Those who remember the late David Bowies 1969 song Space Oddity can recall the lyrics ‘Ground Control to Major Tom’. Well, almost 50 years later we have what this writer refers to as a ‘War Oddity’.
L. Fletcher Prouty wrote his 1972 book The Secret Team, whereupon he covered his inside witness to how a secret element of our CIA actually ran foreign policies and wars. What I found interesting was his take on the whole Vietnam debacle. In the book Prouty made a cogent point on how this Military Industrial Complex (later renamed by yours truly as the Military Industrial Empire) needed what they called the Vietnam War to fulfill their thirst for profit making military hardware and supplies. Prouty notes that American businesses were all but knocked out of the lucrative defense contract arena by the end of Eisenhower’s last term, due to the sudden and abrupt swing to ballistic missiles and space during the late 1950s. He goes on to explain that by sending hundreds of thousands of soldiers on the ground in Vietnam and its environs increased the need for more WW2 type munitions and bombers and helicopters… and of course plenty of bombs. The Navy needed those shallow water boats to use on the rivers. To parrot the late General Smedley Butler from his 1935 essay ‘War is a Racket’, many corporate interests made fortunes each time our nation goes to what they sell us as ‘War’.
Fifty years and nothing has changed… and never will! We know from all the audits done from our (illegal and of course immoral) attacks and invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan, how many segments of this Military Industrial Empire made fortunes. Remembering back to Vietnam, each time a Bell Corp. made Helicopter got destroyed, and 5000 were during that time, Bell made from $ 1-2 million per unit of replacement. Of course, to ship over 500,000 troops, clothe house and feed them for their usual one year tour of duty (or sooner if they were killed) some contractors made out like General Butler alluded. We had Iraq War 1 and then Iraq War 2, invading Afghanistan and occupy both countries for decades… what a racket! So, when Trump gets his orders to proceed with new ‘fields of endeavors’ i.e.: Syria (?) more fortunes will be made.. on top of those already seen by the manufacturers of the Apache Helicopter (fully equipped at 56 million dollars), drone aircraft and missiles. Remember folks that this obscene military spending comes out of the pockets of you and me taxpayer… at well over 50 % of our federal tax dollars!!
Whoever coined the phrase ‘War is hell’ was only referring to the suckers on its receiving end, and the poor grunts who we send over to kill and be killed in illegal and immoral actions! It is actually Paradise for those who profit from it.
Philip A Farruggio is a son and grandson of Brooklyn , NYC longshoremen. He has been a free lance columnist since 2001, with over 300 of his work posted on sites like Consortium News, Information Clearing House, Global Research, Nation of Change, World News Trust, Op Ed News, Dissident Voice, Counterpunch, Activist Post, Sleuth Journal, Truthout and many others. His blog can be read in full on World News Trust., whereupon he writes a great deal on the need to cut military spending drastically and send the savings back to save our cities. Philip has a internet interview show, ‘It’s the Empire… Stupid’ with producer Chuck Gregory, and can be reached at [email protected].