John Varoli: War is a Racket: The Bitter Harvest of American Militarism [Video]

What follows is a full repring of John Varoli’s October 16., 2023 piece on substack. It is very much a must read from this thoughtful analyst: No changes or comment from me are offered on this piece here, though it will form part of the bases of my upcoming commentary videos, save one:
The video attached at the end of this article is my contribution, taken from the field of media that shows what the result of American militarism looks like. I have severe distaste for showing video of people suffering, but it has to be shown to help those who ignore this reality to face it. This isn’t the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is real people who are paying with their lives and families a price that was never asked of them personally, but which is being exacted by those who are intoxicated with their own power. That is my only comment. Now, to John:
The world seems to be on fire, with more conflicts breaking out every few months. In fact, the roots of this ‘fire’ go back almost 25 years, and we’re now merely reaping the bitter harvest. The global order and international law were destroyed by the U.S. bombing of Serbia (1999) and invasion of Iraq (2003).

Today, thanks to the U.S., there’s only one main tenet in international relations — the Law of the Jungle. Might Makes Right.

We Americans are raised to believe that since we’re the most powerful nation on earth we’re a sort of ‘master race’ with the moral right to violently enforce our “rules-based order” across the globe. But the grim fact is that the U.S. has lost all moral authority, and today most of the global community sees us as a destructive force.

Yet, most Americans refuse to admit this and will even become angry if you say such things. Well, it’s time to have an honest conversation about militarism and addiction to war. The sad truth is that more countries are copying us, in the worst possible way — they’re also using bombings, invasion and terrorism as instruments of policy.

The American establishment loves war, for the profits and prestige. Look at how they instigated and continue to fuel the conflict in Ukraine; as well as facilitate terrorist attacks against Russia, such as blowing up the Nord Stream pipeline and attacks on the Crimean bridge. They don’t care that all of this brings the world closer to a nuclear holocaust. They have their well-stocked bunkers.

The main task before our generation is how to neutralize U.S. militarism and manage the country’s global decline so it becomes a constructive member of the global community and doesn’t lash out like a cornered beast. The end of U.S. hegemony will bring tremendous rewards for Americans and every person on the planet.

“With great power comes great responsibility” — you’ve probably heard those words from the Spider-Man films. The phrase was uttered by Uncle Ben as a warning to his nephew, Peter Parker, that the strong have an obligation to serve and do good. Those words are actually a rephrasing of the Bible’s Book of Luke: “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be expected.”

Over the past 25 years, the American ruling class, greedy for conquest and empire, has consistently misused and abused the vast power at its fingertips. Take a look at any conflict and, sure enough, you’ll find that the U.S. is often sending weapons and poisoning each side against the other. Divide and conquer. That’s how empires rule.

The Pentagon is the brutal enforcer for gangsters in Washington and New York. This was evident even in 1935 when highly decorated U.S. Marine General Smedley Butler published his now-forgotten book, War is a Racket, which has been cancelled by the U.S. educational establishment and corporate media, for obvious reasons.

“For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it. Now that I see the international war clouds again gathering, as they are today, I must face it and speak out. Again they are choosing sides,” wrote General Butler in 1935.

The great irony is that while our military operates across the globe, with 700 bases in about 80 countries, our own borders go unprotected, as hundreds of thousands of people illegally enter the country. Our national security is a farce.

Each American carries an enormous moral burden due to the crimes of our ruling class and its addiction to war. Like with any addiction, the first step towards solving the problem is to admit that there is a problem. Let’s take a look at what’s happening in the Middle East.

You really think that the U.S., with its estimated $1.2 trillion annual military and national security budget, and the world’s most powerful spy and surveillance system, wasn’t aware in advance of the Hamas attack against Israel? Really?! And now the U.S. remains silent as Israel flattens Gazan neighborhoods, enraging the Muslim world (1.8 billion people).

War is the most corrosive evil, because out of war comes forth every other horror on earth — starvation, disease, homelessness, rape, despair, hatred, and a desire for revenge. The impact of war reverberates for decades and leaves a malevolent imprint on current generations and those not yet born.

The unofficial code of justice of many Middle Eastern nations is “An eye for an eye”, an idea that originated in ancient Babylon, 3,700 years ago. Well, when I was studying U.S foreign policy in college in the 1980s, I remember another maxim among intellectuals — “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”. I prefer that we adhere to those words instead of a 3,700 year old Babylonian law.

A week ago the world was horrified by the Hamas attacks on Israel that killed over 1,000 civilians, including many children. However, this horrendous death count will soon be a trifling compared to what’s coming. This war could go on for years; tens of thousands will die on both sides, possibly hundreds of thousands.

As I write these words, about 3,000 Gazans have been killed in Israeli aerial bombings; one-third are said to be children. Israel plans to flatten Gaza and to ethnically cleanse the region. That’s something I expect from the regime in Kiev; not from a country that claims to be advanced and civilized.

And if Israel has the right to level Gaza searching for Hamas terrorists, does this mean that Moscow has the right to level Washington DC looking for NeoCons and other ideological extremists and adherents of terrorism that caused the deaths of hundreds of Russian civilians? (Seriously, I’d like an answer).

By the way, I have a question for friends in Israel — how can your country support the nationalist regime in Kiev that openly glorifies Nazi SS soldiers who massacred tens of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust? How is that possible, and Why?

If Iran joins the conflict, then the Israeli-Hamas war could explode into a regional war, which could lead to Israel using nuclear weapons. Millions would die. Meanwhile, Europe’s large Muslim population is growing angry and the risk of a social explosion and sectarian violence in the UK, France and Germany is very real.

Who benefits from this violence? That’s easy to answer — the primary beneficiaries are the global racketeers in Washington and New York. Little has changed since General Butler described early 20th century America nearly a century ago.

There is some good news. There is an adult in the proverbial room of international relations. Though heavily occupied trying to fight off NATO expansion and U.S. militarism, Russia has taken the diplomatic lead at the United Nations, calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and an end to the killing. As Russia’s authority in the Middle East rises, U.S. influence is quickly collapsing.

Along with China and the other BRICS nations, Russia is building a new global civilization based on multi-polarity, mutual interest and non-interference. There won’t be any room for zealous American crusades to “make the world safe for democracy”, which always end in disaster and horrible tragedy.

Meanwhile, in addition to its reckless militarism, the U.S. and its NATO allies will continue their downward spiral into babbling idiocy, still unable to determine the difference between a man and a woman, as well as consumed by quasi-religious hysteria over climate issues.

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