Letter: Militarized America

To the editor:
“In the councils of government we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence…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.” (By WWII hero and President Dwight Eisenhower.) His fears have been realized. The most recent documentation is the film “Dirty Wars,” showing America’s global reach in a war without end: Orwell”s “1984” brought to life.

America has advanced deep into “1984” territory: a worldwide network of bases in 100 countries. American bases not on maps, spending $1.2 million a minute, Bush-Obama claiming the right to kill people anywhere with private armies (CIA, JSOC), Patriot Act provisions, rendering, Homeland Security.

Google “Fourteen Defining Characteristics of Fascism,” then think of how many America has achieved. Read Chalmers Johnson’s trilogy: “Blowback” (it predicted 9/11), “Sorrows of Empire,” and “Nemesis” (Imperial overstretch undermining American republic).

Think about America as the world’s hero in 1945 compared to 2013. Think about what $653 billion in “defense” spending could do for America—modern infrastructure, modern schools, job creation, universal health care, tax relief—each year. Eisenhower called excessive military spending a theft from the American people. Think about whether we can kill enemies we create faster than they can extract revenge. Think about whether America’s new symbol is the drone, instead of the Statue of Liberty. If we surrender our soul, does that mean Osama bin Laden wins?

Tom Dolen


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