Are you being asked to die for a bloated Military Industrial Complex that refuses to let America develop to be a better place to live and raise families?


Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, Words Not to Die For

U.S. Marines are, for the first time, deploying to Syria (with more to come). There’s talk of an “enduring” U.S. military presence in Iraq, while additional U.S. troops are being dispatched to neighboring Kuwait with an eye to the wars in both Iraq and Syria.  Yemen has been battered by a veritable blitz of drone strikes and other air attacks.  Afghanistan seems to be in line for an increase in American forces.  The new president has just restored to the CIA the power to use drones to strike more or less anywhere on the “world battlefield,” recently a Pentagon prerogative, and is evidently easing restrictions on the Pentagon’s use of drones as well.  U.S. military commanders are slated to get more leeway to make decisions locally and the very definition of what qualifies as a “battlefield” looks like it’s about to change (which will mean even less attention to “collateral damage” or civilian casualties). President Trump may soon designate various areas outside more or less official American war zones — since the U.S. Congress no longer declares war, they can’t truly be official — as “temporary areas of active hostility.” That will grant U.S. commanders greater leeway in launching attacks on terror groups in places like Somalia.  In fact, this already seems to have happened in Yemen, according to the New York Times, opening the way for a disastrous Special Operations Forces raid there that caused the death of a Navy SEAL and possibly nine Yemeni children (the youngest three months old), while evidently accomplishing next to nothing.

In other words, in the early months of the Trump era, U.S. wars and conflicts across the Greater Middle East are being expanded and escalated.  This isn’t exactly a new process, and isn’t yet at the level of either the failed Iraqi Surge of 2007 or the failed Afghan one of 2010.  Still, you might think that the almost instant failure of that Yemen raid would have rung a few familiar warning bells in Washington when it comes to escalating America’s wars in the region.  If so, you would evidently be oh-so-wrong.  The history of the last 15 years tells us that in Washington such setbacks couldn’t matter less. At the moment, the generals who have headed down these very paths before are evidently recommending to an eager new president that it’s the height of wisdom to head down them again.

As TomDispatch regular Andrew Bacevich, author of America’s War for the Greater Middle East, points out today, this is now business as usual in militarized Washington in the twenty-first century.  It’s so much the law of the land that the Pentagon has developed the perfect language for masking, perhaps to itself as much as others, just how dismally familiar this process actually is. Tom

Prepare, Pursue, Prevail!
Onward and Upward with U.S. Central Command
By Andrew J. Bacevich

By way of explaining his eight failed marriages, the American bandleader Artie Shaw once remarked,  “I am an incurable optimist.” In reality, Artie was an incurable narcissist.  Utterly devoid of self-awareness, he never looked back, only forward.

So, too, with the incurable optimists who manage present-day American wars.  What matters is not past mistakes but future opportunities.  This describes the view of General Joseph Votel, current head of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).  Since its creation in 1983, CENTCOM has emerged as the ne plus ultra of the Pentagon’s several regional commands, the place where the action is always hot and heavy.  Votel is the latest in a long train of four-star generals to preside over that action.

The title of this essay (exclamation point included) captures in a single phrase the “strategic approach” that Votel has devised for CENTCOM.  That approach, according to the command’s website, is “proactive in nature and endeavors to set in motion tangible actions in a purposeful, consistent, and continuous manner.”

Click here to read more of this dispatch.

Eisenhower’s Military-Industry Complex Warning, 50 Years Later : NPR

Jan 17, 2011 – On Jan. 17, 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower gave the nation a dire warning about what he described as a threat to democratic government. He called it the militaryindustrial complex, a formidable union of defense contractors and the armed forces. … “In the councils of government …

Missing: bloatedrefuses

Military-Industrial Complex Speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961

coursesa.matrix.msu.edu/~hst306/documents/indust.html

MilitaryIndustrial Complex Speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961 … This evening I come to you with a message of leave-taking and farewell, and to share a few … moment, the wise resolution of which willbetter shape the future of the Nation. … A huge increase in newer elements of our defense; developmentof unrealistic …

Missing: beingbloatedrefusesfamilies

Military–industrial complex – Wikipedia

Coercive monopoly · Corporate personhood · Corporate welfare · Government-granted … In 2011, the United States spent more (in absolute numbers) on its military … The total influence—economic, political, even spiritual—is felt in every city, … of the ocean, the American militaryindustrial complexwould have to remain, …

Missing: bloatedlive

Theodore Roosevelt – Wikiquote

“The Higher Life of American Cities“, in The Outlook (21 December 1895), p. … For us is the life of action, of strenuous performance of duty; let us live in the … There is a homely adage which runs “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far. … Response when a dignitary asked if he could better control his daughter, …

The Tyranny of Defense Inc. – The Atlantic

An accomplished soldier and a better-than-average president, Eisenhower had devoted the … and other stories of the militaryindustrial complex from the Atlantic archives. … During Eisenhower’s presidency, few credited him with being a great orator. … So Americans disregarded Ike’s brooding about a “cross of iron” and a …

Quotations page 1 – Third World Traveler

“What chiefly governs the [U.S.] military budget is the need to spend … “There have been times, living inAmerica of late, when it seemed I was back in … When news is being withheld, or neutralized, at best, how can we expect …. “You believe you are dying for the fatherland – you die for some industrialists.” …..Let’s face it.

Who is funding the Afghan Taliban? You don’t want to know

blogs.reuters.com/…/08/…/who-is-funding-the-afghan-taliban-you-dont-want-to-kno…

Aug 13, 2009 – A pox on the U.S. military industrial complex and their N.W.O. banker … We sent 58,000Americans to die in front of weapons bought from … Let’s make names public, put the pieces of the puzzle together & in …. on who you ask, the “war” costs between 150 and 500 billions per year. ….. abdominal bloating.

Trade War Threat Grows | naked capitalism

Jan 27, 2017 – And if NAFTA partners refuse what the White House deems to be a ‘fair’ … ‘laissez faire’American capitalism has let the devil take the growing ranks of the hindmost. … Hence, a moreaggressive Trump administration may well secure … a trade war”, he warned that China stands to lose ‘way more‘ than the …

Report: Washington Didn’t Even Tell Marine Gen. He Was Being …

Jan 25, 2013 – James “Mad Dog” Mattis was notified that he was being replaced as … What do you do if Iran then develops conventional capabilities that could make …. I would guess this general was asked if he could put boots on the ….. All in the Military who won’t shoot Americans will be let go of their duty ,you will see.

The Army Force Cuts: 3 Truths, 4 Fallacies « Breaking Defense …

breakingdefense.com/2014/02/the-army-force-cuts-3-truths-4-fallacies/

Feb 24, 2014 – You get the army that the people are wiling to pay for in a … being cut by 40,000 to 50,000 soldiers is actually a win for the Army. … to defense spending stays in place, Hagel acknowledged, the Army … had wanted but more than the 5,000 Guard leaders proposed — let ….. youseem to be living in a cave. 

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About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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