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 is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Dwight D. Eisenhower

We have not yet heeded his words on the military-industrial complex.

I must preface this with one simple sentence: If you believe that this is an attack on the soldiers who have sworn an oath to defend their nation, you are sorely mistaken.

War is a racket. It is at first... an economic enterprise. If you disagree with me, perhaps you should read the words of Smedley Butler. Smedley Butler was a Marine’s Marine. He received the medal of honor... twice. If ever there was a man that deserved to have an opinion on what war is, it was Smedley Butler.

"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National city Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested."

He wrote that in 1935 in the --shock horror-- socialist newspaper "Common Sense".

Now, as a rule, I despise socialism on an equal footing with fascism. I feel that both are out of line with the natural equilibrium of the human condition. Of course, I say this not in a cave shivering in front of a fire while working a piece of flint into a spearhead, but in a home while wearing synthetic fabrics and typing on a keyboard made of plastic.

So, some perspective is inherent in my world view.

Any ways, all of this goes back to my rejection of the concept of the state as a natural and inextricable condition inherent within humanity’s blueprint.

It really isn’t.

Oh, and please don’t think that I am some sort of a pacifist. War is first and foremost an economic enterprise because we are first and foremost a species obsessed with economy. The question is not whether or not we should be prepared to commit war and to indeed, carry out our preparation.

The question is...

"Cui Bono?" in Latin, or "Who benefits" in English. We’ve spent nearly a trillion dollars on these wars. That money did not just burn up in the muzzle fire of a rifle or out of the tailpipe of a HumVee. Oh, and by the way... I believe that the military, due to the inherent security concerns of fueling up in a war zone, is around eighty dollars a gallon. Probably more. I heard that factoid in passing months ago.

Corporations, in many cases, multinational corporations... are profiting heavily off of these wars. Think about this. We are the United States of America. We have kicked the ass of the British, twice. The Spanish lost almost their entire empire in an eyeblink. The entire continent of Europe and the myriad land masses of the Pacific were liberated in less time than the amount of time we have spent in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yet we are mired in a country the size and population of California, and can’t find a six foot two inch guy on dialysis in a country with four electrical outlets?

No human organization can naturally be that incompetent. We are still fighting these wars for a reason.

I will let you come to your own conclusion as to what that or those reasons are.

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