<\body> Stories in America: The Military Industrial Complex

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Military Industrial Complex

On this day in 2003, 500,000 people stood in the cold in Washington DC to oppose the Iraq war. It was the largest demonstration since Vietnam. At that time, protestors questioned the Bush administration's justification for going to war. The 'liberal media' refused to take them seriously.

Also on this day in 1961, Republican President Dwight Eisenhower, in his farewell address, warned the nation of "the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex." Do Eisenhower Republicans still exist?
A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.

Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peace time, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence-economic, political, even spiritual-is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, 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. We should take nothing for granted only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.


At 1/17/2006 12:52 PM, Anonymous Timmy said...

"The 'liberal media' refused to take them seriously."

Funny, I seem to remember anti-war protests being covered rather extensively in the media. Both here and abroad.

What up?

(there...I'm not "Anonymous" anymore)

At 1/18/2006 8:52 PM, Blogger storiesinamerica said...


Hundreds of thousands of Americans around the country protested the Iraq War on the weekend of September 24-25, with the largest demonstration bringing between 100,000 and 300,000 to Washington, D.C. on Saturday.

But if you relied on television for your news, you'd hardly know the protests happened at all. According to the Nexis news database, the only mention on the network newscasts that Saturday came on the NBC Nightly News, where the massive march received all of 87 words. (ABC World News Tonight transcripts were not available for September 24, possibly due to pre-emption by college football.)

Cable coverage wasn't much better. CNN, for example, made only passing references to the weekend protests. CNN anchor Aaron Brown offered an interesting explanation (9/24/05):

"There was a huge 100,000 people in Washington protesting the war in Iraq today, and I sometimes today feel like I've heard from all 100,000 upset that they did not get any coverage, and it's true they didn't get any coverage. Many of them see conspiracy. I assure you there is none, but it's just the national story today and the national conversation today is the hurricane that put millions and millions of people at risk, and it's just kind of an accident of bad timing, and I know that won't satisfy anyone but that's the truth of it."


At 1/19/2006 8:49 AM, Anonymous timmy said...

Well, I don't know if 87 words is too many or too few words to adequately report a protest march. Frankly, I pretty much understood "the story" just by the photographs and video footage. I mean, really -- aside from the fact that a bunch of people who oppose the war gathered at a predetermined time and place, and.....marched...I pretty much *get* the story.

That said,I do agree that the reporting on these protests often leaves out vital and interesting information...as Christopher Hitchens reports:



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