In his 1961 Farewell address President Dwight Eisenhower warned us of a rogue military-industrial complex (MIC). Ike said the post-World War II MIC had the potential to destroy our democracy and world peace. (1)
We look around at the loss of our civil liberties, rising inequality
and the wars we fight abroad every year with our huge one-and-a-half
million military forces that are stationed on every continent and
in every ocean it and it appears Eisenhower was correct. No other
county spends as much of its wealth on the war machine as us. No other
country has a global military presence that even begins to match ours.
Why do we need such a large a standing army? Some people suggest we had a military coup in our country hidden behind the '50s Cold War rhetoric and that now the war on terrorism is being used to create a global empire for the MIC.
Besides President Eisenhower others have also warned of this danger. Malcolm X, one of the first global human rights activists, spoke of the grassroots class and racial unity needed against the war machine. In the 1950s, Malcolm linked the struggle of the oppressed in the colonies for freedom with the struggle of the internal colony in America. Mario Savio, during the Free Speech Movement of students in the early 60s saw the MIC as a dehumanizing force so odious to intellectual freedom he called on students to throw their bodies on the gears of the machine to rebel. In 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr. placed blame for increasing global violence on the growing U.S. machine. King said our war in Vietnam was due to the military-industrial complex, which was systematically destroying legitimate aspirations for socialism, freedom and liberty around the world. King, Malcolm X, and Savio called on peace loving Americans to stand on the side of the world revolution, the national liberation movements and the student-worker movements against the American war machine.
More recently Thomas Friedman in his book praising global capitalism, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, wrote that the sweatshops of corporate profit machines like Coke, Nike, Exxon, Chevron-Texaco and McDonalds could not exist without the war machine of McDonnell-Douglas, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin and others. (2) As a measure of how far we have falen from common sense, Friedman’s acceptance of global inequalities and more American military power to police the world is widely received as a progressive feature of the modern economy. This untenable situation is due to the unchallenged legitimacy of the military-industrial complex inside our own country.
Our state, New Mexico, is one of the core centers of the MIC. Over the last 60 years, New Mexico was incrementally developed into a war colony for the MIC. With our weak and undemocratic political structure and taxpayer built high quality public universities, New Mexico is now a crown jewel for the MIC. In our state some of the most advanced research and development for the most exotic and evil high-tech weapons of war have taken place. During the Manhattan Project nuclear weapons were designed and tested, and the waste dumped around our state.
Weapons such as the Predator robotic assassin plane which was developed at Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB) are produced more secretly. Kirtland and the University of New Mexico are now building the first nuclear powered space laser weapon along with robotic soldiers. The cruise missile with an electronic discharge bomb was just announced in Time magazine as having been secretly built at KAFB. This bomb will be tested on the civilian population of Iraq. A whole group of laser weapons are being created at KAFB. These lethal weapons will be mounted on jeeps, fighter jets, jumbo jets, and even in space.
Nuclear weapons have long been developed, tested and stored in New Mexico. There are 3,000 weapons of mass destruction stored next to schools and hospitals in Albuquerque and the MIC refuses to even admit the danger this represents to the community. New Mexico has more nuclear waste dumps and wide spread contamination per capita than any other state.
Because of bi-partisan support in our Congressional delegation, Los Alamos and Sandia National Labs have just received another $2 billion to work up a new generation of nuclear weapons. When our leaders tell other countries to disarm or be invaded, and we say noting of Israel’s hundreds of nuclear weapons for instance, we just isolate ourselves from peace loving people of the world.
Sandia Labs, with assistance from UNM, has been secretly creating microwave crowd control weapons to “non-lethally” suppress political dissent. The Holloman and Canon air bases in New Mexico train pilots in open killing with the newest weapons. It was the advances training for sneaky stealth bombing at Holloman that led to the deaths of over 400 civilians in the F-117 laser guided bomb attack on the El-Ameryiah bomb shelter in 1991 in Baghdad.
All along the high tech and poverty ridden Rio Grande corridor, from White Sands to Alamogordo to Albuquerque to Los Alamos, the most horrible and violent weapons of war have been created – in our name. We must mount a challenge to this war machine, which is now preparing for pre-emptive first strike attacks on competitors to American corporations. As a result, New Mexicans have a special role to play in the struggle for global justice and peace. We live in a center of the war machine’s main base of operations.
It is obvious that our lives and future depend on U.S. citizens like us exposing and dismantling the war machine, everywhere. This machine is now in the total service of the global corporate drive. And, as Freidman says, this machine will subordinate human needs to the bank accounts of Wall Street stockholders. Neither weapon nor crime of war is beneath the MIC in their greedy rush to rule the world. First-strike attacks with nuclear weapons are being talked of as normal warfare. This will only bring about a new arms race and more death and destruction.
Future generations will have to clean up the environmental damage done with our radioactive warfare and innocent Americans will endure hate and attacks abroad from our imperial policies. Space is being militarized for the future wars to control people of the earth. The present war in the Middle East is an example of a quick grab by the oil companies for the world oil supply. At the same time we are establishing permanent military bases (3) in the region to prepare for a war with China, our main economic competitor.
As a result, we Americans now live in an economy totally centered on war and deficits. We are paying dearly for it. Only the war contractors and their political representatives are doing well. The government funds we need for living wages, universal health care, quality education, mass transportation, help for the poor, alternative energy sources, environmental protection and building local economies are being used to build an empire-class war machine.
This war machine must also suppress internal dissent for rule abroad because decent and peace loving people will resist this international crime being committed in our name. Like the Nazis who had to create homeland laws to suppress and divide the citizens we have seen the Patriot and Homeland Security Acts emerge with bi-partisan support in Congress. These unconstitutional policies were created to assist the success of capital-based markets, not to make us safe.
This is not the kind of world we want to live in. The empire the wealthy are building and the democracy we need are not compatible, but our leaders in Washington want us to think their fascist rule of the world is somehow freedom for all. A better world is possible if we refuse and resist their wars. We can make a difference. The recent massive demonstrations around the world are like a rolling thunder of grassroots resistance, a new superpower, unlike anything before, even the 1960s, to challenge the empire. A better world is possible if we resist their rule and organize. To stop the war machine is our task in the homeland for real security and a bright future. We have no other option if we are to live.
for the Committee to Stop the War Machine
For a printable version of the Call to Action, click here.
To read "A VERY GREAT VISION IS NEEDED" by Bruce Gagnon, click here.