I don’t need another war, how ’bout you? C F C G C
It just ain’t a patriotic thing to do. Am D9 G
They are bleeding us with fiction, F D9
Feeding their addiction C A7
And I do not need a war, how ’bout you? D9 G C C11
Every time I turn around, they want to wage a war, F- C B7 C7
But when the dust has drifted down, I never know the score. Bb C F F#dim C7
I remember when a struggle seemed to be so black and white, Bb Bbm F
But now I fail to find the facts, or know who’s wrong and right. C G – C C11
Every time we tangle with another foreign land, F – C B7 C7
We take treasure of our nation and we turn it into sand. C7 C+ F F#dim C
Weapon makers find it thrilling, as trafficking expands, D9 B7 Em F
Halliburton makes a killing, but the blood is on our hands. Esus E7 Am Esus
We mess with other governments, but cannot stand alone,
Policemen of the world but cannot take care of our own
Our cities facing bankruptcy, we’re now a ship of fools
I heard they’re taking toilet paper out of public schools
You won’t get this analysis from watching TV news,
’cause ABC and XYZ have much too much to lose.
No money for the motherland, falling far behind,
But if bankers smell a war, there’s always money they can find.
Words & Music ©Doug Hendren 2013
Ten years ago, the U.S. entered into war in Iraq and Afghanistan. More recently, we have conducted drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Today we are on the brink of war in Syria, perhaps tomorrow in Iran. Who’s next? This month (September 2013), a disapproving American public may be slowing down a decade of unilateral war making by U.S. presidents. The mainstream press has characterized the American public as “war weary”. Perhaps “war wary” would be more accurate. Here’s why:
How much have Americans spent on war in the past decade? Researchers at Brown University tally the cost of America’s addiction at over 330,000 killed by violence, and $4 Trillion spent and obligated since 2001.
How do we pay for war? Historically, the U.S. has paid for its wars either through debt, taxation or inflation. Although there may be short-term profits for weapons merchants and other war profiteers, the long-term effects of war on the domestic economy are always negative.
What do we have to show for it? Not many among us feel our military adventures since 2001 have made us more secure. They have, however, made us much poorer. The president’s proposed discretionary spending for 2013 was predominantly for military purposes, at a time when we are cutting education, food security and basic needs. As President Eisenhower well understood, labor and resources devoted to war are stolen from stolen from the people of the nation. They enrich a few corporations, which in turn use their riches to exert undue influence over our government, media and policy-making. Military contractors shower tens of millions of dollars on members of Congress, and the Pentagon’s activities have proven beyond the reach even of the Government Accounting Office.
Though not often taught in school, America has been engaging in foreign wars and overturning foreign governments to satisfy commercial interests for a long time, starting with Hawaii in 1893. Stephen Kinzer chronicles these events in “Overthrow” (2006). Eisenhower foresaw the danger of the new military-industrial complex in his 1961 farewell address, and its “potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power” to subvert our democratic process. In recent years, Kurt Vonnegut has diagnosed our national habit in an essay entitled “The Worst Addiction of Them All”. If we are to survive this century of economic and climate challenges, we must learn to take our place as a nation among equal nations, and turn our resources and our national genius away from destruction and domination, and toward generosity and general prosperity.