Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/04/10/trumps-own-military-west-point-mafia
The War Machine keeps turning, but the American Human Experience grinds to a halt.
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower
I met some good Pointyheads in my time in the service, some of whom I still call friend after all these years. But by and large, most of the Army despised the little bastards. The privileges they were accorded far outstripped any merit. And they were the only officers that could routinely “fail up”, in ways even the best OCS or ROTC leaders couldn’t even dream of.
Just one more example of the power of exclusivity in elite institutions. And the corruption that usually attends in those places.
Good analogy David.
I always wonder how many innocent people Danny killed, or if he didn’t kill any personally how many he cowardly targeted for others to senselessly kill. Danny. You were there illegally, following illegal orders. You are a war criminal, Danny. No way around it, no way out of it. Why are you still alive? Allow me to answer for you. Because you are a coward whom has no sense of honor, no sense of ethics, and obviously little sense of self awareness. Why do you even bother to write these columns? Is it out of some sort of longing for redemption? Sorry pal. You killed the innocents in an illegal war.
Ike was right. If only we had listened.
Your statement is very harsh, but very true, and nowhere near as harsh as those who went to Afghanistan, Iraq, other places to kill, and those who stayed behind but supported them.
I disagree about semantics in the case of one word: honor. Sjursen was honorable when he helped kill millions in war. (As war is a group effort, he deserves a share of “credit” for all who died due to their wars, whether in combat or as a result of destruction of the public health systems and economies. Two million is a lowball estimate of war associated mortality in target countries.) Honor is a word associated with noble, lord, gentleman, lady, chivalry. It is reserved for aristocracy and those who faithfully serve them, or in more modern times, those who replaced aristocracy in power and exploiting and killing those without it. In US history, the archetype of an honorable person is the southern gentleman who owned a plantation and slaves, epitomized by Robert E. Lee who killed many of his white fellow citizens to note only perpetuate but to expand slavery to the west. (I note that ten years or so ago, Lee was one of the most admired men in US military history by the cadets at West Point.) The Nazi minions who carried out the Holocaust were also honorable: they obeyed authority. I also note that the jury system was created because judges were honorable, and not worthy of trust by common people, at least until they had proved it; no wonder so many US Supreme Court judges have produced truly evil decisions of which many have been in clear violation of the US Constitution.
Ike’s speech was well noted; it came near the end of his second term. His cross of iron speech, near the beginning of his first term, noted much of the same.
“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.”
But, actions speak louder than words, it is said; also in war, the first casualty is the truth. Ike presided over the establishment of the military-industrial complex as a permanent fixture in USA, led USSR into following US into making larger and larger nuclear weapons and development of intermediate range, fire and forget, nuclear armed missiles, personally initiated the Turko-Cuban missile crisis by placing Jupiter IRBMs in Turkey, and started the preparation for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. He even drafted Elvis in peacetime.
Ike was just covering his ass so the press and historians could con the gullible public.