’ endless war between nations, including Iraq, Syria, Somalia and Yemen, and that” tensions are growing like a war with China over military buildup with Australia and the United Kingdom. ” Funding through a “defense” budget? Calling George Orwell.Orwell wrote in a 1946 article that political language was “designed to make lies more truthful and honor the murderer and to give the pure air a firm look.” The warm air flowing in the gal force is so constant that we rarely think of it as a second thought.
But the outburst will mean very little for distant countries, for whom the horrific and deadly drone strikes and other elements of U.S. air warfare are about life and death rather than political language. You can think of the Pentagon’s August 2 drone strike that killed 10 Afghans, including seven children, as “honorable” killings, or negligent killings, or simply “loss of bail.”
Similarly, you can look at numbers like 244,124 একটি a credible low-end estimate of the number of civilians killed directly during the “war on terror” in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq এবং and consider them merely data points or representations of people whose lives are as valuable as yours. But at any rate, in the interests of the United States, it is far from necessary to claim that billions of dollars have been spent on wars in various countries in a budget that can be legitimately called “defense.” Until 1947, the official name of the U.S. government’s central military agency was the Department of War. After a two-year interim brand (including the Klanki name national military installation), it was renamed the Defense Department in 1949.
As it happened, the same year Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984” was published, which always spoke of the totalitarian rule of war, including “peace of war”. Today, the Department of Defense is an appropriate noun with an appropriate capital. But the official name of the department does not make it true. Calling its massive and growing budget a “defense” budget is nothing less than an internal corruption of language that undermines our ability to think clearly and speak straight.
While such eroded language cannot be blamed for the existence of dirty thinking and degraded speech, it does allow for regular dirty thinking and degraded speech. Let the linguistic fog blow away. The Pentagon’s budget is not a “defense” budget.
Norman Solomon is the national director of RootsAction.org and co-author of many books The war has become easier: how the president and the pundits turn us to death. He was a representative of Barney Sanders from California at the 2016 and 2020 Democratic National Conference. Founder and Executive Director of the Solomon Institute for Public Accuracy.
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