Walking in Mackie-Miles By Timothy V. Gatto

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By Timothy V. Gatto
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
September 7, 2009

I have a dog named Mackie. The reason that I mention him is that Mackie, like most dogs that are only half-trained to walk on a leash, never moves in a straight direction. That’s why my wife and I measure his walks in “Mackie-miles”.

It seems like the American people like to get to their destination not by the shortest route; instead they too, walk in “Mackie-miles”. It seems that we meander and circle about, a railroad car that has no tracks, going to and fro as the circumstances dictate. We don’t act, we react. I’m not talking about the American government; I’m talking about the American people. The American government has no problem acting on its biggest wet dreams. Install more troops in Afghanistan, bring more mercenaries to Iraq and Afghanistan, provoke Russia and keep the military industrial complex humming are just a few of their goals.

Are these the American people’s goals? When one looks at polling data they are certainly not. Most Americans want out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Why are we there? On Meet the Press today they had a circle of “experts” that were asked what the mission and goals were in Afghanistan. It was an amazing thing to see because nobody ever talked about what exactly our goals were in that country. This is much like Iraq, no transparent goals. I’ve heard it said that you’ll know when you lose a Jihad, but you will never know when you win, as it will go on forever.

Thus the American people continue to claim that the majority are not in for a long protracted war in Afghanistan, but they continue to hem and haw without any real opposition against the American government’s plans. Sooner or later they will make their objections known, but until that time we will continue towards the goal of withdrawal by walking in “Mackie miles”. Meandering and refusing to head directly toward the goal of freeing the United States from its involvement in foreign military adventures.

There are a few discernible reasons why the United States wishes a military presence in Afghanistan, none of which they have articulated to the American public. The government continues to claim that we are in the country to deny a safe haven for terrorists. This is a patently ridiculous claim. Terrorists don’t need to control an entire country to plan attacks against the U.S. The real reason we are in Afghanistan is to provide the United States with military bases that are close to China and Russia. We are also systematically taking nuclear Pakistan apart by “Balkanizing” that country, separating it into tiny pieces that can then be brought to heel under a U.S. and Indian alliance. There is also the oil pipeline that is planned to run from Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, where ships docked in Arabian Sea ports will then carry that fuel to energy hungry Asia. This pipeline will carry $3-5 trillion in oil and natural gas from the Caspian Sea basin. The pipeline is slated to run across the Helmand Province. This is the same province where the U.S. has beefed up its military presence.

Americans need to know that wars are fought primarily for power and money. Ideology is merely an excuse to give to the people to garner their support. This country is involved in constant military endeavors mainly because we can, with no real detriment to our economy. In fact, just the opposite is true. Our military industrial sector is making money hand over fist and substitutes for a Federal Jobs program. The defense contractors have manipulated the military procurement system so that individual parts for military weapons are made in almost every State. This allows military spending to continue unabated because each Congressman and Senator has a vested interest in keeping defense jobs for their constituents.

Eventually, this military procurement economy, as with all great empires, will eventually be this country’s undoing. The cost of producing and replacing weapons of war has no lasting value and adds nothing to the empire’s net worth. Unlike repairing infrastructure or building new mass transit or investing in energy saving alternative fuels and vehicles, when military funds are spent, there is no return on the dollar invested. When the money is gone, it’s gone forever. In the short term the MIC provides jobs, in the long run however, it destroys an economy.

I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t know. What I want bring to your attention is the sad realization that we are all walking toward the same goals here (except for the brainwashed right that believe in Islamo-fascism), but we are walking in Mackie-miles. It takes us twice the time to reach our goals, and the realization is that this nation can ill-afford to waste this precious time. The military industrial economy cannot be sustained. We will, sooner or later, have to reap what we have sown. We will have nothing to show for all of our military spending except rusted hulks of tanks, planes and other weapons of war. Think it can’t happen? You need look no further than the Soviet Union to see that the end result is inevitable.

We Americans need to be adamant. We really have to articulate to our government that we need to address the things in our own country that need fixing. Overseas adventures are just that; adventures. It’s time this nation sobered-up and left our puberty behind us. Let us act like responsible adults in the world of nations.

Tim Gatto’s new book “From Complicity to Contempt” is now available from Oliver Arts and Open Press wherever books are sold.