Veterans Know that War Is Great for the 1% … But Horrible for Them and the Rest of the 99%
I have extensively documented that – contrary to a common myth – war is horrible for our economy. Specifically, war is great for the 1%, but makes the rest of the country poorer.
Veterans from every branch of the military – and across 3 generations – are coming out to support the “occupy” protests. But they are not just outsiders supporting the protesters … they are part of the 99%.
As AP notes today, the veterans fighting the imperial wars for the 1% are part of the 99% who are hurt by the never-ending-war-for-profit-model:
U.S. military veterans … [say] corporate contractors in Iraq made big money while the troops defending them came home – and can’t make a living now.
“For too long, our voices have been silenced, suppressed and ignored in favor of the voices of Wall Street and the banks and the corporations,” said Joseph Carter, a 27-year-old Iraq war veteran who marched Wednesday to Zuccotti Park, the epicenter of the movement that has spread worldwide.
***Their unemployment rate outstrips the national average and is expected to worsen. They worry about preservation of First Amendment rights. And they’re angry.
“For 10 years, we have been fighting wars that have enriched the wealthiest 1 percent, decimated our economy and left our nation with a generation of traumatized and wounded veterans that will require care for years to come,” said Carter, who leads the national Iraq Veterans Against the War group.
In New York on Wednesday, police circled the veterans as they stood in formation in front of the New York Stock Exchange, chanting, “We are veterans! We are the 99 percent!” and “Corporate profits on the rise, soldiers have to bleed and die!”
“I swore to defend their freedoms, and they were being taken away. It’s very unconstitutional,” said McBride, who said he was less than honorably discharged for medical reasons.
McBride said the Occupy Wall Street protest is exactly the kind of civil disobedience protected under U.S. law.
“They wanted to kick us out. This is a peaceful assembly,” he said Thursday. “In the Constitution, the people have the right to peacefully assemble. It’s plain and simple. That’s why I’m here, to defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Back in New York, Bordeleau blamed some financial institutions for U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Wall Street corporations have played a big role in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Bordeleau ….
He said private contractors have reaped big profits in those countries “in pursuit of corporate interests that have had a devastating effect on our economy and our country, benefiting only a small number of people.”
“The 99 percent have to take a stand,” Bordeleau said, to rectify the biggest income gap between rich and poor since the Great Depression, fueled by what protesters say is Wall Street’s overblown clout in Washington politics.
“Halliburton and Bechtel think these wars are swell,” they chanted, invoking the names of American companies that received federal contracts for work rebuilding Iraq.
They say those who risked their lives fighting for their country have the right to protest economic policies and business practices that give them a slimmer chance of finding jobs than most Americans.
I agree with my brothers 100%.