Thursday, March 3, 2011

Robt. Gates' epiphany

'In the ensuing decades, a large, permanent military establishment emerged as a result of the Cold War — an establishment that forged deep ties to the Congress and industry.' -- Robt. Gates in 2008
Sec. Gates, the successor to Donald Rumsfeld, has led our ever-expanding military-industrial complex through both Bush and Obama regimes, the "surge" in Iraq and the escalation of the war in Afghanistan. Prior to that, Gates served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, and under President George H. W. Bush as Director of Central Intelligence.

Neither of these two regimes have much to show show for all that except mounting body counts, loss of American prestige and credibility around the world, and deepening financial crisis here at home. The U.S. has become a superpower in decline, largely because of its growing militarization replacing real productive growth and wealth within our national economic structure. It's this economic collapse which has precipitated the crisis in public education--not the other way around as claimed by the corporate reformers and power philanthropists.

As he nears retirement and makes his farewell tour of the military academies, Gates tells his followers what he has learned from all that experience:
"In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should 'have his head examined' as Gen. [Douglas] MacArthur so delicately put it."
Amen! But too little, too late.

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