My previous column, intimating that Stephen Bannon was not fired but purged by representatives of the Military-Industrial Complex — or more accurately, by the White House Chief of Staff, General John Kelly, in an attempt to shield America’s Corporate State — seems to have rankled a number of readers. But what President Eisenhower warned about some 56 years ago is real and its power is monolithic. The roster of developments since early August are striking:
- Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater, put forth the suggestion of completely privatizing the military effort in troubled Afghanistan, with regards to both ground and air contingents. The majority of the White House staff is reputed to be opposed to such an approach. However General James Mattis, who seems to be the emerging leader of the developing military junta of Mattis, McMaster and Kelly, confirmed, as of Sept. 22, that Prince’s offer is still open for further discussion. Again, this aptly demonstrates the ominous and reprehensible state of affairs in which this nation finds itself, the further evisceration of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. And there is more. . .
- . . . in mid-August, the National Security Adviser, Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, opposed Trump’s saber rattling concerning the potential of military action in Venezuela. When on ABC News and asked about the possibility of such a military solution, General McMaster replied, “No I don’t.” Breitbart News, though, besmirched General McMaster, to which a counter stroke appeared in of all places, the Jerusalem Post. Two former Israeli military officials, Eran Lerman and Yaakov Amidor, wrote, “Such an attack is not mere opinion; it is an offensive against the truth; against basic decency and against the best interests of Israel as we see them. In the opinion of many in the professional Israeli defense establishment who have come to know General McMaster over the years, directly and indirectly, the general is a friend.” It should be construed as significant that the Israeli defense establishment would support the U.S. defense establishment in the face of criticism from an ultra-nationalist sounding board, since the Military-Industrial Complex bestows millions in aid to Israel every year.
The direction the Nation seems to heading can also be seen at the State Department. According to the Washington Post, the Mission Statement of the arm of American diplomacy is to be changed. Currently it reads, “Create a more secure, democratic and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community.” The new draft, as quoted by the Post, “Lead America’s foreign policy through global advocacy, action, and assistance to shape a safer and more prosperous world.” The new Mission Statement merely offers a more realistic assessment of what America truly is . . . an Empire, Pax Americana, to which the term “Democratic” is a word devoid of meaning; in addition to the elimination of referencing the “American people and the international community,” to which American foreign policy is working, for the most part, for the benefit of neither.
The United States has been exercising an arrogant, self-indulgent foreign policy for decades. All one need do is to recall George Kennan, who urged in 1948, “The U.S. has about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population. … In this situation we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming, and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford the luxury of altruism and world benefaction. … We should cease to talk about such vague and unreal objectives as human rights, the raising of living standards and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are hampered by idealistic slogans, the better. . . “
Sixty-nine years ago, then, George Kennan penned the actual Mission Statement of American foreign policy; on the heels of which President Truman would send American troops into Korea without a declaration of war, leading to our Constitution — that hallowed blueprint for government that our “elected” officials are sworn to protect — to be subjected to an insidious and protracted disembowelment, to the extent that we no longer have a functioning system of representative government. For decades this wanton lack of regard for convention, such as declarations of war and peace treaties . . . has simplified the jump into war; a discard of convention that has cost Americans dearly, enhancing the ability of the few to control the many; the result of the void left by the demise of a functioning system of representative government. Or as George Washington warned in his farewell address . . .
. . . (O)vergrown military establishments, which under any form of government are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty: In this sense it is, that your Union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other.
Such is not the case today. For the current occupant of the Oval Office is nowhere close to being that statesman America requires as Chief Executive to skillfully function in our system of checks and balances so carefully crafted by our Founders. Quite the contrary; for the American electorate has saddled itself with a politically unskilled, unprincipled, superficial boor; a vulgar, pompous knave who could not be adversely impacting this majestic nation any more than if he was a paid enemy agent. And when it requires elements of the military to bring some sort of order to that exercise in buffoonery that is the Trump Administration, the veil has certainly been raised, shedding light on that fiction of that Shining City on the Hill as put forth by Reagan; when in actuality it is a tarnished political slum, a ghettoized remnant of our pilfered Republic, consigned for the service of the politically unwashed.