Retired United States Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who was chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell in the George W. Bush administration, explains in a new interview the reason he believes the US president “can do anything he pleases with regard to the armed forces of the United States anytime he pleases.” That reason, says Wilkerson in a The Real News Interview with host Sharmini Peries, “is because the American people are apathetic” and “their representatives in the Congress are … cowards” who, but for “few exceptions like [Sen.] Mike Lee [(R-UT)] and [Sen.] Bernie Sanders [(I-VT)] and some of the others,” will not do anything to restrain such exercise of presidential power.
Commercial interests related to oil and gas, further argues Wilkerson, who is a professor at the College of William & Mary, are “at the bottom of” why the US would intervene various places overseas including in the Middle East and Afghanistan. Presenting other reasons for the US intervention, says Wilkerson, “is just lying to the American people.” But, he continues, the US has a long history of lying to justify intervention, giving the examples of the Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan wars.
“All that is nonsense,” exclaims Wilkerson, in regard to reasons such as “this is for freedom, this is for democracy, this is to stop the use of chemical weapons” that a president may offer to justify military interventions. Instead, Wilkerson concludes that Smedley Butler had it right in explaining the purpose is advancing commercial interests. And looking to the missiles launched into Syria a few days ago and the ongoing US-backed war against Yemen, Wilkerson identifies benefit flowing to Raytheon that makes weapons including missiles, as well as other weapons manufacturers. Summing up this situation, Wilkerson declares, “You could say we are killing people in the world for Raytheon and DOD [(the Department of Defense)].”
Watch Wilkerson’s complete interview here:
Wilkerson is a member of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Academic Board.
Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.