Sunday, November 1, 2009

Beware of The Military Oil Complex

One of the most popular US presidents, Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his farewell address told us to beware of the military-industrial complex:
Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.

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. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

(Eisenhower Farewell, emphasis added). When he used the word together he said the notion that defense ("security") should push out liberty when there was conflict between them was not an American notion. He saw it as a false comparison.

Things have changed since then. Industrial output has weakened since then. Oil influence has come from the shadows to the forefront.

Thus, as Eisenhower warned, we must not only beware of the military industrial complex as a source of toxins of power, but also as a carrier of the toxins into every corner of American life.

The "industrial" part of that complex, if you look closely, has been replaced with the oil complex. What is more dangerous and ominous about that change is that foreign nations control oil. General Eisenhower was warning about the dangers of American industry controlling too much. Imagine what he would have said if foreign governments owned that much control of America!

We spend more of our tax dollars on the military than all of the rest of the nations combined spend. When we add foreign oil to that mix the beware morphs into be horrified of the military oil complex.

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