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The Republican interest in the Military Industrial Complex

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In the left column of this article you will see a compelling documentary detailing the rise of both radical Islam and Neoconservatism. These two powerful movements which were spawned after WWII would eventually set the stage for the world wide conflict we find ourselves in today. This documentary exposes the myths behind the "War on Terror", and how America was swept up in a fantastical struggle against, first Communism, then radical Islam. This struggle, which is embellished by a small group of idealogues, now brings America to the brink of economic ruin.

While the tragedy of September 11 was certainly monumental, one would be ignorant to deny that the American government's previous policies and political interventions in Iran and Afghanistan contributed significantly to the events on that day. Moreover, to blame an entire nation, or religion, for the actions of one particular fanatical element is a severe injustice. One must remember that no significant connection was ever made between the events of 9/11 and Iraq or Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi war was based almost entirely upon presupposition and false information.

As if this were not tragic enough, even more obscene were the billions of dollars in profit made by private contractors and paramilitary organizations while the American taxpayers were facing economic collapse due to government mismanagement and intervention. Michael Dobbs, of the Washington Post, wrote extensively on Halliburton , which was associated with Dick Cheney, and its no-bid contracts that included everything from construction to mail delivery.

Dobbs further points out that, "Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is a champion of "outsourcing," writing in The Post in May that "more than 300,000 uniformed personnel" were doing jobs that civilians could do. Independent experts said the trend toward outsourcing logistic operations has resulted in new problems, such as a lack of accountability and transparency on the part of private military firms and sometimes questionable billing practices."

Civilian jobs are not the only ones to have been outsourced. In his film documentary, Iraq For Sale, Robert Greenwald sheds light on the growth of the paramilitary industry. Military contractors such as the Christian mercenary group, Blackwater, and DynCorp have become billion dollar entities with Blackwater now owning its own airline and making its own Armored Personnel Carrier. In 2006, Cofer Black, vice chairman of Blackwater, boasted during an engagement in Amman, Jordan that his organization was ready to keep or restore peace "anywhere it is needed".

The use of private military contractors raises a myriad of issues regarding conflicts of interest, liability and accountability. In a 2007 Time article, Brian Bennet relates the story of a mother who lost her son to Blackwater when four contractors were attacked, killed and their bodies were mutilated, burned and hung from what is now known as "Blackwater Bridge". Their story is also profiled in Greenwald's documentary. Wrongful death lawsuits were filed, yet paramilitary organizations continue to flourish.

In a recent, 2011 article , Roxanna Tiron quotes Bloomburg's government analyst, Christopher Flavelle as stating, "five of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s 41 national security and foreign policy advisers have ties to companies that last year alone received at least $7.9 billion in federal contracts." One of those analysts is Blackwater's former vice chairman, Cofer Black, who, according to Stephen Braun of the Boston Globe, is now VP of Blackbird Technologies which specializes in electronic tracking and cybersecurity.

Tiron also points out that both Romney and Gingrich have advisors who sit on the board of directors for BAE Systems, Inc. whom she states is Europe's largest contractor and for whom Michael Chertoff, former head of Homeland Security, acted as an advisor. William Schneider, who advises Gingrich, also serves on the board for Defense Group, based in Falls Church, Virginia which has multi-million dollar contracts with Homeland Security, DOD, and the FBI. During the 2011 debates, Gingrich stated that a possible strategy against Iran would be to "take out" their scientists and break up their systems in such a way as to be covert and deniable. This spoken publicly by one who seeks the office of President of the United States.

It is clear that the choice in this Republican primary is the perpetuation of war, profiteering and government totally out of control, or a return to the Constitution and Rule of Law. Whatever smear tactics that are used to discredit Ron Paul, they do not come close to the atrocities born out of recent military endeavors. People wonder why Ron Paul supporters are so fervent and dedicated. It is because we see things in these terms, peace or destruction. No, we will not support a candidate who will continue printing money to perpetuate war, nor will we support anyone who promises greater security at the cost of Liberty. We already have one of those in the White House and there is no one else offering anything different. The choice for us is clear, Ron Paul or the same old same old.

Don't forget the video in the left column.

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