Happy Birthday Military Industrial Complex
Happy Birthday Military Industrial complex, 50 years ago today President Dwight Eisenhower gave his farewell address where he warned the world of the growing power and insidious influence of the Military Industrial complex.
Now 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 Statehouse, 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.
Eisenhower also noted the social deprivation and distortions the military industrial complex breeds in an earlier speech...
The best would be this: a life of perpetual fear and tension; a burden of arms draining the wealth and 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 is 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 fifty miles of concrete pavement.
We pay for a single fighter plane 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.
...now those were 1952 prices the abomination of technological horrors we mass produce make his numbers seem quaint.
America exemplifies the lust for war driven by corporate profit margins and it's deforming effects on foreign policy. Each year the US hand over billions to Israel for 'military aid' but the majority of the money has to be spent on the American Military Industrial Complex, any US politician brave enough to vote against this obscene corporate welfare quickly finds that any one of the vast factories purposely built in every state will suddenly find their factory closing and their name used as the reason for closure.
The use of 'communism' in South America was the justification to arm vast right wing paramilitary death squads to butcher and kill all for the United Fruit Company while the CIA set up brutal dictator after brutal dictator.
Hilariously in the South American CIA client states, the first economist sent to these dictators was none other than Milton Friedman, who would turn up and suggest ultra right wing free market dogma which in each case failed miserably. Friedman argued citizens wouldn't hand over their education system, health systems, democratic systems without a massive shock, like a CIA coup - and that it was only in the shock that citizens would allow their distributive wealth created social assets to be handed over to corporations. This little discussed history really questions the 'Free Market' when it needs such totalitarian dictatorships to run it with a purity only ever seen gleaming in the eyes of ACT party members.
And let's not forget the CIA backing of Saddam Hussein who received client state level after the CIA's coup in Iran turned nasty. Sure Saddam had weapons, the US sold them to him, and the less said about the blowback from arming Islamic fundamentalists like Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets by proxy without rebuilding the nation once the Soviets left, only increases our collective ignorance about why people fly planes into buildings.
If there is no war going, the Military Industrial Complex finds a war and we all rally around whatever bullshit flag to crow about our freedom and democracy. Afghanistan is about oil and gas pipelines, it has nothing to do with women's rights.
So Happy Birthday Military Industrial Complex and all your insidious influence and evil making in the name of corporate profit share, may Wikileaks one day expose your horror and may public opinion turn on you in every form.