The Global Unleashing of US Military-Industrial Giant in the 21st Century & its Aftermath
By Engr. Mansoor A Malik
November, 1980 would be a landmark for all concerned and genuine American People in the short modern political history of our generation. One of their most intellectually honest and brave President Jimmy Carter had lost elections for his second presidential term to a second rated Hollywood Cowboy Film Hero, Mr. Ronald Reagan. Most of the political analysts of the time put his downfall on his Iranian Military Fiasco to recover the American hostages held by the Iranian students at the US Embassy in Tehran but in reality things may have been different. Only a few months before his second term elections, he had cancelled the Development and Production of the B-2 Strategic Bombers along with other fancy Military Space Programmes which had badly hurt the Military-Industrial Conglomerate. Not only did he challenge his own out of control military machine but had the audacity of arm twisting the most conservative Israeli Prime Minister ever, Mr. Menachem Begin at Camp David to coerce him into signing the Peace Accord with President Anwar Sadaat of Egypt. Mr. Carter also personally pushed for and signed the all important SALTII (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) Agreement with the Soviet Union. He had made not one but two political blunders at home by bravely checkmating his own influential Military-Industrial Might as well as disrupting the existing Strategic Political Balancing Act between USA and Israel by adding the factor of Egypt into it. He would therefore, had to be shown the door by the powers to be, regardless of his intellectual honesty, forthrightness, truthfulness and competency.
The cowboy President, Mr. Ronald Reagan entered the White House in January, 1981 along with his lasso, saddle and horses. What a contrast between the intellectual President Carter and the jumping jack President Reagan; but then, this is what makes Democracy so exciting and un-predictable? His very first Executive Orders on reaching the Oval Office were the revival of the B-2 Bombers shelved by President Carter and re-invigorating the Military Space Programmes. He went several steps further in giving a “No Ends Barred” for a “Space Arms Race” thus sabotaging the painstakingly arrived SALTII Agreement. The so called populist “Star Wars” programme was initiated by him which was officially designated as “Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI)”. This would entail pre-positioning of hundreds of space satellites over the next ten years which would continuously change their orbits in space so as to go un-detected and have state-of-the-art killer satellites with Beam Weapons, Rail Guns, Missiles Firing Platforms and other attack paraphernalia on board, camouflaged within the constellation of Spy Satellites. Thousands of well meaning American engineers and scientists involved in this Megalomaniac project protested against spending trillions of US Tax Payers Dollars only to satisfy the egos of the powerful lobbyists. Rationality was thrown away and the world would never be the same again as every square inch of mother earth would from now onwards be monitored 24/7 by Uncle Sam from space. The Soviet Union would be en-trapped into this mad space arms race and economically ruin itself leading to its dis-integration.
America was fortunate enough to have a person like Bill Clinton elected President for eight long years to undo the impact of twelve years of Reaganomics. The trillions of dollars in Deficit Financing which the cowboy President and his deputy left behind due to building up the New War Machines had to be cleared by the brilliance of Bill Clinton and his economic team. During the twelve years of Republican White House, the US Military-Industrial animal had grown into a monster and was trying to feel its way. When George Bush Senior entered the White House in January, 1989, soon after Mr. Reagan, he continued all his policies as he had served him as his Vice-President. The first glimpse of this over grown Military-Industrial Giant was on display during the 1991 Gulf War with Iraq. It required the extra ordinary valour and vision of General Collin Powel (Chairman Joint Chief of Staff) to limit this war by re-gaining Kuwait from Iraq and stopping there, thus saving the Middle-East from further un-necessary slaughter. The war mongering Republican President George Bush Senior could not win the hearts and minds of his own American people as they rejected him at the polls held on November, 1992 and did not give him the second term of office. It required the pacifist President Clinton from the Democratic Party and his very bright other half, Mrs. Hillary Clinton to keep this military giant in check and focus onto the economic revival of the USA thus leading it to the new millennium as a balanced Economic and Military Power.
On the dawn of the 21st Century, USA was enjoying the sole Super Power status with new political and economic alignments being developed by Clinton’s White House with China, India, Russia, South Africa and several South American countries. An even handed approach on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in the Middle-East (ala Jimmy Carter) was being vigorously pursued to arrive at a justified political settlement which was long over due. The US Presidential aircraft (Air force One) with President Clinton on board would land for the first and last time on the Gaza Airstrip to meet Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat and demonstrate respect to the Palestinian Sovereignty. The Israeli Air Force would soon bomb out this singular airstrip to remove any semblance of Palestinian Independence after this visit of the US President. Alas, all this will go in smoke with the US Presidential elections in November, 2000.
A new phenomenon was taking place in the USA at the advent of the 21st Century which was fully funded, ignited and supported by Corporate America under the leadership of its Military-Industrial Complex. This was the rise of the Neoconservatives and the Born-Again Evangelical Christians amongst the general population in America, in Academia, in Politics as well as in Military. The trillions of US tax payers’ dollars burnt by President Reagan and George Bush Senior on their Military Programmes in the 1980s’ and early 1990s’ had to be put to good use after the demise of their arch enemy, the Soviet Union. A new enemy, overnight, had to be created to keep on oiling this Military-Industrial Complex. A divine bolt from the blue was provided to the US policy makers of the Religious Front after the 9/11 Tragedy. Professor Huntington’s book, “The Clash of Civilizations” had to be re-surrected and re-circulated along with the cliché of “Democratization of the Muslim World” as if the Muslim populations all over the world were begging on their knees and yearning for it from the good old Uncle Sam. There were many more serious problems confronting the Muslim World which had to be tackled by themselves rather than being imposed from elsewhere.
The Deadly Embrace between the US Religious Front and the Military-Industrial Complex would have its crescendo throughout the two terms of George Bush Junior. He would be on record to demonstrate Mr. Ronald Reagan as his father figure to the extent of even ignoring the warnings of his natural father, President George Bush Senior. President Eisenhower, who first coined the term Military-Industrial Complex, more than sixty years ago and warned the new crop of politicians to be beware of its machinations lest it sucks everything in like an overgrown Octopus; was thrown overboard at the cost of Muslim Populations all over the world. The three Evangelists who took upon themselves to cleanse the world from all evil unilaterally, like the Medieval European Wars of the Middle-Ages took control of the White House in January, 2001 and painted it red with the blood of Muslim populations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.
Eighty years old, deraigned, veteran of the Defense Establishment, Dum Rumsfeld, captured the Pentagon and un-leashed the Military-Industrial Might with his “Shock & Awe” attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq. Another old timer, Dick Cheney, who only had a small portion of his heart working thus supplying less blood to his mind for its proper functioning, occupied the White House as the strongest Vice-President in the short history of the USA and releasing President Bush Junior to indulge in long sessions of eating monkey nuts and going nuts on the spread of Evil Empires all over the world. These three WASPs’ (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants) and born again Christians even kept their two brightest African-American cabinet members i.e. Mr. Collin Powell (Secretary of State) and Ms. Rice (National Security Advisor) at the receiving end most of the time as if they were at a different level of Christianity. Eight years of this shock and awe is now part of the ugly American History. The White House of January, 2009 may be different in color and creed but the Military-Industrial genie is out of the bottle now. The War in Afghanistan is still lingering on after ten years of the US Military shock and awe and Iraq’s Political Stability is still haunting the Policy Makers in Washington. Pakistan, which was caught in this cross fire, has ruined its economy, lost more than 40,000 of its soldiers/civilians and is experiencing De-stabilization continuously since the arrival of the new millennium.
Most of the pre-election promises to reign in the US Military by President Obama have not been kept. Apart from showing the political muscles of firing General Stanley Chrystal (WASP net), the US Commander in Afghanistan for bad mouthing the US politicians, Obama has not been able to put the military genie back into the political bottle. In this so called “Economic Century”, it is very surprising that not a single US politician, worthy of its name, has ever discussed to analyze and reduce their”Defense Budget “even in these hard economical times in America and Europe. The volume of the US defense budget can be gauged by the simple fact that all the Annual Defense Budgets of the world put together is less than the single US defense budget. There is certainly something rotten in this state of Denmark. The UN World Body may like to reflect upon this and make the whole world a safer place to live in not only for the rest of the mankind but also give equal opportunities for the not so well served general American Population before they also take a leaf from the Tahrir Square of Cairo and show their strength in larger numbers at the Washington Monument. Only time will tell.