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American History, big picture stuff, Bush Administration, Iraq War

Today’s Bob Herbert column, courtesy of True Blue Liberal —

Eisenhower delivered his farewell address to a national television and radio audience in January 1961. “This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience,” he said. He recognized that this development was essential to the defense of the nation. But he warned that “we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications.”

“The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist,” he said. “We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.” It was as if this president, who understood war as well or better than any American who ever lived, were somehow able to peer into the future and see the tail of the military-industrial complex wagging the dog of American life, with inevitably disastrous consequences. …

… The way you keep the wars coming is to keep the populace in a state of perpetual fear. That allows you to continue the insane feeding of the military-industrial complex at the expense of the rest of the nation’s needs. “Before long,” said Mr. Jarecki in an interview, “the military ends up so overempowered that the rest of your national life has been allowed to atrophy.”

Be sure to read the whole thing.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Swami  •  Feb 27, 2006 @8:38 am

    One has to wonder when Rumsfeld tells the American people that,”We will not close down Guantanamo”. Since when did the authority to make a call like that fall to the Secretary of Defense? It looks like Congress has atrophied to me

  2. spiiderweb  •  Feb 27, 2006 @9:17 am

    Eisenhower is given mixed revues by historians, but he did know war and he didn’t want to see any more of it.

    Unfortunately, he may have given a blueprint to Rove and company on how to build the empire they have by instilling fear in Americans.

  3. Donna  •  Feb 27, 2006 @9:28 am

    ‘Insane feeding of the military-industrial complex at the expense of the rest of the nation’s needs’ is an Eisenhower depiction that needs to be put into the larger [current Bush administration created] context of deficit spending, out-of-control national debt and huge trade imbalances.
    Seeing this larger picture……place the Dubai deal where it belongs…….Bush may be willing to endanger our ports because he has already placed our nation’s finances in such jeopardy that he has to kow-tow to international corporations.

    Bush is like some ‘neer-do-well’ dry alcoholic dad who would destroy the family’s assets to keep playing poker with high-roller corporate buddies.

  4. Britwit  •  Feb 27, 2006 @10:42 am

    Susan Eisenhower’s quote attributed to her grandfather, Ike, that said something like, “God help this country if anyone ever sits behind this desk who doesn’t understand the military as well as I do.” has occurred. We have a President who has failed at everything that he has attempted in life. He is a former cocaine user, alcoholic who has had several DUI’s and didn’t fulfill his requirements while in the National Guard. His top advisor is someone who never completed college and has promoted himself as Bush’s brain.

  5. Britwit  •  Feb 27, 2006 @11:04 am

    I was listening to Public Radio last week when Bruce R. Bartlett was being interviewed about his new book. The title is “Imposter: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy”. It was an interesting inteview. Bartlett points out that Bush is not a true conservative but is an imposter. He states that Bush’s ture objective is to gain as much as he can for the Republican Party. He says that Bush modeled himself after Reagan, including “having a ranch”. However, he says that Bush is more like Nixon than Reagan.

    You can go to any book store website and read about the book.

    The port deal is insane! Again, Bush is lying. At first he said that he didn’t know about it and now he is threatening a veto!!

    Have you heard the joke:

    Q. What is the difference between a drug dealer and a hooker?
    A. A hooker can wash her crack and sell it again.

    Well, Bush is like a hooker in that he thinks that he can wash his story and sell it to us again. The insanity has to stop soon and I don’t understand why Congress is letting this guy run amuck.

  6. Britwit  •  Feb 27, 2006 @11:40 am

    Click on James Wolcott link – Under Great Literature in column to right.

    His article, “Dopes on the Slopes” is great. He compares Bode Miller to Bush both “pre-Jesus Bush” and Bush in his flight suit when he made his “Mission Accomplished” statement.

  7. I ♥ Dr. Calvin  •  Feb 27, 2006 @4:08 pm

    Have many Americans actually seen Why We Fight? How popular has it been and, more importantly, have many Republicans seen it?? I saw it twice — unbelievable.

  8. Britwit  •  Feb 27, 2006 @4:58 pm

    Ms Carroll – the Christian Science Journalist (hope I got that right) who is being held in Iraq and the second deadline was yesterday.

    I first one to say, that I’m sorry that this happened to her.

    My belief is that she will not be killed if the women are not released from prison.

    Why?

    The Port Deal with the UAE, that’s why!

  9. uncledad  •  Feb 27, 2006 @10:00 pm

    Iggy Pop wrote a song “play it safe” in 1980 on just this topic.

    “eisenhower saw a thing
    he said this is sickening
    I swear I saw the very thing
    I saw it in amerika
    lets play safe
    I never new how
    how to play safe
    but you showed me how
    how to play safe
    a thousand times
    I don’t believe in fairies anymore
    today I saw the very very thing
    but that’s another song
    you’re too simple minded
    lets play safe
    what do we have in common play it safe
    (it was the real thing)
    what do we have in common play it safe
    (I’ll tell ya’ som’thin’ safe)
    well, I wanna’ be a criminal play it safe
    (Oh, I wanna’ be a criminal)
    I wanna’ be a criminal play it safe
    (Cause it’s the real thing inside the criminal mind)
    What do we have in commen play it safe
    (that very very thing I find so sublime)
    What do we have in commen play it safe
    (that keeps me going all the time)
    Well I wanna know, I wanna know
    I wanna know I wanna know
    Rockin’ and a realin’ like all Capone
    Movin’ and a groovin’ with Sonny Gallis
    Slippin’ and a slidin’ with the Son of Sam
    Splish splash I was Jim Jones”

    Not bad for a dirty punk Rocker, my hero!

  10. RadioClash  •  Feb 28, 2006 @1:01 am

    “I was listening to Public Radio last week when Bruce R. Bartlett was being interviewed about his new book. The title is “Imposter: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy”

    There was a long interview with him on C-span2 last week discussing the book. The thing that really struck me was that he stated that given to do it all over again, he would still vote for Dubya in 2000 and again in 2004. I think he speaks for a great many traditional conservatives. They are disgusted by many of his policies, but in the end will stay with the team. Depressing stuff.

  11. debbiehamil  •  Feb 28, 2006 @7:08 am

    My friend’s daughter is being deployed to Iraq. This is just terrible and senseless, but it is being replayed all over our country. I am sick about this, because I have no power alone to do anything about it. Together we can make a difference. Now that Bush’s approval rating on the handling of Iraq is only at 30%, we need to push Murtha’s plan:

    To immediately redeploy U.S. troops consistent with the safety of U.S. forces.
    To create a quick reaction force in the region.
    To create an over- the- horizon presence of Marines.
    To diplomatically pursue security and stability in Iraq

    The people need to “speak up” against continuing this war. It is over. Iraq is close to or in a civil war. A civil war is not our fight. Please write to everyone you can think of and push them to end this madness. We need to bring our troops home before we lose anymore of our true treasure – our men and women.

  12. sb  •  Mar 1, 2006 @7:09 pm

    Bills to be voted on

    http://www.readthebill.org

    Wolf Blitzer mentioned it.

  13. Donald Rumsfeld  •  Sep 30, 2006 @10:59 pm

    I am truly surprised at all the fuss. We went to war in Iraq for reasons we cannot explain to the American people. They wouldn’t understand and we cannot trust misunderstanding to make decisions about war and peace. If you want the real truth we went to war primarily because “W” wanted revenge for the attempted murder of his father, we wanted it because we wanted to bury a huge mistake as well as help our friends Israel out. Plus, we figured we could make some real good money stealing the oil–which, by the way, NONE of you idiots has any idea about because we guard it all with a division of devil dogs. So go and screw yourself, you filthy queers, if you don’t like it. I don’t answer to you idiots. I’ll slaughter any dissent!



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