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Showing posts with label US Department of Defense. Show all posts
Showing posts with label US Department of Defense. Show all posts

Monday, August 16, 2010

End the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars Before They Bankrupt the US


When we were asked to reprint the following article, we consulted a friend involved with budget matters in the Pentagon. We were assured of the rightness of the following arguments when our Pentagon contact agreed with the position of Ministry Values.

We have been "hawks" all of our lives, but there is no question that playing policeman, banker, and Santa Claus to the whole world is bankrupting our country.

Ministryvalues.com Catholic anti-war mission - Peace and fiscal responsibility will make America strong


From MinistryValues.com

By Stephen K. Ryan

The United State's involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq is not about safe guarding the American people and protecting lives - it is about MONEY, it's about the looting of our nation's wealth by corporate arms-merchants, it's about careers, and getting the American tax payers to fund the perpetual war machine -no questions asked. Ministryvalues.com does not need nor want the American Military to continue to spend billions and billions of dollars fighting illiterate tribesman. It is a waste of our country's treasure.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recently announced that "Increasing health care costs, a top-heavy uniformed and civilian management force, and big-ticket weapons systems are swelling the military's budget at an "unsustainable" rate. The gusher has been turned off, and will stay off for a good period of time."

The gusher has been turned off, and will stay off for a good period of time? That is a remarkable statement of excess and waste but it seems that American citizens of all stripes, Red State/Blue State, Christians and Catholics from both the Left and Right, don't really seem to care.

The point that is missed by the main stream press as well is the complete lack of outrage at this admission. The United States tax payer has handed over a blank check to the leaders of our Armed Services with no strings attached and have gotten virtullay nothing in return except a higher national debt. According to the Washington Post, The United States Department of Defense, for the last ten years, has blown billions of dollars buying anything and everything that could be dreamed up by military "consultants" regardless of its military effectiveness and value.

What troubles us is the United States military has not only admitted to its foolish and outrageous spending but has now essentially admitted that its spending spree has ironically put the United States in a postures of weakness due to country's deteriorating financial position.

This is an astonishing admission by military top brass yet the main stream press has simply allowed those in charge of protecting our country to get away with a "My Bad".

Where is the outrage by baby boomers, college students, people of faith and the "greatest generation" who fought WWII.

Often, on the same day, in the same paper, American citizens will encounter news articles about the cost of fighting the war in Afghanistan right next to articles about our bankrupt social security and medicare programs. Nobody seems to grasp that the United States Military today is spending the entitlements promised to us in our future. Baby Boomers are going to wake up soon, ala Greece, with the shocking news that their social security benefits are going to be cut or their retirement age extended.

Ministryvalues.com is no pacifist, quite the contray, we are realists and we are convinced that runaway spending on war toys and military careers is making the United States weaker not stronger. We are outraged at the irresponisiblity of our Congress, the White house and the Department of Defense.

The Washington Post recently reported: "Tall concrete blast walls, like those that surround the Green Zone, are seemingly everywhere. Checkpoints supervised by U.S. soldiers have been erected on all major roads leading into the city. Residents are being urged to apply for new identification cards that require them to have their retinas scanned and their fingerprints records "If you don't have control of the population, you can't secure the population," said Brig. Gen. Frederick Hodges, director of operations for the NATO regional command in southern Afghanistan. General Hodges sounds like Robert "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" Duval in Apocalypse Now rounding up gooks in a Vietnam village.

We read the article and thought: "eye scans for illiterate people that ride donkeys?' We are paying for this? We are paying millions of dollars for some program that will be long forgotten in a couple of years while our local governments shut down their school music programs. Hilary Clinton is building the most expensive embassy in history , in Iraq, and children in U.S. public schools have to pay new "fees" to keep their after school acitivities and sports programs running. This mind set of the Defense industry is the mind set of an irresponsible teenage girl on a shopping spree with daddy's credit card and it is bankrupting the United States of America and nobody seems to be paying attention. Ministryvalues.com hopes to change that.

We hope to be the most visible Catholic site in the United States dedicated to peace, and an end to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq before American defense officials spend the United States into oblivion. Ministryvalues.com believes a financially strong America is a strong America.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Files Prove Pentagon is Profiling Reporters


From Stars and Stripes


Contrary to the insistence of Pentagon officials this week that they are not rating the work of reporters covering U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Stars and Stripes has obtained documents that prove that reporters’ coverage is being graded as “positive,” “neutral” or “negative.”

Moreover, the documents — recent confidential profiles of the work of individual reporters prepared by a Pentagon contractor — indicate that the ratings are intended to help Pentagon image-makers manipulate the types of stories that reporters produce while they are embedded with U.S. troops in Afghanistan.



This pie chart was extracted from a report by The Rendon Group, evaluating the focus of coverage by a reporter for a major U.S. newspaper. It indicates the firm’s conclusion that the reporter’s coverage was 83.33 percent neutral and 16.67 percent negative in relation to the military’s mission objectives.

One reporter on the staff of one of America’s pre-eminent newspapers is rated in a Pentagon report as “neutral to positive” in his coverage of the U.S. military. Any negative stories he writes “could possibly be neutralized” by feeding him mitigating quotes from military officials.

Another reporter, from a TV station, provides coverage from a “subjective angle,” according to his Pentagon profile. Steering him toward covering “the positive work of a successful operation” could “result in favorable coverage.”

The new revelations of the Pentagon’s attempts to shape war coverage come as senior Defense Department officials are acknowledging increasing concern over recent opinion polls showing declining popular American support for the Afghan war.

“The purpose of this memo is to provide an assessment of [a reporter from a major U.S. newspaper] … in order to gauge the expected sentiment of his work while on an embed mission in Afghanistan,” reads the preamble to one of the reporter profiles prepared for the Pentagon by The Rendon Group, a controversial Washington-based public relations firm.


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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Afghanistan: US Military Burns Bibles for Fear They'd Be Used to Convert Muslims


From Jihad Watch

Crusaders at work. "Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan," from CNN, May 20 (thanks to Kapil):

(CNN) -- Military personnel threw away, and ultimately burned, confiscated Bibles that were printed in the two most common Afghan languages amid concern they would be used to try to convert Afghans, a Defense Department spokesman said Tuesday.

The unsolicited Bibles sent by a church in the United States were confiscated about a year ago at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan because military rules forbid troops of any religion from proselytizing while deployed there, Lt. Col. Mark Wright said.

Such religious outreach can endanger American troops and civilians in the devoutly Muslim nation, Wright said.

"The decision was made that it was a 'force protection' measure to throw them away, because, if they did get out, it could be perceived by Afghans that the U.S. government or the U.S. military was trying to convert Muslims," Wright told CNN on Tuesday.

Troops at posts in war zones are required to burn their trash, Wright said.

The Bibles were written in the languages Pashto and Dari.

This decision came to light recently, after the Al Jazeera English network aired video of a group prayer service and chapel sermon that a reporter said suggested U.S. troops were being encouraged to spread Christianity....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Obama Wants Bush War Team To Stay


From the Washington Times
By Bill Gertz

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is asking many of the Bush administration's 250 Pentagon political appointees to remain on the job until the incoming Obama administration finds replacements -- a move designed to prevent a leadership vacuum with U.S. troops engaged in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The unusual request by Mr. Gates, whom President-elect Barack Obama has asked to continue in his Cabinet post, ensures that key policy positions will not be left to "acting" subordinates as typically occurs when political appointees are directed to resign during a presidential transition.

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