Wednesday, August 16, 2006

How the Military/Industrial complex turned America into Murder, Inc.

The Military/Industrial complex makes its "living" killing!

I believe Albert Camus [L'Etranger (1942) ], lately said to have been read by George W. Bush, would have called that absurd.

The business of defense contractors —even those only peripherally connected with the production of weapons themselves —is death! Yet another way of putting it: The Military/Industrial Complex is Murder, Inc.

Bush, of course, will not admit that our country has become Murder, Inc. His party will even deny that we've become it's euphemism: The National Security State. The origins of our Murder, Inc. is the National Security Act of 1947 —a blueprint for fascism . It granted to the Pentagon powers of unlimited defense spending.

It would not have been possible to justify such largesse without a bogeyman to be dragged out whenever the population is roused by truth to suspicion. In 1947, the bogeyman was the specter of communism —a tactic urged upon President Harry Truman by GOP Senator Arthur Vandenburg. The climate of fear is maintained by both parties but with less embarrassment by the GOP. [See: The Decline of the American Empire, Gore Vidal] In what Vidal called "a fit of conscience" never witnessed among modern Republicans, President Eisenhower warned us that such a Military/Industrial complex might establish permanent control over the state itself.

Fascism is not defined by the number of its victims, but by the way it kills them. —Jean-Paul Sartre
Sartre was, of course, correct. Killing someone for revenge, an act of passion, even a petty theft is one thing. But a society is morally lost when mass murder becomes its number one export. In such a society, everyone is guilty. That is Fascism. That IS absurdity. The rationale du jour is terrorism.

Terrorism can only be exploited in an atmosphere of irrational and endemic hatred. Hatred is nurtured by a party that could not possibly exist without the various strawmen upon which it directs the bile and hatred of the American right wing —hatred of science, hatred of the humanities, especially art, literature, and most of all: philosophy. Right wing hatred of philosophy is most certainly based upon its inherent distrust of critical thought itself. The GOP finds the process of critical thinking subversive of its own inflexible, unquestioned dogma. This is dogma that they would, of course, impose upon you in various and subtle ways. It is a brave and rare person who dares think outside the box.

For grins, let's factor out the GDP, the billions spent and the billions earned on the arts of war and those who enable it. We are third world. And for all that, we can thank the most absurd party of man's creation: the GOP.

What matters - all that matters, really - is the will to happiness, a kind of enormous, ever-present consciousness. The rest - women, art, success - is nothing but excuses. —Albert Camus
It would appear that America's raison d'etre has become the mass murder of people from Viet Nam to Iraq. If Camus was right, then the collective will of America is doing precisely what it really wants to do. There are no rationales. There are no excuses. And the world will not be safe until America faces that ugly fact about itself.

Now, if Bush would expect us to believe that he's actually read anything by an existentialist, let him begin by withdrawing American troops, however belatedly, out of Iraq.

More on the symbiosis theme:

Bush's Political Survival Depends on Terror Threats

By William Greider, TheNation.com. Posted August 14, 2006.

The president is trying for the third time to make terrorism his big campaign issue -- are Americans going to finally snap out of it?

An evil symbiosis does exist between Muslim terrorists and American politicians, but it is not the one Republicans describe. The jihadists need George W. Bush to sustain their cause. His bloody crusade in the Middle East bolsters their accusation that America is out to destroy Islam. The president has unwittingly made himself the lead recruiter of willing young martyrs.

More to the point, it is equally true that Bush desperately needs the terrorists. They are his last frail hope for political survival. They divert public attention, at least momentarily, from his disastrous war in Iraq and his shameful abuses of the Constitution. The "news" of terror -- whether real or fantasized -- reduces American politics to its most primitive impulses, the realm of fear-and-smear where George Bush is at his best. ...







The Existentialist Cowboy
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