Feb 09 2015
GUEST: Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who is a regular columnist for Truthdig.
Although the United States spends more money on its military than any other nation in the world, President Obama has deemed its budget to be insufficient. The President would like to increase the Pentagon’s budget by $38 billion more than what is currently allowed under US law. He has asked Congress to remove the spending caps imposed by sequestration to boost the military budget to a whopping $534 billion for the fiscal year. This monumental sum would not include an additional $51 billion to maintain military operations in Iraq and Syria and the continued US presence in Afghanistan.
Much of the money is going to fund proxy wars around the globe. The US is training and arming Sunni tribal groups in Iraq to fight ISIS and considering supplying weapons to the Ukrainian military against Russia. Drone strikes continue to take their toll in Yemen after a Yemeni al Qaeda affiliate took responsibility for orchestrating the attacks which killed 17 people at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Also at work are double standards apparently to most of the rest of the world. Western hypocrisy denounced the French massacre as an affront to the rights of free speech, while simultaneously surveilling and suppressing the speech of their own citizens in the name of fighting ‘terror’. US interests in Saudi Arabia were evident when Secretary of State Kerry praised deceased King Abdullah whose human rights record rivals that of ISIS. Meanwhile, a jingoistic film called ‘American Sniper’ which glorifies killing and demonizes Muslims with virtually no historical context has come close to breaking US box office records.
GUEST: Chris Hedges is also a Senior Fellow at The Nation Institute Hedges was a foreign correspondent with the New York Times for close to two decades and has written a number of books. His most recent is Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt with Joe Sacco.
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