Almost exactly 58 years ago, General Dwight Eisenhower made a very interesting Farewell Address, as he was about to leave office as the 34th President of the United States.
Being uniquely well-qualified to comment on the interface between the world of politics and the military, he warned that America was on the brink of surrendering democratic control of what he termed “the military-industrial complex”
“…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 the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together”
Within a few short years, it become apparent he was right.
And events come into very clear focus once you realise that – the US Navy sailing gaily into the South China Sea on the day President Trump sits down to talk with China is characterised as gunboat diplomacy, whereas in fact it is closer to an act of diplomatic sabotage by those who don’t want peace and are outside Presidential control.
Just as accusing Trump of collusion with Russia was intended to prevent the normalising of the relationship after Obama’s disastrous second-rate double-crosses on the geopolitical stage (engineering a coup in Ukraine and trying one in Syria to hamper Russian LNG transit and satisfy those who wished to compete with them, having already insinuated to Russia that he was happy to be their missile bitch!).
And just as President Donald Trump announces the withdrawal of US troops from Syria, and John Bolton contradicts him.
Bill Clinton famously said that he was shocked to find once elected that he was not “running the show” – the authority and role of President has clearly dwindled a fair amount since even Reagan’s day, and the MIC told him very little.
Most Presidents have been treated like a mushroom by the MIC – kept in the dark and fed bullshit.
Every so often, we get a glimpse of the disconnect, and in the White House today we seem to have a President who doesn’t even know (or care?) that this is how the game is played.
If you want to know how knackered a car is, don’t give it a careful driver – give it to someone who will thrash it. You’ll soon see quite clearly all its weaknesses.
As a result, are the doors about to fall off the American geopolitical clown car?