Wednesday Night Owls: Before Trump feinted at the military-industrial complex, he pushed arms sales
It isn’t just the White House’s current arms-for-peace deal that contradicts Trump’s new claim that he is the white knight candidate who will finally put a damper on the military-industrial complex. Less than six months after taking office, Trump signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia—the main perpetrator of the war in Yemen—for $ 110 billion in immediate U.S. weapons sales and $ 350 billion in sales over the following 10 years. On April 16, 2019, Trump used his veto power to quash a bipartisan Congressional resolution that would have mostly ended American military involvement in the war in Yemen—a war that has killed thousands of civilians, created the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet, and helped companies like Raytheon, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin increase their already enormous piles of wealth. Not only did Trump continue U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen, but the following month, in May 2019, his administration used an emergency declaration to push through—without congressional approval—an $ 8.1 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the UAE.
With Trump touting himself as the anti-war candidate, Fox News host Laura Ingraham said on her show, The Ingraham Angle: “If you want to rein in the Pentagon, Trump is your only option.” But the Pentagon budget has increased annually every year over the past five years. The fiscal year 2020 saw a colossal $ 738 billion for the Department of Defense, and for the fiscal year 2021, Trump is seeking a whopping $ 750 billion DoD budget.
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“Courage is like — it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: you get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.” —Marie Daly, the first Black woman to earn a PhD in chemistry and discovered the relationship between cholesterol and clogged arteries.
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At Daily Kos on this date in 2007: Gen. Petraeus’s “Powell” Moment:
In its must-read editorial today, “Hiding Behind the General,” the New York Times lays out the case for caution on the eve of General Petraeus’s testimony on Iraq. It notes, as many have mentioned, that six weeks before the 2004 election, General Petraeus penned an op-ed in which he “rhapsodized about ‘tangible progress’ and how the Iraqi forces were ‘developing steadily,’ an assessment that may have swayed some voters but has long since proved to be untrue.” It also emphasizes that tomorrow’s testimony should be viewed in light of the many reports from independent agencies and organizations which paint an accurate and dire picture for the future of American involvement in Iraq. The editorial also brings up a chilling comparison:
Mr. Bush, deeply unpopular with the American people, is counting on the general to restore credibility to his discredited Iraq policy. He frequently refers to the escalation of American forces last January as General Petraeus’s strategy — as if it were not his own creation. The situation echoes the way Mr. Bush made Colin Powell — another military man with an overly honed sense of a soldier’s duty — play frontman at the United Nations in 2003 to make the case that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Mr. Bush cannot once again subcontract his responsibility. This is his war.
On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Greg Dworkin notes both steady polls and Day n+1 of the “Trump hates the military” story. The virus is everything. (Even before today’s bombshell!) There are no laws! DOJ intervenes in the Carroll case, and we can’t stop the coming constitutional crisis.
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, Daily Kos reports