Additional comments on Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl

Discussion in 'Around the Water Cooler' started by MTFNBY5, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. MTFNBY5

    MTFNBY5 Hall of Famer
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    I will put my patriotism and my respect for individual members of a military service up against anyone so I'm not into that discussion. Since I was called out I would like to make some points followed by my perspective.

    Point # 1 - Lockheed Martin is the largest defense contractor not only in the US but the world.

    Point # 2 - The United States spends almost 3 times as much on defense as the next country and more than the next 7 countries combined. Latest figures I have seen show 37% of the federal budget is going for defense.

    Point # 3 - President (and US Army General) Dwight Eisenhower in his farewell address warned of the rise of the "Military Industrial Complex" In recent years some have described it as having become the "Military Industrial Congressional Complex" or the permanent war economy based on the influence of defense contractor's lobbyist and the currently allowed unlimited campaign donations by those corporations.

    Point # 4 - On last Friday, January 3rd after the drone strike in Iraq the stock market went down but up significantly for all of the top 10 US defense contractors but one (Boeing - 737 Max issue). War, and rumors of war, are good for the defense sector of the market. Additionally, and I haven't verified this, I have seen reports that both defense contractors' and oil companies' stock went up to a greater extent than the overall market on Thursday, January 2nd before the drone strike indicating, if true, that some heavy hitters were aware of the strike before it happened.

    Point # 5 - After the end of the Cold War the US, based on some experts, could have cut defense spending drastically - we won the war. Regardless, spending has increased almost annually even though wars today and in the future will be police actions more often than not requiring less deployment of large forces of "Boots on the Ground" and conventional weapons. Many weapons developed by contractors are not even wanted by the military but apparently are developed because of politicians desire to protect the local industrial base where defense contractors are located. Many experts say the military of the future should be made up of small quick strike units and increased cyber defensive abilities. Not much need for battleships, tanks, and "pie in the sky" defense systems in today's services.

    Point # 6 - There is a place, we may not agree on exactly where, patriotism becomes jingoism or extreme nationalism. It happened in Germany during Hitler's rise and among other countries throughout history. Is the United States immune?

    Now to my opinions with which I sure many will disagree and that's OK.
    I was at the Armed Forces Bowl when MT played Navy seated down very close to the field. I saw, with my own eyes, players from Navy continuing to block after the whistle and being warned numerous times, yet never a flag. Seeing the world as I do through my blue-tinted glasses I felt MT got a raw deal from the refs during the time I was at the game. (Apparently, according to reports here and elsewhere, the team was upset at all the festivities leading up to the game where the entire MT delegation was just a subordinate part, a bit player, of the event.)
    I left the game soon after the half not because MT was losing, not because I felt we were being treated as 2nd class participants or the refs were unfair, but because of the over the top militarism. If I had ever been at a place where patriotism became jingoism it was there. If I had heard one more damn "hoo-ah" I would have lost it.
    As an aside: I love the Armed Forces Day at MT and the dignified respect shown retired service members and I'm glad MT was one of the first schools to have such a ceremony.
    I could discuss the history of having the Star Spangled Banner played before sporting events, the necessity of removing your hat or placing your hand over your heart during the anthem or pledge, having the teams lined up during the anthem, military flyovers at events, military recruiting advertisements on TV during games and in sponsoring NASCAR teams, military sponsorships for leagues (NFL primarily) requiring over the top patriotic hoopla at events, etc. I know most, if not all, of you would disagree with me on the Colin Kapernick controversy and that's OK also.

    But I will stand by my comment, which in retrospect I could understand as being controversial, that Lockheed Martin loves war and their stockholders (I admit I am one through mutual funds) love them. To be as unconfrontational as possible I probably should have either never written the phrase or inserted "apparently" before the word loves. I try to keep politics, religion, and sex (I've forgotten what that is but I know it's forboden - LOL) out of my comments on the other boards.
     
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  2. MTLynn

    MTLynn Hall of Famer
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    My father served in Vietnam. His unit was "The Big Red One" (front line). He was in the jungle for 9 months. It's a wonder he came back alive - he suffers from PTSD. It makes me want to cry thinking about the young people who are sent off to be cannon fodder - not to mention the poor civilians who are killed or have their lives destroyed.

    Prince Philip is known to have referred to us as "useless eaters". They reached their station in life from the blood, sweat and tears of other people. I have no respect for any of them.

    Are you familiar with Major General Smedley Butler?

    In a booklet titled War is a Racket, he wrote, "In the World War a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War….How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle?....The general public shoulders the bill. And what is this bill? …Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds…For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it. Now that I see the international war clouds gathering, as they are today, I must face it and speak out."

    Eisenhower:

    "When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war"

    MacArthur:

    “Much that I have seen since my return to my native land after an absence of many years has filled my with immeasurable satisfaction and pride. Our material progress has been little short of phenomenal.

    It has established an eminence in material strength so far in advance of any other nation or combination of nations that talk of an imminent threat to our national security through the application of external force is pure nonsense.

    It is not of any external threat that I concern myself but rather of insidious forces working from within which have already so drastically altered the character of our free institutions — these institutions which formerly we hailed as something beyond question of challenge — those institutions we proudly called the American way of life.

    Foremost of these forces is that directly, or even more frequently indirectly, allied with the scourge of imperialistic Communism. It has infiltrated into positions of public trust and responsibility — into journalism, the press, the radio and the school.

    It seeks through covert manipulation of the civil power and the media of public information and education to pervert the truth, impair respect for moral values, suppress human freedom and representative government, and in the end destroy our faith in our religious teachings."
     
    2 MTLynn, Jan 6, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
  3. MTFNBY5

    MTFNBY5 Hall of Famer
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    One addendum to my post I was only recently reminded of which should have been Point # 7:

    There are several ex military and government officials (both elected and appointed - Rs, Ds and Independents) who have gone to work for defense contractors as company officers or lobbyist. Recently, several of these have been seen as pundits on various networks as so-called spokespersons with knowledge of the situation. They are accused by some as being "Cheerleaders" for an aggressive military posture. Some examples are former Senator Joe Lieberman, Former Defense Secretary under Bill Clinton: William Cohen, Former Homeland Security Secretary under Bush: Michael Chertoff, and retired Army General David Petraeus. IMHO, and you are free to disagree, when former military and government officials work for defense contractors it gives an appearance of a conflict of interest, especially when they appear as experts during a time of crisis.
     
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