Friday, March 16, 2007

JUST MY THOUGHTS by John Gonzalez

John Gonzalez (photo),gave this response to Charles Sullivan's controversial article: "What if they gave a War?" Sullivan is calling for Global Solidarity with working class people everywhere against what he perceives as a common enemy - Corporate Plutocracy.

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PACIFICA, CA: War is, in fact, a class confrontation. From time immemorial, war has torn at the fabric of society and kicked its heels at the oppressed. Sadly, it will continue to do so. It will continue to do so as long as there is a living being who believes that his faith, his ideology, his very existence is superior to another.

What if they gave a war and no one went? Who will be the first to say, “Not me!”? Will it be the "oppressor" or will it be the "oppressed?" Who will make that determination of right or wrong? Will the oppressor, who devalues life's existence while relegating others to the depths of despair, be the one to forego the very action that fills its belly? Or will it be the oppressed, whose souls are filled with the desire and the fire to burn through their despair and torment to regain their right to human dignity?

History has shown us many conflicts among men of good will and men whose ideologies are the crust covering a cauldron of despair. In modern times, we have seen the rise of Hitler who fed his fanaticism on the embers of societal discord; embers that gave way to the fires of hell; fires that consumed life’s treasured dignity and left as its trail the ash of hope, love and beauty.

Peace unfortunately is not the natural order of things. Peace is the order that is brought about by courageous souls who dare to say, “Enough!” “Enough of the oppression!” “Enough of the denial of the intellect that God has given mankind!”

As long as we have disharmony among men; as long as we harbor the thought that "man has an inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," then we must be willing to answer the call of Freedom. Freedom's call must beckon, and be answered to, by the souls of all would yearn for it. Freedom must not and should not be won solely on the backs of the underprivileged. The quest for freedom must be borne equally by all who would savor its sweetness.

While the quest for freedom must be an inherent responsibility of all, we must beware of those who would distort the truth to the benefit of their exclusivity. General Eisenhower warned of the military-industrial complex. And so we must not bind the fabric of our society solely with the threads of an institution beholden to corporate profits and greed. Instead our societal fabric should be held together by the threads of education, prosperity, hope, and dignity.

The military institution is an honorable one. It is in this institution that we place our faith and trust to safeguard our way of being. We must hold to the highest accountability those whom we entrust the moral and equitable use of this institution. As we are willing to wield the sword of might to the oppressor, we must also be willing to wield the shield of protection to the oppressed.

1 comment:

RoseCovered Glasses said...

Your post has some excellent points. I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak. Here's some additional data:

The U.S. Department of Defense, headquartered in the Pentagon, is one of the most massive organizations on the planet, with net annual operating costs of $635 billion, assets worth $1.3 trillion, liabilities of $1.9 trillion and more that 2.9 million military and civilian personnel as of fiscal year 2005.

It is difficult to convey the complexity of the way DOD works to someone who has not experienced it. This is a massive machine with so many departments and so much beaurocracy that no president, including Bush totally understands it.

Presidents, Congressmen, Cabinet Members and Appointees project a knowledgeable demeanor but they are spouting what they are told by career people who never go away and who train their replacements carefully. These are military and civil servants with enormous collective power, armed with the Federal Acquisition Regulation, Defense Industrial Security Manuals, compartmentalized classification structures and "Rice Bowls" which are never mixed.

Our society has slowly given this power structure its momentum which is constant and extraordinarily tough to bend. The cost to the average American is exhorbitant in terms of real dollars and bad decisions. Every major power structure member in the Pentagon's many Washington Offices and Field locations in the US and Overseas has a counterpart in Defense Industry Corporate America. That collective body has undergone major consolidation in the last 10 years.

What used to be a broad base of competitive firms is now a few huge monoliths, such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Boeing and SAIC. If you would like to read how they control our government, please see:

Government oversight committees are carefully stroked. Sam Nunn and others who were around for years in military and policy oversight roles have been cajoled, given into on occasion but kept in the dark about the real status of things until it is too late to do anything but what the establishment wants. This still continues - with increasing high technology and potential for abuse.

Please examine the following link to testimony given by Franklin C. Spinney before Congress in 2002. It provides very specific information from a whistle blower who is still blowing his whistle (Look him up in your browser and you get lots of feedback) Frank spent the same amount of time as I did in the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) but in government quarters. His job in government was a similar role to mine in defense companies. Frank's emphasis in this testimony is on the money the machine costs us. It is compelling and it is noteworthy that he was still a staff analyst at the Pentagon when he gave this speech. I still can't figure out how he got his superior's permission to say such blunt things. He was extremely highly respected and is now retired.

The brick wall I often refer to is the Pentagon's own arrogance. It will implode by it's own volition, go broke, or so drastically let down the American people that it will fall in shambles. Rest assured the day of the implosion is coming. The machine is out of control.

If you are interested in a view of the inside of the Pentagon procurement process from Vietnam to Iraq please check the posting on this blog entitled, "Odyssey of Armaments"

On the same subject, you may also be interested in the following sites from the "Project On Government Oversight", observing it's 25th Anniversary and from "Defense In the National Interest", inspired by Franklin Spinney and contributed to by active/reserve, former, or retired military personnel.