Vive Le Canada

America’s Military Junta
Date: Saturday, January 24 2009
Topic:


America is a country that must now be finely tuned to the echo chamber of its own history




As a new American president takes office there are global epidemics of anquish, speculation and raised expectations as to what direction this new president will take America. Will he succeed in achieving any real measure of reform-as indeed this is the most urgent task at hand- and take his place in the pantheon of great American presidents such as Lincoln and Roosevelt or will he be consumed by an intransigent status quo  so well entrenched and so invidious that it will ruthlessly thwart any real change?


 



As a new American president takes office there are global epidemics of anquish, speculation and raised expectations as to what direction this new president will take America. Will he succeed in achieving any real measure of reform-as indeed this is the most urgent task at hand- and take his place in the pantheon of great American presidents such as Lincoln and Roosevelt or will he be consumed by an intransigent status quo  so well entrenched and so invidious that it will ruthlessly thwart any real change?


 


American writer Tom Wolfe once compared the USA to a freight train that by its own tremendous momentum just keeps rolling along highly resistant to a change of speed and/or direction.  The question then becomes can one man alter the course of a freight train?  The answer has to be a resounding no. To succeed Obama is going to have to set a resolute agenda and his cabinet and bureaucrats are going to have to embrace it wholeheartedly while resisting the very powerful lobbies that have usurped America’s political leadership for too many presidencies and too many trillions of dollars later.


 


 Democrats must also address their own complicity in this disaster.


 


In a open letter to President Obama, Paul Krugman, one  of the country’s most talented economists and one of those who foresaw the financial meltdown coming proposes drastic measures to deal with the crisis. Foremost among those measures is that there must be hundreds of billions spent annually on job creation in addition to the existing embarrassment of bailouts and stimulus packages already existing. America, he says, must be willing adopt huge deficits for the next several years to reverse the disastrous collapse of its economy. He also cautions that to do otherwise would be even more disastrous.


 


The nasty little question is where are all these trillions of dollars going to come from, especially so, when the country is already  running trillion dollar deficits thanks to the Bush legacy?


 


        In the transition to a new presidency one discussion that has been notably absent is the outrageous plundering of the American economy by the military-industrial complex(MIC). One of the reasons the US is in crisis is because the country has been sucked dry by the vast expenditures of foreign wars and a huge military redundancy out of all proportion to what is needed to maintain its national security; along with  blind allegiance to a corrupted foreign policy that actually manufactures enemies and then inflates their threat to serve the cancerous metastasizing of the MIC.


 


It does not take a Krugman to realize that where there are massive debits on one side of the ledger there has to be more credits on the other. Cutting the MIC down to size becomes an urgent priority. Where as Obama remarked some months ago that medicare and farm subsidies  would see cuts as part of the economic recovery defense spending is an obscenity and should be the first and foremost victim of cost cutting.    


 


It is interesting that invoking the memory of Lincoln has been a major theme of this transition. The American Civil War of Lincoln’s era ended slavery for America’s blacks, but even now there is slavery in America as the entire country is enslaved to the MIC and its reckless spending- spending now urgently needed to be redirected in other areas. The US now spends  more money on defense than all other countries combined and almost half of its national budget is spent on defense. It is also the world’s biggest arms dealer.


 


As America invokes the wisdom of Lincoln so too should it look to James Madison; America’s 4th President and “Father to the Constitution,” who stated in 1795:


“Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes … known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”


America habitually looks for enemies abroad yet the wisdom of Madison suggests America has become its own worst enemy and the country squanders its future and its place in the world by refusing to recognize this. It might be worth considering the enemy is within the gates.


Military juntas are usually associated with South American dictatorships and one of the best known is the 1973 CIA backed overthrow of the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende by a military junta led by Augusto Pinochet.


While a military junta exercises total control of a country’s  affairs the overwhelming influence of the MIC on the US government approaches something dangerously close to a junta and yet another of America’s presidents, as if echoing Madison, issued his own warning.


Retiring president Dwight D. Eisenhower used his 1961 farewell radio address to issue a dire warning to the American nation. He warned his country men of the dangers of the military-industrial complex:


“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 should take nothing for granted.”


While the country shrinks from using such terms as “military junta” and “coup d’etat” both of these terms are applicable to the former Bush administration. Bush and his neoconservative  cronies used the event of 9/11 to declare illegal wars, suspend the constitution and civil liberties, embark on serial and pre-emptive wars, defy international laws and conventions, resort to torture, and indulged in “defense” spending  grotesquely out of all proportion to the nation’s needs.


 It is arguable the so called “war on terror” is for the most part a fabrication to justify a reckless, wantonly criminal and treasonous agenda while perpetrating a sorely corrupted and misdirected foreign policy.


Where Eisenhower echoed Madison, Hollywood was to echo Eisenhower. Two years after Eisenhower delivered his farewell address Hollywood made a movie “Seven Days in May.”  Indeed, it is about an attempted coup d’etat with Burt Lancaster playing an overly ambitious Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Frederic March playing the role of a pacifist Jimmy Carter type president. Actor Kirk Douglas is the hero of the day as he tips off the president, the coup is thwarted and the country saved.


 The story was a Hollywood stereotype where as the reality is much more complex and treacherous. The tyranny of the Bush administration was not a Hollywood fiction.


As Eisenhower so correctly and prophetically stated America is a country that can “take nothing for granted.” It must now be finely tuned to the echo chamber of its own history and recognize events for what they are and not what propagandists, seditionists and vested interests try to portray. It must carefully choose the voices it listens to.


If it is too retain any semblance of greatness it must now undertake a very real and determined period of introspection and reconciliation. After the hubris, humility must follow.                           


 


 


 


           


 


 


 







This article comes from Vive Le Canada
http://www.vivelecanada.ca

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