Why We Fight

Finally got the opportunity to watch, “Why We Fight“, a feature length documentary on the “military-industrial-complex”. This term was coined by the farewell speech of Dwight D Eisenhower, who warned of an over-militarized U.S. foreign policy. A few comments:

  • Very much worth the watch…Netflix it or even Amazon it…but definitely watch it.
  • Much more based on reality than deliberately manufactured trash like “Fahrentheit 911”.
  • Informed view on the fallacies of the modern relationship between the U.S. government and it’s military contractors.
  • Absolute hypocricy on it’s “non-partisanship”–if one listened to the interviews on the special features, you hear repetitively that “there’s not a bunch of people in a dark room, no conspiracy theory, etc…it’s just a society that we want to change, blah blah”…meanwhile, the movie spends about half of its play-time SHOWING Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perl, etc…as intentionally and maliciously perpetuating this military-industrial evil U.S. empire and insanely little blame to anyone on the other side of the aisle (except of course Johnson)–whether it’s Cheney’s fault or not, the director should at least be open about his political slants. The only positive image of a Senator in the whole movie (granted…there aren’t many to pull from…but details) was Robert Byrd whining about lack of debate.
  • NUMBER ONE POINT: Eisenhower originally had “military-industrial-CONGRESSIONAL” complex in his speech (and this I did not know) but decided to leave the “congressional” out so as not to alienate his friends on the hill.
  • Another interesting point…that the military contractors have plants spread out all over the country, so if any weapons system is threatened, there is an upswell of protests to protect American factory jobs. (btw: Something that’s always pissed me off: a supposedly militaristic President tries to find efficiencies by closing down some bases, and he hears bitching from the left that he just doesn’t care about American jobs. What’s a brotha to do?) Now whether this translates into, “If we don’t go to war in Iraq, then a bunch of small towns suffer and bitch,” might be more debateable, but nonetheless it’s a good point.
  • Think tanks, think tanks…apparently all evil starts from think tanks…who knew?

Anyway, number one challenge with the film is that it illustrates only half the problem:..if anything can compare with the inflated Pentagon budget it’s the budget of HHS, and every other department of the Fed, and the various failed pork barrell projects our glorious Congress passes on a yearly basis. In other words, the problem is big Government in general, not simply big military. And on this note, both sides of the aisle have failed us MISERABLY for decades.

Other foreign policy aspects of the film, I’m in disagreement with (big shock), but thankfully the film is tastefully enough done that you can easily agree with the thrust of the argument (at least what I thought was the thrust of the argument):

That the relationship between the US government and it’s military contractors is less than appropriate, the contracting process is a joke, and we the people consistently fail in holding the Senate accountable for its management of the purse strings.

Posted at 10:29 pm by Logipundit

Posted by Johnny @ 07/31/2006 07:57 AM PDT
There’s something to be said for the highly Keynesian nature of the military. Rumsfeld has gotten in way more trouble for wanting to cut a bloated military via base closings, leading to planted questions about humvee armor, than he did for anything else. Newt Gingrich also wrote about the need to cut the military budget, once he was out of office. He had all kinds of military projects back home, however.

Posted by Hemati @ 07/31/2006 04:10 PM PDT
I couldn’t agree more with Butch, although I drank somewhat more of the kool-ade when I watched this movie. Great premise – and I think a somewhat compelling call to action as well. If our government is for, by and of the people; then the people need to stand the f_ck up and be counted.

On another note – read “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” for more. A compelling take on this topic from someone formerly on the inside who contributed greatly (and now remorsefully) to this buildup.


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