Behold a Pale Horse
Friday/July/03 2009 Filed in: Philosophy / World View
Ploughshares into Swords
During World War II, there really was no such thing as a defense industry in this country. The soldiers and sailors who fought the Third Reich and the Empire of Japan were American boys who left their jobs at auto repair shops, dime stores, office buildings and farms to do their patriotic duty.
Wives, fathers, sisters and cousins did without meat, rubber and nylon to support their fighting boys overseas. Armaments, tanks and aircraft were built by GM and Ford.
Being in the military wasn't a career then. It was something you did until the job was done and it was time to come home again.
After the Fall of Saigon.
The military draft was something that the boys of the 1940's had proudly embraced and the boys of the 1960's had proudly protested. But the post-Viet Nam volunteer army tilted things in the new direction of a professional soldier.
Being in the military emerged as a decent job and, for many, a respectable career. But in the shadows, much of the manufacture of the hardware of war, once pieced together on Detroit assembly lines, was being handed over to corporations for whom bullets meant business.
Old Blackwater, Keep on Rollin.'
And when the nation was distracted during the bloodlusty wake of 9/11, the nature of the military shifted again. Now its ranks were increasingly infiltrated by professional mercenaries -- hired hit men accountable not to the Generals and the Admirals but to corporate executives in air-conditioned offices in North Carolina.
Slowly, inexorably, the hardware and software of war converged.
It's not as if we weren't given warning.
On the eve of the 1961 inauguration of John F. Kennedy, President Dwight Eisenhower warned of the rising and devastating danger of something he called the military-industrial complex. In retrospect, his sober words are eerily prescient and sadly accurate.
President Eisenhower, himself a military man who had served as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II, spoke with unassailable authority about what he saw as the greatest national threat at the mid-point of the 20th century.
The ugly revelations of recent wars give bitter testimony to President Eisenhower's plea.
At the nexus of a military without moral leadership and industry that profits from death and destruction lurks the true axis of evil.
Behold a Pale Horse...