These days, lamenting the apparently aimless character of Washington’s military operations in the Greater Middle East has become conventional wisdom among administration critics of every sort. Senator John McCain thunders that “this president has no strategy to successfully reverse the tide of slaughter and mayhem” in that region.
Lesson learned from letting the Viet Nam occupation end: Eternal war and occupation equals eternal revenue for the military industrial complex.
Cross of Iron Speech
-- Address by President Dwight D. Eisenhower "The Chance for Peace" delivered before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April 16,1953.
What can the world, or any nation in it, hope for if no turning is found on this dread road?
The worst to be feared and the best to be expected can be simply stated.
The worst is atomic war.
The best would be this: a life of perpetual fear and tension; a burden of arms draining the wealthand the labor of all peoples; a wasting of strength that defies the American system or the Soviet system or any system to achieve true abundance and happiness for the peoples of this earth.
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
This world in arms in not spending money alone.
It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.
It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.
It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.
It is some 50 miles of concrete highway.
We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat.
We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.
This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.
This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
Military-Industrial Complex Speech
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961
A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.
Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.
Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
Yes, and Obama really "kept the money flowing" with his trillion dollar nuke weapons upgrade....the "progressive" liar that never was....just another corporate war-whore dedicated to big-money, banker & wall street usury, corrupt politics, and business as usual. Yet another DINO sellout and war-criminal among so many others.........his chosen successor, Hillary Clinton, who also never met a war, coup, or "destabilization" she didn't like or society that shouldn't be destroyed by US aggression!
IF human beings survive this grotesquely mismanaged era and there is any history left to tell, the leaders will be crucified for their bankrupt values. Instead of commandeering all the manpower, engineering skill, and inventive savvy at humanity's disposal and investing in these assets (to offsets global catastrophic heating)... those frozen adolescent males who behold the world as little more than games of warfare, have stolen our futures, poisoned our lands, and insisted upon a narrative that is utterly insane, or better put: M.A.D.
Here is the proof of THEIR depravity:
"The U.S. is currently in the process of planning for the construction of a new fleet of nuclear submarines loaded with new intercontinental nuclear missiles, while simultaneously creating a new land-based intercontinental missile, a new strategic nuclear bomber, a new land-and-sea-based tactical nuclear fighter plane, a new long-range nuclear cruise missile (which, as recently as 2010, the Obama administration explicitly promised not to develop), at least three nuclear warheads that are essentially new designs, and new fuses for existing warheads. In addition, new nuclear command-and-control systems are under development for a fleet of satellites (costing up to $1 billion each) designed to make the business of fighting a nuclear war more practical and manageable."
IF the news accurately reported on events, if those who fixed cases for Aggressor War were held to account for their crimes, and if actual, verifiable referendums were taken on THESE incentives; and as a result of these 3 factors, majorities favored the above financial priorities, then, the usual "We" squad (and/or the squad in place to blame voters) would have a modicum of accuracy to their indictment.
As things stand, most of humanity is held hostage by thugs with fancy guns and weapon systems. Elections are illegitimate. With rare exceptions, the courts serve the oligarchic class... and arteries of redress are almost impossible to come by.
Eternal is a bit too romantic. Consistent is a better term since those committed to absolute destruction may well fulfill their mission. That would seriously challenge the frame of "eternal."
Thanks Mountain Man.
This nation is in desperate need of some high quality guidance at the top.
Too fucking bad we won't be getting it now that Bernie has conceded.
Thanks! Great link. I've read a lot of Asimov, but missed that one.
Did you ever read Heinlein's Revolt in 2100? It is excellent and points a direction this country could well wind up taking. Brrrr!