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Thursday, November 08, 2012

The permanent warfare

"IN 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower left office warning of the growing power of the military-industrial complex in American life.
Most people know the term the president popularized, but few remember his argument.

In his farewell address, Eisenhower called for a better equilibrium between military and domestic affairs in our economy, politics and culture.
He worried that the defense industry’s search for profits would warp foreign policy and, conversely, that too much state control of the private sector would cause economic stagnation.
He warned that unending preparations for war were incongruous with the nation’s history.
He cautioned that war and war making took up too large a proportion of national life, with grave ramifications for our spiritual health."

My question is: can a country whose a big part of its economy is based on the productions of weapons, that spent over $700 billion last year, about half of all military spending in the world, be defined as a peaceful country?
Can a country like that pretend to bring peace and democracy to the rest of the world?

"From lawmakers’ constant use of “support our troops” to justify defense spending, to TV programs and video games like “NCIS,” “Homeland” and “Call of Duty,” to NBC’s shameful and unreal reality show “Stars Earn Stripes,” Americans are subjected to a daily diet of stories that valorize the military while the storytellers pursue their own opportunistic political and commercial agendas.
Of course, veterans should be thanked for serving their country, as should police officers, emergency workers and teachers.
But no institution — particularly one financed by the taxpayers — should be immune from thoughtful criticism."
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