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A deadly monster: Part 1. An overview of the military-national security, industrial, political triumvirate

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The views of some zealots moreover can be very dangerous as well, as in the case of ideologues like the neoconservatives. They spurred on the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld administration to declare war on Iraq and practically destroy it. These neocons are said to have been spawned by the Cold War, but the idea and zeal for American imperialism via military intervention permeates the history of the United States. President William McKinley, for example, shortly before launching the Spanish-American War on behalf of U.S. commercial interests, said: "We want a foreign market for our surplus markets." [16]

Equally provocative if not also equally dangerous are religious zealots. They have invariably been supportive of war efforts and sometimes instigators of them throughout recorded history. The Christian Zionists, for instance are an inflammatory bunch trying to egg the U.S. into war on behalf of Israel. Equally shameful but less dangerous are all people of the cloth who fail to criticize U.S. military aggression for fear of losing the financial offerings of their flocks. Paying lip service to and posturing for peace (e.g., the lighting of the "advent candle of peace") are about the limit of spiritual leaders' stance on the absence of peace in the world.    

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Think tanks and front groups 


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Unlike the zealots, front groups and think tanks don't usually shout out their support for this triumvirate. Think tanks are more cerebral than visceral, although some can be quite hawkish. Front groups camouflage their real purpose, euphemize it, or obfuscate it.

"Two of Washington's most bellicose think tanks," says staff writer Will Sommer of the Washington City Paper, are the American Security Council Foundation and the Center for Security Policy. Sommer tells the amusing story about these two feuding over who has the trademark rights to the slogan, "Peace Through Strength." [17]


Those two groups are among more than 120 groups that Right Web, an outfit that "tracks militarist efforts to influence foreign policy" has on its list (http://rightweb.irc-online.org). A tiny sample of the others includes the American Enterprise Institute, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Claremont Institute, the Committee on the Present Danger, the Emergency Committee for Israel, the Ethics and Public Policy Center, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Freedom House, the Heritage Foundation (hawkish Senator Jim DeMint is resigning to head up this hard right "think" tank at a salary ten times his senatorial pay), the National Endowment for Democracy, the New American Century, and the NGO Monitor.  You can probably tell from their titles which ones are the most suspicious. The motto of one of them is "fighting terrorism and promoting freedom" but it could surely speak for the rest also regardless of their titles.



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Conspirators have goals in common. Even competitors may be conspirators when they have goals in common. Conspirators do not need to conspire in the dark but they are not about to publicize their intentions and motives unless they are cloaked in propaganda for public consumption.


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Retired organizational psychologist.

Author of The Devil's Marriage: Break Up the Corpocracy or Leave Democracy in the Lurch; America's Oldest Professions: Warring and Spying; and Corporate Reckoning Ahead.

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