Monday, October 22, 2007

Failure by Design

Sometimes it is good to sit down and look at the design of manufactured wars especially when it comes to the paths we took that led us to the insanity of the U.S. invasion of the Middle East. In the year 1961 Dwight D. Eisenhower made his famous military industrial complex speech where Eisenhower warned of the dangers that were inherent in the post WWII development of the military industrial complex.

The salient part of the speech I have copied below.

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 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.

No matter your opinion of Eisenhower there is no doubt that he was quite correct and that his warnings were not frivolous. Today there have been 3,018 publicly reported defense contracts totaling at over a staggering 216 billion dollars since October of 2006. Some of the major players are Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Boeing, and McDonnell Douglas.

This is hardly chump change so the stakes are high. This would be a good time to review the history of the Department of Defense which in actuality is the Department of War especially when you consider U.S. history since the end of the cold war. The Department of War was created in 1789 which was renamed as the Department of Defense in 1949, so it would be good to keep in mind that when we say defense, we mean war. And indeed we have not been attacked since WWII unless you consider 9/11 but that was not an attack by any nation state which of course is why Bush must tell us we are waging a war against terror, there is no nation called terror on any global map.

The energy industry has also played a role in our path to the Middle East. Indeed most of Bush’s cabinet has some connection to the energy industry, so much so that it might not be too much of a stretch to infer that the energy industry along with so-called defense industry (war industry) is in charge of our foreign policy if it can thusly be dignified with that name. For really you could say that when we say foreign policy what we really mean is the use of brute force or the threat of brute force. From East Timor to the Middle East it has been a bloody path, and one that is paved with enormous amounts of cash for the war industry and energy industries.

Really the only way to make sense out of this is to follow the money. Never mind the flag waving rhetoric used by our government and its lackeys and stooges in the news media of which there is no shortage on both sides of the isle liberal and conservative alike. War is and always has been about the gain of something tangible -- be it goods or money. In fact anthropologists will tell you that all wars are about the build up of goods by one country needed by another and Iraq has been no exception to this rule nor will Iran when the time comes to pulverize that nation and there is little doubt that that time is near at hand.

I believe it is important to keep these things in mind because it explains much. Some cannot understand why the Democratic Party has not ended the occupation of Iraq, ended the torture of prisoners, or done anything substantial to block the rising police state in America. Some cannot understand the true nature of Bush’s supposed failure in Iraq. The answer is that these are failures by design or put more simply they are successes not failures at all. If you desire to suck a nation dry of its life blood would you want it to have a strong government? Would you want the inhabitants to be prosperous and comfortable? Of course not for if you had to deal with a strong government you would not be able to grab the prize and if the inhabitants were prosperous they would have the time and energy to fight you more efficiently, no, you are much better off with a nation in disarray and a weak government. And as for bringing the troops home why would you do this if you were planning to attack Iran? As for the “failures” of the Democratic Party I believe that
Chalmers Johnson put it quite succinctly in his recent essay at Tom Dispatch the most important part of which I have put below emphasis added.

With this book, Stephen Holmes largely succeeds in elevating criticism of contemporary American imperialism in the Middle East to a new level. In my opinion, however, he underplays the roles of American imperialism and militarism in exploiting the 9/11 crisis to serve vested interests in the military-industrial complex, the petroleum industry, and the military establishment. Holmes leaves the false impression that the political system of the United States is capable of a successful course correction. But, as Andrew Bacevich, author of The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War, puts it: "None of the Democrats vying to replace President Bush is doing so with the promise of reviving the system of checks and balances…. The aim of the party out of power is not to cut the presidency down to size but to seize it, not to reduce the prerogatives of the executive branch but to regain them."