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Robert Scheer: Ike Was Right

Posted on Dec 26, 2006
Iraqi contractors
AP Photo / Khalid Mohammed

A private contractor gestures to colleagues flying over in a helicopter after a roadside bomb attack in Baghdad in 2005.

By Robert Scheer

The public, seeing through the tissue of Bush administration lies told to justify an invasion that never had anything to do with the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 or weapons of mass destruction, now has begun a national questioning: Why are we still in Iraq? The answers posted most widely on the Internet by critics of the war suggest its continuation as a naked imperial grab for the world’s second-largest petroleum source, but that is wrong.

It’s not primarily about the oil; it’s much more about the military-industrial complex, the label employed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower 45 years ago when he warned of the dangers of “a permanent arms industry of vast proportions.”

The Cold War had provided the rationale for the first peacetime creation of a militarized economy. While the former general, Eisenhower, was well aware of the military threat posed by the Soviet Union, he chose in his farewell presidential address to the nation to warn that the war profiteers had an agenda of their own, one that was inimical to the survival of American democracy:

“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.”

Ponder those words as you consider the predominant presence of former Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney in the councils of this White House, and how his old company has profiteered more than any other from the disaster that is Iraq. Despite having been found to have overcharged some $60 million to the U.S. military for fuel deliveries, the formerly bankrupt Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root continues to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in lucrative contracts.

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There is more. Military spending has skyrocketed since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, returning to Cold War levels. A devastating report by the Center for Defense Information, founded by former top-ranking admirals and generals, reveals that in the most recent federal budget overall defense spending will rise to more than $550 billion. Compare that to the $20 billion that the United Nations and all of its agencies and funds spend each year on all of its programs to make this a safer and more livable world.

That U.S. military budget exceeds what the rest of the world’s nations combined spend on defense. Nor can it be justified as militarily necessary to counter terrorists, who used primitive $10 box cutters to commandeer civilian aircraft on 9/11. It only makes sense as a field of dreams for defense contractors and their allies in Washington who seized upon the 9/11 tragedy to invent a new Cold War. Imagine their panic at the end of the old one and their glee at this newfound opportunity.

Yes, some in those circles were also eager to exploit Iraq’s oil wealth, which does explain the abysmal indifference to the deteriorating situation in resource-poor Afghanistan, birthplace of the Sept. 11 plot, while our nation’s resources are squandered in occupying Iraq, which had nothing to do with it.

Yes, some, like Paul Wolfowitz, the genius who was the No. 2 in the U.S. Defense Department and has been rewarded for his leadership with appointment as head of the World Bank, did argue that Iraq’s oil revenue would pay for our imperial adventure. A recent study by Nobel Prize-wining economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and Harvard University’s Linda Bilmes marked that absurdity by estimating the true cost of the Iraq adventure to U.S taxpayers at a whopping $2.267 trillion, in excess of any cost borne by the Iraqis themselves.

The big prize here for Bush’s foreign policy is not the acquisition of natural resources or the enhancement of U.S. security, but rather the lining of the pockets of the defense contractors, the merchants of death who mine our treasury. But because the arms industry is coddled by political parties and the mass media, their antics go largely unnoticed. Our politicians and pundits argue endlessly about a couple of billion dollars that may be spent on improving education or ending poverty, but they casually waste that amount in a few days in Iraq.

As Eisenhower warned: “We should take nothing for granted, only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together. ... We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.”

Too bad we no longer have leading Republicans, or Democrats, warning of that danger.


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By Shaun Stevens, February 12, 2007 at 6:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If America did not realize the real issues in Vietnam that it was a national struggle - that the issues were not negotiable . That if had nothing to do with the “North being intransigent” and that Lyndon Johnson’s horsetrading would be of no avail - then they are totally over their head in Iraq.
Whether one can debate or argue whether they should of gone to Iraq in the first place it can be said that if they were unwares of cultural and philosphical differences in the iraq conflict the issues and battles go all the back to ancient mesopatamia and certainly to post world war 1 with the creation of an artificial country called Iraq by the then powerfull British.
The US has blundered again and again in both cultural, cross cultural and management of lack of management gaffes, mistakes and downright stupidity.
To appoint a woman ambassador to an Arab country ?
Especially one named “April” was not a bright move.  Woman in arab decison making circles of arab societies are considered at a supervisory, management decision making status below dogs.  After all Sadamm would of reasoned before the first gulf conflict . If they were serious they would of sent a man - baker for example.
  Democracy is not the highest form of evolutionary life and management styles in these countried and societies run by dictators and despots. At the best it can be hoped that they be benevolent in their styles and approach to issues and problems along the road .
  Secondly america has this belief in setting up a “policeman” or calvary in the wild untamed west.
The problem again and again is that after a choice then arming and training to be the superpower in the area the management so to speak changes and the arms and power fall into very wrong hands.  Read iran ( first) then Iraq ( second) . Perhaps Saudi was meant to be third but they have a relatively low population and are rather spoiled brats.  However one should not discount that Bin Laden fellow.
  The amazing thing is that while all this discussion going on Iran is racing - hurtling in every means possible towards major weapons - which they intend to use and a culture more than bent on armageddon.
  At least in the cold war the Russians had nuclear weapons as a means of deterence not as a major weapon to wipe everyone else off the map.
  How can the Immans be regarded as good religious people ?

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By Moe Hare, February 11, 2007 at 12:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“In fiscal 1999 and 2000, the Department of Defense (DOD) reported $3.3 trillion of undocumentable adjustments in the process of failing to produce audited financial statements. In the summer of 2001, the appropriations for DOD failed to report out of committee before the summer recess. The political tension between arms manufacturers and defense contractors who anticipated pay back from the Bush election victory and those pressing for federal spending and financing to conform to spending and securities law was resolved by 9-11.”

http://www.narconews.com/cuibono.html

I guess money is the root of all evil!

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By Jerk Bosses, February 10, 2007 at 8:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It has always amazed that of all people President Eisenhower - a former military general is quoted with the words of warning of the abusive power and overuse of authority of the “military indutrial complex”.
    While it is quite patently true and apparent of the abusive situation of Halliburton and Bechtel there is a missing element here.  It is not one person or one group - it is often groups acting for common purpose - and often not in a planned or conscious manner.
    “Complex” may well be the correct word and term for it.  As an example take the Kennedy assasination. Every conspiracy book on the Kennedy assasination needs to be working alone in its own vacuum. One week an an authoritative book on the subject will convincingly make the point that it was organized crime - gangsters and criminals.  The next week it is the government CIA power brokers. Look in the index of the second book ( CIA management types) and you will not even see the words “Mafia,organized crime or criminals in the index”.
    In the same way the “Military Industrial Complex” although it has done a number on the American public and seems to have apparent leaders and direction is in a major way just driven by simple human beings who without apparent knowledge and planning do not realize that they are part of an evil system or just a game.
    If you think about the very basics of 9/11 a small group with limited tools was able to not only catch the nation offguard but to repeatedly
hit a number of more than important and symbolic targets.  How was that possible ?  Ineptness beyond belief.  And it does not matter if you beef up security in one area. In an open society not only will there be other targets but other simple tools which in the wrong ( or right) hands can be weapons. The few people that were caught were caught not by high tech or training but simple human interest and inquistitiveness such as you would expect a three year old or a hamster to have.

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By Nancy, January 29, 2007 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s enough for me; to justify isolationism…

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By winnipeg, January 29, 2007 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is amazing how not to see the forest for the trees.
The military industrial complex spans the globe and cultures.
It is not one simple group.
It is not even a coordinated group that even works together in sequence.
It is a multitude of companies, groups and efforts who have on common group end result.
Profit.
You can even include non political groups such as self seeking drug traffickers or afhgani popy farmers in the mix.

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By Louis Massano, January 14, 2007 at 10:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here is the web address for the archived April 8, 2004 BBC Radio 4 interview with the late former British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook mentioned in my earlier, January 5, 2007 post to this board:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/listenagain/zthursday_20040408.shtml

BBC Radio 4 is the domestic BBC talk and spoken word radio channel; “Today” is the morning news program broadcast to all of the United Kingdom. The Cook interview is linked at 8:10 am; listening to this eleven and a half minute segment requires Real Player, which starts automatically by clicking the link at 8:10 am. After some introductory material lasting about four and a half minutes on the deteriorating situation in Iraq, Robin Cook - who died suddenly of a coronary condition in August of 2005 while hiking in Scotland—gives his impression of the changes essential to salvaging the Iraq occupation.  His criticisms become more pointed at 6 minutes, and at eight and a half minutes, he mentions the contracts let for 14 permanent bases, and the fact that Rumsfeld closed the Saudi bases. At 8:35 Cook says that there is not exit strategy and “if we are honest Donald Rumsfeld never saw them (the troops)leaving.” Then Cook remarks that Rumsfeld closed the Saudi bases because “he now had bases in Iraq.”

Essentially, we’ve burned our “exit” bridges in Iraq - this segment, it is true, can be cited as an argument for Robert Scheer’s case in this commentary. But as I earlier wrote, there are several reasons which impelled the incompetent neo-fascists running our executive branch toward the single goal of an Iraq invasion and occupation—even as a moth is impelled toward a flame. In the last two weeks, the London Independent on Sunday published powerful documentation for the oil motivation. On January 7, 2007 a secret document on the legislation to be put through by our puppet government in Iraq divvying up Iraq’s oil - without the authorization of the Iraqi people. As a sop to public opinion, possibly, and also possibly in reaction to the Independent on Sunday January 7 revelations,  Bush in his recent speech said that the Iraqi government’s legislation would “cut in” the Iraqi people on their own oil wealth.

And, today, January 14, 2007, the Independent on Sunday published a follow-up, “Shock and Oil,” on how the consulting firm which wrote the legislation to be enacted by our stooge government is a major Republican contributor. That Independent on Sunday article is at

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article2152438.ece

  and will be there for the next 3 days, after which it will be archived and likely will only be seen on the Independent’s site via paid access. But it’s so important it will doubtless show up via Google search on other news sites.

Every bit of that nearly 2-year-old radio interview - the kind of thing that would never, ever be allowed in the United States, except maybe on Amy Goodman’s Pacifica “Democracy Now” program—is, sadly, as relevant today as in early 2004.

What a loss to Britain and to any person who wishes for a future that isn’t miserable and full of militaristic catastrophes was the death of this brilliant, sane,  astoundingly articulate politician. Cook resigned as Foreign Secretary as soon as Tony Blair committed the British to serve with Bush and his police-state crowd. But he remained a loyal Labour Party man to the day of his death, and even defends Blair from the charge of being Bush’s “useful idiot” in that remarkable interview.

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By Mohd Osman Bin Rosli, January 14, 2007 at 10:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It was and always will be about the OIL for so many reasons but I’ll put down a few:

* How do they expect to pay or fund the current war that is going on there? It’s the oil.

* They can get money from that oil rich nation by supplying to them army weapons and such. they would be their most important client and customer.

* The Americans and Europeans dominated the transportation manufacturing technology but it is The Arabs and mostly the Muslim Nations that have the oil stock and supply that fuels and move them.

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By alice cramden, January 6, 2007 at 9:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Everyone on this website has a logical explanation for why we are still in Iraq.  If you connect all the dots, many of the explanations are relevant and true.  Most of us have awakened from the Bush cabal nightmare.  But many of us continue to be naive and sheepish in our reliance on the official 9/11 myth.  Why we continue to believe the official government story about terrorists with box cutters (oh please) and Bin Laden in a cave who orchestrates the whole event, I do not know.  You see Bush and the hawks for what they are now, why do you believe them about 9/11???  The towers collapsed without any resistance; hello, that goes against the laws of physics!!!  Mr. Scheer you are a journalist, why have you not taken the time to really look at the facts about this issue—the elephant in the room.  Isn’t it your responsibility as a journalist to look at the facts, (which you obviously have not done otherwise you would know).  We will not understand anything until we come to terms with what really happened on 9/11!!!!  I hate to keep harping on this, but our country is still in denial.  The widows of 9/11 (the jersey girls) made a film: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5589099104255077250.  We owe it to them who lost loved ones to view this film.  If you cannot take an hour out of your life to view an important film about the most important event of the 21st Century, then we as Americans deserve what we are getting in this wretched country.  Do not be afraid to look at the truth squarely.  No one is above the truth.  Also see: 9/11 Mysteries:  http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6708190071483512003, a film by a Republican who wanted to make fools of the 9/11 “conspiracy theorists” and, instead became so convinced by the evidence, he made his own film.  There is so much evidence of an inside job that it makes my head hurt just thinking about it all and then I read all these websites that are totally missing the big picture—seeing the trees, but not the forest.  The facts are overwhelming folks!  There are whistleblowers who want to talk but have gag orders on them citing national security; for instance, the ACLU is trying to get a gag order removed from Sibel Edmonds who was a former FBI linguist.  She has indicated that “recognizable, very high-profile American citizens are linked to the 911 attacks.”  That is all she can say while the gag order is in effect or she will go to prison.  There are so many unanswered questions about 9/11 and so many whistleblowers trying to tell their stories—where are you Mr. Scheer, why aren’t you reporting on this.!!!???

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By Louis Massano, January 5, 2007 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Robert Scheer’s column is well-argued . However, we are in Iraq for a number of reasons. Certainly, oil is one of them. Yet another is Iraq’s water . Another is this country’s strategic position—if we leave we cede it to the Iranians, or even the Iranians in alliance with the Russians (who’ve supplied them with nuclear know-how). Still another is that Iraq has a small, but significant secularized culture, mostly centered in Baghdad,which can be built upon over the years in order to attempt to “innoculate” Iraqis with Anglo-American western values. The New York Times reported the other day that plans are going ahead for an American University in Iraq - not doubt modelled on the one in Lebanon. How many billions of U.S. taxpayer treasure that will cost we will not know until it is completed, if ever.

And, of course, there is America’s powerful pro-Israel lobbies. It would be a slander to say all of them promoted this war; hundreds of thousands of America’s Jews have been the most courageously outspoken againt it.  But the fact remains that these interest groups had and continue to have veto power over any moves the U.S. makes in the neighborhood of Israel. I have yet to hear a loud call from AIPAC or from JINSA for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. And, until there is, we all know that there will be no such withdrawal. To sum up, when we consider all the reasons the U.S. cannot leave Iraq—and indeed went there in the first places—we see that to claim that that “Pentagon Capitalism” and “The Military Industrial Complex” are the main reason for our presence in Iraq is to patronize the intelligence of politically sophisticated readers.

In an interesting interview on BBC Radio 4’s “Today” Program in April of 2004, Robin Cook, said that 14 permanent bases were under construction in Iraq—many Americans still don’t know about them because of our censored media. He also said that Rumsfeld had shut down U.S. bases in Saudi Arabia before the invasion, and that Rumsfeld had not exit plan for leaving Iraq, because he had no intention of ever leaving in the first place. Nearly 2 years later, all that is still true.

We are in a serious fix, not only in Iraq, but as a nation which claims to have a democratic polity. All the world will soon find out that the so-called “new” U.S., Democrat-controlled congress will shortly commence to totally ignore Americans’ powerful desire that Bush’s horrific mideast debacle be brought to and end. These Democrats will continue to knuckle under to Bush—because Bush is doing the bidding, like all our federal politicians, of a disastrous combination of the many powerful interest groups, in and out of the federal government which will continue to demand that we stay in this region of the mid east with hundreds of thousands of our troops.

It is not an exaggeration to observe that our polity is self-destructing before our very eyes. With the Democrats in nominal control of congress, there will be no change because nothing can change. In the U.S. today,  20% of households now own more than 84% of the wealth - and many of the upper 1% of households, who own 34 % of it, along with corporations and, increasingly a new-hatched crew of centimillionaires and billionaires who’ve gotten rich looting our corporate culture since the dot.com boom starated, have been spending billions of dollars over the last 25 years to build Washington D.C.‘s massive, harmful lobbying industry which makes sure that all politicians do exactly what rich individuals and wealth-controlling institutions, corporations and banks want them to do. And the majority of the interests have decreed: Stay put in Iraq for good.

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By barbedwire, January 3, 2007 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Maj. Gen. Smedley Bulter beat Ike to it in 1935 with “War is a Racket.”

Read it free at:

http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm

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By GES, January 3, 2007 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Final Comments to MIKE and MAX

I NEVER used the term ANTI-SEMETIC, you did.  It appears that both of you react the same when critisising your ant-ISREAL/Jewish opinions, believing labeled as anti-semetics.  This by no means is coincidental, as it confirms that you are both racists.

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By tenstring, January 2, 2007 at 5:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just a note to recommend the July 5, 2006 installment of the Australian-based “International Dateline” TV news magazine currently re-airing on http://www.linkTV.org.  They did a piece on the role of the military dictator of Belorus (Lubishenko or something like that) in the international arms trade.  It was a small matter to substitute “Bushco” for “Lubishenko” and come away with a reasonably accurate account of the American role in the world arms trade.  Profits to U.S. arms dealers doubled to the tune of $26 billion last year, I understand.

Just to state the obvious—they’re not going to stop unless someone stops them.

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By Shhazam4, January 2, 2007 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Scheer did it again with another right on observation.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower 45 years ago had it right too.

Our military industrial complex (MIC) is a seductive Temptress to all politicians in power at all levels of government where tax dollars are available to spend.

Our politicians have to use their better judgement to decide when, how much and whether or not to engage the MIC.

In Afghanistan, Kosovo and maybe Somalia the right balance of MIC resources were utilized to try to change the harmful situations present in those areas; but, in Iraq, IF A REGIME CHANGE WAS NECESSARY, the level of MIC usage was inappropriate. 

GWB used the big budget method in Iraq because it made his MIC supporters happy.

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By Wayne Galant, January 2, 2007 at 7:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Defense contractors made a killing (pun intended) just on Cruise missiles fired during the Iraq war.

From “Operation IRAQI FREEDOM - By The Numbers”

Munitions expended:
BGM-109 TLAM (Tomahawk cruise missile) 802 - cost about 1.3 million each
AGM-86C/D CALCM (Air/Land cruise missile) 153 - cost about 1.2 million each

Some quick math - just in TLAM and CALCM replacement cost
802 x 1.3 = 1,042.6 million
153 x 1.2   =  183.6 million
Total…....... 1,226.2 million

Of course, the actual cost of using these missiles is considerably higher.  Launch platforms, fueling systems and other operational system support items add many more millions.

Daddy Warbucks would blush with pride.

For an unteresting look at military expenditures from the insider’s perspective, I suggest you visit the website of the Defense Industry Daily:
http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/

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By Greg Burton, January 1, 2007 at 3:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

R. Scheer,

Below is a facsimile of my email to you. I apologize for not spelling you name correctly.

Sheer,

Thanks for your analysis, but I don’t buy your red herring.

This war has always been about the oil and resources, but it also included
protecting the national security interests of Israel, and implementing
their clean-break strategy of regime change for Lebannon and its hostile
Arab neighbors, and procuring the means for its independence from the
U.S.>>>oil from Iraq piped from Iraqi Kurdistan to Haifa.

You can even find the pipeline plans for this project on the Internet.

Many of Israel’s policy papers, including some written by people you
mention, have made this goal quite clear, which makes me suspect your
motives for not addressing these issues directly.

Certainly, the “military-industrial complex”, including Dick Cheney are
benefiting from the Iraq “profit center”; and the U.S. military is their
tool, but this war has always been about oil and Israel. And in the end,
it looks like the U.s. is going to be the big loser in the “Great Game”
because we have sacrificed our national interests (diplomacy) for another
(proxy war for Israel).

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=BHA20061225&articleId=4264

Greg Burton

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By tenstring, January 1, 2007 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To these observations about the tyranny of unbridled corporate cronyism, I would argue that until we embrace the indigenous experience into our “western” worldview, we’re going to remain victims.  Look at what populist movements in South America have done to move beyond colonization.  In North America, indigenous nations were nearly exterminated.  We the People need to embrace their view of this imperial hell-machine and incorporate it into our own “democratic-republican” tradition.  WE need to remove the oligarchs that are determined to screw the Many to benefit the Few.  They’ve demonstrated ad nauseum that they can’t be trusted with power.  They’re the epitome of tyrants—using public resources to pursue private gain, and to the further detriment of the public, even though their own rose-colored rhetoric says they’re doing us all a favor.  BS, I say.  Diffused power with a strong ethical aspect—“Love Your Mother,” “Power to the People,” and the Golden Rule come to mind—that’s the wave of the future.  Beware the global corporate media brain-washing machine.  That’s Public Enemy #1.

God Bless America and Everyone Else, too,
Peace out smile

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By Sleeper, January 1, 2007 at 10:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Our problems have risen from those who control and receive funding from our government.  Our original Foreign Policy was to stay clear of foreign entanglements.  We initially started increasing government spending to build Canals, Telegraph lines and the Railroads from money raised by tariffs.  Private feeding bins became available to a few. 

Later Corporations were granted Personhood and large Trust grew.  After the turn of the century the first attempts at controlling these Trusts came into being followed shortly after by an Amendment to tax the people prior to our involvement in WWI. 

Since then the feeding bins have grown and the power of those feeding has grown into international movements that have gained more influence on our government.  It is far more responsive to the wishes of this global movement which is about building an empire and “WE THE PEOPLE” pay all the costs both financial and human for these concentrated international rulers.

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By pagcal, January 1, 2007 at 7:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

At a simple level, oil drove us into Iraq, while the MIC gave us the tools to do it. But, looking deeper, unbridaled capitalism wanted to ‘sell’ us the oil, so aren’t they the cuplrits? Didn’t Cheney have the oil folks over to the Whitehouse, and didn’t they carve up Iraq for themselves? There was even a rumor of a map they were passing around, with Exxon-ville, and such already marked up.

And capitalists were the first into Iraq to restructure it. The interum authority was stocked with them, and they tried to ‘privatize’ Iraq’s oil industry.

Even now, the ISG recommends that Iraq add meters to pipelines, presumably so they can ‘sell’ the oil instead of using the oil as a national resource to aid the Iraqi people with things such as socialized medicine and such.

These very same capitalists were the ones that conspired with GM and others to kill the Electric Vehicles (EVs). They realized they had to keep us hooked on filling up rather than plugging in.

Already, the costs of the war exceed one half a trillion dollars. If we had spent the money on EV’s instead, we could have GIVEN every American one free EV car. But that’s not the capitalists way.

But, something went terribly wrong in Iraq. The Sunni saw through our capitalists and so now we have a civil war there.

Since we are thinking strategically in this piece, we’ve got to look at Global Warming. This is an issue we need to address now, not tomorrow.

How is oil-capitalism and Global Warming linked? Buring all that oil is literally destroying our environment, so we’ve got to change our ways or within 50 years, billions will die. Just watch “An Inconvenient Truth”. I’m not going to make the case here.

So, does it make sense to send our troops after more oil, so the capitalists can ‘sell’ it to us? No, not if we take into account Global Warming.

What we’ve got to do instead, is to start thinking sustainable. Instead of looking down in the earth for energy in the form of oil, we’ve got to look upward, toward the sun.

Capitalism, by itself, is not a bad thing. Someone has to develop and ‘sell’ us solar collectors and such.

All it takes is vision, and political will.

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By Siggy, December 31, 2006 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Not seeing it mentioned in teh article, I must emphasize, that Ike’s original speech in the draft read:

Military-“Political”-Industrial Complex

It was precisely due the that Political component, that theat very word was removed;  The American Congress has been screwing it’s citizens to line it’s own pockets and those of it’s nepotistic buddies, since it’s inception.

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By Wren, December 31, 2006 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Where does the line fall and why have we seemingly lost the ability to draw it? The passengers on flight United 93 had no choice but to go to war on the hijackers. But did the US possibly have better options of dealing with the Taliban and Al Qaida than going to war in Afghanistan? The war in Iraq then totally crossed the metaphorical line. It was a just war in so much as Saddam Hussein was a murdering tyrant, but the standard shouldn’t be ‘just war’ it should be ‘necessary and inevitable war’. A military-industrial complex of course will interpret this standard, not in terms of human life, but in terms of it’s bottom line. So this argument goes back to issues of free trade, globalisation, and privatisation. Pure capitalism doesn’t work. To responsibly wield the kind of power that huge corporations hold, you need a conscience…or (more reliably) some of those other checks and balances we are always gabbing about when we whinge about the government.
Okay, that’s it, i’m going back to bed, sleepless and mildly hungover. I have to work this afternoon, does that mean i have to work all year? Well, duh!

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By tenstring, December 31, 2006 at 8:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Response to Josh:

The documentation of the war crimes of American capital for the sake of profits is voluminous.  You have to be wearing blinders not to have noticed.  I used to be wearing those blinders myself.  John Perkins, “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” is a good starting place.

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By kirk cramer, December 31, 2006 at 7:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

George bush is a hard core satanist. He`s not a Christian as his lies proclaim. He is Skull and Bones third generation. You idiots need to do your research into both Christianity and satanist.

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By wren, December 31, 2006 at 4:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can’t help thinking about Michael Moore’s film ‘Bowling For Columbine’ and how the military-industrial complex fits in with the high rates of violence within US society. Did the military-industrial complex possibly arise because of a strong violent streak in the society or did the violence possibly, somehow, filter down from the higher echelons? Or does the military-industrial complex somehow compound uneven wealth distribution causing a chronic civil war between the haves and the have-nots?  Or is there no connection at all? Is there a connection between the guy at the bar who punches someone offensive or annoying instead of walking away (and the people who admire him), and the government who drops a bomb or unleashes an army on a nation instead of exhausting diplomacy, or simply walking away from the stoush? Don’t know, but let’s play it safe and walk away from the loser in the bar. And when two losers are going at it in a bar, let’s diss them both.
New year’s resolution:
Our world is going to get better in 2007 because we’re each going to make it better in our own small way. Happy New Year, everybody.

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By GES, December 30, 2006 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment
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Response to Max

So the whole basis of your angry and bigoted diatribe is that some how Isreal manipulated Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld to invade Iraq and manipulated the American people to re-elect them in 2006.  Do you believe that Isreal is going to benefit when the Shi’a majority in Iraq allies itself with Iran? You flatter this tiny country that it should command such power and influence over our entire political process.  Obviously you are ignorant to the facts, apparently by choice, and should re-read this article.  It’s about CONTRACTS.

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By Brion Lutz, December 30, 2006 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment
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A few problems with the Iraq disaster being the work of the military-industrial complex.

1. They could have had an equally profitable, long term war in Afghanistan chasing Bin Laden.

2. US still being in Iraq is a result of miscalculations by Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz who thought we’d be in and out in a year tops.

3. No. 1 US strategic interest/threat is Middle East
oil…Iraq’s got a lot of it.

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By Kellina, December 30, 2006 at 11:51 am Link to this comment
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I can’t resist:

http://www.virusmyth.net/aids/data/pdlecture.htm

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By Nancy, December 30, 2006 at 11:03 am Link to this comment
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Seems to me, it doesn’t matter what their race is, but what their personal beliefs are. You see a lot of rich people claiming to be Christians, but then they go and kill huge numbers of poor people who never did a thing to them, except stand in the way of their bottome line…pure profit.

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By Max Buttstain, December 29, 2006 at 11:12 pm Link to this comment
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response to GES

GES -  you can be absolutely sure it was israel behind the iraq war and it’s israel behind war with iran.  why should real americans want to make enemies out of all these muslim nations?  we are natural allies and friends of muslim people.  they naturally like us.  we should be best of friends.  there is only one reason why.  israel.  israel is a greedy, selfish, violent, crazy state.  first of all - why do they want there to be only jews in their country?  we don’t say their can only be christians here.  why can’t they give these poor palestinians a break?  let them have some peace and dignity.  no they have to grind them into the dirt until they are so miserable they just leave on their own.  why did they drop over a million cluster bombs on lebanon when they knew the ceasefire was 2 days away?  please tell me - what kind of a people is that?  they have no morals when it comes to non-jews.  if you want to call that anti-semitism, go ahead - it means you don’t understand english.  palestinians are semites, lebanese are semites.  the israeli’s are the anti-semites.  if you are honest and you study the facts, you will find that it is indeed israel that is behind this “clash of civilizations”.

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By GES, December 29, 2006 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment
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Response to Mike

If your comments were not racists, then why would you single out an Isreali Lobby as a main perpitrator of this war, when there are so many OTHER, much more influencial special interests responsible as Sheer points out in his article? It is a non arguement to just assert that because Isreal takes advantage of it’s political and diplomatic connections, as does China, Japan and Saudi Arabia, that somehow they are different and should be held to a higher standard, unless it’s because 80% of the coutry is Jewish.

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By jon, December 29, 2006 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment
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what we need to do is look at the big picture as far as the world goes!
#1) neocon does not stand for conservative values (their actions should illistrate that)
#2) if you go into the PROJECT FOR A NEW AMERICAN CENTRY website under REBUILDING AMERICAN DEFENCES YOU WILL SEE THAT THE PLAN (WRITTEN IN 1999) calls for destablizing Iraq to promote a civil war then break iraq into 3 parts the also claim this change will take a long time absent some “catilizing event like a new PEARL HARBOR” what we are seeing is exactly what was planned. that event took place conveniently on 911! There was troops amassed to go to Afganistan 1 month prior to 911. maybe you won’t believe me (why should you) so please go to this link and look for yourself.
http://thewebfairy.com/killtown/911smokingguns.html

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By Josh, December 29, 2006 at 9:38 pm Link to this comment
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There are some huge assumptions being made on this board and unfortunately most arent backed up with actual events. They are simply dreams that some want so badly to become true…they become that person’s reality. For example, the 911 conspiracy theorists.

The military suppliers do not make war. Hitler made war, Osama made war, etc. We fight to preserve freedom and the military suppliers enable us to do that. If there is a company with a great product that helps us kill the enemy or protect us from the enemy then who are we to say that that company should not profit from it? After all, without profit seeking there would be no innovation.

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By Christopher Robin, December 29, 2006 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment
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Eisenhower was right, he knew the situation first hand.
These are not the words of some left-wing commentator. These are the words of a experienced general and politician.

Ike was not blind ridged ideologue, as in this quote from a letter to his brother Edgar on November 8, 1954

“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”

Unfortunately their numbers aren’t as negligible now, but the stupid remains.

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By path to the deathless, December 29, 2006 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment
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The ideals that America once embraced exist now in the minds and hearts of those who grew up there in the last century. As an entity, America is finished, it’s slow erosion sinced Ike’s comment now insured and quickened in the last 6 years by those who stole their way into power beginning in the late 1900’s congressional races when the voting machines began to decide who would rule. These same voting machine companies owned by the defense corporations. No longer having assured freeand transparent elections, the US was offered the cabal of those lurking the corridors of power undetected until a few years ago. in the ‘setient programs’ of Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Woolfowitz, Feithet al. as puppet masters of the bushbaby. yes, it appears as tho America as we knew is over. The world knows it and has known it for some decades now.
Look at Viet Nam. 3.5 million Vietnamese citizens violently killed, and 58,ooo US soldiers, for No reason. All that weapons testing that went on there, Agent Orange{24D}, Napalm, nerve gases, and the opium trafficing by the US gov’t, using Air America as one of their private contractors. Then look at Iraq and Afghanistan today.
      The looting of 11billion dollars from the Iraqi Oil for Food Program taken from the Fed.reserve in NY and flown to Iraq on US military planes, then lost,given away and stolen with no accounting. The increase in the opium trafficing out og Afghanistan while the US military is all over that country.tell me the US gov’t is not involved with those profits!
      War has always been the biggest racket in history. It is no different now no matter what veneer you put on it. To be continued, I’m low on battery…~~~

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By carroll price, December 29, 2006 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment
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I have always believed that the primary reason the US invaded and occupied Iraq, was to remove a growing military threat to the state of Israel.  When it comes to the foreign policy of the United States, Israel calls the shots, and it is obvious that they called this one.  Ownership of the world’s 3rd largest reserve of crude oil was an inviting target, but it was not the deciding factor leading up to the war that destroyed one of the ancient enemies of Israel.

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By josef zack, December 29, 2006 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment
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i have read many statements that freedom, liberty and thelike WILL be lost in America “IF”:


get a clue ladies and gentle men.  america officially HAS no freedoms or liberties.

just because jack-booted government Goon-Tuggs have not YET kicked in your door, doesn’t mean squat.

first you write the laws effectively gutting the bill of rights and major portions of the constitution, then you accumulate personnel and supplies and make plans.

after a few computer simulation war games,

THEN you send out the Goon-Squads.

America has already died.  right now it is being embalmed.  All of the “radicals and dissenters” will be nearly rounded up, until the dreames posting here, finally realize the veracity of these words i write.

somone way back said something like this.

“a people DESERVE that government they get”.

who said this and when i cannot recollect.

but here is MY quote to all of you.

“see ya in the gulags, comrade!”

lmao

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By Robert B. Livingston, December 29, 2006 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment
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Eugene McCarthy on Eisenhower’s historic farewell address:

Question (Salon, June 7, 2004): 
You put Eisenhower’s historic farewell address—his warning about the growing power of the military-industrial complex—in the Congressional Record, didn’t you?

Eugene McCarthy: 
I did, yeah. No one else would put it in. I thought some Republican would rush to do it—I waited a week or so. No one else would move. The speech clearly laid out the dangers of the military-industrial alliance in American life—with Ike’s name on it, you know. I thought it was important—still do.

http://tinyurl.com/jhyz2

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By Mike, December 29, 2006 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment
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To GES

Why is it that anytime someone criticizes our policy with Israel they are labeled racist/bigots/Nazis,... 

I criticize Israel’s (and AIPAC’s) role in the Iraq debacle.
Does that make me an anti-semite?  No
Does that mean I don’t believe Israel has a right to exist? No.
I don’t believe Irael and AIPAC were the chief perpetrators of this war but their voices were loud and they were heard at the highest levels of the administration.

Of course I know the answer to my first question.  Those who can’t debate will demean and there are few things more demeaning than being labeled an anti-semite (and rightfully so).

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By musings, December 29, 2006 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment
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I’m thinking that Mr. Scheer, while sincere, refuses on some level to speculate outside the box about the capabilities of military contractors. These entities did not simply spring fully-armed from the head of Zeus on 9/11, thus allowing themselves to prosper in a new cold war (this time “on terror”).  They were sitting there on the Beltway ready to pounce long before that. In fact the quote from Ike appears at the beginning of the 90’s film JFK, and it hearkens back further to Ike’s last term of office (before the scams of Vietnam).

The Halliburtons and Brown Roots are old warhorses who have had their snouts in the national feedbag for a generation and a half at least.

So what is new about now? How did it come about that they have maintained their raison d’etre?

And why do we believe them when they both point to perps and then invent policy on the evidence only they can see?

This is a time in which things are the same in that the ruling class still rules. But it is a time in which the ruling class is changing the rules. Some think they do so out of desperation about competition for the last oil resources, that they are not innately evil but anxious simply to retain American pre-eminence. 

There are those who say that they are protected by a bodyguard of lies and that they would commit any crime to avoid committing a worse one of letting America be bested by another power.

This could have opened up a Pandora’s box with spores galore.

Eisenhower warned against a future which is upon us. With that I tend to agree. But could he have imagined the Byzantine toils of that future, or could he have foreseen the possibility that absolute power HAS corrupted absolutely (the only hesitation on the part of the powerful being a well-founded fear of the chaos the American people themselves are capable of unleashing?)

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By blood for no oil, December 29, 2006 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment
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That Oil is a crucial U.S. interest is obvious. But most people get it wrong. The U.S. is not interested in cheap oil. Why did George Bush (the Father) go to Saudi Arabia in 1994 and asked the Saudis to push prices UP?

The U.S. wants
1. access
2. leverage—ability to control the flow of oil to its allies (Europe and Japan mostly) and competitors (China)
3. profits—directing oil profits to U.S. oil majors
4. dollar support—have non U.S. oil profiteers invest or spend their petrodollars in the U.S.


Access is the least important because it is the least problematic. Oil is always accessible. What would oil producers do with their oil? drink it?

In Iraq, the most important oil aspect I believe was preventing a hostlie regime from developing its fields (to push prices UP) and keeping non-U.S. oil majors out.

The neo-cons first concocted a plan to liberalize the Iraqi oil markets, because they actually dreamed of weakening the Saudis. This plan was shelved thanks to the intervention of Cheney on behalf of the oil majors.

http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/37371/
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/4354269.stm

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By Kellina, December 29, 2006 at 10:49 am Link to this comment
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P.S. Here are some notes re: my comments on AIDS:

Re: AIDS. See Peter Duesberg’s work on the “illusory correlation” (spurious relationship that appears causal but is not) between HIV and AIDS, the failure of scientists to demonstrate a link from HIV to any disease, let alone AIDS, the unreliability of the HIV test, low probability of transmission of HIV through heterosexual sex, the wide diversity of diagnostic criteria for AIDS, and the causal evidence of drug use leading to specific diseases later characterized as composing an “AIDS” diagnosis (e.g., pulmonary Karposi’s sarcoma is seen only in conjunction with long-term use of poppers, or nitrate inhalants, taken by the vast majority of gay men to enhance the sexual experience).

Duesberg’s work is well outlined in his book, “Inventing the AIDS virus.” See also this article for a good summary:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/miller/miller18.html

If there is any lingering doubt in your mind about HIV (not) causing AIDS, the (lack of) sexual transmission of AIDS, or even the supposed millions of people in Africa who die of “AIDS” please go to this site:

http://www.deanesmay.com/posts/1141006050.shtm

See in particular, the pdf article on the Dean’s World site titled, “Falsifying the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis : Eleven Days of Real-Time Cyber-Drama” (particularly, p. 161, where the article, ‘Knowing is Beautiful,’ by Liam Scheff begins).

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By Kellina, December 29, 2006 at 10:48 am Link to this comment
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I agree with AL—the MIC is not possible without cheap oil. I also agree with Spinoza and others who note correctly that the MIC could have started an expensive war anywhere, but chose Iraq instead of North Korea, for some reason.

But the Military-Industrial-Complex includes more than the Military. The CIA is designed for psychological operations, black operations, all funded illegally with arms trading or drug running. Fucking with other people’s governments is their specialty, so as to install leaders favorable to the interests of those in power. Notice I did not say “in the interests of the US.” Invading Iraq also serves the interests of the Israelis, who appear to comprise half of the neocons itching to take over the Middle East, and who make up a great deal of the US State Dept. Invading Iran also has the double promise of offering oil and securing Israel’s borders.

FYI, the posts about 9/11 are germane to the MIC question. The MIC needs to justify its funding, just like any other interest group. (If we aren’t scared, they aren’t paid!) 9/ll was one of many “false-flag” operations, some successful, some not, that have occurred over the last century or so. Here is a partial list of operations and wars they were designed to drag us into:

•The sinking of the USS Maine - Spanish/American War

•The sinking of the USS Lusitania - WWI

•The attack on Pearl Harbor - WWII

•The “attack” on the our ships in the Gulf of Tonkin - Vietnam

•The attempt to sink the USS Liberty - Mossad’s attempt to blame this attack on Egypt and thus drag the US into their 1967 war.

It looks like, from reading “Final Judgment” that the killing of JFK was a false-flag operation, too, done by the French OAS at the behest of the Mossad in conjunction with the CIA; the plan left in place layers of potential suspects to pin the blame on (Soviets, anti-Castro Cubans, the [Italian] Mafia [conveniently omitting all mention of Meyer Lanski’s involvement]). What motivated Israeli intelligence? JFK vehemently opposed Israeli development of nuclear weapons. (He also, since a senator, endorsed Algeria’s fight for Independence from France, causing the OAS to hate him.) He also opposed the CIA’s activities in Southeast Asia, which, after JFK’s death, quickly escalated into full-out war, the results of which are mainly known (millions of people dead) but also still hidden (drug proliferation by the CIA, with all the horrific sequellae, decimation of American cities, a decade-later the emergence of AIDS, which is really due to long-term drug use).

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By Joe C., December 29, 2006 at 10:12 am Link to this comment
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Eisenhower’s original draft of this speech did not use the phrase “military-industrial complex.” It used the phrase “military-industrial-congressional complex.” Ike was even more right than most people realize.

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By mikelshoen, December 29, 2006 at 9:15 am Link to this comment
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I agree, with the following amplification: The conspiracy is the military-industrial-intelligence complex with the following pro temp allies—big oil, mainstream media, the Saud family and the state of Israel. The m-i-i complex is responsible for most of our present unnecessary “big government” and are thus “statists” but their opposition, the Democratic Pary’s socialist state, are also statists, just with a different justification for their version of big government. Both the m-i-i (fascists) and their opponents, the socialists, want to take the same monies (taxes) and freedoms from their citizenry, they just have different justifications. The purpose of both is the basic biological imperative—to increase their power and strength. 

Today the m-i-i complex has the upper hand because mainstream media has successfully frightened America’s citizenry to accept an unnecessarily powerful national security state—a state whose primary purpose is to protect citizens from external threats. If there are insufficient external threats, the m-i-i (our govt) will create them. If a president wants to decrease external threats, the m-i-i will scuttle his attempts (Eisenhower) or kill him (Kennedy).

You can view Eisenhower’s speech in the film “Why We Fight” and is worth watching because you can see that Eisenhower was a defeated man when he warned of the “m-i” complex, but it was actually the “m-i-i” complex (adding the CIA intelligence org) which had defeated him, because it was the CIA which blew apart his disarmament summit with Kruschev by sending up Power’s U2 (contrary to Eisenhower’s orders).

Eisenhower was also correct that the gargantuan national security state would end in the bankruptcy of the country. This has already happened—we just don’t admit it because the creditors haven’t called in their loans. Japan doesn’t want the debtor to collapse and China is taking its time and savoring the moment.

Why are we so stupid? Because mainstream media won’t tell us sh—. They feed us trivia, sensationalism, entertainment and inconsequential details. They only way to get smart is to read for yourself. Freedom’s Phoenix is not a bad place to start, but one ought to devour books on a subject or two to become factually certain of the above. It’s happening and the only question is whether you are going to be on the receiving end or whether you protect yourself.

Why does mainstream media do this: because they are beholding to the govt for news leaks, for their licenses and for the very creation of the sensationalism they need (read Boorstein’s “The Image”) to fill their overcapacity. Our intelligence orgs directly control much of Mainstream media (as the Church Commission proved) and mainstream media’s skewed support for the violent state of Israel exacerbates this. But the main reason is that citizens don’t want to see or hear profoundly bad news—that their own government is lying to them and screwing them. If the media put this on TV, viewers would not watch.  Bill Moyers was the last holdout and we changed the channel on him.

Meanwhile, we are building a new fleet of shallow water nuclear submarines to combat terrorism. Makes sense?

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By Darrin Kellogg, December 29, 2006 at 8:21 am Link to this comment
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The Iraq invasion WAS about oil.  Not the taking of it, but rather because in Nov 01 Saddam Hussein moved from accepting dollars to only accepting euros for oil transactions.  Since the U.S. dollar was removed from the gold standard, its perceived value is only kept high because it is the currency used by the world for oil transactions.  The dollar is de facto on an oil standard.  When Saddam moved to the euro, he sealed his fate.  Why?  Because if the U.S dollar loses its monopolistic position in oil transactions, it becomes as valuable as blank sheet of paper (read instant and possibly hyper-inflation in the U.S. economy).  Iraq was a lesson to other oil nations.

That being said, the next big challenges against the dollar are now coming from Iran and China.  Iran has announced that beginning on March 21, 2007 (I believe the date is correct)they will only accept euros for oil transactions and will no longer accept the dollar.  Instead of the case of WMD’s with Iraq (the cover story) we have the threat of potential WMD’s with Iran.

China over the past year has lost $300 billion by simply sitting on deteriorating dollar reserves and they are looking to dump upwards of $1 trillion U.S. dollar reserves before they lose their shirts.  A preemptive trip to Beijing by Fed Chairman Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Paulsen and their entourages, a trip whose purpose was to convince the Chinese to continue to hold on the dollar reserves was met with utter contempt.  The U.S. delegation returned to Washington with their tails between their legs.

I believe the real story is the petro-dollar and its potential impact on the U.S. economy.  As long as oil transactions are conducted in dollars all is fine, but when countries move to (or even think about moving to) the euro, they become an enemy, charges are trumped up in the media and regurgitated ad infinitum, until the public accepts the charges completely.

Oh yeah…did I mention that Venezuela is also thinking about moving to the euro?

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By al k, December 29, 2006 at 8:05 am Link to this comment
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I second AL’s comment.  It is a matter of national/military security.  Our jets, ships, tanks, planes and trucks are all neutralized without fuel.  The 2nd world war was won based on access to middle east oil.  The same may be true in the case of a WW III.  A BIG supply of oil is a military necessity, even from a defensive military posture.

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By Hank, December 29, 2006 at 7:41 am Link to this comment
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Mr. Sheer, this is first and foremost all about Israel, not the MIC and not even oil. There are so many proofs of this, it’s hard to choose one.

But here’s a good one: Bush obviously wants to bomb Iran.

Now, the experts say that if the US bombs Iran, it will almost certainly use nuclear weapons, and that the resulting all-out war will close the Persian gulf to oil exports and devastate the world economy.

How is this good for anybody, including the MIC?

It will be good for only ONE entity: Israel.

“But”,  you might ask, “won’t the resulting world economic crisis devastate Israel, too:?”

No; here’s why:

IF the US bombs Iran, and (of course) oil quickly shoots up to $200-plus per barrel - savaging economies all over the world - I’ll bet you one thing for damn sure:

Our Israeli-occupied Congress will promptly pass a massive “aid” package for Israel to make sure that Israel suffers no economic consequences from this new US war undertaken - just like the Iraq war - solely for Israel’s benefit.

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By william Johnson, December 29, 2006 at 7:15 am Link to this comment
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Robert is quite correct in citing Ike’s warning, but I always found it interesting he gave this warning during his farewell address. He had to have understood this long before he stated it. after all, he used parts of the MIC during his administration and had no qualms about doing so.
The overthrow of the elected governments of Iran and Guatemala come readily to mind. No complaints about the MIC then.
On the other hand, war profiteering nowadays does go hand in hand with other large corporations. As Greg Palast discovered in a secrete state department report, the point was to drive up the price of oil and there was a fight about this very issue. One group wanted to break opec, but big oil won out and got the price way up by reducing Iraq’s oil output. Anyone remember what a gal. of gas cost before the war? It’s clear who the winners are and it’s not us or the Iraqis.

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By Big M, December 29, 2006 at 7:05 am Link to this comment
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Hey, Encaustucus:

Speaking of ranting, what planet were you raised on? Why don’t you try googling Operation Northwoods, and then see if you can figure out that 9/11 took one aspect of that plan and fed it steroids.

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By Big M, December 29, 2006 at 6:51 am Link to this comment
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How can a guy write an otherwise sane article like this, and still manage to drag in the asinine nonsense that people used $10 boxcutters to commandeer aircraft on 9/11?

THE GOVERNMENT PULLED OFF THE 9/11 ATTACKS!!!

Did you hear that? There were no people on the planes that crashed into those buildings, because not one of the corpses of any one of the 266 alleged people on those planes has ever been recovered from any of the crash sites. There are no videos of Arabs getting on the planes. The planes were remote-controlled. There are no phone company records for the calls claimed to have come from those planes. Would terrorist “masterminds” have allowed all of these people to make phone calls in the first place? “We’re fanatic Arab terrorists. We hate your freedoms. You’re the Great Satan. We’re going to kill you all. Oh, but please—go ahead and call your families and babble for up to twenty or thirty minutes. We don’t mind. In fact, here—use our phones, so there won’t be any records of the calls.”

If there were no people on the planes, then there were no phone calls made from the planes. Don’t make this any more complicated than it is. Stop pushing the truth away with both hands. The Village Idiot could figure this out.

Anybody that could still believe this load of manure after five years is a f***ing imbecile.

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By max buttstain, December 29, 2006 at 5:02 am Link to this comment
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The “war on terror” does conveniently fill the gap created by the transformation of the Soviet Union and the end of the cold war.  This was America’s chance to grow and prosper.  Yet we’re hemorrhaging our resources like never before.

It seemed in the year 2000 the world had evolved.  We were growing past violence and despotism moving into a renaissance of technology and innovation.  Across the world freedom was on the march - eastern europe, russia, china - an amazing progressive trend.  Yet out of nowhere, this reactionary cabal which had been lurking, watching it’s influence wane, seized power in a remarkable turnabout.

The new ruling party is a coalition of plunderers for hire and intelligentsia with a frightening agenda. They are brick by brick dismantling America - replacing the leadership of government watchdog organizations with corporate lobbyists, gutting the CIA and State Department of real talent replaced by loyalists to the party. And the new emerging legal infrastructure created by the DHS, Patriot Acts and Military Commissions Act will enforce this new paradigm should the public ultimately wake up.

But is it the defense contractors responsible for this mess?  Certainly the blame has to go to Israel - a terrorist state brimming with racism, arrogance and hate. It’s tentacles clutch America in it’s grip with a powerful network of loyalists and spies that operate with impunity - above the law and without challenge.  They are at the core of what has essentially been an undercover communist takeover of the United States of America.  We’re locked in a stranglehold but like the ignorant cancer victim we have no idea the trouble we are in.

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By JH, December 29, 2006 at 12:55 am Link to this comment
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I’d say that the war is more about expanding the American Empire rather than the MIC, but they seem to be about the same thing.  There are a lot of various spoils of war made available to us by invading other countries, but what we have to consider with Iraq is that the war came about as planned.  Besides our interference in the area by putting the Baath Party in power, we had decided after arming Iraq’s army during the Iran-Iraq war that Iraq’s military was now too strong and needed to be cut down.  Kuwait provoked Iraq into invading by simultaneously stealing their oil and flooding the market so that Iraq couldn’t repay their war debts.  We then told Iraq that we didn’t care if they invaded, only to declare the first Gulf War after they did so.  We didn’t go to Baghdad in that operation, but we did get to station troops permanently in the Middle East on bases in Saudi Arabia.  Now those troops have been moved to permanent bases in Iraq.  We will now be able control the oil and threaten the neighboring countries.

At the same time, we have built our largest military base to date in the former Yugoslavia at what was once considered the western end of a proposed Caspian oil pipeline.  When the Afghan Taliban asked for a better deal on the proposed Unocal pipeline from the Caspian to Pakistan, and even started talks with an Argentine company, we discovered that they were human rights abusers and the country was put under international trade sanctions.  I’m a 9-11 skeptic, but when the towers collapsed, we were then able to invade the area and start a 50 year war of conquest.  I am also skeptical that the chaos in Iraq and Afghanistan wasn’t planned so that their weak central governments are forced to comply with our wishes.

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By Jon B, December 28, 2006 at 10:24 pm Link to this comment
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Military-industrial complex is unquestionably one of the major beneficiaries of war in Iraq.

For the last fiscal year, Boeing made $2.5 billions; Lockheed Martin $1.8B;  Northrop Grumman $1.4B; Hallibuton $2.3B; General Dynamic $1.4B; Raytheon $0.9B; GE is also a contractor but not all of its $16B derived from military hardware and there are host of other smaller contractors and sub-contractors.

Major oil companies didn’t profit from piping iraqi oil to their refineries. They dont need to.
All they need was an imbalance of supply and demand to drive oil price to historical high.

There are other major beneficiaries but the above two are quite visible.

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By AL, December 28, 2006 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment
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Wait a second Robert.  You simply cannot have a military industrial complex, or a capitalist America for that matter, without cheap oil.  While you are right that the MIC plays a significant role, it is important to recognize that this beast is hungry for the petrol, and with the global oil supply peaking, it is making a huge grab at securing the entire region so that it can continue to exist, no matter what the cost. 

A

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By Jon B, December 28, 2006 at 9:57 pm Link to this comment
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No, #44121 “the most profitable enterprise in the world is not the military-industrial complex—it’s the illegal drug trade…”

Indeed, drug trade is quite profitable but no drug trafficker is bigger than victoria. No drug trafficer is escorted by naval fleet. In fact, an empire was built on drug trafficking.
http://www.chron.com/cgi-bin/auth/story/content/chronicle/page1/97/06/30/hk-history-for-mon.2-0.html

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By GES, December 28, 2006 at 9:29 pm Link to this comment
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I want to believe that intelligent and truth seeking individuals are drawn to Sheer’s no B.S. journalism but after reading some of the comments posted, I must infer that some of you have absolutely NO interest in either truth or intelligent intercourse.  Just blame the Jews and Isreal for everything.  After all, it has been going on for over 3,000 years and it sure beats messing up the discussion with dumb things like facts, documentation and rational thought.  I am just at a loss as to what on earth would cause such shallow and ignorant people to go to this site just to proclaim to the world that they are racists.  I guess that’s what makes this country so great…we give equal voice, even to the dregs of the earth.

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By LibertyWatch, December 28, 2006 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment
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We can not go backwards and at the moment there is no path forward. We do not have any leaders on the caliber of President/General Ike! Greed and ignorance is ruling and quite frankly destroying our once great nation.

All our resources are fed into the warmongers profiteering via Pentagon control of corporate welfare to maintain the tool¨ machinist for making warfare.

A Free America is lost if we, as a nation of law abiding people, do not stop these war criminals now. I really believe that by making the investors libel for the actions of their corporate capital would send a shiver of fear deep enough and fast enough to stop the master of war.(to barrow from Dylan)

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By sinbad, December 28, 2006 at 5:17 pm Link to this comment
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Eisenhower was absolutely right. He saw the major ramping up of the arms industries and was privy to insider information as well during and after WWII. It was noted after WWI that war was QUITE profitable. This is where Nelson Rockefeller’s grandfather made his fortune, by selling 60% of the rifles to the American forces headed to France. The history of arms manufacture and sales is very interesting and revealing. One could argue that selling weapons to the Army, especially in WWI was legitimate business for a legitimate means to a legitimate end that did end well for the free world. This may be true for WWI, but what about WWII? Still legitimate? Ok, then what about Korea? Hmmm… now the black and white areas are becoming grey… What about Vietnam? Ah, here’s where the grey becomes black, and the defense industry is instrumental in creating it’s own business with the help of Congress, of course. Fast forward to Iraq II… Not only are the defense industries making billions, so are other major companies in servicing the military with their day-to-day needs. What Cheney is counting on in Iraq is that all the military spending will improve the economy enough so that Americans will come to accept our losses in Iraq, and will eventually fully accept that “we are in it for the long run.” Which is what the neocons are after, a sustained state of war if not total dominance in the mideast, particularly in Iraq. This is “just business” to them, like a mafia don might say while casually picking his teeth. The big dogs make money no matter if the U.S. is winning or losing. If we “win” they will get the oil and dominate the region and be prepared to move on Syria and Iran for more filthy lucre. If we are “losing” the defense industry will still be pumping out ordinance, planes, tanks, bombs, guns, etc, and their stocks will continue to soar. It’s like a lawyer; they get paid either way. Pretty sweet deal, but it’s still blood money, and the neocons are still white trash murderers.

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By Sleeper, December 28, 2006 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment
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I agree with the premiss of the article from the point in time when Eisonhower made his speach.  The roots go back in this nation prior to that.  It began as far back as the 1870’s when Corporations were granted “Corporate Personhood” with all the rights as a person.

This allows a hiden group with no collective conscience to utilize their access to large amounts of money and a network of influence to basically bribe our policy makers.

In our world today even many defense contractors are multinational Corporations.  They have a huge appitite for money and know where there is chaos there is money.  They manufacture chaos globally and through the Corporate media selectively present it to the masses.

The current path will destroy our Country with the help of our Congress and this President unless we demand that they harness the influence of these Corporations.  Only “We The People” can force them to hold themselves accountable.  I think the growth of information access on blogs will play a big part in that.  We need to collectively shine the light on them so they can no longer hide their greed and support for this Neo-Con agenda.

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By Ga, December 28, 2006 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment
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There is a pathological illness running through America.

The MIC, which has been growing LONG before the current Iraq war, is simply feeding like a bunch of giant sharks in bloody waters.

Does anyone think that the Axis of Idiots (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld) really wanted this war in order to fill some corporate coffers even larger?

Nah. Not that simple. The MIC is just part of the overall Capitalist-Industrial-Complex; remember, bringing “Democracy” to the world really means bringing “U.S. Capitalism” to the world.

President Bush himself, as he likes to remind us from time to time, gave the order to invade Iraq. He was, of course, “egged on” by many people.

Bush et. al. most likely simply believed in the infallibility of having righteousness on their side. These people mostly likely simply and truly believed that America and its ideals are superior than every nation on earth and therefore cannot fail when doing what is right. These people mostly likely simply and truly believed that America is so great that all we had to do was write down a plan on paper and then simply get it done.

It was folly, sheer folly, that invading Iraq would ever succeed. Might I even say lunacy?

There are men, a certain kind of old white American male, (very few women)—you can read their Op-Ed pieces every day—that actually and truly believe that all that need to be done is to send in the U.S. military to bend other nations to their will; and that since Americans are superior than everyone else we will succeed in “short order.”

There is a pathological illness running through America. It is an illness of blind faith in a made up “American-Christian-Conservative” religion based on a doctrine of having a “divine mandate of dominionism,” of dominion of all the world. And all other religions are wrong. And within this neo-con, neo-Christianity it is entirely morally okay to run rough-shod over all other religions, entirely okay to kill people of other faiths.

To the these people, it does not matter that hundreds of thousands were known and were expected to be victims of collateral damage; for the people in the Middle East are people of no consequence. All that matters to the neo-cons is that the nations of the Middle East get “converted” to our version of “democracy.”

Of course, I could be completely wrong.

Maybe the war in Iraq was really just to “drain the swamp,” a way to get all the “terrorists” to come to Iraq so that we only have one battle-front on which to fight them, a way to get all our enemies to come out in the open and we could kill them all.

Maybe.

But again, ask yourself—read military history of the last century and a half and then ask yourself—will even that “drain the swamp” plan have go off without any great problem, and could it actually have pulled it off in just a few years?

Whatever the reason Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et. al. had in their collective head for going to war, Why, O Why did they think it would be an easy thing to do?

(The worst part of these neo-con lunatics, is their blaming of the failure of the war on the Iraqis themselves. Remember folks, this is the first 100% Republican designed, planned and executed war!. They have noone to blame but themselves for its failure.)

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By jon eden, December 28, 2006 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment
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While many of you have written eloquently about Military-Industrial-(Congressional) complex, rabblerowzer at #43883 seemed to take the analysis one step further with:

…The MICC is America’s largest employer and has been for decades, and millions of Americans own stock and mutual fund shares in the corporations that make up the MICC. So, employees and investors have become economic and political allies forming the most powerful political special interest group in America…

In other words, the forces driving the war mongers in Congress are not just the hand out from the local defense plant, but also the political support of my next door neighbor, Joe Six Pack, who works there, and all the local businesses that appreciate and depend on Joe’s spending.

That said, I think support for MICC is broader and deeper still: that MICC is integral to our paradigm—our assumed right and ability to extract a disproportionate share of the world’s resources, both renewable and non renewable. Why else would the rest of the World tolerate it?

Oil, being both short in supply and absolutely necessary to our way of doing business, makes the Middle East current center stage as this paradigm gets played out against the various competitors (and, ultimately, the ability of the Earth to sustain this fossil carbon based version of the human enterprise.)  Iraq and what happens to those poor suffering people, is just a minor subplot in this larger play.

And apart from the suffering of people who get in the way of the more powerful players, how is this consumer driven paradigm going to play itself out? I think a few pieces of news in just the last few weeks—the US Govt. “agreeing” to list the Polar Bear as threatened, that the bears in Spain are no longer hibernating, and the extinction of the first dolphin species, the Baji,—give us a general outline of how the Earth itself is going to tolerate it:  rivers and oceans emptying of life and landscapes looking increasingly like Easter Island.

The Earth will shake out our insanity in its own time, but—without RADICAL CHANGE—it is not going to pretty for our 9 billion descendents due in the next couple of decades. As a matter of fact it already is not for billions.

Jon

http://StudentsForTheEarth.org

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By BadFrog, December 28, 2006 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment
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OK folks .. this is all a facade ! We are there for one reason and that is OIL ..but why Iraq ?
We get all of “our oil” from Saudi !

The billions spent on this stupid war could have been spent to develop the “new energy” to replace oil and Haliburton would not have gotten rich on wasted American GI lives !

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By felicity, December 28, 2006 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment
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It may be too late.  US military sales account for 18% of the national budget.  The US cannot reduce arm’s sales because of the consequent fall in GDP.  That’s what the pragmatists argue. And of course if we are arming the world, it naturally follows that we have to keep up.

Rumsfeld, among others, is responsible for the present “health” of the MIC.  He’s been at it since his days in the Nixon WH.

Parenthetically, if Americans were willing to take it in the neck - which would surely happen with an 18% drop in our GDP - the present madness could be stopped.  How about it?

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By nikolai, December 28, 2006 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment
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Eisenhower was absolutley right. He saw the major ramping up of the arms industries and was privy to insider information as well during and after WWII. It was noted after WWI that war was QUITE profitable. This is where Nelson Rockefeller’s grandfather made his fortune, by selling 60% of the rifles to the American forces headed to France. The history of arms manufacture and sales is very interesting and revealing. One could argue that selling weapons to the Army, especially in WWI was legitimate business for a legitimate means to a legitimate end that did end well for the free world. This may be true for WWI, but what about WWII? Still legitimate? Ok, then what about Korea? Hmmm… now the black and white areas are becoming grey… What about Vietnam? Ah, here’s where the grey becomes black, and the defense industry is instrumental in creating it’s own business with the help of Congress, of course. Fast forward to Iraq II… Not only are the defense industries making billions, so are other major companies in servicing the military with their day-to-day needs. What Cheney is counting on in Iraq is that all the military spending will improve the economy enough so that Americans will come to accept our losses in Iraq, and will eventually fully accept that “we are in it for the long run.” Which is what the neocons are after, a sustained state of war if not total dominance in the mideast, particularly in Iraq. This is “just business” to them, like a mafia don might say while casually picking his teeth. The big dogs make money no matter if the U.S. is winning or losing. If we “win” they will get the oil and dominate the region and be prepared to move on Syria and Iran for more filthy lucre. If we are “losing” the defense industry will still be pumping out ordinance, planes, tanks, bombs, guns, etc, etc, and their stocks will continue to soar. It’s like a lawyer; they get paid either way. Pretty sweet deal, but it’s still blood money, and the neocons are still white trash murderers.

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By August West, December 28, 2006 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment
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Eisenhower wasn’t the first retired general to warn of war profiteers.  Maj. Genn Smedley Butler begain his 1935 book, “War is a Racket,” by noting:

“WAR is a racket. It always has been.

“It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.”

The racketeers are clearly in control.

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By flip, December 28, 2006 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment
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sorry neoconot, Israel   is not the “800 lb gorilla in the room”
If anything, Israel is the Elephant standing in the room that
nobody has the courage to talk about.

I can’t forget the terse statement to the press from Ariel Sharon
after the Afgan invasion about how “There was a plan for the middle east”
something that I understood immediately to mean Iraq.
From what I’ve heard some people say the invasion was
“strongly supported & motivated” by the Israeli conservatives.

They seem to be the only ones that have come out ahead in this invasion so far.
One wonders how much of those billions of “US financial aid” dollars
have gone back into “american” companies that make up the MICC

Americans should take their government back and toss the suits into jail.

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By detuned radio, December 28, 2006 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment
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To “Encaustucus”:

“but they would not intentionally harm our country,”

HAHA You, sir, are blind.

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By JNagarya, December 28, 2006 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment
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To “mite”—

1.  The essence of democracy is elections.

2.  The Constitution expressly incorporates elections.

3.  Thus the US is a democratic republic, not an anti-democratic republic, your pro-classist, law-illiterate, ldiotology notwithstanding.

As for the single-cause hypothesis: there are many reasons for any given war, perhaps foremost in our instance a rampant competetive consumerism, and a lunacy of the impossible: unlimited individual freedom divorced from responsibility, the contrast with which is the Framers’ meaning of “ordered liberty,” summed up in John Adams’ dictum: “A nation of laws, not of [anything one can get away with].”

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By Nancy, December 28, 2006 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment
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So,Francois, r u saying ur not mad? And if u are, what r u doing?  Have a great day, Nancy

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By Hasapiko, December 28, 2006 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment
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Great comments. Haven’t read every single one but I especially agree with Daniel F. Stevens, Jim Levcoe, Houghton, xcanada2, Hank van den Berg and .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

In my view it is simplistic to pin Iraq - or any major decision - on one factor only. Rather, it is the confluence of interests that ultimately swade policymakers. Iraq is the perfect example. Consider the following factors:
1. The need to protect world energy resources for the sake of continued economic growth at home and in the world.
2. The influence of the energy corporations on this administration.
2. The “idealistic” Neocon agenda.
3. AIPAC.
4. The MIC.
5. The risk-aversity of Americans.
6. American military/economic dominance in the world.
7. A weak Republican Congress
8. A weak President easily dominated by his handlers.
All these factors - and others, I’m sure - came together at a moment in time when the shock of 9/11 temporarily deprived us of our senses and made it possible for the Neocons to hijack our government.

It is time that we Americans go beyond our two dimensional world view - a reflection of our intellectual laziness: the convenient concepts of black and white, good and bad, winner and loser, cause and effect. Are Rumsfeld and Cheney “bad”? Are they just after personal gain? Are the generals and CEO’s of the MIC “bad” men and women? Are the motives of AIPAC “bad”? Is Richard Perle a passionate idealogue of the right, or has he been doing what he does for the $millions$ he got for swinging a lucrative Air Force contract? Is Henry Kissinger a dedicated public servant or a criminal for the millions of dollars he made helping to shuttle American aid to Saddam?

Perhaps the takeaway is that we are all addicted to our way of life, a wasteful, aggressive, competitive consumerism that relies very much on cheap energy and the protection of an enormous military. No question that in an ever more crowded world our lifestyle is being threatened. The guys at the top - the Cheneys and Rumsfelds - they see this from their perspective. They are the leaders, the chosen champions of our culture, and it is their duty to defend it to the death. That they will personally be enriched for doing so is just a routine expectation of our society.

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By Francois, December 28, 2006 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment
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Bob,why is that everyone complains and everyone does nothing. If the people that respond on this site are so angry, then why are they just sitting on thier asses and doing nothing? I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore. That’s what we should be hearing, not it’s his fault or your in on it.
If your that angry, then get the fk off your asses and do something.

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By jon b, December 28, 2006 at 10:42 am Link to this comment
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A good recent documentary about the MIC is “Why We Fight.” It includes much about Ike’s warning, with interviews from his daughter. It also links to the Iraq War.

But, Sheer is concentrating too much on the MIC in regards to Iraq. It is so much more than that. The Cheney’s et. al. are much more complex than just enablers of the MIC. They are real life Risk game players. They are authoritarians that want to rule the world and Iraq is nothing but a piece of the puzzle. They don’t even fear losing power in 2008, because they think that they will pass on their legacy to someone else who will prevail in some election beyond 2008, although they would rather hold 2008. They think in long term goals as well as short term.

Iraq was their perfect storm for them. There were so many reasons and justifications in their minds that they barely could count them. Here are what I could count for them.
1) Sure, the military industrial complex.
2) oil
3) Saddam, he was a traitor to the neocons because he didn’t play a good puppet.
4) Revenge, for the alleged assassination attempt on Poppy Bush.
5) To stick a knife into the heart of the Middle East with a strong US military presence.
6) Not democracy, unless the Iraqis elected a good puppet.
7) Israel, enough has been said about this.
8) The End Times. Some of these neocons believe in Revelations or are supported by those who do. Iraq was looked at as a way to speed up the prophecy.
9) For fun and profit. Authoritarians just love manipulating the world.
10) To make other nations fear us.

Now, I’m not saying these were good reasons and that any of them worked, but reasons in their minds. Authoritarians aren’t rocket scientists by any means, but are ideologues. They think up their plans and then believe them forever. If their plans don’t fall into perfection, then they blame others. Unpatriotic Americans, the media, lack of money or resources, terrorists, dead enders, Democrats, whatever they can push up the flagpole that makes them feel better about their world view.

To these authoritarians the MIC is only a means to their ends, which is to have America rule the world and that they get the credit for that. Remember though, authoritarians are under the delusion that the “rule the world” premise is valid and only their enemies (some I’ve listed above) stand in their way or divert that path.

These people are not Republicans or conservatives, they are radicals. They have manipulated Americans to believe in them, but that’s waning. But don’t think for a minute they are through. I wonder about their plans for Iran and some sort of false casus belli to start the bombing. Even if it doesn’t happen, they will focus on winning 2008, and if failing that, will continue to seek power beyond.

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By Trevor Nohcud, December 28, 2006 at 10:16 am Link to this comment
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This will all end with crying.

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By Ed Goldman, December 28, 2006 at 10:04 am Link to this comment
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Eisenhower’s initial draft of his farewell speech used the comment, “military-industrial-CONGRESSIONAL complex” that was removed and shortened in the final speech.  His advisors told him the Congress would end all cooperation for the remainder of his term if they were lumped into this warning to Americans.  Eisenhower dropped the reference to Congress as part of this cabal ...but that doesn’t mean he didn’t get it right and nail the warning.  None of what we see today in the military-industrial complex would be possible without a compliant Congress.  Until we deal with Congress’s legislative support and funding, we will continue to waste our resources and plunder our treasury.  And be one of the biggest threats to peace in the world as the largest arms supplier to the world, including many unstable regimes.

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By Ric, December 28, 2006 at 10:02 am Link to this comment
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A group of disproportionately influential political and business interests were not happy with the collapse of the former Soviet Union.  The Cold War was a wonderful way to justify open-ended “defense” expenditures and the meddling in the politics and economies of weaker nations in the name of “anti-Communism.”

After the Cold War, these interests cast around for a replacement danger.  My favorite was the attempt to sell an asteroid defense shield that would—surprise, surprise—require repackaged versions of the same technologies that were formerly part of America’s Cold War defenses.

Today, terrorism has provided these same interests with a revived opportunity for open-ended “defense” expenditures and a justification for meddling in the politics and economies of weaker nations.  I call this revived state of permament quasi-conflict the Lukewarm War: A bit more actual shooting than the Cold War, but never so dangerous that it threatens the interests of those for whom the Lukewarm War was created to serve.

Consider that the United States has spent hundreds of billions of dollars across 25 or so years on a War on Drugs; today illegal drugs can be obtained inside of maximum security prisons.  Consider too that despite tends of billions of dollars spent to prevent illegal immigration that illegal immigrants work and live in literally every American state and major city.

Are we now then supposed to believe that the demonstrably bufoonish Homeland Security is somehow interdicting profesionally trained and equpped terrorists, terrorists willing to die while carrying out their missions no less, while at the same time we can’t successfully interdict uneducated and poor drug dealers and undocumented workers?

Consider too the “Cold War Plus” levels of hyper-secrecy that surround the so-called war on terrorism.  Is that level of secrecy necessary to defend the U.S. against a foe that has not air force, no navy, and no formal intelligence gathering capability?  Or is it necessary to sustain the illusion of a viable enemy, one that can then be used to sustain open-ended “defense” expenditures, serve as a partisan political lever, and justify meddling in the politics and economies of weaker nations?

As was said during Watergate, follow the money.  It’ll lead you to the real villains.

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By Karen, December 28, 2006 at 9:59 am Link to this comment
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No, #43883, the most profitable enterprise in the world is not the military-industrial complex—it’s the illegal drug trade.  And look what has happened in Afghanistan since the U.S. brought it “democracy”! Poppy production has gone through the roof.  Further, it is now being reported that Americans are dying from super strength Afghan heroin.

The drug trade has always done great; however,under the Bushies that trade has seen profits soar. If it were possible, it would be interesting to really follow the money—someone has to be laundering all that money (and making a profit from that service).

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By Colin Smith, December 28, 2006 at 9:25 am Link to this comment
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Well. If the US government was legally required to balance it’s books, it wouldn’t be able to afford to pay the military industrial complex and it’s influence would wane.

The fact that they can is down to the ability to borrow and print money. Citizens wouldn’t pay up the trillions required to prosecute the wars if it was collected through taxation, there would be a revolution. Instead, the government simply prints money and causes two trillion dollars worth of inflation.  It’s like free money. The citizens still pay, but most don’t understand how.

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By Shaman Omaha, December 28, 2006 at 9:07 am Link to this comment
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The Evolution of the Military-Industrial Complex

The Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) has evolved since Eisenhower’s day.  Mr. Scheer and the rest of us liberals would do well to recognize how “business enterprise” has taken over every major institution of our country.  The process began with WW II when the corporations supplying the military began to realize that they could make war a business.  The business of war requires a “natural resource” to be “developed” in the same way that the business of mining, say, requires the natural resource of ore.  The “natural resource” required by the war business is a weak, underdeveloped nation incapable of defending itself.  The U.S.‘s “war business” has “developed” such “natural resources” in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Grenada, Panama, Nicaragua, Kuwait, and now Iraq.  “Developing” these resources has in each case entailed creation of a justification (Gulf of Tonkin, WMD, 9/11, Al Qaeda, etc.) for “exploitation” of the resource through invasion.

We would do well to recognize how the motive force of “business enterprise” has spread like a cancer to all our insitutions.  A key “business enterprise” value that contaminates all our institutions is the autonomy the institution acquires that overwhelms the institution’s initial purpose.  The initial purpose of the Democratic Party, e.g., was to protect the health and welfare of the lower and middle classes.  The Democratic Party is adrift today because it is caught between the polar opposites of providing for its base and providing for its continued existence as a bureaucracy.

Business values have corrupted both political parties, all three branches of government, the media, and religion, uniting them with the vast industrial and financial sectors to change America into a corporatocracy.  America exists of, by, and for the corporations and bureaucracies. 

American citizens must wrest control of the nation from the corporatists and rededicate us to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for people, not corporations.

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By fpal, December 28, 2006 at 7:59 am Link to this comment
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Since and including Ike, all American presidents have gone to war or some foreign military action. They gave multiple reasons but I believe the main reason was that it was a good business decision for the military contractors.

This is sick! It needs to be changed by the American people.

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By Kathryn, December 28, 2006 at 7:51 am Link to this comment
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A few years ago, I came across a quotation from President Eisenhower (made in 1953):

“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. . .”

I wrote this down in a notebook because I was so very impressed by what Eisenhower said. (Have not verified the source yet.) It’s really rather eloquent (especially since Eisenhower wasn’t considered a great orator).

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By repeat of prior dig comments, December 28, 2006 at 6:32 am Link to this comment
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hey Bob,
Do you read any of our comments? Here’s one re: the thread on alternative 9/11 theories:

——


Comment #32151 by Thomas Ellis on 10/22 at 9:54 am

Let me explain a bit further, Jarod, since you obviously know little to nothing about science.

A law of physics is not a “belief.” It is rather a fundamental general claim about the nature and behavior of matter/energy that has been validated by every observation, every measurement, and every experiment ever made, and to which there are absolutely no exceptions.

Hence it serves as the warrant—the underlying assumption—behind any claim of causality that physicists (or any other serious scientists) make about any phenomenon they observe. That is, if the proposed explanation violates the known laws of physics, only two possibilities remain: either the explanation is wrong or incomplete, or the physical law is wrong. And if one claims the latter, the burden of proof is on him to demonstrate that this law is incorrect. So far, this has NOT happened at all for the First or Second Laws of Thermodynamics. They still constitute the unchallenged major premise for any scientific hypothesis.

It is clear to any unbiased observer that the impact of the jets on the Twin Towers, despite the damage they caused, did not directly trigger the collapse of the buildings, which happened an hour later. The buildings withstood the impact with no difficulty, their steel-frame infrastructures intact. And the jet fuel, which ignited the fires, was quickly consumed in a massive fireball, mostly outside the building, as one would expect for highly volatile fuel, upon impact. That left only open fires, fed by nothing but office equipment—paper, computers, furniture, and carpets—none of which is particularly flammable. (In fact, fire marshall regulations require that office furnishings be fire-retardant). So the fires, as one would expect, were quickly reduced to thick smoke—evidence of an oxygen-starved fire that is getting cooler, not hotter. None of this could possibly generate temperatures hot enough to melt thick steel girders, which were weakened by impact only on one side, and on a few floors at most. Yet suddenly, out of nowhere, the buildings collapsed, explosively and symmetrically, from the top down—with squibs of smoke and dust—direct evidence of explosive charges—blowing out the windows, several floors below the rapidly descending line of disintegration. And virtually all the concrete in the building was pulverized in pyroclastic flows, all at near freefall speed. How, pray tell, could the top fifth of a building fall directly through, and pulverize, the lower four fifths, without encountering resistance?

The burden of proof is on you, my friend. Show me the equations by which the immense energy output resulting in that collapse could possibly not exceed the observed energy input of a jet impact, office fires, and gravity. The eyes, coupled with what any school child knows of the basic laws of physics, don’t lie.

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By william harrison, December 28, 2006 at 5:48 am Link to this comment
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There’s not need in me thinking that I can write words not thought about by Robert Scheer as I learned about three years ago that what he says is “on spot”. His words are accurate based on logic and reason. Many of us remember those words and their meaning even though Mr. Bush has been there for about six years. On Wolfowitz, he got the gold medal we all know and so did Bremmer. What I’d like to know is where the missing 10-20 BILLIONS are.. puzzled that this could go missing and yet an award for meritorious service.. now that’s a winner! Then Wolfowitz becomes the banker and we see that fair and balanced Clear Channel Communications selling to The Carlysle Group for 27 BILLION. Now just where does all this money come from and what’s going to be the next round of complicity and control via monopoly as we head towards the North American Union.

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By JoJo, December 28, 2006 at 5:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here is a hint that no-one dares to talk about
Oil,Military,  Banks,stock exchanges, scrap metal,Media companies and government are mostly Jewish controlled .
Nothing in America is done without their input. Iraq Invasion was tailor made for their interests.
Get an insite when a group takes over a country-here and be prepared.-millions will die in USA—you watch !
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3342999,00.html

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By Disgusted, December 28, 2006 at 5:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am puzzled by Comment #44015, Here we go again.  Do you have an incessant and insatiable need to be correct?  Go ahead and correct me if I am wrong-no doubt you will, the fact remains we have a bumbling puppet figure in office who can not pronounce nuclear.  Whether or not Bob has pinpointed the absolute truth regarding our misfortunes in Iraq, the FACT remains lives are being lost for reasons which have nothing to do with terrorism or 9-11.

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By James V, December 28, 2006 at 12:36 am Link to this comment
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There can be more than one reason for us being in Iraq. None of them being justifiable seems moot at this point. The reality of our current national state of affairs seems invisible to most Americans. To my utter sadness all I can say is “that’s the way it is”. Call it oil dependancy. Call it nationalism. Call it “The American Way”. However you desire to frame it the reality is that we in America belive that, at the end of the day, WE are the famous biblical “Chosen Ones”. And no amount of injustice or malfeasance will alter our course if it will in any way effect US. And if you buy into the whole story… we ARE Sodom (hmmm the irony) and Gommorah reborn. And to all you crazy Christians in this counry, before you get too excited, you are the most blasphemous sinners of all them all.

Our nation is too weak, addicted, subverted and utterly incometent and lazy to stop this run-away train. It pains me to say this but in my heart of hearts I fear that this to be the truth. I by no means think that this is the end of humanity OR sanity. Mankind has proven itself far too resilient to end on such a note. I do however feel that we are wallowing in our own decaying existance and that in the future, those that follow us, will wonder why the hell we had to take so damn long…

I will end this little rant with one famous quote that to me is simply common sense and courtesy that seems to have been forgotten in this big greedy, self-imprtant world: (and I’m pointing at all you self righteous religious people out there in particular)

“do unto others as you would have them do unto you…”

And if that doesn’t make you lose sleep at night, you’re already a lost soul…

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By Eleanore Kjellberg, December 27, 2006 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment
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Most people don’t realize just how much profit is being made by contractors employing mercenary forces in Iraq.

Fifty thousand mercenaries have been hired by the U.S. since the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.  Thirty billion dollars was spent in one year on private security contractors—-one of the largest expenditures in Iraq.  Security contractors get the prize for war profiteering. 

And guess where they are recruiting “some” of these mercenary soldiers?  From Latin America—-unemployed former soldiers are being recruited from Chile, Columbia, Honduras, El Salvador Nicaragua and Peru. These contractors run clandestine training camps in Latin America. 

Hired guns have become the Coalition of the willing.

http://www.schnews.org.uk/archive/news572.htm
http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/03/05/1078464637030.html
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5976.htm

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By Milton Wiltmellow, December 27, 2006 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Talk.  More talk.  And more.

Theories.  More theories.  And more.

Here’s mine.

Politically, we’ve returned to pre-revolutionary days.  Instead of an aristocracy, we have dynastic corporations, owned by families (through shares), run by well-paid retainers.  Instead of barons, we have CEO’s; instead of countries we have multinational corporations; instead of kings, we have heads of state whose powers reside in armies and the support of local barons.

Nationalism is a form of tribalism, turned abstract and symbolic.  All who salute their flag salute the status quo.  What alternative do any of us have?  It’s no coincidence that Saddam’s execution will soon take place—a warning to those heads of state who think themselves secure in their thrones.  Sure, the invasion was a fiasco—an ineffable evil—but life goes on.  (For the living.)  Bush won’t be prosecuted, he’ll be replaced; having served his purpose he’ll retire into obscurity (like Pinochet or Amin, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi or Ron Reagan.)  There’s always another head for the crown.

When Bush leaves, the institutions and legal structures he created and consolidated will remain.  The most egregious—torture, rendition, habeas—might be mitigated or altered, but their meaning will remain:  the interests of the State trumps the interests of the civilian.  Why?  Because any threat to those institutions and legal structures will directly threaten the interests of the State.  The perpetual global war on terrorism isn’t directed towards tribes in Afghanistan/Pakistan, it’s directed towards anyone who disputes the status quo. 

Now any of us can be designated an “enemy combatant” and detained without the quaint restraints that were ignored to turn Padilla into “a piece of furniture”.  It will only take an “emergency”.

Blaming the MIC(C) mischaracterizes a facet of a larger, structural political problem.  When the next emergency occurs, whose side will you take?

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By SamSnedegar, December 27, 2006 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

nonsense from all of you!

were there no oil in Iraq there would be no Americans in Iraq. It is that simple. Why is it so hard to understand?

Oh, Scheer is now not only denying his previous correct position, but he is trying to obfuscate the fact that if we don’t steal oil, our entire economy is kaput, and we go belly up like Enron or Argentina.

Oh yes, there are a lot of profiteers out there using the fact of our occupation of Iraq to make lots of personal gain, but if Iraq had no oil, there would be no trillion dollar war.

And of course, their oil alone won’t save us; but it will keep us afloat long enough for all the principals in the action today to die. After that, they don’t give a damn, and why should they?

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By CV, December 27, 2006 at 7:59 pm Link to this comment
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There are probably a dozen underlying reasons for the occupation of Iraq, none of them honestly stated. Certainly, enough of the particpants in this misAdministration have been through the revolving door between government and the military contractors(Rummy, Cheney, Poppy Bush and many more), setting policy that favors certain contractors, then joining those contractors in the private sector, making serious bank, then swinging back into government service to benefit their previous employer, thus fattening their stock options.
And oil is why we are in Iraq not North Korea, it’s not for cheap oil for our market, it’s about controlling who gets the oil, who’s economy performs how well. (the rise of China has a lot of these guys’ panties in a bunch)(google:PNAC)
What’s really weird is to find the Isreali Zionists and the Saudi Wahabbis on the same page, but there they are, both itching for US to bring down Iran, next.
And W’s motivation might just be avenging the assassination attempt on his father, or maybe he’s trying to show the old man up.
There is a story, it may be apocryphal, that Donald Rumsfeld was the new hot lobbyist for Raytheon in the late fifties, making a splash in DC, talking up the cold war and selling weapons. The timing would be just about right that Ike was specifically warning US about Rummy!

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By KEVIN SCHMIDT, STERLING VA, December 27, 2006 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ike was a bit short on the more accurate description of the “Fascist Imperialist Military Industrial Bipartisan Congressional K Street Complex.” They are the true terrorists of the world, and our true enemy.

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By neoconot, December 27, 2006 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Once again, Isreal in the 800 lb. gorilla in the room.

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By Dayne, December 27, 2006 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You were close but do not get the cigar.  Bush lied us into the war with no plan to get out so he could have the clout to push through the big tax cuts and other benefits for the super rich and big corporations. 
When he decided to go into the oil business he learned (or already knew) that the super rich would give him money to get close to power and he would do anything for it.  When he broke both companies he organized the Bin Laden family and other super rich gave him money for nothing to reward him for being cooperative.  They then gave him an interest in the Texas Rangers to from for them and that is what he has been every since - a front for the super rich.  They bought the Texas governorship for him and he did his part pushing through laws for their benefit.  It only took him about a year to wipe out Texas’s budget surplus and bust the budget.  The rich benefited and rewarded him with the millions to run for president.  He did not win but go close enough for the crooked Florida Secretary of State to push things enough for the Republican Supreme Court to appoint him president.
Every since he had been in office he has only worked for the benefit of the super rich and large corporations.  He knows that with a little of the Billions in tax cuts he got for them they will make him one on the super rich when he is out of office.  To protect these tax cuts, etc, he needed to get reelected i.e. to have the war continuing.
His greed did not just extend to the Military-Industrial complex, it extended to all the super rich who would fill his pockets during and after the presidency.

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By Here we go again, December 27, 2006 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Bob,
Just what about elementary physics don’t you get? The twin towers (and Building 7) were the first steel skyscrapers in history to fall supposedly due to a fire. This is impossible. Hydro-carbon fires cannot melt steel let alone pulverize the steel and concrete into dust. Didn’t you see the video tapes that we pointed out to you? You posted some videos on this site, too, did you not look at them? Look in particular at the videos of Buiding 7—which wasn’t hit by a plane, remember, and had small, isolated fires on two different floors. Videos show this building collapsing at free-fall rate. Prior to each floor collapsing one can detect a series of charges detonating up the face of the building, as well as a tell-tale kink at the top middle of the building. This visual display is evident to any intellectually honest person that the building was imploded as in a traditional demolition. Such a demolition must have been planned months in advance, and not by a few guys in Afghanistan with box-cutters.

The Gov’t's “story” cannot possibly be true. There are many other holes in the gov’t's story. You have heard it all before, you have access to the video footage, so my question to you is “are you that dense?” I doubt it, which makes me suspect that you must be in on it. You are certainly helping to spread the Big Lie, at any rate.  Shame on you.

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By Jon Nelson, December 27, 2006 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A person here coined the acronym ‘MIC’ for military industrial complex. This is a good idea, but perhaps ‘MIX’ is more catchy, as it lends itself to the slogan ‘Nix the MIX’. The X sound also lends itself to rhyming words that end in ‘s’.

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By Bert, December 27, 2006 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ike may have been right, but our country didn’t get 8.5 trillion in the red by accident, this administration’s seen a HUGE investment in whatever they see fit to invest in, and likely
as our military etc. gets bigger, we’ll see other countries do it too.

On one hand, it can be successfully argued that the military is a necessary evil, on the other it can be viewed as a neverending economic sinkhole and vehicle for the integrity-challenged to more easily attain their goals in life, at the end of the day it’s a moot point and equally pointless argument because it’s likely to proceed regardless of public opinion. An old saying goes, “War doesn’t decide who’s right, it just decides who’s left to argue about it”, and that’s as true today as it was in the days of the roman empire, and as much as people argue about it, chances are there’ll still be a military somewhere of some kind in the world long after we’re all gone from this life. Things are what they are, and people will do what they do,
better to be honest about it.

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By Nancy, December 27, 2006 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Not only that, but apparently it’s for the good of ‘global free trade’. After all, if we didn’t support this war, how would the weapon-makers get rich? Not only Americans, but also countries like Russia. No big surprise. There’s not much revenue in America for guns. But after all, that’s where the people who gain so much from war live, not to mention their families. And isn’t that why the American people are being watched by the very government officials who took an oath to uphold and defend our constitution? They really don’t want civil war breaking out here…

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By unruli, December 27, 2006 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Heard once (can anyone confirm?)
“MIC” phrase was coined by and given to Ike
by his brother Milton who I believe was an economist.

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By Robert Karl Skoglund, December 27, 2006 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Go Robert. Keep telling it like it is.

Robert Karl Skoglund
785 River Road
St. George, ME 04860

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By Spinoza, December 27, 2006 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This article was disappointing.. There is rarely one cause for a war and the presence of the military industrial complex doesn’t come close to explaining the story.

Why Iraq?

Historically the reason was spelled out by the New American Century Paper and the Likudnik wing of the Israeli and American Jewish establishment.
The ideology is also spelled out in Dissent Magazine on the so called “liberal” side: —-“It is in Israels and the Worlds interest to have a “Democratic” Middle East”.

Iraq was just the first step to spreading democracy—-meaning pro Israeli governments in the Middle East.  Half of the Likudniks have since decided that a “War of Civilizations” is a better option.

Now the enticement for this war for the none Jewish Imperialists was oil and not Halliburton contracts. That was just gravy. We can start a war anywhere we want. Iraq had other reasons.

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By Ima Confused, December 27, 2006 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What a picture perfect photo opportunity when the Three strode up to the podium several weeks ago.
Bush, (Carlyle Group), Cheyney (Halliburton), and Rumsfeld (General Dynamics).
A perfect example of the paradigm our current administration is under. The mil/ind complex has engineered this government takeover. If you doubt this, you are very, very naive.
If you raise it up the flagpole and salute it as the American and therefore, right thing to do, you are guilty of mistaking your loyalty to your country with an engineered response which is exactly what the mil/ind complex orchestrated.

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By Daniel F. Stevens, December 27, 2006 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The reason most supposed leaders, including most Dems, who were opposing the war from the beginning, actually changed their minds were for two reasons. 

1. Highly organized pressure on elected US officials from AIPAC delegates to invade Iraq to protect Israel from Israel’s perceived threat of attacks from Saddam Hussein.

2.  Contributions from AIAPC and it’s members to fund future election campaigns of any and all Senators and Congress people who voted to invade Iraq and those contributions would continue to be paid for by AIPAC members around the world.

The reason the Dems, are in no hurry to apologize, again, is because they have their tounges up the rectums of AIPAC and weapons manufactuers and others who are profiting from the illegal war.

Jane Harmon, for instance has tens of millions of her personal fortune tied up in LockheedMartin stock, for instance, and her fortune is growing by voting to stay the course.

That is my humble opinion as a Jewish man who AIPAC has tried to court.  The actuality is I am not in line with my Zionist counterparts.  However,  AIPAC members send me notes to write to ALL senators and congresspeople to support an invasion of Iran.  NO THANKS AIPAC!  Take your Zionist agenda and shove it!  I am an American Jew who will only support Israel when we no longer do so at the expense of the Palestinians and Lebanese and others.  Then maybe there will be a chance for peace in this world.  I will not use the Holocasut as an excuse to give me or my heritage license to impede the lives of others.  It contradicts all that America and my tax dollars should be about.

Daniel F. Stevens

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