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LETTER: The Military-Industrial Complex and class warfare

To the Editor:

I don’t recall any news story exposing retirees and union workers rigging political elections. Neither was there any mention of school teachers making risky investments that threatened to topple Wall Street.

Unemployed Americans didn’t urge the world powers to battle in the Middle East by means of fictionalized claims of WMD and false claims of their supporting of the terrorists who toppled the Twin Towers. The only conspiracy exposed has been schemes between American billionaire businessmen and elected American officials, but nothing is done about it.

Yet all the above-mentioned Americans have been forced to pay the price for investment firms whose operating procedure was based on greed and speculation in ill-advised investments in extremely risky mortgages on such a scale that world markets were endangered when it all started coming apart. We are footing the bill to keep Wall Street liquid.

Unionized state workers have been blamed for increases of property taxes, and they are losing their collective bargaining rights. That word, “rights,” is a sticking point for me. State governments want to take away citizens rights? States want to break contracts they’ve agreed to? Remember, union members are taxpayers, too.

The U.S. spends hundreds of millions of taxpayer’s money every day to support war efforts in countries far from home that are no threat to us. President George W. Bush and his crew claimed it was to punish supporters of Bin Laden, to preserve our peace and to extend the democratic system.

Bush & Co. were planning the invasion of Iraq months before 9/11. It has been proved beyond doubt that Hussein had no ties to Bin Laden, and democracy doesn’t need to be shoved down anyone’s throat with a war. I think it was Will Rogers who said, “If you get in a fight 5,000 miles from home, you’re looking for war.”

Any threat to our peace has been brought on by our leaders, who have practiced tyrannical theft of other nations’ mineral and petroleum deposits for generations.

Just because we are the most powerful nation on earth gives us no right to inflict war upon others for commercial gain. These commercial wars have led Bin Laden to assert that he will kill four million Americans as revenge. He has purportedly kept track of deaths brought about by American military/corporate policy and wants a settling of the score. The U.S. government created Osama Bin Laden and trained the Taliban, but lost control when Bin Laden realized how badly we were raping his country.

The oil companies have profited incredibly from these wars, as will American construction companies who will rebuild what we’ve blown apart in the Middle East. I’ve seen ads for Pashto translators (at $185,000 per year) who are needed in Afghanistan during our “charitable” rebuilding of that nation. The type of working plan we’re employing in the Iraq/Afghanistan area worked so well in Vietnam that they’re utilizing it again in the Middle East.

The companies that build weapons, planes and everything else our armed forces use, from uniforms to meals, have profited. War is good business; particularly when you’re investing some one else’s son. Eisenhower warned us of the Military-Industrial Complex, and it is biting our hands as we feed it.

Congress voted to approve all the trillions in war money and the savings-and-loan and Wall Street bail-outs. Those funds could have gone toward medical care for Americans and for further development of clean, alternative fuels and power resources to get us away from our war-based petroleum addiction. Those funds could have been invested in repairing our failing educational system. We could have rebuilt America, but business interests always come before the people.

Federal and state governments raise taxes on folks who make less than $500,000 a year. Corporations freeze wages of lower-level employees while managers and CEOs have been getting record compensation and bonuses. Republican governors are now cutting the throats of state workers to balance their books. Who’s next? All of this sounds like covert class warfare to me. So far, the middle and lower classes have done little to save themselves.

Before the American Revolution, colonials dumped tea into Boston Harbor as a symbolic gesture of condemnation of the heavy-handed taxes of the day: they showed that they would do without before they’d pay exorbitant taxes. Perhaps we could throw a few politicos in the ocean to point out what this generation can do without.

Just so you know, I’m 60-years-old, and I’ve never been a member of any union. I used to see myself as a Republican. My family voted Republican for generations. My father once told me his grandfather wouldn’t have voted for Jesus Christ if He had run on the Democratic ticket.

It’s not easy to admit I have been wrong, that I’ve made a mistake. But I think it’s easier to own up to a mistake than to keep going down a bumpy, twisting road of self-rationalizations. Governor LePage would be well advised to admit that he is failing to lead by example: his salary and contributions to his bennies haven’t changed one bit. And who knows what plans will be in the works in his so-called “private” meetings away from the public eye?

Okay folks, I admit I made a mistake in voting for LePage. I really should have known. Politicians lie.

Andrew Tasker

Auburn

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One Response to “LETTER: The Military-Industrial Complex and class warfare”

  • JBerry Searsmont:

    From the bottom of my heart, I thank you, Mr. Tasker. You laid it all out so well. I’ve been an Independent voter for several years, the Republican Party ran off the endangered species known as Liberal Republicans.

    I, too, wanted to give Paul LePage a chance, thinking that his school-of-hard-knocks experience would have instilled in him a deep appreciation for what working and middle class folks are dealing with right now. Instead, he has revealed himself to be pitifully lacking in an understanding of the nature of his job as Governor, as well as the realities of our current economic distress.

    He’s operating as though he were CEO of a corporation, rather than an elected public servant. And he clearly does not accept, nor does he understand his obligation to the people of Maine, who are in effect, his “Board of Directors.”

    High-handed actions, like removing the DOL murals on a whim, (and how much will that cost when all is said and done???), encouraging changes in Child Labor laws and then running off to Jamaica after only 3 months on the job are a form of telling us to “kiss my gubernatorial butt.”

    That’s not the way it works here, Paul. You should have read your job description a bit more closely before you applied. If you can’t accept the protocols of working in the public domain, then your Board will soon be asking for your letter of resignation. If you continue to conduct yourself as a “little emperor,” then you’re going to get pink-slipped for sure. FYI: In the world of political office, that’s called “impeachment.”

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