Some profiting greatly from our endless wars

Today, we Americans consider our Constitution to be sacrosanct in terms of our personal perspective. But somehow, the Constitution has been given some wiggle room when it comes to military conflict. From Korea yesterday, to Afghanistan today, and on to Iran, Korea, Syria or somewhere else tomorrow, we will fight!

Here’s the thing: Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution gives the legislative branch the power to declare war. It has done so five times, against 11 nations. Congress voted unanimously to declare war upon Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania on June 5, 1942. That was America’s last constitutionally supported war.

Coincidentally, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, hero of the last constitutionally valid war, became president of the United States. As general and then president, Eisenhower viewed the emergence of what he termed the military industrial complex. As a Republican stepping down from the highest office in the world, and handing the reins of power to the triumphant opposing party, it is worth noting the warning in his farewell address: “In the councils of government, 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.”

Since the end of World War II, we have been in conflict somewhere. For nearly 70 years, our “wars” have been unconstitutional. Euphemisms like “police action” are substituted when our government manipulates rhetoric to distract from the influence of the military industrial complex. The decision to sacrifice lives in war was meant to be a hard one. Giving any president a “vote of confidence,” which is nothing more than a political thumbs-up, gives him too much power, too easily. It leaves him and those in power vulnerable to misplaced influence.

Look at it this way: How do think Bechtel, Halliburton, Boeing and the boys feel about world peace?

Robert J. Wegrzynowski