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Bill Maher had a rather prescient “New Rules” closing monologue on Saturday. Many Conservatives and Right Wingers are likely to be very upset inasmuch as there is a lot of truth to his statements on America’s war acumen.

Maher admonished Kim Jong-un, the young Korean dictator to be careful. After-all, America is winding down its war in Afghanistan and will be without a major war for the first time in more than a decade. Following is the transcript from a few snippets of his monologue. The video follows as well.

[Best of Mill Maher’s “New Rules Monologue”]

I am not worried about him. But I do worry about America’s military industrial complex using any excuse to ramp up the war machine again. Be careful Mr. Kim. I know threatening the US is fun, but the reason it could bite you in the ass is with Afghanistan winding down America is now dangerously close to not having a war….

Come on. We are the war people. We don’t need a lot of encouragement…

Preemptive war, just war, wars of choice, wars of liberation, drug wars, wars we put on the credit card, anything with war in the title we are so there. We fought Mexico steal Texas, Spain to steal the Philippines, and the Indians because no one had invented Iraq yet. … Just in my lifetime, we have invaded Vietnam, Cambodia, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Panama, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iraq again. That’s when you know you are war mongers when some countries are coming up twice. …

However if you type “wars involving the US” into Wikipedia, the list is 32 pages long. At some point don’t you have to look in the mirror and say maybe it’s me? …

America needs to start defining peace as strength. …

You know who the role model for every president should be? Jimmy Carter. Because he is the one out of all of them who figured out how to sit in office for four years and never fire a shot.

It is high time that someone acknowledges the basic decency and strength through diplomacy of President Jimmy Carter. For too long, while greatly admired throughout the world, Americans have allowed the Right to disparage Carter.

Maher is correct; working towards peace is the ultimate display of strength. Choosing war is easy. Choosing war means telling the many companies that comprise the military industrial complex yes. Choosing war means using the fog of war as Bush did, to convince a citizenry to give up their civil liberties (e.g. the Patriot Act).  Choosing war means having a ready-made excuse for all domestic failures that are then generally falsely attributed to war.

President Eisenhower’s January 17th, 1961 farewell address remains relative to this day. The following paragraphs within the speech were likely the most important and are what we have summarily ignored.

[source]

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.

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.

Inasmuch as Bill Maher is funny and his monologue is funny, his statements more now than ever should give us pause. As we are beginning our path to a warless time, we can hear the drumbeats of our corporate controlled media attempting to instigate the type of disproportional hype that makes yet another war plausible. How else can one explain a suspiciously timed release of the Reuters piece “'Speculative' Pentagon Report On North Korea's Nuclear Missile Capability Sparks Fear As Officials Urge Skepticism”.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.



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Originally posted to ProgressiveLiberal on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 06:17 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Just saw it (5+ / 0-)

    and couldn't have said it better myself.

    Spot on Bill !

    I must be dreaming...

    by murphy on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 09:53:41 PM PDT

  •  Kim Jong Un (0+ / 0-)

    Is the leader of North Korea, not Kim Sung Il, who doesn't actually exist.

    All this MIC stuff is really borderline conspiracy theory, and I'm saying borderline just to be nice.  People get a lot of mileage out of Ike's 52-year-old speech, but haven't backed it up with any evidence.  Ever.

    And if you really think President Obama is being controlled by mysterious defense contractors then you probably shouldn't have voted for him.

    Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

    by Sky Net on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 10:09:46 PM PDT

    •  I'm almost speechless. (10+ / 0-)

      Start here.
      The Rise of the Gunbelt: The Military Remapping of Industrial America

      Continue with:
      Chalmers Johnson, Winslow Wheeler, Stephen Kinzer, and many more.

      Your first sentence should have been enough to skip the rest. Or to not bother with a reply.

      It's for actually writing

      All this MIC stuff is really borderline conspiracy theory, and I'm saying borderline just to be nice.  People get a lot of mileage out of Ike's 52-year-old speech, but haven't backed it up with any evidence.  Ever.
      For

      My dad, WWII Army vet, Pacific, who got a PhD and did R&D (commercial). At 87 he's still building cabinets for Habitat for Humanity.
      His brother, WWII Navy vet who became a physicist, worked for Johns Hopkins to develop missiles for the nuke subs. Retired to the Smithsonian team for new science displays.
      My father in law, WWII B 29 bomber navigator, Europe, shot down 18 mo before the Allied troops got to his German POW camp. Transferred to the new Air Force and became a wing commander for NORAD until he retired.
      All the vets I've cared for since becoming an RN in '77.
      And the ones I haven't cared for. Like the ones my daughter will be designing and building wheelchairs and other adaptive equipment for her working years.

      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

      by Ginny in CO on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 01:10:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  MIC (0+ / 0-)

        Yes, there are in fact companies that manufacture weapons and other kinds of military equipment.  They don't make foreign policy decisions or decide whether, when or with whom we go to war or not.  The conspiracy theorists believe they do without evidence.  Not sure which side you're on there.

        Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

        by Sky Net on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 03:44:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good On You.. (8+ / 0-)
          Yes, there are in fact companies that manufacture weapons and other kinds of military equipment.
          Err, was this ever in question?
          They don't make foreign policy decisions or decide whether, when or with whom we go to war or not.
          Gimme a break please. Hard to believe you're not paying attention enough to know of the lobbyists, "think tanks", "journalists" and other parasites that are well paid to keep us in a perpetual state of war-- not to mention congress itself.

          Please read Hannah's post downstream.

          Some people are both antagonistic and cowardly. So, they rely on agents to perpetrate their dirty work.
          A prime example being the PNAC (who funds them, I wonder?) who before they got their man "elected" in 2000, pushed President Clinton to invade Iraq (as Maher points out, for the second time). Clinton to his credit told them to take a hike.

          "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

          by Superpole on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 06:41:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Clinton (0+ / 0-)
            A prime example being the PNAC (who funds them, I wonder?) who before they got their man "elected" in 2000, pushed President Clinton to invade Iraq (as Maher points out, for the second time). Clinton to his credit told them to take a hike.
            So you're saying that the MIC pushed Clinton to start a war but didn't have the slightest bit of power to get a better answer than "take a hike."  Thanks for proving my point.

            Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

            by Sky Net on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 01:57:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  LOL.... Nice Try, But (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ginny in CO

              No cigar.

              You didn't read my post-- lobbyist for terminal war PNAC did not get their way with Clinton, but they did in fact get their way with smirky after the sham election in 2000.

              at this point, ten years on, even the serious people are admitting, but apparently not you, that the MIC/oil oligarchy push for invasion/occupation of Iraq was not worth our Blood and Treasure.

              Thus your so called point is massively wrong.

              "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

              by Superpole on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 02:17:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Serious people (0+ / 0-)

                So which of the "serious people" claim that we went to war because the MIC really, really wanted us to?  Feel free to provide evidence that the decision to go to war, any war in U.S. history, was made by a shadowy group of military industrialist whatevers.

                Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

                by Sky Net on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 03:20:26 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sheesh... Forget It (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ginny in CO

                  you're obviously seriously in denial here.

                  Are you implying the PNAC is not funded in part by various defense and oil related bidness companies?

                  Gimme a break.

                  http://zfacts.com/...

                  "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

                  by Superpole on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 03:41:32 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  PNAC (0+ / 0-)

                    I wouldn't be surprised if PNAC got funding from some defense-related companies, though your link doesn't mention any.  Zfact obviously isn't a serious website, but I did notice this part of your link:

                    Although the public evidence from these groups indicates that helping Israel was by far the most important reason for the war, Cheney's oil industry connections and a very explicit statement by Kissinger, as well as common sense, indicate that oil must have also been a central concern.
                    So zfact thinks helping Israel was the main motivation, and makes a guess that oil was in there somewhere, too, because Cheney knows people in the oil industry.  No mention of any intention to help military-industrial whatevers.  I'm afraid you didn't make your case here.

                    Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

                    by Sky Net on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 04:15:30 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  You are just digging yourself in deeper. (0+ / 0-)

                  Yeah, we are dealing with

                  a shadowy group of military industrialist whatevers
                  These are not folks who are going to go out and honestly report their goals and action plans in public. There is a lot of solid research, investigative journalism, and whistle blowing on this. The accusation that "there is no evidence" is not an argument. We are not conspiracy theorists. OTOH, you are acting like the climate deniers who dismiss with no basis the decades and longer solid scientific research that has been correct - unless it underestimated the speed some changes would happen.

                  Look into Gunbelt, the authors include Ann Markusen at Rutgers University. Peter Hall at University of California, Berkeley.
                  Two of the reviews.
                  "Recommended for upper-division undergraduate and graduate audiences."

                  "A real winner....Illuminates the pivotal role of the military-industrial complex in the industrial and regional restructuring of the United States."--Breandan O hUallachain, Arizona State University

                  I've had to do a lot of science as a pre med major, to get two degrees, and work as an RN since '77 - including critical care. Until you can come up with a specific, cogent argument, with facts that address any of the many books, papers, etc. on it, you are blowing tepid air.

                  To be clear, the side I am especially on are the vets who end up losing their lives or being horribly wounded (including depression, PTSD) because this shadowy group of creepy, greedy sociopaths keep up the devastation.

                  Do you even have a response on Smedley Butler?

                  "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

                  by Ginny in CO on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 04:22:57 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Burden of proof's on you (0+ / 0-)

                    As we say on this site, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.  If you're going to make the claim that the "military-industrial complex", however you're defining that, is making the decisions on when, whether and with whom the U.S. goes to war, you have to make that case and make it solid.  So far I've never heard word one from any principal involved in any decision regarding any war in U.S. history that their motivation for making that decision was to benefit any particular company or group of companies.  If that's the case you're making, you have to make it.  There are thousands of books by real historians about how the government made the decisions to go to war, and I don't recollect any that made the claim that those decisions had anything to do with the military-industrial complex.

                    I responded to jonbarleycorn's Smedley quote further down the thread.

                    Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

                    by Sky Net on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 04:34:46 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Two words (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ginny in CO

          Dick Cheney

          Some people have short memories

          by lenzy1000 on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 09:41:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  You're right. It's not the military industrial (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NancyWH, JonBarleycorn

      complex; it's the Congress. Congress, whether explicitly or implicitly, launches wars. Congress issues the currency that pays for wars. As Dubya so presciently said, "we fight them over there, so we don't have to fight them over here." While it was widely assumed "them" was a reference to foreign populations, "them" is actually people who might be inclined to resist domination. And the first people in that category who come to mind are, wait for it, women. That's why we have a war on women here at home now and again.
      Women, you see, have been non-compliant. They are refusing to produce fungible troops in sufficient numbers, so they have to be put in their place, in the home.

      On the other hand, in the greater scheme of things, war in the U.S. is a diversion. The object is to distract the populace from the real agenda, industrialized human husbandry depending on voluntary servitude, rather than involuntary servitude. You see, there are people who have convinced themselves that what was wrong with slavery was that it was involuntary. So, if people can be persuaded to be compliant on their own, then it's all OK. The object of the propaganda industry is to serve as the handmaiden of human husbandry, the exploitation of people by their own kind to their detriment. Human husbandry comes in a variety of flavors. The latest target is primary education, now that graduate education has been fully exploited. Other flavors include foster care (juvenile and elder), incarceration, financial management, deferred compensation (pensions), theocratic organization, college athletics, etc.

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 04:16:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Also see Smedley Butler, most decorated Marine (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JonBarleycorn, Ginny in CO

      (at the time) for his famous "War is a Racket" diatribe. Major General Smedley Butler, USMC

  •  Ike did seem to get that every bomber built (11+ / 0-)

    was dollars that don't feed, educate or vaccinate a lot of citizens. Seems to me I remember someone saying - during the "shock & awe" overture - that every cruise missile cost $600,000.00. We fired 'em off by the dozens. Think about the good that could have been done with those millions.

    Who cares what banks may fail in Yonkers. Long as you've got a kiss that conquers.

    by rasbobbo on Sat Apr 13, 2013 at 10:14:02 PM PDT

    •  Dollars are like inches or letters of the alphabet (5+ / 0-)

      Using one in no way affects the use of others for other purposes, UNLESS the people responsible for managing the currency, as they are responsible for other weights and measures, create an artificial scarcity by rationing the distribution of these tokens to favored populations and depriving the rest.
      In the case of the U.S., a sovereign country, our premier public corporation issues the currency or, as the MMT people say, spends dollars into existence by sending them out into the economy. The insistence that dollars be first laundered through the Federal Reserve, so private banksters can get a "cut" by lending them back to the Treasure and collecting a premium, is an artificial construct designed by Congress in 1913 to disguise its obligations and create the impression that bankers originate our currency (for which there is historical precedent in the 16th century when Dutch bankers accumulated all the gold Spain stole from South America and, instead of lending it out as coin, issued certificates of deposit for people to pass around).
      Why did Congress abrogate its supervisory responsibility? Why do some people keep attack dogs? Some people are both antagonistic and cowardly. So, they rely on agents to perpetrate their dirty work. In the case of Congress, the dirty work involves punishing people who don't want to be ruled by petty potentates and prefer to be served. Since being a public servant is not much fun, especially for people whose only competence is a silver tongue, those looking for public service have to be disabused. Depriving them of currency has proved quite effective, especially since the lifting of financial deprivation often prompts a sense of relief and gratitude. Congressional incumbents have developed the art of getting re-elected by not being as bad as they made out to be. This, for example, accounts for the perennial threat to deprive elders of the currency to acquire sustenance and medical attention. Not delivering on this threat earns Congress critters another term in office.
      Exposing this threat for what it is may well be what the Obama budget is designed to do. The Administration is calling Congress' bluff. And, btw, it's a necessary endeavor because Congress putting the blame on the executive has been a bi-partisan scam. Both major political parties have become adept at inflicting deprivation and putting the blame on some other entity.

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 04:40:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just for clarification (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JonBarleycorn

    His list of countries includes Bosnia which we didn't invade. We did however participate in the UN/NATO response to the Bosnian war. Specifically Operation Deliberate Force.

    Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

    by BOHICA on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 05:07:52 AM PDT

  •  "War is a Racket" (7+ / 0-)

    General Smedley Butler. The General posited this back in the 1930's-- well before General Eisenhower's famous warning regarding the MIC in the 1950's.

    America needs to start defining peace as strength.
    To be sure but someone once said "there's no profit in peace".

    War mongering/war-profiteering policy is one example of major policy which just doesn't change, regardless of which "political Party" runs the white house or congress.

    Again folks, read Gore Vidal (I'm reading his "The Last Empire" now) and Chalmers Johnson's trilogy on American Empire if you want to learn about how twisted and wrong the MIC is.

    "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

    by Superpole on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 06:22:16 AM PDT

  •  Being the US means never having to say sorry n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NancyWH, JonBarleycorn
  •  So President Eisenhower is a conspiracy theorist ? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gfv6800, lenzy1000, BusyinCA, Ginny in CO

    Is two time Medal of Honor recipient Major General Smedley Butler as well ? “I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

    •  Smedley (0+ / 0-)

      Have you ever noticed only two former military men ever get quoted on this site?  Ike and Smedley Butler.  That's it.  Hasn't anyone else been in the military for the last hundred years?

      The far left's MIC complex is like the far right's Agenda 21 fixation.  Mysterious groups controlling our country..... Just as pathetic.

      Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

      by Sky Net on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 01:59:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  argument is made of logic & facts - (0+ / 0-)

        insults are not argument. when your last response is name calling, you concede you've lost the argument. happily accept your concession/admission - thanks for playing - try harder next time

        "Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right." - Isaac Asimov

        by greenotron on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 02:14:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Pathetic (0+ / 0-)

          Actually, I called the obsession with the MIC pathetic, not the person.  Plus he didn't actually make an argument, so there's not really anything there to lose.

          Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

          by Sky Net on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 03:22:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  When you say "War", say "USA". (0+ / 0-)

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