Permanently Geared To War…..

Source: Presidential campaign inevitably boosts war with Iran –

This should be a very somber topic for all of us but given the Republican presidential candidates it seems to be otherwise. The eagerness to go to war is far too dominant in those folks. One thing I am very disappointed in President Obama is his war stances. They were pretty much the opposite of what he campaigned on. He seems to be just one of the gang now; the change mantra has all but disappeared. Here are some stark words from the source article:

The truth is, Americans are not a peace-loving people. We pretend otherwise because it seems wrong to admit that the United States is a nation that has mostly benefited from war. We were not like the contented Canadians, who patiently waited for the Mother Country to bestow self-government. We went to war and tossed the British out. Through one war with Mexico and relentless wars with Indian tribes, we became a country that spanned a continent. The Spanish-American War and the First World War marked our arrival on the world stage. And the Second World War left us as one of the two preeminent powers on the planet…..

Put in less idealistic terms, our country is a national security state built on the vast military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us about. Our government and our economy are permanently geared up for war, and very few Americans can remember a time when this was not so. It’s hard to imagine any president resisting the temptation to use this awesome force and even harder to imagine that a majority of Americans would ever elect a man who would.

These are very somber but true words about our country that we all need to recognize. President Eisenhower, who was one of the most famous generals in our history warned us in the 1950s that if we did not fend it off we were headed toward an uncontrollable military-industrial complex. It seems that very few of our leaders since that time have heeded his words. Our military has eaten up a large portion of our tax dollars.  The vast majority of it goes to the weapons providers, not the kids who are din uniform. It doesn’t seem to matter if we are in a full scale war at the time or not the Pentagon constantly insist that to “keep us safe” they must have more and more.

The best thing that was done after defeating Japan in World War II was to dictate to them that they could not have a standing army.  The perhaps unintended consequence of that action was to allow them to put that money into their civilian industry that would  a mere twenty years later threaten our economic dominance. Most countries in the world realize that if they spend on a war machine they have to take the money from somewhere else to make that happen.  Instead of spending on weapons most other industrialized countries have chosen to spend it on their citizens, many in the form of universal healthcare among other things. We could have done likewise but chose a different more destructive path. It is not too late to change our minds…

But what do I know…

2 thoughts on “Permanently Geared To War…..

  1. By dictating that Japan have no standing Army, we committed ourselves to defending them. How do we get out of defending Everyone? We will bomb Iran for Israel? We put battle ships off the cost of China to defend Tiawan?
    I would love to see the military fade into the background. Do you think it is possible to have lastly peace without one? How does one tame a bully without threat? The indigenous people of Sudan are wiped put. And what happens if it breaks down and neighborhood watch carries guns to ” defend themself” and you grandchild goes down the wrong street? It is a mess. I really don’t know.
    If only everyone could have the same values.


  2. Hi Jan, welcome back. I am not proposing that we do away with all military power. Of course we need to maintain a force to keep sanity in the world. I am mainly asking why the U.S. must carry the overwhelming majority of the forces. There are other industrialized countries that can carry a far bigger weight than they presently are.
    I can’t understand why regional conflicts can’t remain just that. Why don’t others in the “neighborhood” help their neighbors. Why must our young men go to the ends of the earth to do it when someone right next door could just as easily accomplish the task.
    But I am saying that all countries, particularly the U.S. and maybe Israel seem to use military might as the first tool instead of the last option.


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