We note the recent letter from secretaries of defense commenting there is no role for the military in our elections. At the same time, we note the 60th anniversary of Eisenhower's Military Industrial Complex speech on Jan. 17, 1961. The juxtaposition illuminates an enormous irony.
Eisenhower's warning was late, for what he saw was well-established, and rules our political and economic life to this day. The Military Industrial Complex is not a lobby, but more like a commander-in-chief. Our most huge "defense" industries work with the Pentagon to make budget proposals they can lubricate through Congress. (Usually, Congress allocates somewhat more than what the Pentagon requested.) The only customer for these expensive manufactures is the United States. It seems one common burden of being a member of Congress is becoming a millionaire.
Tulsi Gabbard had no chance against the Military Industrial Complex in proposing we end all regime-change wars and bring home all our troops and military bases. After all, our wars, provocations and interferences are the fuel for what is left of our capitalist economy, making huge amounts of money for all the accomplices. The Military Complex doesn't care what party is elected, because they have "influenced" the choice of nominees. So, I guess the military hasn't interfered in our elections — but surely, the Military Industrial Complex owns our elections.
Part of the irony is that all our bullying and meddling in other people's business came home to Washington, DC, on the Jan. 6. We have enormous work to do, and the longer we put it off, the harder it becomes. We must become neighbors with all our "adversaries." Must we collapse to get the Military Industrial Complex out of our political and economic lives?