Hawking Up Hairballs

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Pentagon PR

According to the Associated Press, this year the Pentagon will spend $4.7 billion for recruitment, advertising and public relations to sell America at home and abroad. Some 27,000 people will be involved in this effort. By way of comparison, the State Department employs 30,000 people. I guess the generals would say that this is their contribution to the economy. After all, what would those 27,000 people do if they weren't pimping America and its military? Something productive perhaps?

This effort has apparently had little success overseas of late, but it certainly works here in the USA. I'd like to see someone conduct the following poll. Ask this question of a cross section of the US population: Is the United States a militaristic country. I'd be willing to wager that a clear majority would answer "no". A rational assessment suggests the opposite. We have a larger military budget than all the other countries in the world combined. As Chalmers Johnson has pointed out in his book The Sorrows of Empire, the Dept. of Defense lists 725 bases situated outside of the country. There are over 900 within the country. This does not include secret bases. That right there is all the evidence I need.


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