This weekend, I was able to see Why We Fight (realplayer version available here), the 2005 Cannes Grand Jury Prize winning documentary. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it as it explains the reasons we have gone to war, not just in Iraq, but in every military excursion of the last half century.(Go watch it now. I'll be here when you're done)
The rise of communism following the end of WWII gave an oppurtunity for the growth of the military-industrial complex, the enforcer arm of the corpocracy. It has since tightened it's grip on the Congress, buying candidates who shovel money back into the companies which then open factories creating jobs in the congressperson's district. It was a good scam, allowing the US to outspend all other counntries combined. But alas, it was too good, and communism fell. How to justify immense defense spending now?
The neocons had a plan, they knew that the one thing, aside from blood and money, that feeds the war machine is oil. Unfortunately, we are depleting our own oil supplies as the world heads into peak oil. The bulk of the world's remaining supply is in a region of our planet hostile to and wary of US duplicity. In order to rebuild and recast America as the world's only remaining superpower, we needed to guarantee unfettered access to that oil. All we needed to get the American television-watcher behind their nefarious scheme was, as they clearly put it, a "New Pearl Harbor".
Fast forward to 2001, and the neocons are in the White House, with the means and ability to implement their grand design, when all of a sudden, they get their "New Pearl Harbor". Coincidence? I'll leave that up to you to decide, but somewhere someone gets a better idea. Homeland security.
The difference between the USSR and alQaeda is the USSR and the US only fought proxy wars, we never confronted them head to head. Although the prospect of nuclear annihilation at the hands of the Soviets loomed over our heads through out most of our formative years ( great to use as an excuse to get stoned or get someone in the sack :"We could all be nuked tomorrow so let's live for today!"), we never were attacked on our own soil. That all changed. And somewhere, someone said, "Maybe we could use this to our advantage".
So we were urged to purchase duct tape and plastic sheeting. We were told that our mail, our electronic communications, even our bank accounts needed to be constantly monitored, because now the presumption of innocence has been replaced by the presumption of guilt. We could all be aiding "the terrorists".
To aid in the constant surveillance of Americans, a new eapon has been introduced:the HAA, or High Altitude Airship, a $40 million ka-ching for Lockheed Martin, who are expanding their work in defense to include spying on American citizens. What does the HAA do? According to the Athens News:
It is essentially another blimp. A giant one. Seventeen times the size of the Goodyear dirigible.It's designed to float 12 miles above the earth, far above planes and weather systems. It will be powered by solar energy, and will stay in a geocentric orbit for up to a year, undetectable by ground-based radar. You can't see it from the ground. But it can see you...
According to a summary released by the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, the HAA can watch over a circle of countryside 600 miles in diameter. That's everything between Toledo and New York City. And they want to build 11. With high-res cameras, that could mean constant surveillance of every square inch of American soil. "If you had a fleet of them, this could be used for border surveillance," suggests Dunlap.
So there you have it, the latest niche for the corpocracy to exploit. You can sleep better at night knowing that your tac dollars are being used to watch you. Constantly. And as long as there's money to be made spying on it's own people, you can rely on the people who have come up with creative ways to kill you to invent creative ways to watch you, forever.