Op Ed Commentary –
Investigative reporter Chris Woods wrote that since August of last year there have been over 2900 missile strikes by manned and unmanned aircraft… mostly perpetrated by our country. To those out there who do not do the research, the Hellfire missile systems bought by you and me cost us over $4 billion for the Predator MQ-1C Gray Eagle and $ 11.79 billion for the MQ9 Reaper. Countless unarmed children, women and the elderly have been blown away through the infamous ‘Collateral Damage’ of these attacks. Who cares? Can that be what helped the crazies running ISIL to recruit more and more fighters? Or can it also be that the fact that one of the world’s most terrorist states (besides us of course) Israel, got around $ 100 billion in military aid from Uncle Sam last year?
Each Hellfire missile that our drones and those of our allies, the Brits, fire down into the Middle East cost you and me $ 60-70K. Multiply that by a few thousand and see the price then. That seems like peanuts when we spend over 50 million for one Boeing Apache helicopter. And the vehicle of choice for our soldiers on the ground occupying Iraq and Afghanistan is the up-armored Humvee. Now, here is the fact on that one: regular Humvees cost we taxpayers $ 65,000 each. However, to protect the personnel better (like maybe they shouldn’t be in those places in the first place, duh?) they up-armor the vehicle at a cost of $ 140,000 each. The conundrum is that the up-armored Humvees only last half as long as the regular ones… that is if they are not destroyed by IEDs or rolled over. Each year over 50 of our soldiers are killed and 100 wounded by these too heavy up-armored Humvees rolling over. Do the math and see how much is spent of our tax dollars for this mess… and tell the families of those dead kids that explanation.
This writer has focused for years on the waste of our needed tax dollars for military spending… regardless of who occupies the White House or controls the Congress. Imagine if we did not spend over 50% of federal taxes collected on our Military Industrial Empire? Imagine if even we cut that figure to 25%… translated into $160+ billion per year for repairing our nation’s infrastructure, health care mess, transportation systems, school and library budgets, first provider budgets etc? How about this: what if we used some of that money to buy up most of the bad mortgage paper and help the homeowners under water to stay in those homes with restructured mortgages? Or, how about if Uncle Sam used a couple of tens of billions of dollars to help local communities own and operate their own mortgage banks, charging only a half a point above the overhead costs? We’d have many more owners and fewer renters to those predator rental housing megaliths. If only…
This writer loves that opening to that stupid commercial ‘Listen up America!’. You think many out there would finally ‘wake up’ and see the light and demand the needed cuts in our empire’s obscene military spending and foreign policies?
Philip A Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn, NYC longshoremen. He is a free lance columnist (found on Nation of Change Blog, Truthout.org, TheSleuthJournal.com, Worldnewstrust.com, The Intrepid Report , The Peoples Voice, Information Clearing house, Dandelion Salad, Activist Post, Dissident Voice and many other sites worldwide). Philip works as an environmental products sales rep and has been an activist leader since 2000. In 2010 he became a local spokesperson for the 25% Solution Movement to Save Our Cities by cutting military spending 25%. Philip can be reached at PAF1222@bellsouth.net.