- AMY MILLER’S “MYTHS FOR PROFIT: CANADA’S ROLE IN INDUSTRIES OF WAR AND PEACE”
- GARETH PORTER, FROM MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX TO PERMANENT WAR STATE, (Common Dreams, January 17)
- WILLIAM HARTUNG, AUTHOR OF “PROPHETS OF WAR” WRITES TO US (January 16, 2011)
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1. AMY MILLER’S “MYTHS FOR PROFIT: CANADA’S ROLE IN INDUSTRIES OF WAR AND PEACE”
Amy is a long-time member of our network. She makes an important contribution to seeing ourselves (Canadians) as we really are: peace-keepers or the makers of violence?
I hope that the posting on the armoured vehicles that are appearing in Canadian cities (March 7, 2011) will add to understanding the truth of Amy’s message, one we would prefer to deny.
Leo Kurtenbach draws a reality of the war industries to attention, but it is a reality that can be challenged :
“ — Read the words of Chris Hedges, … a few excerpts from an article published January 10th 2011.—
“Power does not rest with the electorate. It does not reside with either of the two major political parties”—
“Power rests with the corporations. And corporations gain very lucrative profits from war, even wars we have no chance of winning”
We contribute to the wars, but there has been no bombing in Canada. So far, we live in luxery.
When you add the armoured vehicles that are now being trotted out in Canadian cities, a contribution we make to the profits of the war-mongers, we are well-advised to hear the words of Gareth Porter (item # 2) even though they are addressed to an American audience. Porter speaks of a grassroots movement that requires “a massive educational .. effort“. Many thanks to Amy for her contribution to our education. We can all aid that education by … (you know!).
Gareth Porter (FROM MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX TO PERMANENT WAR STATE) writes: “ The only thing missing from this picture is a grassroots political movement organized specifically to demand an end to the Permanent War State. Such a movement could establish firm legal restraints on the institutions that threaten American Democratic institutions through a massive educational and lobbying effort. This is the right historical moment to harness the latent anti-militarist sentiment in the country to a conscious strategy for political change. “
Back to Amy’s work:
thanks for this. I would suggest you consider adding a bit about the ‘Making War in Canada’ map as I think it is very relevant.
‘Making war in Canada’ 24” X 32” map
‘Making War in Canada’ companion map to documentary ‘Myths for Profit’ Canada’s role in Industries of War and Peace’. Canada’s military industrial complex is alive and growing yet many people are surprised to learn this. Beyond the military bases that train the troops, the think tanks, media outlets and government offices that provide diplomatic, political or financial support to the Department of Defence, Canada has hundreds of companies that produces arms and components for weapon systems that are used in wars all over the world. This map shows only a small fraction of the Canadian companies and other support systems that are profiting from conflicts and war.
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2. GARETH PORTER, FROM MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX TO PERMANENT WAR STATE, (Common Dreams, January 17, 2011)
Fifty years after Dwight D. Eisenhower’s January 17, 1961 speech on the “military-industrial complex”, that threat has morphed into a far more powerful and sinister force than Eisenhower could have imagined. It has become a “Permanent War State”, with the power to keep the United States at war continuously for the indefinite future.
But despite their seeming invulnerability, the vested interests behind U.S. militarism have been seriously shaken twice in the past four decades by some combination of public revulsion against a major war, opposition to high military spending, serious concern about the budget deficit and a change in perception of the external threat. Today, the Permanent War State faces the first three of those dangers to its power simultaneously — and in a larger context of the worst economic crisis since the great depression.
When Eisenhower warned in this farewell address of the “potential” for the “disastrous rise of misplaced power”, he was referring to the danger that militarist interests would gain control over the country’s national security policy. The only reason it didn’t happen on Ike’s watch is that he stood up to the military and its allies.
The Air Force and the Army were so unhappy with his “New Look” military policy that they each waged political campaigns against it. The Army demanded that Ike reverse his budget cuts and beef up conventional forces. The Air Force twice fabricated intelligence to support its claim that the Soviet Union was rapidly overtaking the United States in strategic striking power — first in bombers, later in ballistic missiles.
But Ike defied both services, reducing Army manpower by 44 percent from its 1953 level and refusing to order a crash program for bombers or for missiles. He also rejected military recommendations for war in Indochina, bombing attacks on China and an ultimatum to the Soviet Union.
After Eisenhower, it became clear that the alliance of militarist interests included not only the military services and their industrial clients but civilian officials in the Pentagon, the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, top officials at the State Department and the White House national security adviser. During the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, that militarist alliance succeeded in pushing the White House into a war in Vietnam, despite the reluctance of both presidents, as documented in my book Perils of Dominance.
But just when the power of the militarist alliance seemed unstoppable in the late 1960s, the public turned decisively against the Vietnam War, and a long period of public pressure to reduce military spending began. As a result, military manpower was reduced to below even the Eisenhower era levels.
For more than a decade the alliance of militarist interests was effectively constrained from advocating a more aggressive military posture.
Even during the Reagan era, after a temporary surge in military spending, popular fear of Soviet Union melted away in response to the rise of Gorbachev, just as the burgeoning federal budget deficit was becoming yet another threat to militarist bloc. As it became clear that the Cold War was drawing to a close, the militarist interests faced the likely loss of much of their power and resources.
But in mid-1990 they got an unexpected break when Saddam Hussein occupied Kuwait. George H. W. Bush – a key figure in the militarist complex as former CIA Director — seized the opportunity to launch a war that would end the “Vietnam syndrome”. The Bush administration turned a popular clear-cut military victory in the 1991 Gulf War into a rationale for further use of military force in the Middle East. Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney’s 1992 military strategy for the next decade said, “We must be prepared to act decisively in the Middle East/Persian Gulf region as we did in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm if our vital interests are threatened anew.”
The Bush administration pressured the Saudis and other Arab regimes in the Gulf to allow longer-term bases for the U.S. Air Force, and over the next eight years, U.S. planes flew an annual average of 8,000 sorties in the “no fly zones” the United States had declared over most of Iraq, drawing frequent anti-aircraft fire.
The United States was already in a de facto state of war with Iraq well before George W. Bush’s presidency.
The 9/11 attacks were the biggest single boon to the militarist alliance. The Bush administration exploited the climate of fear to railroad the country into a war of aggression against Iraq. The underlying strategy, approved by the military leadership after 9/11, was to use Iraq as a base from which to wage a campaign of regime change in a long list of countries.
That fateful decision only spurred recruitment and greater activism by al Qaeda and other jihadist groups, which expanded into Iraq and other countries.�
Instead of reversing the ill-considered use of military force, however, the same coalition of officials pushed for an even more militarized approach to jihadism. Over the next few years, it gained unprecedented power over resources and policy at home and further extended its reach abroad: �
* The Special Operations Forces, which operate in almost complete secrecy, obtained extraordinary authority to track down and kill or capture al Qaeda suspects not only in Iraq and Afghanistan, but in many more countries.
* The CIA sought and obtained virtually unlimited freedom to carry out drone strikes in secrecy and without any meaningful oversight by Congress.
* The Pentagon embraced the idea of the “long war” – a twenty-year strategy envisioning deployment of U.S. troops in dozens of countries, and the Army adopted the idea of “the era of persistent warfare” as its rationale for more budgetary resources.
* The military budget doubled from 1998 to 2008 in the biggest explosion of military spending since the early 1950s – and now accounts for 56 percent of discretionary federal spending.
* The military leadership used its political clout to ensure that U.S. forces would continue to fight in Afghanistan indefinitely, even after the premises of its strategy were shown to have been false.�
Those moves have completed the process of creating a “Permanent War State” — a set of institutions with the authority to wage largely secret wars across a vast expanse of the globe for the indefinite future. �
But the power of this new state formation is still subject to the same political dynamics that have threatened militarist interests twice before: popular antipathy to a major war, broad demands for reduced military spending and the necessity to reduce the Federal budget deficit and debt.
The percentage of Americans who believe the war in Afghanistan is not worth fighting has now reached 60 percent for the first time. And as the crisis over the federal debt reaches it climax, the swollen defense budget should bear the brunt of deep budget cuts.
As early as 2005, a Pew Research Center survey found that, when respondents were given the opportunity to express a preference for budget cuts by major accounts, they opted to reduce military spending by 31 percent. In another survey by the Pew Center a year ago, 76 percent of respondents, frustrated by the continued failure of the U.S. economy, wanted the United States to put top priority in its domestic problems.
The only thing missing from this picture is a grassroots political movement organized specifically to demand an end to the Permanent War State. Such a movement could establish firm legal restraints on the institutions that threaten American Democratic institutions through a massive educational and lobbying effort. This is the right historical moment to harness the latent anti-militarist sentiment in the country to a conscious strategy for political change.
Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist on U.S. national security policy who has been independent since a brief period of university teaching in the 1980s. Dr. Porter is the author of four books, the latest of which is Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam (University of California Press, 2005). He has written regularly for Inter Press Service on U.S. policy toward Iraq and Iran since 2005.
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3. WILLIAM HARTUNG, AUTHOR OF “PROPHETS OF WAR” WRITES TO US:
Thanks so much for being in touch! I had heard about the controversy over Lockheed Martin’s role in the Canadian census from Steve Staples, who works in an Ottawa-based NGO.
I have talked to Steve about doing a trip to Ottawa for some events related to my book, but haven’t figured out a date yet.
Don’t know if I can travel to other parts of the country or not. The book tour has been great so far, but I am rapidly falling behind on other things, like fundraising so I can keep doing this work! But I will think it over to see if I can find a way to do more than one set of events in Canada.
I will look at the materials you have put up on the web, so as to better educate myself on Lockheed Martin’s role in Canada. It’s such a huge octopus that there are whole areas of its work that I only managed to mention in the book, each of which might have merited a chapter or part thereof. But hopefully the book will serve as a platform to deal with some of these issues in more depth.
Keep up the great work you are doing, and thanks for spreading the word about the book.
William D. Hartung
Director, Arms and Security Initiative
New America Foundation
38 Greene St. 4th Floor
New York, NY 10013
From: Sandra Finley Sent: Saturday, January 15, 2011 4:34 PM
To: William Hartung
Subject: Lockheed Martin in Canada
Dear Mr. Hartung,
Do you have any cities in Canada on your book tour?
Lockheed Martin’s role in the Canadian census is quite controversial here at the moment.
I received a “guilty” verdict this Thursday past for failing to fill in my 2006 census form which I did not do because census work was out-sourced to the Lockheed Martin/IBM duo (same as in U.S.).
You can imagine what a wonderful bit of serendipity your book is for me!
It would be an excellent time for you to be on talk-shows in Canada, if that is possible. The next Canadian census is 4 months away (May 2011).
I am back in court Thur Jan 20 for sentencing.
I have run an activist email network for 10 or 11 years. I took down my website when I was charged in April 2008. In the last 3 weeks I have hastily posted past emails on the Lockheed Martin issue. Unfortunately I need more time to better present them, but the blog will nonetheless give you a better idea of what’s happening here in relation to Lockheed Martin:
www.sandrafinley.ca , top – left tab “Pages”, drop-down list, click on “Lockheed …”
News of your book is circulating, at least in the email networks in Canada.
The verdict over the census is fairly controversial. It’s not easy to get the Lockheed Martin name into the mainstream media, not in a way that informs the public. The guilty verdict has actually been quite helpful. Slowly a greater awareness is being created. It started back in 2003 when activists first became aware of the census contracts. We have capitalized on various opportunities since then – as I say, steadily growing awareness.
On the blog you will see news of the original launch for “Prophets of War” and then today a post related to the video of the interview.
I can’t thank you enough for your book. It is invaluable for our work.
Sincerely and best wishes,
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
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I think most of us know that people living OUTSIDE the U.S. have more information on what is being done in the name of Americans than the people living INSIDE the U.S., generally speaking.
HOWEVER, it is exactly the same here in Canada. I remember the horror when a few years back I saw “Canada” included on the list of countries that manufacture cluster munitions. Most of us are largely unaware of the bad things being done in our name. People outside Canada are better informed than we are. They are, and should be critical of us. We should not be so self-satisfied as to believe that we do not suffer from the same ignorance as suffered by the Americans. As Amy Miller’s video shows, the propaganda is effective. We believe in a myth.
1. The YouTube video (11-minutes) at 2011-01-18 (Jeremy Rifkin: The Empathic Civilization) makes the point that nation states are artificial constructions pitting us against each other, when really we are connected.
I notice the tension created by the nation state when I am writing, and so do you:
“The Americans” is shorthand for “Corporate Interests”. Every time I write “The Americans” in reference to warring ways or whatever bad thing, one of you will (thankfully) object.
I will then point out that three out of four of my Grand Parents came from the USA, that I have good friends in the USA, we lived in North Carolina for a year and met the most wonderful people, and yes, I know it isn’t “the Americans” who are the culprits. Most of them basically want what we want.
Sometimes I will take time to add my tale of being in a black township in South Africa and the poignant lessons that they, too, only want what we want: education for their children and a safe community in which to raise them. We are all basically tied at the hip.
And I will try again not to use the shorthand “The Americans” when I am pressed for time or space. People in some countries, as documented in former emails (e.g. in relation to Canadian mining companies in South American countries), now use “The Canadians” with the same venom on their tongue.
Words are important; I become guilty of not-subtle “demonization” of the people in a different nation-state than my own when I use the lazy, unthoughtful shorthand. I say – – it’s not the people. BUT ACTUALLY, in a developed country like Canada IT IS US – because we have the means to stop what is being done in our name.
2. And then there’s the damn other side: I feel some pangs when I am quoting Dwight Eisenhower, a President of the U.S., or Thomas Jefferson, or Martin Luther King, or William Hartung or Gareth Porter. Why am I not quoting Canadian wisdom? Well – – I do that, too. The important contributions of John Ralston Saul to our understanding, Jane Jacobs, Joel Bakan (The Corporation), David Suzuki, Maud Barlow, Steve Staples at ceasefire.ca, now Amy Miller and so on, the list is far too long to enumerate.
The funny part of all this is that the only reason I feel those pangs (generated by nationalisim) is because I haven’t yet fully moved to the level of awareness of people like Jeremy Rifkin. It is only a state of awareness; we are all people around the Earth in this together. If we provide the money that enables the destruction of the homes of other people, in time it will all come back to us. Combat vehicles in our cities is just another step toward that evolving state.
Lockheed Martin may be American, but we have long been a part of the War Machine in ways hidden from us, but no longer.
AND THEN, in a state of awareness, we can embrace the Empathic Civilization, joining hands with like minds – – no matter where they live. It really is an exciting time. The momentum gathers.
Paul Hawken’s book describes the force. 2007-06-10 Blessed Unrest & A Force More Powerful (non-violent resistance).
It is important to connect our energy with that of people who share our work. Amy has been a part of our network for some time. We connected with Paul Hawken and his staff. Now, William (Bill) Hartung – – his email in item #3.
It is looking as though Father John Dear may not be able to make it to Saskatoon as earlier envisioned. But that’s okay: he and the others who are in Court over trespassing on Creech Air Force Base over Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) (Lockheed Martin) know our network is behind them.
man, we are stronger than rats and dragons
– and had forgotten it and always knew.
(From 2011-01-13 “All our Cowardice and Servility” from the Museum of Non-violent Resistance at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin)
Maybe we can make the industries of war in Canada and armoured vehicles in Canadian cities an election issue?