- The military establishment’s influence on US foreign policy.
President Ronald Reagan may have realized at an early age that the popular saying “Speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far”, a quotation attributed mainly to Theodore Roosevelt, could form the basis for a successful public life as he appears to have carried that image throughout his political career. Not a great actor by the lowest of standards, perhaps he reserved his best performance for the creation of a persona based on gentle exteriorization in speech and mannerisms, and in so doing presenting to the world the appearance of genuine Irish charm.
The “big stick” part of this proverb pervaded his numerous speeches during his rising political life in the early sixties, as he quietly went about relentlessly clubbing his opponents and all adverse ideologies which in his view clashed with his call for small government, a strong military establishment, and a business generated economy.
Some of his other statements are timeless:
“Can anyone look at the record of this administration and say, “Well done? Can anyone compare the state of our economy when the Carter Administration took office with where we are today and say, “Keep up the good work?” Can anyone look at our reduced standing in the world today and say, “Let’s have four more years of this?”
Does that not sound like something we could say today? Of course like most of us he erred occasionally and did make some statements which he believed in that did not survive the test of time:
“We are not a warlike people: Quite the opposite. We always seek to live in peace. We resort to force infrequently and with great reluctance and only after we have determined that it is absolutely necessary”
“The time is now to say that while we shall seek new friendships and expand and improve others, we shall not do so by breaking our word or casting aside old friends and allies.”
These are the words of a politician as dedicated to the cause of the Right as any other before or since, but a President that managed to maintain his integrity throughout his public life and is rewarded in death with universal respect. How times have changed.
In the mid-eighties Ronald Reagan theorized that he might avoid a war with the Soviet Union by increasing U.S. military spending to a level that their economy could never maintain nor attempt. With a cooperating Senate and Congress, he played his hand in 1985, and spent $486.5 billion on military procurement, a record that withstood the test of time for 20 years.
He had rationalized that the Soviet Union , being limited to spending but a fraction of that amount as a counter measure, and realizing that this situation would reoccur yearly for the foreseeable future, would recognize that peace and prosperity should be the option of choice for them. He was right and the cold war suddenly came to an abrupt halt without any unnecessary blood being spilled or any country’s infrastructures or economy left in shambles. This was and remains perhaps the greatest strategic victory in American history. This was his finest hour.
Eventually President Bill Clinton, having no war to worry about and to needlessly spend money on, and striving to attain that political illusion, a balanced budget, caused the pace of military spending to regress and diminish to the disgust and consternation of the Generals- the appointed administrators of wars- whose military potential can be severely hampered by peace. The considerations of the military establishment are not limited to military strength and involvement. The entire system of war cannot survive without a strong back-up structure, the Defense Contractors, and a made to order philosophy called Military Preparedness. By 1999 U.S. military spending shrank to a mere $261 billion, barely 3 times that of China , and 8 times that of Russia , perhaps too close for comfort for followers of the Reagan doctrine.
Enter George W. Bush a man who aims to justify all his measures and agendas even though their real purposes remain hidden. There was a need to capture and punish those responsible for 9/11, and few people would dispute the justification of the Afghanistan invasion, though most political observers regret that the job was terminated ahead of being finished.
The military establishment found in George W. Bush, a ready partner in the fulfilling of their frustrated ideology to recreate the glory days of excessive military supremacy, but they and he realized that congress was overly preoccupied with trifle matters such as job creation, social reform, and the economy, were unlikely to view favorably unneeded military spending in a time of relative peace.
There is nothing like a war to justify bolstering military strength, so they had to find one The War in Iraq is unlike all previous major military interventions of the U.S. including the Gulf War, since all those wars were considered to have had their base of justification, on unselfish and altruistic motives. The unprovoked and unplanned Iraq invasion, notwithstanding the numerous other hidden agendas attributed to George W. Bush, may have as a major contributing factor the burning intent of opening the floodgates of military spending to thereby fulfill the U.S. military establishment’s yearning for a strong Defense Industry.
Since the cold war reversal had turned America ‘s mortal enemies, Russia and China , into U.S. friends and collaborators, the reasons which provided President Reagan with a true excuse to raise military spending, was no longer part of current logic. George W. Bush and advisors needed the real thing, a war, to rescue the military establishment and Defense Industry, and proceeded against Iraq , after shamelessly duping Congress, the Senate, and the public.
The White House together with the Pentagon, hiding behind the well-deserved U.S. reputation for selfless intervention, as proven in four major international conflicts, concocted the now legendary stories that they would now like everyone to forget, to justify a war whose primary purpose was to have congress provide a blank check for restocking of the military’s arsenal and thereby give new life to the defense industry.
To the military, the price paid in fatalities, casualties and a severely wounded economy at a time when China , India , and Europe were making giant international strides were believed by them and the President to be a small price to pay, for a critical resurgence of US military power. In 2006 U.S. Defense spending, including non-budgeted items is expected to approximate $525 billion, which hopefully should be sufficient to offset the total spending of the CIA’s recently categorized “Potential Enemy Nations” of the U.S. , whose combined military budgets are expected to surge to $19 billion.
The perception that the Iraq disaster may have had its roots in the future well-being of the U.S. military apparatus, adds a new dimension of horror to a conflict whose perpetrators themselves now wish that more intelligence would have lined their military strategy. To the civilized world, this scenario could only have been created in the minds of severely perverted souls.
When William Zeckendorf elaborated plans to add size to New York city , he was also asked how far he intended to go, and his answer was: “The ultimate maximum”. When the fiery legend of Canadian politics, Rene Levesque, originally an extreme left socialist, was asked how far he was prepared to go towards communism, he answered: “I am a socialist with a direction. It is up to my opponents to stop me. “Would these answers not serve George W. Bush if asked the question: “How far to the Right would you take the United States of America if given the opportunity?
The radical right philosophy by its nature is quite simple and consists of the dominance of the few over the many, in this case within the confines of the political U.S.A. Their struggle should not be confused with the hidden agenda of the neo-conservatives, a movement created by Irving Krystol in the 1950s and whose stalwart proponents today include Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Frank Gaffney, and the charming John Bolton. Their motivation for getting up in the morning is to create an all-powerful USA capable of dominating the world militarily and thereby able to assist selected friendly countries and cultures.
George W. Bush has invited these radicals to assist him in his enterprise and has provided them with an open road for their own narrow objectives. Together they have failed miserably and only succeeded in bankrupting the federal budget, alienating traditional friends of the U.S. and creating a gamut of new enemies. Despite these results, they have now talked themselves into positions where they could now infiltrate and infect the World Bank and United Nations organizations, and continue their single-track interferences, with little true regard for the well being of American citizens.
George W. Bush is not a neo-conservative. He surrounded himself with these sycophants in the hope that their agenda of dominance through power would prove valuable in the pursuit of his own dormant wish. His prized goal, the object of his life’s ambition, his deepest secret which is to help maintain and perpetuate a wealth based elite class of families, companies and individuals of which he believes himself to be part.
George W. Bush, was never endowed with a faculty which provides most of us with an understanding of humanity, and appreciation for the equality of all who qualify as human beings The existence of various social classes in other, more ancient societies to him truly represents a natural universal order which in his instinctive mind may be nature’s own order, perhaps even God’s. His program he assumes could be achieved by favoring the powerful in all ways possible and since the formula entails disadvantaging the lesser classes, so be it. At every turn, every opportunity he has proposed legislation and taken decision with that orientation as a constant. Since it is apparent that this stratagem in a free society cannot be realized in only two Presidential tenures, effort is being made to extend its influence beyond the hidden agendas for current implementation. His Social Security reform package is the ultimate reflection of that effort. His roots are from a family firmly embedded in old money going back generations, and involved in some financings ably described in the movie Fahrenheit 911, which details some of his family’s international financial dealings.
He chose a Vice-President whose lifetime occupation has been the accumulation of wealth, and whose social life is closely intertwined with wealthy individuals and companies. He, and his crew, designed a taxation system favoring the wealthy, while depriving the country and its average people of sufficient revenues to maintain a stable economy, and a lifestyle in keeping with their American dream.
He stands by while American companies seeking to lower their costs on the back of organized labor, outsourced jobs to countries already showing economic promise. He reduced provisions of the budget designed to monitor and prevent illegal immigration, surely blinded by the thought in mind that he will thereby help to lower working class costs and favor employers.
He created the reasons for a war that in a few years inflicted a direct cost to the economy, therefore to everyone, of more than $400 billion, most of which will find its way to benefit the few, the defense contractors and their controlling interests. As we have previously noted, under President Clinton, this spending was severely constrained and the war industry overlords in their view, were deprived of anywhere from one half to one trillion dollars of revenues during those eight years, and the Bush administration wasted no time in initiating the process for making that up.
He proposed a Social Security scheme and we are in our analysis are fascinated by the probable reasons for this project, in the light of the G.W. Bush agenda for the furtherance of a elite class based on status through wealth. We also note that the White House’s promotion of this Social Security reform is based on a potential crisis that would occur by the year 2017. Does this not remind us of another crisis? Does “Weapons of Mass Destruction” ring a bell?
Why is this project so important to its ultimate Right Wing proponents? Could it be that privatizing Social Security even partially, would create a massive amount of revenues for the controlling interests of Insurance Companies, Investment Dealers and other Financial Institutions in the act of providing Annuities, Stocks and Bonds, and charging unregulated commissions for these transactions. Additional revenues would accrue from hidden costs, such as Safekeeping and Administrative charges, Bond spreads, New Issues, and the perennial Stockbroker inducements to trade?
It is clear that even this project presented as a Godsend for the young, who would otherwise suffer the agonies of an impoverished retirement, even that, is in reality a nefarious scam designed to enable the powerful to get richer on the backs of the deprived.
The Radical Right and the Neo Conservative’s master plan for a docile society will capture much of our attention in the coming and later months, and we will be watching closely for the intrigues which the White House will undoubtedly unleash, to perpetuate their designs on a society which is based on principles of equality, which they do not acknowledge.