Lawrence Wittner: U.S. politicians and pundits are fond of saying that America’s wars have defended America’s freedom. But the historical record doesn’t bear out this contention. In fact, over the past century, U.S. wars have triggered major encroachments upon civil liberties.
The Military Industrial Complex
President Eisenhower warned against the dangers of developing a military industrial complex. It appears that when all you have in your toolbox is hammers, everything looks like a nail. The articles below give a sense of the many ways we use all of the hammers we've invested in.
Tom Hall: Seventy years ago, the hubris of generals and politicians pushed us into operation Market Garden and into the Battle of the Bulge, battles born of our preference for self-adulation over accurate analysis. Today, our leaders in Congress are promising to undertake the same decisions, with an eagerness to sacrifice the same young soldiers.
Rich Broderich: Though green American troops fought bravely and suffered appalling losses owing in large part to lack of experienced leadership in trench warfare, it was the Spanish Flu, which did not originate in Spain at all but right here in the U.S.A., that led to the Central Power’s submission.
Murray Polner: I’m a latter day Diogenes, looking Right, Left and Center and to likes of Posen, Webb, Bacevich, Larison, et.al., for a new way that will save kids now in junior and senior high school from our inevitable and entirely unnecessary and ideologically-driven future wars.
Ken Wolf: I can imagine Lady Liberty wincing at our mistaken view of liberty that prompted those wars and the arrogant Jingoism that still flourishes as we try to extract ourselves from them.
Murray Polner: Lies, deliberate manipulation of patriotic feelings, scare tactics, a compliant, often indifferent media, and bribery of legislators kept and keeps the war machine oiled and too many decision makers in clover.
Murray Polner: If obsolete cameras and barbed wire fences could not keep three older people out of the Y-12 National Security Complex, should any independent investigative journalists still left in the Obama Era of Espionage Act Violations not ask why all those pricey weapons?
Murray Polner: “The Smell of Battle, the Taste of Siege” is an enthralling and imaginative presentation. Smith relates a poignant tale of some Union troops in Sherman’s army so emotionally touched by a slave mother being reunited with her daughter—who had been sold years before—and “wept openly” at the sight.
Kathy Kelly: The Islamic State is the echo of the last war the U.S. waged in Iraq, the so-called “Shock and Awe” bombing and invasion. The emergency is not the Islamic State but war.
Bill Blum: A year after the US invasion in 2003, Franken criticized the Bush administration because they “failed to send enough troops to do the job right.”
Murray Polner: Washington is overflowing with living room heroes who bear no responsibility for the appalling outcomes of the wars they urge on the nation and its presidents.
Walter Moss: My own opinion, as expressed previously, is that the present Ukrainian crisis resembles more the tensions preceding World War I than those leading up to World War II.
Murray Polner: Can you imagine the hysteria and fear mongering in Washington if Putin dared send 200 Russian soldiers to, say, Cuba, Venezuela , Bolivia or Ecuador?