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Robert Scheer: Ike Was Right

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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.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By Joe Garza, December 27, 2006 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr Scheer,

I understand your viewpoint and it is well founded.

I would only have changed your last sentence to read “they’re only partially correct.”

Very true that the M-I-C complex mourned the absence of the old Cold War and welcomes the new “War on Terror” (what a joke—I mean really). In this sense this move is a win($$$) for the M-I-C complex.

It’s true that ultimately the Iraqi Oil Reserves will pay for only a portion of the cost of the US’s (and allies) expenditures on this fiasco. However, what’s perhaps worth much more is holding onto American hegemony in the region. Much profit and definitely a win($$$) for the American oil companies.

Hooray for the members of the Carlyle Group, jeers for much of the rest of us in the world, especially for average Iraqi citizens caught in the bloody/suffering middle and the GIs doing the fighting and dying only to play the part of a pond in this horrific game. A game in the end of dollars and cents.

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By Peter RV, December 27, 2006 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Sheer,
  Neither Industrio-Military Complex nor Oil can explain our Iraq folly. They can only serve as sort of, attenuating circumstances.
  The only rational explanation to this irrational act lies in the conspiracy of those who dragged us into it. We know who they are and are pretty much sure by now what was on their agenda. Why not admit it, we are there to make safe Israel, and the more chaos we create in the Arab World, the better the chances for Israel’s survival. Iraq is our folly but it is not -pardon my anti-Semitism-a Jewish folly.(Olmert just said so much)

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By Keleigh, December 27, 2006 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

IIRC, Cheney said there enough “good targets” in Afghanistan.

“No, I’m sorry, Robert; the military/industrial complex doesn’t explain the war in Iraq.

We were already Afghanistan, and then we dropped that ball to put everything into a war to destroy Iraq. That wasn’t done in order to give contractors more to do. Don’t you think Halliburton and Bechtel could have built plenty of bases in Afghanistan? ”

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By vonwegen, December 27, 2006 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In response to Comment #43891 by Al, here is why he is wrong—the Pentagon never ran the war in Afghanistan—it was the CIA who had a plan already in the works before 9/11, and they ran the whole thing, much to Rumsfeld’s fury. Rummy then stepped up pressure to start the war in Iraq to test his whole brainstorm, the idea that wars could be conducted via remote from continents on the other side of the globe, via high-tech superiority.

Do your homework before you make such an accusation: Read Woodward’s “State Of Denial”, for example.

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By Mariana, December 27, 2006 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think that maybe in all of this we can trust and work for a cause that worth our time.

In the coming days, the blue ocean of the Antarctic will turn to red. The six-ship whaling fleet has left Japan, and is headed directly to the Southern Ocean. 945 whales, including ten endangered fin whales, will be killed - unless we do something to save them. It’s time to put an end to whaling in the Southern Ocean. Forever. Last year, your emails and activism convinced one of the largest seafood companies in the world to get out of the whaling business. This year, we’re asking you to join us in defending the whales from the very beginning.
Share best action ideas check out what others are suggesting.
Vote for the action ideas of others or improve them with your own tips
This time all we can be there, all of us can tell to the world why whaling must stop

http://whales.greenpeace.org/global

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By Scott, December 27, 2006 at 11:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s diabolically so simple, yet effective in it’s own camouflage - the institutionalized profiteering continues unhindered and unremarked because almost no fair-minded Americans would ever want to bring themselves to the harsh belief that the system might be so egregiously rigged in favor of perpetual war, war spending, war hysteria, justifying more war spending, and so on…
The Bush Crime Family is simply the lates edition, albeit the most unapologetic we’ve ever seen in their sociopathic treasury raids. And the delicious bonus for their archconservative allies is that the sqaundering also justifies reductions in ‘socialistic’ spending and ‘large government’.
But, folks, in the end we can only point the finger at ourselves - we get the government we deserve. There will always be Svengalis, hucksters, mountebanks and Bushies at the ready to take the opportunity to swindle us if we let them. I believe that the American character is partially at fault here. Despite our self-image as independent and self-defining, we are in fact far too credulous and conformist. Even our fourth estate, the vaunted Press, has fallen to its knees , bowing and scraping for crumbs of approval from percieved Daddy-figures of benevolent authority. We fall for it every time.

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By u2r2h, December 27, 2006 at 10:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I seem to recall that the original draft of Eisenhower’s speech had the phrase “military-industrial-Congressional” complex, but that “Congressional” was deleted at the urging of family members.  Whether this is true, or just urban legend,

Bumsteer!

It was military-industrial-INTELLIGENCE complex.

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By Jim Lethcoe, December 27, 2006 at 10:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Scheer,

I would take exception to your introductory statement “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.”

First, I would argue that there is nothing “naked” concerning the administration’s “imperial grab.” This is one of the most fully clothed grabs in American imperial history. Ask yourself how many times does the word “oil”  occur in the mainstream media when media pundits, retired general,  policy makers and government officials analyze the causes of and solutions to the Iraq situation? Almost zilch!

Secondly, I would also agree that you are absolutely right in your article that Eisehower is right regarding the present situation. The problem seems to be an error in logic all to frequent in our discussions. I call this ” the either/or - both/and” fallacy. Even scientists frequently commit this fallacy.  Witness, for example, how long scientists have argued endlessly over “nuture or nature” only to discover with modern genetic research that both nurtue and nature” are correct. I don’t belive that there is really a contradiction between your “Ike is right”  analysis and the imperal analysis. You have merely posed a “both/and” question as an “either/or question” - which it is not.

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By Gonnuts, December 27, 2006 at 10:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We have created a monster that needs to be feed.

Every state has some component of the Defence Industry in it. Each tank build has a part of it in every state. The dependence on jobs created by this makes it imperative that we continue to finds wars to fight. We simply can not be a nation at peace. Hence, the “false flag” attack of 9/11.

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By Houghton, December 27, 2006 at 10:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There’s a lot of money to be made in the arms industry, no question about it.  But the arms industry wouldn’t have the appeal that it has without two strong human emotions, both based on fear, working for it.  Americans are uniquely fearful people.  Michael Moore’s film about guns in America was very revealing in this respect: we seem to be figuratively (and often literally) sleeping with a gun under our pillow because of an innate sense that someone is out to get us.  Maybe it’s guilt over what we did to the Indians and to the Africans we brought here as slaves.  In any case, it makes it easy to sell us on the idea that we need LOTS of protection.  Another side of this fear—and this is something that has no doubt been around since the first hominid picked up a rock and threw it at another hominid—is the macho desire to have the biggest rock, the sharpest sword, the longest bow, the biggest gun.  History has been decided by small differences in armament-excellence between groups in conflict.  And boy, does the arms industry know how to exploit that need to feel tough.  As a race, are we maturing fast enough that one day soon we’ll tell the M-I Complex we don’t need any more of their toys, that education and equal opportunity are better ways to ensure our way of life than smart bombs and super-sonic planes?  I doubt I’ll live to find out, but I certainly hope my children will live in a world that devalues all this blood-soaked hardward in favor of more humanistic uses of human ingenuity and energy.

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By rnidess@swbell.net, December 27, 2006 at 10:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

While this article is certainly correct in the main, separating the needs & wants of Big Oil from the needs & wants of the M-I Complex is a little like asking whether you prefer the pastery or the swirl in a cinnamon bun… they’re hard to separate and operate in concert to achieve mutually reinforcing results.

More interesting might be the question of whether, deprived of the M-I Complex (in all its ramifications), an American economy would even exist.

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By xcanada2, December 27, 2006 at 9:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We must piece together the various theories for the political situation in the US to create a comprehensive synthesis.  Many of the theories hold parts of the truth.

U.S.-lead Imperialism and The Israeli Lobby are on the same track:  break up and control the Arab states, where most of the easily recoverable oil is. Protect/use Israel. Big oil companies, by themselves, don’t benefit from Arab-state instability but instead want to make money now.  But control of oil is needed for imperialist goals, to establish world hegemony by propelling Western economies, and controlling the other economies (China, India, Russia).  This is the agenda of Neocons.  Surrounding Russia with unfriendly states is also useful.

The Neocons are composed of roughly 50-50 gentiles and Jews.  The gentile component…, Chaney, Libby, Rumsfeld, Bush,  etc. are the pure Imperialists, whereas the Jewish component such as Perle, Wolfowitz, Kagans, Feith, largely support Israeli issues.

The Jewish/Israeli Lobby acts as the enforcer on the politicians who simply go along with the Lobby and receive campaign “contributions”, or go against it and their opponent gets funded.  The media is also heavily biased in support of the Lobby.

Once again, the only practical way to change this is to get big money out of campaigns,  i.e. public funding. Watch all the private funding enterprises raise holy hell:  un-American, freedom-of-speech, too expensive, undemocratic, we need big money to run the country,....

Why imperialism?  Because imperialism sells to the American public, puts Big Money in charge, and as Sheer says, it keeps the military-industrial complex going.

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By michael roloff, December 27, 2006 at 9:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

meanwhile the military industrial complex is integrated into each and every congressional district. even our “bugdud” jim mcdermott here in seattle provides pork to defense contractors. so get used to it: the war on evil may be futile but it is a rich breabasket!

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By Sharon Ash, December 27, 2006 at 9:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I believe there are three areas of hope for slowing the military machine.  One, is to inform Americans as to the size and scope of our military machine, as most Americans have no idea.  I posed a question to an audience I was addressing on this subject and asked, a rather large crowd, if they knew how many military bases we either owned or leased in other countries.  Most people just shook their heads, no.  One person ventured a guess of 46.  The answer of course, is more than 700 that are known.  Second, is the establishment of a U.S. Department of Peace and Nonviolence.  Third, is the establishment of a Peace Tax Fund.  I believe that enough Americans, if given the choice, would designate enough tax dollars to such a fund that the military budget would have to be cut.  Reducing military spending is a fact about which Americans must come to grips if we are to save our country from endless wars.

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By anonymous, December 27, 2006 at 9:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If it dawned on him, Rumsfeld would delight in the “do it on the cheap” victory the “terrorists” scored on 9/11. 

“Everything changed on 9/11” because the “haves and have-mores”, (yuk! yuk!) wanted it to.

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By Tim, December 27, 2006 at 9:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have read that Donald Rumsfeld worked for the Carlyle Group, a lobbying group for defense contractors.  Does anyone have more info on this?

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By Tumerica, December 27, 2006 at 9:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Exactly, Robert Scheer, exactly. I’ve been preaching the Military-Industrial Complex for months now. I’ve even dubbed it MIC by way of an easier-to-handle acronym.

By the research I’ve done and much soul-searching, the only answer I can come up with for the madness that’s taken over Washington for the last six years (and probably longer), is MIC. Ike was right. MIC drives much of the rationale behind U.S. law. And MIC is the evil behind the aggressiveness of U.S. foreign policy.

In fact, I blame MIC for darn near everything except global warming. Heck, it may even have a part in that too. Sadly, MIC is not as sexy or easy-to-grasp as other, more powerful concepts like oil or terrorism. But unless we get a grip on MIC, it will continue to warp our world for generations to come. Thank you for this astute article—let’s help get the word out!

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By Encaustucus, December 27, 2006 at 9:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Really ridiculous ranting!  Paranoia! The Americans that compse the so called industrial and military complex are as interested in the welfare of the USA as any patriot. They as well as any person may be in error .but they would not intentionally harm our country,

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By jonathan, December 27, 2006 at 9:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Okay.. we know the problem.. how is best to get the politicians out of the way to stop the insane injustice and harm by the US government to the whole world?

In this endeavor, next month, two films are being presented with discussions:

The following is latest notes from Flyby News that includes more on these films and news of the deep corruption too horrible for most to even read.

Flyby News Notes -
Editor - Jonathan Mark -
December 26, 2006 - Bush Probe * Leo Wanta * Lori Berenson

“The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with
a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists.”

-J Edgar Hoover

1) Probes of Bush Policies in Works
- - U.S. Deaths in Iraq Exceed 9-11 Count
- - 9-11 Research & Federal Building in Oklahoma City Bombing
2) The Astonishing $27.5 Trillion Leo Wanta Story
- - World Reports: ‘New 9/11’ to Fabricate Derivatives End-Game
3) Update from Political Prisoner Lori Berenson

Editor’s Notes:

This issue comes on the heels of US military deaths in Iraq exceeding the loss of life in the crimes of September 11, 2001. There is no moral justification for this illegal war, or continuing it. In the first item too are similarities on the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City’s federal building and the 2001-WTC collapse. The second item gets rather complex. I have been following, but not reporting, or fully comprehending the scope or significance of Ambassador Leo Wanta. According to Greg Szymanski of The Arctic Beacon, “this story holds the key to the Illuminati’s $27.8 trillion dollar financial treasure chest.” And it appears it could be realated to the Bush crime family and September 11. Besides the Artcic Beacon, World Reports has been covering this issue extensively. Item three is an update and letter from Lori Berenson, who has now been imprisoned in Peru for more than twelve years!

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Western Mass 9/11 Truth Alliance
presents film-screenings:

“Why We Fight”
by Eugene Jarecki
{last hour of film}

&

“Connecting the Dots:
Awakening to the Crimes of 9/11”
by Lynn Pentz
{last 20-minutes}

at the Media Education Foundation
Wednesday, January 24, 2007; 7pm
Discussions and Resources Available.

********************************************************************
For issue with articles and links, see: http://www.flybynews.com
December 26, 2006 - Bush Probe * Leo Wanta * Lori Berenson
*********************************************************************

News fit to transmit in the post Cassini flyby era
<>~<>~<>~ FlybyNews.com ~<>~<>~<>
for life’s survival in the 21st Century

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By Ken Mitchell, December 27, 2006 at 8:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

While I am a critic of the military-industrial complex, Comment #43891 by Al on 12/27 at 6:00 am has a point about already being in Afghanistan.

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By jh, December 27, 2006 at 8:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sorry, got to say stupidity is an issue too.  With all the games-playing planning underwritten by the taxpayer and available and used by the ‘MICC”, they could have foreseen the consequences well ahead of time, just like the rest of us did.  Those consequences are perforce inimical to their own long-term interest as well as (most specifically) those on on the ground in Iraq.  So, in a larger sense, it was stupid, they shot the country as well as themselves in the foot, and they should have known better. 
Still they thought they could get away with it.  So what IS ‘it’?
Short-term money, of course, was the prime objective, money in the pocket of the junta, and out of the pocket of a loose cannon like Saddam.
But it’s the long-term effect of the excercise—the body bags, the exposition of a lower moral tone in official and unofficial business, the abuses, the corruption, the graft, etc.—that sticks in the public’s craw.  Finally.  It sure took some time to recover from the mushroom cloud of fear that enveloped the country after 9/11.
My guess is that there will soon come a new ‘threat’, a new reason to be fearful.  The natives are getting restless.

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By AnnaCatherine, December 27, 2006 at 8:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes and no, Mr. Scheer. No doubt that money was the incentive. It still is.Iraq was unable to defend itself.There were no weapons of mass destruction.The people were helpless.It was an easy target with the prospect of enormous profits from building to food service. Most importantly it was allowed to happen. There was no resistance from the American people. No one questioned anything or anyone.I thought it was shameful. I can’t be the only one who knew they lying from the beginning.They still are. I have hopes for 2007 and the new crowd.

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By Stephen Londe, December 27, 2006 at 8:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What is it about kleptocracy that you don’t understand”

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By Hank Van den Berg, December 27, 2006 at 8:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Anyone who is concerned about the Iraq war and its consequences has, no doubt, pondered the question: “Why was the administration so anxious to invade Iraq?”  No matter how one looks at it, there is only one possible reason that consistently explains the war, the poor execution, the lack of interest in preparing for what happens after the invasion, the continued threats against other countries, and the obstinate push for a long “surge” in troop levels: Without the threat of communism, the military-industrial complex needs a permanent enemy to justify continued military expenditures and our foreign policy is designed to create enemies.  It is obvious that we created the war in Iraq, and the politicians in Washington will continue to create conflicts: Iran, Palestine/Israel, Lebanon, the African Horn, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Sudan, etc.  The only thing that can stop this madness is for the American electorate and the U.S. press to wise up, but that doesn’t seem to be happening.  Note the silence of the public and the largely sympathtic coverage in the press in response to the administration’s outrageous suggestion of a “surge” in troop levels as its new approach to the Iraq mess!

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By mite, December 27, 2006 at 7:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr Robert Scheer:

I agree with your article and the issues that you present, but we need to address the #1 act that lead to this action; The Biderbergs,Rockefellers, IMF, World Bank, the real Masters of ‘The Military Industrial Complex’.

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke, 1729-1797

The truth told we must go back to the beginning and what resulted from that beginning.

“Give me control over a nations currency, and I care not who makes its laws”
Mayer Amschel Rothschild, 1743-1812

On December 23, 1913 while most of this country’s representive members were home for the holidays a small group of Congressional traitors gave this country’s sovereignty away with passage of The Federal Reserve Act. These tyrants gave away a Republic and created a Democracy ruled by socialists and communist order. This action destroyed a nation of laws and our U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

“It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.” Mark Twain 1885

See: Citizens for Better Government for next paragraph info:

Twenty years later Rep. James Traficant, Jr. (Ohio) addressed the Speaker of the House of Representives; “we are here now in Chapter 11…
Members of Congress are official ‘trustees’ presiding over the greatest reorganization of any Bankrupt entity in world history, the U.S. Government.”

‘United States Congressional Record, March 17, 1993 Vol.33, Page H-1303’

The Federal Reserve System is based on the Canon Law and the principals of sovereignty protected in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. In fact, the international bankers,(Rockefeller)used a “Canon Law Trust” as their model, adding stock and naming it a “Joint Hypothecated” all property within the federal United States to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, in which the Trustees (stockholders) held legal title.

The U.S. citizen (tenant,franchise)was registered as a “beneficiary” of the trust via his/her birth certificate. In 1933, the federal United States hypothecated all of the present and future properties, assests and LABOR of their “subjects” the 14th Amendment U.S. Citizen, to the Federal Reserve.

In return, the Federal Reserve System agreed to extend the federal U.S. corporation all credit “money substitute” it needed. Since the federal U.S. didn’t have any assests, they assigned the private property of their “economic slaves”, the U.S. citizens as collateral against the unpayable federal debt. ($10 Trillion) They also pledged the unincorporated federal territories, national parks forests, birth certificates, and non-profit organizations, as collateral against the federal debt.

Once again, We have gone back 200 years pre-American Revolution and allowed the same Masters to get back what they feel is theirs, our Republic.


See: Citizens for Better Government scroll down page to ‘The Bankruptcy of The United States’ by http://www.iresist.com.

We need to return back to Article 1 Sec: 8 of the U.S. Constitution and allow Congress to coin money and end the Federal Reserve Systems.

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By HC, December 27, 2006 at 7:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I seem to recall that the original draft of Eisenhower’s speech had the phrase “military-industrial-Congressional” complex, but that “Congressional” was deleted at the urging of family members.  Whether this is true, or just urban legend, nonetheless the complicity of all of them is the truth of the matter.  Commentator Sheila Samples put it most succinctly, and profoundly: “The U.S. military is the largest welfare program in the world.”

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By Al, December 27, 2006 at 7:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No, I’m sorry, Robert; the military/industrial complex doesn’t explain the war in Iraq.

We were already Afghanistan, and then we dropped that ball to put everything into a war to destroy Iraq. That wasn’t done in order to give contractors more to do. Don’t you think Halliburton and Bechtel could have built plenty of bases in Afghanistan?

The need to give military/industrialists a lot of contracts doesn’t explain this stupid war of choice in Iraq.

But our government’s suicidal commmitment to fighting wars of aggression for Israel’s expansionist goals DOES explain it.

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By Chris, December 27, 2006 at 6:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Spot on!

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By rabblerowzer, December 27, 2006 at 5:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex is the most profitable enterprise in the world, and it isn’t even exclusively ours anymore. Many millionaires, billionaires and potentates in foreign countries have invested in the MICC, and they too have profited immensely from the looting of the National Treasury by our plutocracy and their political lackeys.

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. None of this happened by accident.

Ike saw it happening and tried to warn us, but we ignored his warning.

At this point, our chances of freeing ourselves from this axis of evil are limited: We could demand a Constitutional Convention to terminate this corrupt system of government by legal means. Or, failing that, we can rebel.

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By TAO Walker, December 27, 2006 at 2:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is an overwhelming preponderance of evidence showing that powerful elements within the “military industrial complex” were a hell of a lot more pro-active than they’re described here, in the events of 9/11.  To’ve jumped so lustily onto the circus-parade of commercial and martial opportunity that emerged phoenix-like out of the dust and ashes, the flesh and blood and bone of that day would maybe’ve been merely ghoulish, and pretty much par-for-the-course for the merchants and agents of death, as Ike might more accurately have called ‘em.

Remember, though, that some of them moved to pad their bank-accounts days and weeks before the walls at the WTC and the Pentagon came tumbling so spectacularly down.  Why wait for opportunity to knock, when you command the means and harbor the motive to effect a forced entry? 

It is dead-certain that Eisenhower was carefully pulling his punches, in that famous farewell caveat.  He had to’ve known the thing he was warning people about was already a fait accompli, to all intents and purposes, even as he spoke.  The death-grip of the now fully-realized corporate national security police state, on the short-hairs of its subject/citizenry, is both de facto and de jure today, as a ‘new’ Congress gets set to go through the motions of keeping the state machinery well-oiled and the national books well-cooked and their own resumes and portfolios well-padded and their sponsors’ palms well-greased. 

An abundance of real pain (which their tormentors mean not even to feel, much less share) is all ordinary Americans are guaranteed in the frenzy of profiteering and outright pillage prepared, for their own entertaining enrichment, by the imperial oligarchs of “free enterprise.”  This is true whether you submit meekly to ‘the big squeeze,’ or overcome your fearful (and fatal) inertia and do what you must to tear loose from an iron-fisted captivity that only yesterday must’ve seemed at least tolerable, given the apparent magnitude of the perceived “threat,” if not nearly as comfortable as it had been just a little while before.

Sure, the Rape-of-Iraq might not “be primarily about oil.”  The privateering gang-bangers committing it, though, fully expect their hapless consumers here in “the homeland” to pay (patriotically) for it up-front in blood and then to again sit still while they get gouged at the pump.  And no Republicons or Domesticrats are going to squawk about it because they’ve most of ‘em been cut in for a piece of the action.

Robert Scheer has got to know all this.  So why is he so assiduously propping-up and perpetuating the 9/11 myth, and at the same time pretending to wonder out-loud about the deafening silence still emanating from the corridors of power?

HokaHey!

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By R.J. West, December 27, 2006 at 12:51 am Link to this comment
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Yes, it’s most unfortunate that there once were groups of political operators in BOTH parties that genuinely had the general welfare on their agenda sheets… and that today, these persons are considered “suckers” by their mercenary peers. We’ll have a flipping global economic meltdown before anybody wakes up to realize a few pirates have seized the ship of state, I suppose.  How I pity the young people who are being handed this mess, and the older ones who are not quite the age to get a meaningful pension.  To “beat” this dysfunctional system, you’ve got to be drawing your monthly check, and knocking on death’s door! That indignity will force radical changes on our sapped democracy… what’s next, for cryin’ out loud?  Out-right fascism? Give us strength…

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