By Michael Payne:
America has undergone a dramatic, radical change in the past three decades as the power and influence of the military and corporate America have grown exponentially. These very potent entities are aided and abetted in their closely connected agendas by a combination of the wealthiest Americans, the financial sector, the Congress and the executive and judicial branches of our government. The people of America and our democracy have become subservient to this powerful controlling force.
This is an alliance in which each element takes care of its partners. When the Pentagon demands more funds for its wars, the Congress rubber stamps their requests without condition or debate. When giant defense corporations lobby for more weapons business, the Pentagon readily rewards them with multi billion dollar contracts. When members of Congress face reelection Corporate America feeds them unlimited campaign contributions, thanks to the Supreme Court’s infamous ruling in the Citizens United court case.
Washington D.C., once the respected, prestigious seat of the U.S. government has now become so infested with greed, corruption, collusion and incompetence that even an army of exterminators could not take away the stench. The interests of the American people no longer have a place in the halls of Congress which is now under the control and domination of Wall Street, Corporate America, and the military. There is no important, meaningful legislation that comes before Congress that can be enacted without the tacit approval and involvement of one special interest group or another. A large part of the lobbyists that influence and pressure the decisions in Congress are the special representatives of the defense industry and the banking sector of our nation.
Check out this highly informative Article that clearly shows the close relationship between the military, the defense industry and the financial sector of America. It clearly illustrates how a revolving door exists for retiring generals to obtain lucrative jobs with defense corporations. Many of these generals and colonels also have side jobs as military analysts on Fox News, CNN or other TV news organizations. In the final paragraphs of the article, retired general Wesley Clark, now a lobbyist and investment banker, makes what’s happening in America crystal clear when he says, “It is the militarization of the economy.” That is a truly frightening thought.
America now finds itself in a deep economic crisis in which cities, states and citizens are under siege and fighting for their very survival. Those in power and control from the White House on down have virtually no positive, innovative ideas on how to stop the hemorrhaging and restore some semblance of stability in America; they are preoccupied with war.
As the bleeding continues to sap the economic strength of America and the future grows ever bleaker, we are hearing the voices of “fiscal responsibility” putting forth their negative messages of how to address and solve our problems. Just listen to this latest example of this type of thinking on what should be done to solve our fiscal problems. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, generally referred to as “Dr. No”, the spending hawk, warned recently that America would experience “apocalyptic pain” with 15-18 percent unemployment and the “middle class destroyed” if it didn’t get its fiscal house in order.
He said “everything should be on the table for cost cutting.” When have we heard that one before? Does he mean everything to include the monumental costs of the Pentagon and its $1.3 trillion annual budget, the unfunded wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the more than 750 military installations around the world and the myriad of other costs associated with pursuing a never ending agenda of perpetual war? Or is he a typical Republican that will simply concentrate on cuts to Social Security, Medicare, unemployment benefits, and all other entitlements?
President Obama’s deficit commission and many Republican senators have been very vocal about the need to reduce our monumental deficits but they speak with forked tongues. The just extended tax cuts for the ultra rich of America were not a part of this deficit discussion, yet they will contribute mega billions to deficit growth. The Congress approves funding for the Pentagon and the wars time and time again with absolutely no debate whatsoever about how it relates to the deficits.
How can our current president continue to let these incompetent, so-called representatives of the people allow the tax cuts for the rich and the costs of the wars to get a pass on the issue of deficit reduction and, at the same time, remain passive and silent as they threaten to cut social security, Medicare and other important entitlements? Mr. Obama is doing a great disservice to the American people and this nation when he allows these obvious supporters of the Military-Industrial-Corporate America Complex to dominate the discussion and the debate.
Yes, of course, America needs a strong military to protect its citizens; Yes, America needs a strong industrial sector to fuel its economy. But what America does not need and can no longer afford is a combination of the two whose common objective is to pursue needless and extremely costly wars in foreign lands and to continue to produce weapons of destruction to fuel those wars. America also needs a strong Congress to solve our many problems but it does not need a Congress that is totally subservient to the demands of the military and corporate America.
One way or another America must free itself of the stranglehold of this powerful alliance and the agenda of permanent war by which it sustains itself. It cannot allow Corporate America and the military, with the aid of this Congress to dominate and determine this nation’s national agenda and direction. We must find the ways to restore a viable democracy in America.
The last thing that America needs right now is an economic collapse but that may be inevitable if this powerful alliance continues to control this nation’s agenda and waste the remaining wealth of America on war. Such a dismal thought may be very unnerving for Americans to contemplate but it may be the only way that the funding for the military-industrial machine can be ended, and the only real solution for this terrible ongoing dilemma we face.
Author’s Bio: Michael Payne is an independent progressive who writes articles about domestic social and political matters as well as American foreign policy. His major goal is to convince Americans that our perpetual wars must end before they bankrupt our nation. His articles have appeared on Online Journal, Information Clearing House, Peak Oil, Google News and websites around the world.