military industrial complex

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Here’s Phil, in the mountains of Kyushu, Japan, telling it like it is to David Brooks. He’s commenting on David’s Op-Ed, The Larger Struggle, in the July 14, 2010, NYT online..

You really out-do yourself with your nice books with nice theories.

Today, reading another book giving simple views of the world, you summarize its nice simplicities, saying “Under state capitalism, market enterprises exist to earn money to finance the ruling class.” What a hoot this is, as you don’t realize that this is exactly what also happens under the economies you alternatively call democratic capitalism.

In America, in case you don’t know, the schools are failing, the infrastructure crumbling, the need for fast rail and green energy investments going begging, with millions unemployed and underemployed. But those atop Corporate America are fat. The bankers are giving themselves mega-million-dollar bonuses. Industrial Ag fattens on multi-billion-dollar subsidies. The health biz has the nation hostage. The military-industrial complex gets all the wars and all the military bases at home and abroad that it wants. The oil companies grease the national waters by ignoring safety and grease their own profits by making sure the military keeps reliant on mega-consumption for its constant, never-ending wars and provocations to more wars.

You’re reading too many nice books projecting the world into nice, simple theories. So you’re missing how the habits of greed and recklessness that sustain Corporate America make its captains every bit as sinister as those anywhere in the world.

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Need I say more? Yes, it’s the Republicans, including our dear Maine Senators, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, together with Blue Dog Democrats who support those fat leaders atop Corporate America. How can we change this situation? Your guess is as good as mine.

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A number of weeks back, in mid-February in fact, I caught a person named Mark Perry on C-Span II talking about his new book, Partners in Command: George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower in War and Peace. This takes you back to World War II and the efforts to stop Hitler. It seems that Perry thinks highly of both Marshall, a great leader, and Eisenhower, who later became President, and perhaps is best remembered for his warning us about the Military-Industrial complex. The warning wasn’t heeded of course.

But what I’m leading up to is in Perry’s talk, which can be found here, he does not have very much nice to say about war. In fact, at one point he admits that he would now pull all our troops home from overseas spots around the world, and greatly reduce the size of the Military-Industrial complex which, as he says, is way too bloated.

So, here’s basically a conventional military historian saying we should emulate the Ron Pauls, Denis Kucinichs, and Mike Gravels of the world in terms of foreign policy. Pretty radical for an apparent centrist. Of course, this is all in a dream world and won’t happen — I mean the bringing back of our troops from around the world and the slashing of the size of the Pentagon.

Over and out.

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