Why We FightJust finished watching the documentary Why We Fight. I’m a little late to the game, but what a fantastic documentary. It avoids cheap emotional tricks, and does a tremendous job of laying out the evidence supporting Dwight Eisenhower’s statement about the dangers of the military-industrial complex. Followed it up with the good – but not quite as great – film Iraq For Sale: The War Profiteers, explaining who is making money off of the Iraq War, and at whose expense.

Bottom line – I have my doubts as to whether democracy and capitalism/consumerism can coexist and remain healthy. Our democracy is clearly not healthy. Far too much of our war machine is designed to create profit for corporations, rather than to defend our democracy. We don’t fight to protect our freedom – we fight to protect the interests of the military-industrial complex (profits and resources needed to generate those profits). I believe we need a military of an appropriate size, with appropriate capabilities and appropriate technology. What we have now is a vastly bloated military budget, which under the “transformational” policies of military force the current Administration espouses means an ever increasing slice of that pie going to contractors, rather than force salaries.

BTW, my entire post-college career has been as a defense contractor. Including right now.

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  • Politicians make no difference.

    We have bought into the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) ever since we took on Russia in the Cold WAR.

    Through a combination of public apathy and threats by the MIC we have let the SYSTEM get too large. It is now a SYSTEMIC problem and the SYSTEM is out of control.

    I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

    There is no conspiracy. The SYSTEM has gotten so big that those who make it up and run it day to day in industry and government simply are perpetuating their existance.

    The politicians rely on them for details and recommendations because they cannot possibly grasp the nuances of the environment and the BIG SYSTEM.

    So, the system has to go bust and then be re-scaled, fixed and re-designed to run efficiently and prudently, just like any other big machine that runs poorly or becomes obsolete or dangerous.

    This situation will right itself through trauma. I see a government ENRON on the horizon, with an associated house cleaning.

    The next president will come and go along with his appointees and politicos. The event to watch is the collapse of the MIC.

    For more details see:

    http://www.rosecoveredglasses.blogspot.com

  • You are correct, Ken – the problem is systemic. And, for the most part, the party dictating policy has little effect on the system. Why We Fight did a nice job pointing out exactly that, and that pretty much every politician has his proverbial balls in the proverbial vice.

    I too have a hard time envisioning how this situation would change outside of a catastrophe. The machinery is out of control, and anyone willing to point that out is labeled “anti-American” – at best.

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