“Donald Trump’s Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, is a former lobbyist for Raytheon, an arms and war machines manufacturer.”
I feel like that sentence should really accompany any article discussing the Defense Secretary, like as a disclosure. Just so you know right out front that Esper’s primary concern is not exercising the even-handed judgment that would keep the nation’s kids out of another expensive and open-ended war in the Middle East, or displaying the military restraint that allows for diplomacy, or even keeping casualties to a minimum in a foreign theater of war.
Mark Esper’s concern is the enrichment of the military-industrial complex, the money-making industry of war that Dwight Eisenhower warned Americans about:
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.”
Of course, that was 67 years ago. The cost of war has gone up significantly, rising steadily alongside a profit margin for those manufacturers that even the most cynical observer would call obscene.
So if you were looking for a reason why a Secretary of Defense might, say, back up Donald Trump’s unfounded assertion that Iran was planning to attack 4 different embassies before the decision to kill him with a drone strike was made, protecting the military-industrial complex is a pretty safe bet.
Trump was on Fox with noted white nationalist Laura Ingraham on Friday and told her audience about his beliefs regarding Qassem Soleimani’s plans to attack: “I can reveal that I believe it would have been four embassies.”
Apparently, however, that doesn’t mean there was any evidence that four embassies were being plotted against — just that Trump believed that.
That’s the only conclusion we can draw from Esper’s comments on Sunday’s Face the Nation on CBS:
What the president said was he believed that it probably and could’ve been attacks against additional embassies. I shared that view, I know other members of the national security team shared that view, that’s why I deployed thousands of American paratroopers to the Middle East to reinforce our embassy in Baghdad and other sites throughout the region.
I didn’t see [a specific piece of evidence leading to the President’s statement] with regard to four embassies. What I’m saying is I shared the president’s view…my expectation was they were going to go after our embassies.”
NEWS: @EsperDod tells @margbrennan he “didn’t see” specific evidence showing Iran planned to strike 4 U.S. embassies, despite @realDonaldTrump saying an attack at multiple embassies was “imminent.” Watch more of Esper’s interview on @FacetheNation today. pic.twitter.com/1Nud8waok1
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) January 12, 2020
Of course, there’s no evidence that Trump might have seen to lead him to believe Soleimani was plotting against 4 different embassies that wouldn’t have been seen first by Esper, who likely would have been the actual messenger to deliver that intelligence to the President.
Which means there’s no evidence.
Thanks, Mark — and you’re welcome, Raytheon. Try not to get all our kids killed in one place.
Featured image via screen capture
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