Naomi Sherer reviews....

George W. Bush's Military-Industrial Complex

Dr. Helen Caldicott

book jacket

"That's why I wrote this book," says Caldicott after quoting Simon Tisdall's warning: "the highly contentious military and geostrategic foundations of the 21st century are being laid--and hardly anybody is watching."

Caldicott reviews the political scene in Washington D.C. and becomes alarmed at the turn taken by new allocations in the national budget. Nearly one half of the funds left to the discretion of congress were given to military spending in 2001.

"According to retired admiral Eugene Carroll, interservice rivalry is the real engine on the nuclear arms race--three services under the direction of the Pentagon, each competing for the nuclear dollar. It's about power building, each wanting and demanding more planes, bombs, and ships." Caldicott quotes from "An Elusive Consensus: Nuclear Weapons and American Security After the Cold War" a book by Janne E. Nolan, Brookings Instutition Press, 1999.

She goes on to say," This competition among the services--a dynamic centered at the mental and psychological age of my grandchildren, aged eight, seven, and five years, who argue continuously and competitively about toys, all wanting their very own and never having enough--may have been socially and politically acceptable during World Wars I and II, in a prenuclear era. In a world bristling with nuclear weapons, such rivalry is calamitous. Any Military skirmish in an interdependent world involving the navy, the army, or the air force, could escalate and trigger a thermonuclear holocaust."

She goes on throughout the book to examine the powerful political role that the Pentagon played since the cold war ended.

"The new international scenario, in which the Pentagon was left without a major national enemy at the end of the cold war in 1989, came as a shock to the entrenched military establishment, which was faced with a kind of post-traumatic stress syndrome. Indeed, many individuals overtly mourned the loss of their once-predictable former enemy."

Iraqi appears to be the next target of toy practise by the Pentagon. When America failed to eliminate Husseirn in the U.S. Iraqi war in 1991, a right-wing putsch has been eager to finish the job. The excuse being that Iraq will not allow weapons inspectors to enter the country.

"Richard Perle, Reagan's undersecretary of defense, chairs an unofficial bipartisan group called the Defense Policy Board, which is vigorously promoting the overthrow of Hussein, even though there is no evidence linking him to the September 11 attacks."

"The Defense Policy Board meets in a room adjacent to the secretary of defense's office, and includes such luminaries as Henry Kissinger, former secretary of state; Harold Brown, former secretary of defense; Newt Gingrich, former house majority leader; and R. James Woolsey, former director of the CIA. The group has assumed a quasi-official status with the imprimatur (approval, sanction, permission)* of Secretary Rumsfeld."

*Italic definitions added by Reviewer

Caldicott exposes corporate and politician paybacks, accepted by citizens because of the promise of jobs.

"The benign description of Manhattan II, 'Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program', disguises the truth. Nuclear scientists are actually designing, developing, testing, and constructing new nuclear weapons at an annual cost of 5 billion dollars over the next ten to fifteen years."

Caldicott covers Star Wars, or missle defense systems; Space, or the next American empire; and uranium weapon use in the wars in the Gulf and Kosovo.

Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Raytheon are determined to build a multilayered Star Wars system, and to build every weapon they can conceive, whether America needs it or not.

Along with her brilliant analysis of nuclear armament and its dangers, Caldicott includes Appendixes listing major U.S. nuclear weapons makers, nuclear weapons control centers, usable U.S. nuclear weapons locations, and antinuclear organizations.

The dangers of nuclear war are well understood, but the fact that our government is continuing to develop and produce those destructive weapons is so difficult to believe of our elected officials that we close our eyes and condone this mad economic system.

Read it and weep for our grandchildren - if they have the privilege of a future in what could be the most wonderful country on earth.

Buy it Now

book jacket

George W. Bush's Military-Industrial Complex
Helen Caldicott
The New Press, 450 West 41st St, 6th floor, New York, NY 10036