Sunday, 23 December 2012

Ike Was So Right

Eisenhower’s famous last warning about the creeping danger of the Military-Industrial Complexhas turned out to be so true. The latest testament is Tom Engelhardt’s “The United States of Fear” (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2011). His figures take one’s breath away: a military budget more than all the other developed nations together. Proliferation of regional commands. Bases on their way to a thousand! 

Meanwhile, the national infrastructure disintegrates. Nobody talks about the source of our trillion dollar deficits! Cheney’s wars to bring freedom to the Iraqis and Afghans. When we all know it’s to prtect our oil supplies. And the hypohypocrite’s mercenarization of our “armless forces.” Nice work if you can get it—for the likes of Blackwater and Halliburton. Alas, the net effect of the Big Two Wars was contempt for our troops that kill noncombatants with drones and torture our prisoners. And leave Vietnam with the unending plague of Agent Orange and Cambodia with unexploded landmines.
With the concurrent destruction of the middle classes that FDR instigated .It really accelerated with Ronald Reagan’s advice to CEO’s to outsource industrialization, thus beginning the accelerating divide between executives with 500 x’s the reduced income of the outsourced, the un-American ratio of 1 impoverishing the 99. 

I was unaware of how the further expense of Homeland Security debased our deficit more deeply. The reports of moronic inspectors fumbling with privates of airplane travelers is simply pathetic. Especially when you learn that an alert Midwestern FBI agent tried to warn the CIA about how many Arab students were learning to fly in America but was ignored. 9/11 thereby derived from the pettiest of Homeland Insecurity spats!

Most of these self delusions derive from the Exceptionalist rhetoric that for centuries allowed Americans to ignore their rationalizations of Amerind genocide and black slavery. Lincoln may have wheedled the 13th amendment through a polluted Congress, but blacks for the most part remain tactically enslaved. The absurd inflation of incarceration, the severest in the world, 2 millions and counting, exploded mainly for black non-violent drug offenses, while their white suburban patrons go scot free. 

Think of the career of our last puppet president, W. smiling sweetly, on Dick’s knee. DUI unpunished in his youth, AWOL with impunity from the Champagne Squadron, a boondoggle to allow rich men’s sons from fighting in Vietnam, serial business flop, ending with his insider trading loot to buy a baseball franchise with his clients money (SEC slap on the wrist). A cheating millionaire who cuts brush in his illgotten Crawford spread. Sometimes the unmanly C- Yalie will sneer in an address at his college that low grades don’t matter! But low grade Presidents do.

I would like to conclude this harangue with two speculations: the Second Amendment defenders of the right of any American to have assault weapons at hand have in mind the growing hostility of incarcerated or their undercapacitated relatives. And the egregious Surpreme Court “Citizens United” decision stems from the justly fearsome attitude of the supreme I percent that their long- favored minority is gradually losing political power to the unjustly suppressed. The illiterate Rush Limbaugh heritage that craven TV networks have nurtured is another of the reasons why American politics is headed not to Socialism but to incompetent failure. Obama may be our last opportunity not to lose because of the blindness of our American Exceptionalism.

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