I know to be true the words of Alexis de Tocqueville; "All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it."
Many forget so soon the words of First Lady Barbara Bush on Good Morning America back in 2003 when she discharged this vile statement on the coming of the invasion of Iraq; "Why should we hear about body bags, and deaths...I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"
I believe General Douglas MacArthur when he correctly stated and yet holds true today; "It is part of the general pattern of misguided policy that our country is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear."
Too many only hear and believe "Make it a hundred---That would be fine with me" referring to a question Senator John McCain was asked about whether he supported President Bush's vision for keeping troops in Iraq for 50 years.
I know to be true the quote of the great Austrian economist and philosopher Ludwig von Mises when he correctly stated in his book Nation, State and Economy; "War prosperity is like the prosperity that an earthquake or a plague brings. The earthquake means good business for construction workers, and cholera improves the business of physicians, pharmacists, and undertakers; but no one has for that reason yet sought to celebrate earthquakes and cholera as stimulator's of the productive forces in the general interest."
The above examples are random ones I chose for no particular reason. I could find numerous more showing the hypocrisy of both parties and thepublic alike. The worst I believe is from the "love it or leave it" crowd. But my hope is to try and persuade the reader to think differently than you are used too. Growing up and having a "rooted" philosophy of government sponsored patriotism that we are all taught at a very young age makes it a difficult task to think "outside" of the box. Or to put yourself in the other persons shoes.
I for one, once I entered the military took several months to adjust to the ideals of soldiering and leaping from a perfectly good aircraft. I also needed time once I left military service to re-adjust and to "fit" back into civilian life. I was a very different person before, and a very different person after. I'm sure everyone has had to overcome difficulties and adjust to our ever-changing perceptions in life. It's a natural and ongoing occurrence....just some of us fight logic harder than others. Even more so if your livelihood is dependent upon national defense and and government contracts.
Below are two examples of men I greatly respect. These men have proved themselves beyond a doubt that they are every bit as capable of understanding the benefits and the consequences of war. We as outsiders on the other hand are very short sighted. And we as trusting human beings are even more so because of the half-truths and disingenious news reporting we take as being truth. But from time to time we are warned by those on the "inside" and sadly do nothing about it. There will come a day though when we can no longer ignore the stubborn facts of perpetual warfare and all that it entails. I only hope that we don't let our posterity be the ones who suffer from our lack of noticing the "elephant in room."
Two-Time Congressional Medal of Honor Winner Major General Smedley Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940) had it exactly right when made a speech and exposed the true purposes of War. Butler said:
"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. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes."
The Military Hero goes on the to explain why war is a racket, who benefits, who pays for it, who profits and how to "smash this racket." The warning is truly prophetic but sadly not well known among the American population. Anyone with a smidgen of honesty would have to admit that at least during Butler's military career, he was just as he said; "a high class muscle man for Big Business." I would urge everyone regardless of their feelings about today's conflicts to read his speech entitled "War is a Racket."
Sadly, not much has changed. Dwight D. Eisenhower (October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) was a Five-star General and Commander of the Allied Forces in WWII. He obtained the second highest possible rank in the Army and became our 34th President of the United States. Eisenhower knowing a little something about war and it's unintended consequences, also came to a logical conclusion and warned the American people during his farewell address speech of the very real dangers of the relationships between our government, the military industries that support them and the armed forces for whom they support. He used the term "Military Industrial Complex" and just as his predecessor Butler did before him; he exposed the true nature and very dangerous threat from this "Iron Triangle." Eisenhower said:
"This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. 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. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together."
Once again; a famous and well respected Military General; a President no-less warning the American people to no avail. I would encourage you listen to his famous farewell address from January 17th, 1961.
Roman senator and historian Publius Cornelius Tacitas said:
"The worst crimes were dared by a few, willed by more and tolerated by all."
The history of war and the unintended (or intended depending on who profits and who you ask) consequences of those who are enveloped by the Military Industrial Complex is nothing short of a Catch-22. The fine line between national security and a over reliance of military government contractors and spending for today's " never-ending war on terror" has certainly tipped the scales towards despotism. Today I know of only one " honest and well respected figure" that has consistantly warned us just as Butler and Eisenhower had. I only pray that this time the american people unlock that box and allow the balance to be restored so we can finally once again, become a nation of "producers instead of destroyers."