This year, 2011, we all can sense that a storm is brewing, environmentally, economically and politically. We have an empire called Pax Americana (an oxymoron is there ever was one) that is candidly quite near its end. Oh, the few thousand people who control America’s business, military and politics are still holding out for greater expansion of this dying killer weed in the garden Earth. After over a century of strangling most of the world, Pax Americana is quickly running out of steam, with bankrupt cities whose citizenry is lost in the hypnotic trance of consumerism, false patriotism and discriminations of all sorts. Propaganda and jingoism are doing their best to keep the Pandora’s Box of truth from popping open. Yet, we have seen many converts to this truth that felt a sincere love of humanity which needed expression. Here are a few examples:
General Smedley Butler’s War Is A Racket – The former Marine Major General wrote this essay and speech in the early 1930s. You can Google it and read it in full. Basically, he admitted and acknowledged his role decades earlier as a gangster (his words) for the moneyed interests that dominated foreign sovereign nations like the Philippines, Mexico, Honduras and Nicaragua. General Butler also gave an accounting of the profiteers and manipulators of war, using WW 1 as an example. He showed just how much profit was made by bankers, manufacturers, weapons dealers etc on America’s entering the war in Europe. This was a man who confronted his demons to seek some sort of redemption through the Truth.
Eisenhower’s January 1961 Farewell Address – Ironically, this is the 50th anniversary of Ike’s address to the nation. In it, outgoing President Eisenhower defined and explained probably the single most dangerous entity of evil that America (and the world) faced: The Military Industrial Complex. Ike knew, because he was not only a part of it…. It was responsible for getting him to run and win office! It made sure that he picked a man he never liked or trusted, Richard Nixon, to be his Vice President (wonder why?). Eisenhower used or was used by this Military Industrial Complex of major industries and the Pentagon to do many dirty deeds in many countries: Cuba, Guatemala, Iran, Santo Domingo, Vietnam…. To name just a few. The main beneficiaries were always American businesses, who profited from foreign resources and markets…. And of course Wars! Sadly, and not so ironically, Eisenhower waited until the baton was passed on to JFK before he issued his warning. He knew that even Presidents cannot control or inhibit what Richard Nixon himself years later referred to as The Beast.
JFK & the Unspeakable – If one reads James Douglas’s 2008 book JFK and the Unspeakable, a great deal of ‘hidden knowledge‘ is revealed. Kennedy, like Eisenhower, was a Cold Warrior when he assumed office – not the ‘flaming liberal ‘the media portrayed him to be. JFK, in today’s political climate, would have been a Blue Dog Democrat, a conservative oriented politician. It was, according to Douglas, Kennedy’s 1961 meetings with the Joint Chiefs of Staff that began his shift away from cold warrior to that of a more rational statesman. Why? Well, upon taking office, Kennedy was first hit with the Joint Chiefs plan called Operation North woods, which called for a covert CIA & Pentagon operation to instigate an attack and invasion of Castro’s Cuba. The scheme included terrorist bombings in Miami and DC blamed on Cuban agents, shooting down of a drone plane supposedly filled with passengers over Cuban airspace (sound familiar yet?) and some other hijinks involving boats entering Cuban waters to be fired on by the Cuban navy. This plan was originally given to Eisenhower in 1960 (maybe what finally caused him to draft his Farewell Address) and he copped out and passed it on to the Kennedy administration. Well, this must have alerted JFK to just how diabolical the Military Industrial Complex really was. Kennedy squashed the plan… quickly. Then, what really alarmed both Kennedy brothers concerning this Cabal of elite manipulators was JFKs meeting with the same Joint Chiefs in late ‘ 61 or early ‘ 62. They presented him with a unanimous recommendation: Our U-2 flights proved that the Soviets were much weaker than we were militarily. If we initiated a pre-emptive nuclear attack (sound familiar?) we would succeed with only perhaps limited losses…. And the Russians would be destroyed and defeated. Kennedy adjourned the meeting and as he left the room, he turned to a confidante and said ‘Those guys are crazy!! ‘
Finally, we have the Cuban Missile Crisis. We now know how close this world came to a complete nuclear holocaust. JFK, already numbed by the audacious and downright evil intentions of his own government, became more and more a spokesperson for peace and cooperation…. The rest is…. History.
Malcolm X – As long as he was shouting for the continued separation of the races, he was safe…. So far as the dreaded Military Industrial Complex was concerned. What better way to keep the masses from standing up to such deceit and manipulation than to have blacks and whites at each other’s throats? When Malcolm had his epiphany during his journey to Mecca, he automatically became a threat to the powers that be. He turned his attention from the guns of the racists in America to the guns of our empire abroad, and renounced his separatist mindset. This was too much for the planners of a ‘subservient society ‘. Malcolm had to go.
Martin Luther King Jr. – Getting black folks the right to use the same water fountain and sit anywhere on a bus was OK with the power elites. They knew that Jim Crow had outlived its usefulness. They realized that racism would always be evident, just in a more subtle manner. They knew that most white people would not wish to live or have their kids go to school with too many blacks. So, MLK (Martin Luther King Jr.) at that time was no threat to them. Besides, by giving blacks the rights that for so long had been held from them, created the illusion of being full fledged citizens. That is exactly what happened: Make them feel more free and then conveniently ship them overseas to ‘Fight for our freedom ‘. By 1967, MLK realized that his people were not free at all. The housing marches in Chicago a year or two earlier exposed that myth. When northern whites acted as vociferously racist as their southern cousins, MLK knew very little had been gained. Then he gave his famous Riverside Church Speech of April 4, 1967 (one year to the day that he would be murdered) and really took apart the empire. His critique of the Vietnam War and all of America’s wars of aggression overseas made King persona non grata with even the liberal establishment! The NY Times and Washington Post editorials blasted him. Finally, in spring of 1968, MLK really spoke out for working folks through his support of the Memphis sanitation workers’ strike. It was time for him to go.
What all the aforementioned men had done was simply in Speaking Truth to Power. You see, they all loved the America of their birth. It was that Love and the need for Truth that motivated them against the grain of the times. When will the 99.9% of us who are not part or parcel of this Military Industrial Complex finally follow suit? Recently, I had an editor of a local paper tell me that she would not print my Op Ed columns because they were ‘ On National issues , and we concentrate on local issues of importance. ‘She is ignorant of the fact that austerity acts of cutting funds for most public services, and the ghost town that our area is becoming, are all the results of national policies. She refuses to see the connection between the fact that over 50% of our federal tax dollars goes to feed the dreaded Military Industrial Complex while our economy withers away. Perhaps the day will come when she too will take up the mantle and become a follower of the truth and love needed to save us all. How about you?
Philip A. Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn NYC longshoremen. He is an activist leader and free lance columnist. Since the 2000 elections, he has written over 200 columns, many posted on various sites worldwide. Recently, he is finding a home at Dandelion Salad, New Jersey activist Ed Dunphy’s progressivepatriots.net or at his own blog at www.opensalon.com. Philip can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.