The Military Industrial Complex

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Uncle Sam Doesn’t Want You; He Already Has You

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William Astore: You’ve been drafted into the American national security state. That much is evident from Edward Snowden’s revelations.

Step Right Up and See Boeing’s Amazing Shrinking Tax Rate!

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Boeing Gets Tax Refund: Boeing found ways to whittle down its effective tax rate so much that it became, in effect, a source of revenue.

America’s Endless Arms Race

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Arms Race — The failure of the nuclear nations to fulfill their own NPT obligations is appalling.

Bipartisan Budget Agreement Doesn’t Make Partisan Bickering Look So Bad

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Bipartisan Budget Agreement — The intrinsically secure U.S. currently accounts for almost 40 percent of worldwide defense spending.

The Repetition Compulsion for War: How It Might Fail This Time

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Norman Solomon: Whether Obama would actually abide by failure to gain congressional “authorization” to attack Syria is by no means clear. But our immediate task is to create such a failure.

Kill Wasteful Missile Defense Efforts

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Ivan Eland: This government “Star Wars” effort has been a boondoggle, but then huge costs and poor performance rarely cause any government program to be terminated—evidence of this effect is exhibited by the continued flow of money to the project despite three decades of failure.

Time Again to Invest in War Bonds

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Tom Hall: Wouldn’t it be great if this latest Pentagon boondoggle to shovel more taxpayer dollars out the door for worthless crap brought together progressives and tea baggers in opposition to real government waste?

Excessive Military Spending Crushes the American Dream

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Randy Shaw: Tax Day has passed with little attention to the chief reason U.S. students are overwhelmed by debt, millions are homeless, children go to bed hungry and our public transit infrastructure is being destroyed — the allocation of half of every discretionary dollar to the military.

That’s Where the Money Goes

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Lawrence Wittner: Although studies have found that the United States ranks 17th among nations in education, 26th in infant mortality, and 37th in life expectancy and overall health, there is no doubt that it ranks first when it comes to war.

King: I Have a Dream. Obama: I Have a Drone.

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Norman Solomon: After his Inaugural speech in January 2009, Obama has pursued policies that epitomize King’s grim warning in 1967: “When scientific power outruns moral power, we end up with guided missiles and misguided men.”

How Is Gun Control Like Arms Control?

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Lawrence Wittner: Even if one leaves aside the difficulty of distinguishing between “good” and “bad” people, there is copious evidence indicating that, all other things being equal, the more access people have to weapons, the more likely they are to use them.

The Other NRA

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JP Sottile: Unlike the NRA, the Military-Idustrial Complex isn’t limited to just spending money on lobbyists and advertisements and voting guides.

The Small Government Fallacy

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Charles Hayes: American history shows beyond a doubt that our health as a nation is dependent in large part on a vibrant middle class. Extreme inequality severely weakens our economic foundation.

Beware the Education–Industrial Complex

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Alan Singer: The Gates-Broad-Walton triumvirate support a range of what they champion as educational “reform,” but their primary interest in each case is to undermine the system of public education by promoting market-based initiatives based on competition, privatization, high-stakes testing, and anti-union activities such as campaigns for “merit pay.”

War Nation: Military Keynesianism’s Iron Grip on Washington

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John R. Moffett: Our world-spanning military, paid for by American taxpayers, serves the interests of defense contractors and the government officials that funnel the money to them but it does not serve the American taxpayer.

Kansas City, Here It Comes: A New Nuclear Weapons Plant!

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Should the U.S. government be building more nuclear weapons?  Residents of Kansas City, Missouri, don’t appear to think so, for they are engaged in a bitter fight against the construction of a new nuclear weapons plant in their community. The massive plant, 1.5 million square feet in size, is designed to replace an earlier version, [...]

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Agent Orange, Gas Attacks: The Iran-Vietnam Connection

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James Rhodes: During America’s support of Saddam Hussein, over 3,000 tons of chemical agents were used against Iranian military and civilian forces, exposing over one million people, killing over 7,000 outright, and creating over 100,000 severe disabilities.

More Peace Corps, Less Pentagon

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Sherwood Ross: If the White House took an altruistic approach in foreign affairs — that is, if it rejected greed, exploitation, and war in favor of fair play, charity, and humanitarian assistance — It would find there is strength and dignity in serving others—in building infrastructure, in opening schools and educating, in ministering to the afflicted. That’s the way to win friends and influence people.

How the Military and the Civilian Are Blurring in Washington

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William Astore: Until Americans turn away from militarism and learn again how to “support our Constitution” more than our troops, until we return to a broader vision of national security that deemphasizes a garrison mentality, we will continue to wound, perhaps mortally, a once great republic.

Militarist Madness

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Lawrence Wittner: Despite the vast rivers of blood and treasure poured into wars over the centuries, the nations of the world continue to enhance their military might.

America’s “Shoot ‘Em Up, Lock ‘Em Up” Mentality Is Its Undoing

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David Love: The land of the free is home to only 5 percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. And we spend more than all nations combined on “defense”. We are addicted to shooting em up or locking em up. But we can’t provide healthcare to all.

Confessions of a Minion of the Military-Industrial Complex

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Jonathan David Farley: How I learned to stop worrying about where my academic research funding came from and love Raytheon

War and Workers

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Lydia Howell: Whether it’s debt-ridden college graduates working as baristas or small town youth with only fast-food and Wal-Mart as post-high school career options, high unemployment keeps a volunteer military ranks full.

Conflict with the Conflict of Interest

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Jerry Drucker: There’s nothing coy about the GOP’s chortling copious concepts concerning constant corrupt collaboration created by cunning, conniving, crooked cronies and calculating cohorts, conveniently ignoring the conflict of interest law.

Lies to Power

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Jerry Drucker: One score and ten years ago the Republican Party brought forth to this nation, a concept conceived in the privatization of government for profit, dedicated to the proposition that large corporations (now persons), special interest groups and lobbyists, can expand the United States wealth for those several entities and the vast eternal warring military-industrial complex.

Watch “Deficit Hawks” Rush to Defend Pentagon Bloat

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Randy Shaw: The Republican Party and Democratic so-called “deficit hawks” attack any proposed defense cuts as “job killers.” Yet this alliance refused to save the jobs of hundreds of thousands of teachers, and have backed tax and spending policies that have cost the nation millions of jobs in recent years.

Defense Secretary Wants Defense Spending Cuts–Really

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Tina Dupuy: Going largely underreported, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates spoke at the Eisenhower Library (name for the president who coined the term “military-industrial complex”), last week calling for cuts in the Pentagon’s budget. Gates asked, “Does the number of warships we have and are building really put America at risk when the U.S. battle fleet is larger than the next 13 navies combined, 11 of which belong to allies and partners? “

American Empire: How the Military-Industrial Complex Is Warping America’s Values

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Tim Gatto: Now that corporate control of our elections is out in the open thanks to our Supreme Court, we might as well realize that what we see on our televisions and read in our newspapers is also corporate-controlled. We can still tune into the internet to see world news and different opinions, but I can see that soon even the internet will swallowed up by corporate money.

LA Progressive: February 7-13, 2010 — Table of Contents

Articles this week by Tom Hall, David A. Love, Kenneth Weisbode, Andrea Christina Nill, Denis Campbell, Robert Reich, Michele Wasdin, Jasmyne Cannick, Rev. Irene Monroe, Robert Letcher, Sharon Toji, Berry Craig, Anthony Samad, Randy Shaw, K.C. Johnson, Tim Gatto, Ron Wolff, Mary L. Dudziak, Sharon Kyle, Paul Kiel, Joseph Palermo, H. Scott Prosterman:

American Empire: How the Military-Industrial Complex Is Warping America’s Values

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Tim Gatto: The U.S. has brought back the 5th Fleet that will patrol Latin America and the Caribbean. The U.S. has also leased seven military bases in Colombia (Venezuela’s next door neighbor) for a 10-year period. These bases are being promoted as a way of interdicting the supply of cocaine that reaches America. According to the L.A. Times, back in 2003 the U.S. and Columbian governments were successfully eradicating coca plants. We can all see how well that has worked out. Personally, I am very skeptical about America’s resolve in wiping out the coca crop. I am also skeptical about Columbia’s commitment to stopping the flow of cocaine into the United States.

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