The discussion to follow borrows from several resources, summarized at You Deserve Facts:
1. Freedom House: Determinations of national 'freedom' based on political rights and civil liberties.
2. Democracy Index: Classification of nations as 24 full democracies, 50 flawed democracies, 35 hybrid regimes and 36 authoritarian regimes. States without militarization rankings and arms transfer data were excluded.
3. Global Militarization Index: The relative weight and importance of the military apparatus of one state in relation to its society as a whole.
There seems to be a hidden assumption in this piece, that is, if young recruits were only told about the horrors of war, both physical and emotional, they might not join the military, problem solved. Now, if the young refuse to join the military, will the military disappear? Of course not. If armies are to exist, in democracies, they are only legitimate if they are citizen armies, brought into existence by military draft by lottery. A brilliant Senator, from Arkansas, disturbed by the militarization of American culture, wrote an important book setting forth his notions on how to begin to reign in militarization, his name J. William Fulbright, the book “The Pentagon Propaganda Machine,” here’s a pertinent quote:
“There seems to be a lack of concern among too many people about the state of the nation, and a too easy acceptance of policies and actions of a kind that a generation ago would have appalled the citizenry. The apparent broad acceptance of the “volunteer army” idea comes to mind- a concept completely at variance with our historic development. Up to now, a blessing of our system has been that those who go into the military service, whether by enlistment or through the draft, could hardly wait to get out. But today, because of the exigencies of the times, there is a chance that we may turn our back on this fundamental principle: a large, standing professional army has no place in this Republic.”
"But the U.S. military, says a special report from the LA Times, “is gradually becoming a separate warrior class…that is becoming increasingly distinct from the public it is charged with protecting.”
That statement is fair and accurate.
Mr. Buchheit does an excellent job of spelling out the ways that the 1% games the financial system to its own advantage; but he would do well to recall the warning issued by President Eisenhower regarding the growing influence of the Military-Industrial Complex.
As I chastise other writers, professional and otherwise, there are solid reasons to object to this frame:
“This, of course, prompts a question about cause and effect: Do our arms sales contribute to increased militarization of other countries, or does the militarization encourage more business with the United States? Either way, our behavior is unconscionable.”
WHOSE arms sales, Mr. Buchheit? War profiteers and weapons manufacturers hardly represent The People of the United States. Heck, most have polled opposition to many of these expenditures as if they’re asked for their opinions at all.
Millions of people recognize the canard of National Security for what it is. Millions also realize that 911 was a false trigger used to make wars where none were needed.
I OBJECT to this idea that what private ARMS salesmen and ARMS manufacturers manage to do somehow speaks to the nation’s civilian population.
Bah, friggin humbug!
This was the worst essay of yours ever published by Commondreams.
Those who make for a seamlessness between the MIC and The People argue, wittingly or otherwise, FOR the Fourth Reich! The citizens and the military are NOT one in the same!
Democracy Index calls three of them “authoritarian regimes”
Yes, and The Economist’s “DemocracyPlutocracy Index” calls countries where the media and the politicians are owned by the money as “Full Democracies”. This gives “The Economist” far too much respect. I do hope the next article that I read does not refer to “The Empires humanitarianpoodle index”.
Thanks Siouxrose for reminding me to read and write carefully. In the early years of the Iraq War (not over yet), there was an anti-war campaign called “not in our name”. This was people trying to stand apart from their congresspersons to say that they did not support the vote authorizing the use of military force by the president. This is important even though the opinions of powerless individuals will not protect them from the consequences of total war. The author should have chosen his words more carefully to name those on which the responsibility lies. In my dreams, I consider how wonderful it would be if the individuals selling weapons, their companies, and their wealth was common knowledge repeated constantly so citizens of the USA would understand how it is that nations that do not make their own weapons are able to have the latest weaponry and how powerless US citizens are to stop it, no matter how much they hope for peace. The absence of war only happens in the absence of weapons. What a dreamer!
" Over a third of American troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have been diagnosed with some sort of mental disorders, more often than not the youngest soldiers, little more than children. Veterans are much more likely than other citizens to be unemployed, or, much worse, to commit suicide. And tens of thousands of homeless veterans are walking the streets."
Come home damaged and they will make you a cop. When you allow your country to send evil out into the world, evil will be returned to you.
“Today Americans would be outraged if UN troops entered Los Angeles to restore order; tomorrow they will be grateful. This is especially true if they were told there was an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead with world leaders to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well being granted to them by their world government.”
Henry Kissinger speaking at the annual Bilderberger meeting, May 21, 1992
“I can think of no faster way to unite the American people behind George W. Bush than a terrorist attack on an American target overseas. And I believe George W. Bush will quickly unite the American people through his foreign policy.”
Outstanding quote natureboy; That’s what I call the Smoking Gun.
But old Dr. StrangeKiss was wrong. The Vinnell Mercenary Company and others controlled by the Bush Family/Carlyle Group and shady companies owned by TRW and Lockheed that were used to train all the killers in the Mid East for the Saudis, who most likely are the same ones who attacked the US Embassies in 1998, and the fishy U.S.S. Cole attack, failed to make warmongers out of the U.S. Public. So Dr Strangelove and PNAC decided to attack the buildings which were already investigating them in New York on 911.
There’s now enough circumstantial evidence to make that conclusion, imho.
On September 11, 2001, Baker was at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington DC, for the annual investor conference of the Carlyle Group. Also present with Baker was Carlucci, "representatives of the bin Laden family,” and George H. W. Bush. Carlyle had been doing business with the bin Laden family since the early 1990s.
Baker’s grandfather started the law firm Baker Botts, which had offices in Saudi Arabia and which, after 9/11, represented the Saudi Arabian government in a lawsuit filed by families of those killed and injured in the attacks. The Saudi connection is interesting considering that Carlyle owned, through BDM International, the Vinnell Corporation, a mercenary operation that had extensive contracts in the Middle East since 1975, training the Saudi Arabian National Guard and also training Turkish security forces.
Vinnell was considered “by some experts to be a CIA front.” Of course Frank Carlucci was Deputy Director of the CIA, and George H.W. Bush, who was Baker’s boss for many years, was in the CIA for a majority of his career. Perhaps as a result, in 1995 Vinnell was reported to be one of the first targets of al Qaeda, in Saudi Arabia.
BDM, Vinnell’s parent company, was sold to TRW in 1997. Directors at BDM at the time included Carlyle Group executives and a former assistant to Henry Kissinger, Philip Odeen, who went on to become the CEO of TRW. Directors at TRW at the same time included Robert M. Gates, former Director of Central Intelligence and current Secretary of Defense. Arden Bement, who was appointed by George W. Bush to lead the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) one month after the 9/11 attacks, had left his position as TRW Vice President in 1992, moving to Purdue University in the interim.
In 1998, at the time that Barry McDaniel moved to Stratesec, TRW merged with Lockheed Martin, the company that sub-contracted the WTC security job to Ensec. Stratesec and Ensec, along with E.J. Electric and Electronic Systems Associates, worked to build the security system that was in place at the WTC when the buildings were destroyed. All four of these companies had done significant work in Saudi Arabia before working at the WTC.
Marvin Bush was a director of Stratesec from 1993 to 2000. It was during that time that Kroll and Stratesec planned and executed the extensive rebuilding of the security systems at the WTC complex. As his stint with Stratesec ended, Marvin Bush became a principal in the company HCC Insurance, one of the insurance carriers for the World Trade Center.
Marvin Bush was the cofounder of Winston Partners in 1993, a company that benefited greatly from the War on Terror. In 2000, Winston Partners invested heavily in a defense contractor called AMSEC that was 55% owned by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). It has been noted that SAIC was not only a major contributor to the NIST WTC report, it was also a company that had expertise in nanothermites, explosive materials which were found in the WTC dust as mentioned earlier.
Founded by a scientist from Los Alamos National Laboratory, SAIC had a long history at the WTC, having evaluated the basement levels of the buildings as a potential terrorist target in 1986. Interestingly, the company was hired to investigate the 1993 bombing of the WTC, an event that was “remarkably like the one which” they had foreseen in 1986. In fact, SAIC later boasted that — “After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, our blast analyses produced tangible results that helped identify those responsible.”
After 9/11, SAIC supplied the largest contingent of non-governmental investigators to the WTC investigation conducted NIST. At the same time, “SAIC personnel were instrumental in pressing the case that weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, and that war was the only way to get rid of them.”
SAIC was also a pioneer in the intelligence contracting business, as a founding member of the Security Affairs Support Association in 1979, along with companies like TRW, Booz Allen Hamilton, Lockheed and Hughes Aircraft. A special taskforce of the Defense Science Board, which was led in 1993 by BDM’s Philip Odeen, recommended a vast increase in the outsourcing of intelligence, which all these companies ended up benefiting from greatly.
Today a majority of government intelligence work is outsourced, and SAIC is known first and foremost as an intelligence contractor. SAIC sells expertise about weapons, about homeland security, about surveillance, about computer systems, about “information dominance” and “information warfare,” and has been awarded more individual government contracts than any other private company in America. In fact, the company was paid huge sums to rebuild the NSA and FBI systems that supposedly failed before 9/11.
SAIC is integral to the operations of all the major intelligence collection agencies, particularly the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and the CIA. In fact, the CIA relies on SAIC to spy in its own workforce. But SAIC has also played an integral role in the “War on Terror”, and was even responsible for capturing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. It was SAIC staff and technology that “tease[ed] out crucial clues about Mohammed’s activities from intercepted text messages that he sent to his al Qaeda operatives using as many as 20 different cell phones.”
In an interesting coincidence, while the Carlyle/BDM subsidiary Vinnell Corp was training the Saudi Arabian National Guard, SAIC was training the Saudi Navy and bringing Saudi military personnel to company headquarters in San Diego for further study. Simultaneously, Booz Allen Hamilton was managing the Saudi Marine Corps and running the Saudi Armed Forces Staff College. Vinnell now works with SAIC to train the Iraqi military.
SAIC employees or board members have included Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, former Deputy Director of CIA Bobby Ray Inman, former NYC OEM director Jerome Hauer, anthrax attack suspect Stephen Hatfill, former CIA Director John Deutch, and Lawrence B. Prior, a military intelligence officer and former TRW executive. Also formerly with SAIC, during the time of the planning and implementation of the 9/11 attacks, was Dick Cheney’s undersecretary of defense, Duane Andrews.
Duane Andrews considered Dick Cheney to be his personal, lifelong hero. While he worked for Cheney, Andrews supervised Stephen Cambone, who went on to become Donald Rumsfeld’s “special assistant.” When Andrews left the Pentagon in 1993, he became chief operating officer for SAIC, where he supervised “much of the company’s work on secret projects with defense and national security agencies.” Andrews and Cambone both later hired on to the British intelligence firm Qinetiq, along with George Tenet. Coincidentally, The Carlyle Group was a major shareholder in Qinetiq as of February 2003.
“Training, Training, Training???”
We’ve already been down this dishonest Corp/Gov road! We’re ripe for another False-Flag now that BRICS countries have ditched the petro-dollar!
“The MIC puts contracts in every state”. To paraphrase, and a person has a hard time understanding something that their pay-check depends on them not understanding. The web grows and the gnats are caught in it. The US is a military-industrial-security state. Say it, people argue, call you names, shrug. Workers in a small town in northern Michigan sew kevlar vests. It’s way past time to stop the accumulation of undue influence by the so-called defense industry. Sadly it is probably too late to do anything about it.