Defending America from the U.S. Department of Defense
In his final year in office, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who had also been the 5-star general who led the allied forces against Nazi Germany in World War II, warned Americans against the dangers of maintaining an oversized military and the military-industrial complex itself. He knew this joining of industry and the military could easily grow out of control, could easily drain rather than protect the nation, could easily become a threat to the future of democracy.
Here is a portion of a speech President Eisenhower gave to the American Society of Newspaper Editors in April of 1953:
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete highway. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”
Unfortunately for both America and the world, Eisenhower’s fears and concerns went unheeded, came to pass beyond any nightmare he could have imagined. Flash forward to 2020 and the words of another U.S. military officer:
“Ask yourself this question: During a deadly pandemic, as the American death toll approaches 400,000 while still accelerating, what unites “our” representatives in Congress? What is the only act that draws wide and fervent bipartisan support, not to speak of a unique override of a Trump presidential veto in these last four years? It certainly isn’t providing health care for all or giving struggling families checks for $2,000 to ensure that food will be on American tables or that millions of us won’t be evicted from our homes in the middle of a pandemic. No, what unites “our” representatives is funding the military-industrial complex to the tune of $740.5 billion in fiscal year 2021 (though the real amount spent on what passes for “national security” each year regularly exceeds a trillion dollars). Still, that figure of $740.5 billion in itself is already higher than the combined military spending of the next 10 countries, including Russia and China as well as U.S. allies like France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.” – William Astore, retired lieutenant colonel (USAF) and professor of history
American deaths from World War II (1941-1945): Battle Deaths – 291,557 Other Deaths in Service – 113,842 Total – 405,339
Total American deaths from Covid 19 is certain to exceed 500,000 in the next month, and is likely to rise well beyond that number in 2021. This is a far greater threat to the people of America than all of World War II. But “our” congress cannot see fit to defend us from the virus.
We now know that every single war the United States was preemptively started since Vietnam – Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and for all practical purposes, Syria and Yemen – have been based on lies from both our political and military leaders. It is obvious to anyone paying attention that America’s military “adventures” around the world are not only increasing terrorism and hatred for the United States, they are impoverishing us as a people. Yet “our” congress approves, without hesitation, of over one trillion dollars each and every year to support this insanity.
Arms corporations, and the fabulously wealthy individuals profiting from them, pay for lobbyists and political campaigns. Covid 19 does not. As President Eisenhower predicted – this is not a way of life at all. It is the people of America hanging from an iron cross.