This week, the United States military went deep into their bag of tricks and dropped The Mother Of All Bombs (MOAB).
The name seems to me like something of a misnomer. I must admit, I don’t often associate motherhood with the death and destruction of bombing and war.
Elsewhere this week, Americans took to the streets in protest … to encourage President Trump to release his tax returns.
I’ve spoken about the diversion of energy in this series before, and this, unfortunately, seems like another example. As with immediately after the election, when many with good intentions had their energies diverted into protests of the electoral college, rather than creating a plan for engagement of the new President. They then found themselves unprepared to oppose the horrors of Trump’s cabinet picks, or his Supreme Court nominee (or nominating process). Now, the uproar over Trump’s tax returns, with extensive coverage in the mainstream media, has left many unprepared, at the least, to oppose Trump’s warmongering.
It is possible to make the argument that Trump’s taxes and his wars are related. The expectation is that should Trump release his taxes, we would be able to definitively see that he stands to profit personally through the success of companies who profit from war. The infamous conflicts of interest which would … deliver us President Pence I suppose. He will be less warmongering how?
I guess the point is: How much more definitive proof that our governmental officials are corrupt do we need to see? It seems, sadly, like a given at this point, and it feels hard to believe that the next ‘man’ on the totem pole would be any less influenced by the military-industrial complex than the current man.
I might also ask: Were President Obama’s military campaigns in the Middle-East any less illegal, any less horrific for the people who lived in those countries, any less costly, than when President (W.) Bush did the same thing, simply because Dick Cheney was no longer part of the government?
I can’t help but think that it’s less about how much Trump or Cheney are personally profiting from war, and more about the people and entities who fund and influence the policies at all levels of government, to the detriment of the general population in the US, and, unfortunately, the world as a whole.
An interesting piece of the mainstream media narrative this week was their flippant yet prideful mention that the cost of the MOAB, alongside the cost of Trump’s other recent romanticized military mission — the Tomahawk missile strike — was something like $75 million, excluding, of course, the costs of research and development.
In the mouths of the mainstream media, $75 million became meaningless, except for the general attitude that America was making it rain.
Recently, a brand-new hospital was built in Goleta, California. The price-tag: $73 million.
Across the country in Bonita Springs, Florida, people were shocked the cost of their brand-new school ran up over $50 million.
Here is an extremely abbreviated sample of Trump’s proposed program cuts due to, according to him, a lack of funding. (cost of programs in parentheses)
Minority Business Development Agency ($32 million)
Teacher Quality Partnership ($43 million)
Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing program($35 million)
National Heritage Areas ($20 million)
Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund ($70 million)
U.S. Institute of Peace ($40 million)
It seems that if you are someone who voted for Trump for his “America First” slogan, you would be opposed to his militarism since the cost of war siphons money from American programs, infrastructure, and quality of life.
If you are someone who most certainly did not vote for Trump, and who advocates for universal healthcare, or the strengthening of other social programs, then you too would oppose imperialist warmongering as an allocation of funds issue.
If you are fighting for immigration and immigrant rights then you almost certainly understand the impacts of war on refugees, not to mention the impact on immigration as a whole in a climate of xenophobia.
If you are against racism in the United States in all its forms, then certainly you are against the type of racism which makes it ok for the United States to destroy countries, and the lives of those within, around the world because … why? (Because of their skin pigmentation? Because they are “over there?” Maybe because they are poor?)
And, if you are demanding Trump release his tax returns as a protest of government corruption, I commend you for your involvement in such a crucial issue. But I would suggest that you look beyond the corrupt government officials, of which Trump is a fantastic example, and instead onto who is funding the government, and what their agenda is. Look beyond the bribe-ee, and onto the briber.
One hand has created quite a villainous little character in the racist, sexist President Trump; a man who, *gasp*, won’t even release his tax returns. I suggest you divert some attention to what the other hand is doing because it’s quite horrific.
This piece was originally published on Medium.