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After I witnessed the police state descend upon Kent in 1970, I knew then that those that have a say about the military industrial complex will do anything to maintain the status quo of a militaristic America. Even have the state's National Guard kill some unarmed Ohio college students....that's how far they would go. Since then I've never underestimated the ruthlessness of those who conduct wars for profits.
So with that perspective in mind, I'm inclined to remark, during the 5th anniversary of Iraq, that nothing that the Bush administration has done in the wake of 9-11, including invading and occupying Iraq, in any way, surprises me. It's just what America does.
A group of serious military and political men back in those tumultuous 60's and 70's, saw to it, in their wisdom, that over 58,000 young Americans came home dead, more wounded. America, the country, did not benefit from those deaths in Vietnam.....in any way. The same cannot be said of those who drove the complex forward. While those 58,000 Americans died in vain in a conflict which continually begged the question, "Why are we there?'......enriched defense stock holders already knew the answer.
And so it is today. A group of very serious and wise protectors of America have seen to it that over 4000 American soldiers are now dead. Dead for absolutely no justifiable reason. Thankfully, the body count in Iraq hasn't approached the Vietnam numbers. The profits, however, are flowing as they did during our Domino Theory days fighting another unidentifiable enemy, only not in the sand, but in the jungle. Different venue. Same quarterly profits postings.
Think back to 2001 and Afghanistan. There just was no prolonged fight to be had there. People there rode horses and camels to fight. A military-industrial complex, now new and improved through the addition of the energy sector, would need a prolonged military conflict in order to really make serious economic gains over many quarters. A long hard slog. Afghanistan wasn't gonna' cut it. However, regime change in Iraq......now that looked promising. I don't think it is arguable whether or not the complex got what it wanted with Iraq. I mean....five years.....that's 60 months of a huge federal revenue pipeline connection producing good economic times for the killing and destruction industry and those who invest in it.
Defense and homeland security companies continued to outperform the broader market in 2006 as the benchmark SPADE Defense Index [AMEX: DXS] gained 19.33% and marked the seventh consecutive year it has outperformed the S&P500. Link
Sure beats those 2% returns in money markets.
Nothing new about any of this, of course. Eisenhower warned that it would happen, it has, and now today's America has come to embrace war profiteering as smart economic planning. Any and all stigmatic shame has been neutralized. Profiting from the slaughtering of American soldiers, profiting from the killing of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.....once regarded negatively as unpatriotic and shameful.....is now considered smart mainstream business thinking....no different from investing in Starbucks or Wal-Mart. America eats it's young.....but as it is doing so it enables the wealthiest of us to make a profit on the cannibalizing process.
Why have Americans simply accepted this greedy, ghoulish madness? The Dick explains....
"The president carries the biggest burden, obviously," Cheney said. "He's the one who has to make the decision to commit young Americans, but we are fortunate to have a group of men and women, the all-volunteer force, who voluntarily put on the uniform and go in harm's way for the rest of us." Link
The Dick fully understands the dynamic of an all volunteer military versus the Vietnam era draft situation. The Dick also understands the dynamic of keeping pictures, like mine above, off millions of American teevee screens. The Dick has learned the lesson of those glorious military industrial complex days in the 60's and 70's. It's acceptable now to take all those thousands of deaths and casualties because our soldiers are willingly sacrificing themselves.....they volunteered didn't they? The Dick agrees with Bin Laden here. Both consider themselves fortunate to have a group of men and women willing to sacrifice themselves for the larger mission.
Keeping politically damaging war pictures of gore and death off Americans' teevee screens, the kind that were witnessed nightly during the Vietnam days, was easily accomplished because of a lapdog embedded media anxiously willing to please the powerful. Any protest, any discouraging anti-war words, by the anti-American dirty f*cking hippies would receive extremely scant coverage by a media industry more concerned about ad revenues than dead American soldiers.
I woke to an AB Journal headline this morning telling me "Bush grieves" about the 4000 dead American soldiers, dead because of his war of choice. Bush, ever the resolute warrior having never witnessed combat, promised Americans yesterday that those 4000 dead U.S. soldiers will not have died in vain, if he has anything to say about it.
He and his surrogate neo-conservatives have been working hard skirting Congress in an attempt to keep the U.S. military in Iraq permanently, assuring that even more American soldiers will die in vain. Somehow.....and I haven't quite figured it out yet.....assuring that even more of our soldiers will die in vain in a conflict that has no military solution, translates into making sure the already dead soldiers didn't die in vain. Despite Bush's complex thoughts about dying in vain, I know how serious he is about all this.....I could see it in his face yesterday, when he was hugging the big Easter Bunny.
A silver-spooner who avoided combat in Vietnam so he wouldn't die in vain with 58,000 others, an entitled young man who used his insider Bush Sr connections so he wouldn't have to sacrifice himself for no good reason.....is the same resolute president who never flinched in sending other families children off to die in vain in his personal war of choice,....is the same war president who, 5 years after the fact, promises even more death and slaughter to come because he refuses to allow the already dead soldiers to have died in vain.
On the 5th anniversary of the military industrial complex's ongoing war for profits in Iraq, George W. Bush promised us that there would be more anniversaries and more dead American soldiers to commemorate next year.....and the year after that. We won't be allowed to see any of those flag draped coffins either. That wouldn't be good business practice. But in his Texas chickenhawk warriorness, the president insists he won't allow the all-volunteer American military deaths to have been in vain....even though that's already been determined.
Just like with all those dead soldiers in Vietnam.
And how was our mourner-in-chief spending his day as our four thousandth soldier took one last breath in the sands of Iraq? Goofing around the White House and posing for pictures with a six-foot-tall Easter Bunny. No, really.
As Edward M. Gomez pointed out in the San Francisco Chronicle:
Noted the British newspaper the Daily Express yesterday: “Bush larked about with a 6-[foot-tall] Easter Bunny yesterday [Sunday, March 23] as his troops mourned their 4000th death in Iraq. The grim milestone was reached after four U.S. servicemen were killed when their patrol in southern Baghdad was hit by a roadside bomb on Easter Sunday. The president was pictured hugging the [Easter Bunny] at the White House as children…took over the South Lawn for the [annual] Easter Egg Roll….” Link
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