by Jerry Robinson, Followthemoney.com, Editor-in-Chief
FTMDAILY – Recently, President Obama has been patting himself on the back for his diplomatic effort to obtain Congressional support for his latest bad idea. Namely, bombing another country in the Middle East. Apparently, the current bombing campaign in Afghanistan (yes, we are still dropping bombs into the deserts of Afghanistan) and the drone wars we are currently waging in Pakistan and Yemen are not enough for this President.
This week, the Obama administration began its global sales pitch of a Syrian
war, “intervention.” Together, with their friends in the corporate-controlled media, the Obama camp hopes to tip the scales in favor of this intervention. By approaching Congress for a vote, Obama has displayed extreme confidence in his ability to gain Congressional approval. Especially after Britain’s stunning “no” vote, which left Prime Minister Cameron out of the loop on this invasion. (Too bad, Mr. Cameron. I am sure there will be more spoils in the future, perhaps in Iran?)
As the war drums build here in the U.S., it seems few Americans are asking one of the most basic questions of all. That is, how will we pay for this “intervention” in Syria? The Pentagon has already admitted that it is broke. And according to a July 19 letter sent to the Senate Armed Services Committee by Gen. Martin Dempsey, engaging in Syria could be extremely costly.
In a report entitled, Pentagon Can’t Afford Syria Operation; Must Seek Additional Funds, Free Beacon reporter Bill Gertz writes:
“Training and assisting Syrian opposition forces would cost $500 million annually and “limited” standoff missile and air strikes would cost in the “billions.” Operating a no-fly zone would cost about $1 billion per month, and the cost of using special operations forces to control chemical weapons would be “over” $1 billion monthly.”
(Could this be the true reason that Mr. Obama went to Congress? Not so much for permission, but funding? Any newly authorized Pentagon funding will likely be buried within this upcoming Congressional resolution.)
How Can the Bankrupt U.S. Government Finance Yet Another Military Adventure?
As tensions rise over the potential use of force in Syria, many Americans have begun reaching out to their Congressmen urging them to vote a particular way on the upcoming Syria resolution.
But why stop there? If such a resolution is approved, it will require funding.
So, before all common sense is tossed out the window amid the deafening sound of war drums in the days and weeks to come, here are two alternative solutions to finance the upcoming Syrian intervention that, in theory, will not increase America’s gargantuan deficits.
In case you haven’t heard, America is bankrupt. In fact, it is so bankrupt, it cannot even solve its own internal problems, let alone afford to stoke the flames of a new regional war within the Mideast. And based upon both historical precedent, and the Pentagon’s own forecasts, this “intervention” could easily cost over $1 billion per month, conservatively.
So here’s the proposal.
The Obama administration should set up a secure website where U.S. taxpayers — as well as those Congressmen and Senators — who support a Syrian “intervention,” can go to show their support. This website will take some basic information, including financial information, from the individual allowing him to contribute to the upcoming military efforts. Think of it as a “Syrian support tax.” This supplemental tax can be withdrawn from the individual’s paycheck every week (just like their income taxes.)
And these war supporters can even choose their own level of financial support. Some may only be able to contribute the minimum amount, while others may want to give a little extra.
This voluntary “Syrian support tax” system would work perfectly as it would be funded exclusively by those who favor the intervention, and not by those who oppose it. And as such, it would not increase America’s existing deficits. (At least, in theory.)
Of course, people like myself who strongly oppose U.S. intervention into Syria would be given an opt-out provision. But I am certain there are millions of other “good-hearted” Americans who would want an additional part of their paycheck taken out every pay period in order to “degrade” Assad’s military and “upgrade” the military of the rebels (i.e. Al Qaeda and Al-Nursa Front, etc.)
In fact, Washington could even further simplify this voluntary “Syrian support tax” system by allowing U.S. taxpayers to write checks directly to one of the myriad of defense corporations who will manufacture the weapons needed for this intervention. Namely, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, etc. This would serve to save money on those pesky administrative costs incurred by the Federal government’s role as middleman. This way, these “good-hearted” taxpayers could be certain — and perhaps sleep easier — knowing that their voluntary tax dollars were going to the “right” thing.
Outcome: If such a voluntary tax system were indeed implemented, many of the loudest war supporters would suddenly lose interest in an “intervention” in Syria.
Why this will never happen: The Federal government dreads the day that the masses of taxpayers begin to question the misappropriation of their hard-earned dollars. To prevent this from happening, Washington must be careful to not rock the boat. Today, the majority of taxpayers seem to be compliant with the excesses of Washington’s empire. However, Washington knows that it is dancing on a knife’s edge. To keep the game going, the national majority must never be subjected to direct financial pain through the tax code.
Washington cannot pull off its vast number of global heists without hiding the bill from the U.S. taxpayer. Therefore, they have cleverly crafted a tax system that conveniently extracts your tax dollars directly from your paycheck. This stealth system of theft makes meaningful resistance against the government futile. The truth is, if every America taxpayer were forced to write a check for the multitude of taxes that owe to the Federal, State, and local governments on a monthly basis, there would likely be blood in the streets. However, if you choose to believe that modern Americans have somehow become more civilized than our founding fathers, then you must admit that they would at least begin asking questions. Unfortunately, Washington has neither the time, nor the interest, in your questions. Instead, their interests are more primitive. Washington is interested in 1) your vote and 2) your tax dollars.
So, while this is my favored solution, I am the first to admit that it will not be popular with your Congressman. Regardless, I believe this solution is better than the alternative of adding untold billions of dollars in deficits to our already bloated national debt.
America has spent trillions of dollars attempting to maintain its global hegemony. It has exhausted its wealth and treasure on 700+ military bases in over 130 nations, with a particular interest in the oil-rich region of the Middle East. But how long can this policing of the globe go on when the U.S. government is clearly bankrupt?
It is well documented that Western weapons manufacturers have sold hundreds of billions of dollars worth of weapons to Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, etc. Why are they just sitting on those weapons? And why are U.S. taxpayers being asked to finance more new weapons to be sent into this highly volatile region?
Those nations within the region who view the Assad regime as a scourge should be asked to expend their wealth, their treasure, and their blood. Why should U.S. taxpayers shoulder the burden when the oil-rich nations of the Middle East are perfectly capable of dealing with Assad?
Of course, many will say that by unleashing the nations in the Middle East to coordinate and to create a cohesive plan to deal with the Assad regime, we would be opening the door to a future Islamic caliphate.
Sadly, this is the same argument used by early American slaveholders who held a Bible in one hand and used the other hand to beat, maim, and murder their negro slaves. Negro slaves who even dared to learn to read in early America faced certain death.
All of this is reminiscent of Thomas Jefferson’s famous line regarding the paradox of American slavery:
“We have the wolf by the ears; and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other.”
So, too, it is in the Middle East. Western powers, including America, have for so long micromanaged the Middle Eastern affairs in order to exploit the region’s wealth that we seem to have lost our way. Today, it is not negro slaves that America has “by the ear.” Instead, it is the entire Middle East region. If we leave, we risk increasing amounts of blowback. If we stay, we risk everything.
In the meantime, the American people are told that if the Middle East is ever allowed to unite to form a regional power, it would spell disaster. Oh, the wicked webs that men weave!
Outcome: If the nations in the Middle East were allowed to express self-determination in all things, including how to use their own armies, then a clear leader would emerge in the region.
Why this will never happen:The mere thought of a unified regional power emerging from within the Middle East is clearly unacceptable to the colonial powers of the West who have long relied upon keeping the region in turmoil and disarray in order to extract and/or control their natural resources. The last thing that Washington, or Europe, wants is a strong Middle East dominated by a strong regional power. With 62% of the world’s oil supply lying under the sands of the region, a unified Middle East motivated by self-interest and self-determination (which are ironically the virtues of democracy) would require all of our current backroom oil deals to be renegotiated.
Besides, when faced with the choice between cheap gas prices, or an entire people group experiencing unification and self-determination, it is likely that most American’s self-interest and self-determination will lead them to a preference for cheap gas.
FLASHBACK: Jerry Robinson Explains Petrodollar Collapse Theory
Jerry exposing the Petrodollar back in 2010.