Where did they find the money to send troops to Jordan?

dollar shreddedThat’s your Sunday moment of Zen.  We have sent troops to Jordan, specifically to the Jordan – Syria border.

The United States budget is in an state of disarray.  The crazies and the sleepwalkers in Congress can’t engage in rational analysis and planning, so we’re forced into robo-budget cutting.  Even without the histrionics of historic proportion, it is time to pay close attention to expenditures based on priorities for the vast majority of citizens. (Image)

The real unemployment rate is 23% when you count all those once employed who would work and those forced into part time employment. Our neglect of the environment and de facto stupidity has advanced climate change beyond the point of no return unless very prompt action is taken to correct the situation.

So what do those in power do?  Send troops to Jordan.

“The Pentagon is sending about 200 troops to Jordan, the vanguard of a potential U.S. military force of 20,000 or more that could be deployed if the Obama administration decides to intervene in Syria to secure chemical weapons arsenals or to prevent the 2-year-old civil war from spilling into neighboring nations.”  LA Times, April 17

They’r’e teasing us with the initial number of 200 troops and tipping their hat to much larger  figure of 20,000.  That’s troops, not support personnel, not contractors, not all the others it takes to support a combat force.  The troops will be on the Jordan – Syria border.  What better place to provoke an incident that will justify a rapid force  increase, a naval presence, etc. etc.?

Why would we do that?  Are we protecting Jordan from an invasion by hostile forces?  Are there vital U.S. interests there?  No on both accounts.  The troops were dispatched as part of a global chess game with the final outcome uncertain and without a final outcome imaginable that benefits the people of the United States.

We know two things for sure about the need for troops in Jordan.  They are not needed to protect against an imminent or conceivable threat of a military attack on the United States.  The second thing we know is that we cannot afford this expenditure, not in our current state of financial disarray.

The administration and many in Congress want the current government of Syria shut down.  We know how well that worked out when we insisted on that in Libya, now a veritable disaster zone.  We know how well it worked out in Iraq, more than  $3 trillion dollars later.  We know how well 11 years in Afghanistan worked out.  We have every reason to suspect that this initial commitment will become an excuse to draw the country into a violent civil war in behalf of the thug we want to replace the thugs in charge.  It’s a massive downside risk with no benefits, all cost and no gain.

So when they say we just don’t have money for a real jobs program, ask them —  Where did you find the money to send troops to Jordan?

When they say we can’t afford to clean up the atmosphere in order to keep our children from choking to death, ask them — Where did you find the money to send troops to Jordan?

And when they say, we need a new way to calculate the consumer price index for Social Security (a way that cuts annual benefits), as them — Where did you find the money to send troops to Jordan?


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Michael Collins

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I’ve been writing articles and comments for 15 years now but ugh.. It’s like throwing pebbles at the sea to try and roll the tide back. Indignation at immoral excess is a wasted exercise. It’s just getting worse and worse.

  • Social Security is a different fund. Cutting it doesn’t help the so-called deficit. For that one I would ask why not raise the taxable income cap if you really think there is a problem

    And you are so right about the intentions re: Syria.

    And yes, unemployment, climate change and the lack of economic demand are the best things for us to focus on at this time. Debt and deficits are economic scare words used by economic terrorists. When there is a real emergency like WWII then you pull out all the economic stops. Just as fiat money finds war funds it can also find clean energy development funds. And right now climate change and the scourge of dirty energy are just such an emergency.

    • Re Social Security: On Bill Clinton’s watch, the SS Trust Fund was required to ‘invest’ its excess funds, which went into the general fund via Treasury securities. That way the government could pay for our military ventures, subsidies and other Corporate Welfare without raising taxes.
      In other words, SocSec got an IOU, to be paid back from general funds; i.e.; tax dollars. Now that they want to call in the markers, the anti-tax crowd doesn’t want to pony up.

      Imagine that the government required you to invest all your personal savings and pension monies in their special fund and when it came time for you to retire and you asked for your money back, they told you, “Sorry, we spent the money. And it’s not politically convenient to raise taxes to pay you back.”

      There were two major sources of wealth in this country which were not under control of the UberWealthy: Social Security and home equity. By converting SS funds to general funds, that wealth was transferred to the .1% by using it to fund our military ventures, privatized prisons, War On Drugs, War On Terror (and war generally), militarization of police, corporate subsidies and financial bailouts. The engineered collapse of the housing market is still in the process of diverting the second source of assets.
      UPDATE: Using the real estate bubble to screw us.

      Your government: pillaging the working people and and giving to the rentiers.

  • What determines the ordering of posts on the Agonist? We have a post dated 4/21 at the top, followed by one dated 4/20, then 4/23 and then 4/22. Most blogs have the newest post at the top, but here we must scroll down to see if a new one has been added, sometimes finding the newest one third or fourth in line. That’s not a real issue, it’s just unusual.

    • By default, the latest posts are at the top, but one of the admins can make a post ‘sticky’ and it won’t get pushed down until it’s made ‘unsticky’. Think Michael Collins does that sometimes. This doesn’t affect the sequence in the ‘recent posts’ list on the left sidebar, but that only has room for a few. I don’t know how the ‘featured posts’ list is maintained but assume Mike does that. There is also a way to ‘promote’ a post from Newswire to Front Page, which might interrupt the date sequence. Mike may also know other ways to order the posts so that the first thing a visitor sees is what Mike thinks is most important.

      I browse with Firefox and use its LiveBookmark feature as an RSS reader, so I can always see the last 15 or so. It’s all I use, now that Google is dropping GoogleReader.

    • It was me. I sent the US Government two checks in March. They’ve cashed them, and sent the troops the Jordan with my money.

      I’m sorry.

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