It is quite ironic that the previous Drone-Bomber-in-Chief, Barack H. Obama, has been given the “profile in courage” award, which is being presented to him this week by the JFK Library Foundation. But how much courage did it take for Obama to order the bombings of several different countries, killing mostly innocent civilians, when those countries were of no threat to us?
How insulting to President John F. Kennedy, who promoted peace after recognizing that the post-World War II Cold War and national security state were destructive and unnecessary, and who wanted to “splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.”
In a June, 1963 speech promoting peace, nuclear disarmament, and diplomacy, Kennedy stated, “No government or social system is so evil that its people must be considered as lacking in virtue. As Americans, we find Communism profoundly repugnant as a negation of personal freedom and dignity. But we can still hail the Russian people for their many achievements — in science and space, in economic and industrial growth, in culture, in acts of courage.”
The hard-core Cold Warriors probably didn’t like that. Their existence as “security” bureaucrats and their little fiefdoms in Washington were dependent on the fear and paranoia of those “commies,” just as the modern day bureaucrats are dependent on post-9/11 fear-mongering.
And the corporatist cronies back then also probably didn’t like Kennedy’s assertion that “the expenditure of billions of dollars every year on weapons acquired for the purpose of making sure we never need them is essential to the keeping of peace. But surely the acquisition of such idle stockpiles — which can only destroy and never create — is not the only, much less the most efficient, means of assuring peace.”
Some people believe that the military and CIA have controlled the U.S. government since at least when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
But now there are renewed concerns that the U.S. military may no longer be under civilian control because of the influence all the military generals have on President Donald Trump, who has deferred important military decision-making down the chain of command.
Trump picked generals to advise him because he is enamored with their stars and medals, and seems to have some kind of gut response to their swagger, which might be typical of your average authoritarian like Trump.
But so far there have been bad decisions made by the bureaucrats of the Trump administration: bombing Afghanistan caves and tunnels, which hasn’t affected anything or gotten any ISIS militants, and bombing Syria which may have actually helped ISIS.
I guess we can’t expect bureaucrats (and many others now) to learn from history. The U.S. government’s participation in World Wars I and II seemed to have inflated the egos and hubris of career government and military bureaucrats, their future generations of career government and military bureaucrats, and the institutions they have controlled since then.
The narcissistic arrogance could be seen in the military bureaucrats when they consciously and knowingly pursued continued aggressions in Vietnam despite their knowing by the mid-1960s that the war could not be won, as revealed by the Pentagon Papers. Those “leaders” contributed to the deaths of a million innocents and tens of thousands of American soldiers who died for no good reason but to serve the deranged egos of the military bureaucrats.
And Iraq in 1990-91, the decision by President George H.W. Bush to start a whole new war and bombing campaign against a country, Iraq, that didn’t attack us and was of no threat to us, was not just an act of incompetence, but a criminal act.
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Bush approved of the U.S. military’s bombings of civilian water and sewage treatment centers and electric service facilities, followed by sanctions and no-fly zones that were continued by President Bill Clinton throughout the 1990s which led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilian Iraqis. It was an intentional policy of sadism and psychopathic cruelty, that perhaps involved more sinister long-term goals than just to do with oil.
Who would purposely cause a whole population to be vulnerable to disease and death? Who would do that?
But now we have President Donald Trump, who campaigned with anti-war, anti-imperialism rhetoric, but is now the Happy Warmonger. And Trump’s civilian cabinet advisors include military general graduates from West Point or other top military academies but they aren’t exactly trained in the ideas of restraint, diplomacy, the rule of law, and the U.S. Constitution.
No, post-World War II military people are trained to suppress their consciences, their moral scruples, in order to rationalize their invasions of other territories and the deaths of innocents they cause.
And oh how happy the Trump-advising generals and the other higher-ups in the military must be that Donald Trump is so easily manipulable and spongy. Their psy-ops are working on him like a charm.
It used to be that psy-ops were used by the military and CIA on foreign agents, to manipulate the enemy’s emotions and their decisions. And then the military saw how useful such a technique had been on their own U.S. senators, as reported by the late Michael Hastings in Rolling Stone.
Which is apparently illegal, under U.S. law. Unless they view their own fellow Americans as the “enemy.” Hmm.
Foreign policy analyst Gareth Porter recently tweeted: “Military now seeking permanent US military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. Time to say loud ‘No’ to permanent war.”
When the military controls the government, and then there is some kind of emergency or economic collapse, of course they will not think twice about imposing martial law, legal or not, constitutional or not. They will also not think twice about disarming law-abiding Americans.
In Revolutionary times, the early Americans were rightfully wary of militarism, because they knew that would lead to tyranny. But the immoral and incompetent bureaucrats of the modern U.S. government long ago abandoned any concern for the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution.
Scott Lazarowitz is a libertarian writer and commentator. please visit his blog.