Democracy: "The Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow"

Excellent post by Robert Scheer: "Ike Was Right"

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.”

Some Reformed Leftists would argue that conservative Republican General Eisenhower was wrong. They will contend that the very essence of liberty is threatened by "primitive religious extremists" with $10 box cutters, and that the US should spare no expense in disposing of them even if it means the destruction of civilian populations in Iraq, Iran and whatever other nation stands in the way of America's vital national interests. They might even argue, as their friends who work at Haliburton have, that it is the Iraqis who are their own worst enemies and that they don't want to be free. Nevermind that those employees of war profiteers are lining their own pockets with the crumbs that fall from the table as their corporate bosses plunder the US Treasury.

I agree with Scheer for the most part, but would point out that Haliburton is also an oil services company. I will admit that the profits from the "liberation" of Iraqi oil fields pales in comparison to the military contracts that are being doled out with no regard to public opinion about the war or about government spending.

Surely our right-wing pundits here are offended by the obscene amount of money Bush/Cheney's "Big Guvment" is spending on an unwinnable war in Iraq and the unthinkable military buildup that foreshadows the unfathomably stupid notion of war with Iran.


Paul Hue said...

I don't think that the "Cold War provided a rationale for the first peacetime creation of a militarized economy"; such a statement requires you to believe that the Cold War wasn't really a war. The US, England, and France got into WWII because they failed to prepare for war while Japan, Germany, and Russia -- all enemies of freedom -- did. Nadir, do you propose that the US should not have waged the Cold War?

And of course I do not aggree that Bush took to the US into Iraq and Afgahnistan in order either to "steal oil" or "steal a pipeline", or to steal tax dolars for US military corporations. The only evidence for such a claim is merely the thoughts in the heads of lefties.

Paul Hue said...

With no evidence to back these conclusions (that Bush charged into Iraq to steal oil and enrich military corporations), how can this author rank one higher than the other? Very silly.