Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Abusing our soldiers

Some thoughts for starters:
  • The President is abusing our great military by sending them on a fool's errand for cronies.
  • The abuse of our military must stop.
  • A noble force requires a noble mission.
What nemesis, what evil force would compel a government to war? Genocide against other races and an effort to take over all of Europe was not enough to engage this country in World War 2. It took a direct attack on American soil to engage our forces. Now, we see this country engaged in a battle over an imagined threat in which victory has proven elusive - the mission far from accomplished.

In his farewell address, Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us of the dangers of allowing these forces of evil to persuade us that war is a Good Thing:
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.

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. [1]

For the military-industrial complex war is a business frenzy. It is government consumerism run amok. We buy, they grow, and their stockholders are happy. People die. Life in Baghdad sucks. Life in Walter Reed Army Hospital sucks. We could spend more money to improve those things, but we're already strapped for cash paying it to those cronies.

The cronies benefiting in this ignoble mission in which our President has most successfully thrust our country are contractors: Blackwater, Haliburton, and the likes. [2] They, and the gun and plane makers, are to blame for this conflict and for the lives lost because of its undertaking.

Go capitalism! Mission accomplished!

2 comments:

RoseCovered Glasses said...

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

Politicians make no difference.

We have bought into the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). If you would like to read how this happens please see:

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/03/spyagency200703

Through a combination of public apathy and threats by the MIC we have let the SYSTEM get too large. It is now a SYSTEMIC problem and the SYSTEM is out of control. Government and industry are merging and that is very dangerous.

There is no conspiracy. The SYSTEM has gotten so big that those who make it up and run it day to day in industry and government simply are perpetuating their existance.

The politicians rely on them for details and recommendations because they cannot possibly grasp the nuances of the environment and the BIG SYSTEM.

So, the system has to go bust and then be re-scaled, fixed and re-designed to run efficiently and prudently, just like any other big machine that runs poorly or becomes obsolete or dangerous.

This situation will right itself through trauma. I see a government ENRON on the horizon, with an associated house cleaning.

The next president will come and go along with his appointees and politicos. The event to watch is the collapse of the MIC.

For more details see:

http://www.rosecoveredglasses.blogspot.com

Jim said...

Thanks, RoseCovered Glasses, for reading, and for your insightful comments. (In fact, I worked for SAIC from August 2001 to mid-2005, but contracting for EPA - mostly ground-level ozone efforts. I once saw an internal memo soliciting contributions to the SAIC PAC - I bristled.)

The question that naturally follows is this: what will bring down the MIC? The answer is "a lack of funds" (unless you prefer the nuclear annihilation theory). But from where will this lack of funds come? It can either come from the tax base in the form of an economic crash, or from politicians weaning themselves off the system. The former will be more definitive and decisive, but nobody will plan it. The latter will be much too slow for my taste, but if it's fast enough to keep that crash from happening, it's better than the alternative. I would prefer to at least have some faith in politicians to do what's right - and make sure we let them know exactly what we want.