March 19, 2005 marks the second anniversary of the war in Iraq.Recently, I read an interesting article that posed an idea I had never thought of before: America needs and creates war in order to keep the economy going. Reprinted from The Humanist, the article, by Michael Fitzgerald, appears in the March/April 2005 issue of Utne Magazine.
Dwight D. Eisenhower warned during WWII of the “military-industrial complex,” citing the “?iron triangle? of defense contractors, politicians, and the military.” In short, war is the ultimate jobs program. Charles E. Wilson, President of General Electric and Director of the War Production Board for WWII said that “the answer to economic instability was a ?permanent war economy.?”
Currently, there are approximately 7.5 million Americans whose livelihoods depend on war, not to mention the many industries and jobs, such as retail, real estate and service industries that indirectly depend on defense spending as well.
Let?s face it, as Fitzgerald says, “Most Americans care more about keeping their jobs than about foreigners losing their lives.” As of 2002, the top three defense contractors were Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman. Many of the employees of these companies essentially make their living preparing for war. General Electric comes in at number 11, but according to Fitzgerald, GE is also the owner of NBC and Vivendi-Universal, a huge media conglomerate.
Now it all makes sense. As Fitzgerald so expertly put it, “the Bush administration had to come up with the weapons-of-massdestruction argument because it needed a credible threat in order to attack Iraq. Liberating that country and bringing democracy to the Middle East were mere afterthoughts.”
Many people might think of this as anarchists trying to push their anti-war propaganda and puta bad spin on the Bush administration. Perhaps I would believe that if it weren?t for the PNAC, the Project for a New American Century.
PNAC was drafted in 1997 and is basically a plan for global militarism and American domination abroad. According to the PNAC, “the history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire. The history of this century should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership.” Shape circumstances?
Does anyone else sense a conspiracy? Among the names signed at the bottom are Jeb Bush, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and Steve Forbes.
I do try to see the other side. The military is also putting kids through college, putting a roof over peoples? heads and there are times when the military is needed.
However, George Washington warned in his farewell address that Americans should “avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty.”
While military budgets are increased, domestic spending decreases, which means loss funding for schools, Medicare, family planning and countless social services. In Eisenhower?s April 1953 speech, he said, “Every gun that is made, every warship that is 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.”
And for what? We have definitely ruined many Iraqis? lives, however many say that they are better off. Perhaps they are, but there are also a great number of them, as well as Americans, that have died, and I believe that Iraqis will not be better off in the long run. Who knows what Bush and the PNAC have in store for the Middle East? At least they?ll be getting a McDonald?s soon, though, if there isn?t one