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  1. The sheep is religion, which is the devil in curls. The business of guns is the business of war!

    Religiosity of the Military Industrial Complex Suffocates Free Thought

    Do you want to trigger a religious person? Present a key contradiction in their faith utilizing their own “holy book” and enjoy the fireworks.

    Within evangelical Christianity, more than a few triggers exist. Perhaps the biggest and most conspicuous is the Sabbath day. Clearly, the Old Testament states that Saturday is the Sabbath. The Christians’ justification for a “Sunday Sabbath” stems from the erroneous belief that the Apostle Paul changed the day.

    However, that notion is patently absurd. Frequently, Paul describes himself in humble terms. Changing the Sabbath day – something only God can do – represents profound hubris. Moreover, the original Sabbath is baked into the Law. In reality, Sunday worship is a sin as God cannot contradict himself.

    Tell that to any Christian leader, and they steadily become enraged. Why the anger? Because you peeled the layers of religious lunacy and revealed the truth.

    Politically, the military industrial complex enjoys the same hegemony. Question the need to overstock our military forces with excessive weaponry, and you’ll encounter vicious criticism. A particularly damaging attack is that you’re unpatriotic. This is equivalent to modern-day McCarthyism.

    Here, the anger is real and has an equally identifiable catalyst: an existential threat. If you question the military industrial complex, you necessarily impugn its gravy train. This gravy train enriches defense contractors and military officers, blurring the true motives for serving one’s country.

    But just like religion, the aura behind the military industrial complex levers significant power and influence. That’s why you can’t ask important questions without sharp consequences; hence, we continue to ride this dangerously unproductive merry-go-round.



    The first part of the book explores biblical and theological foundations for thinking about the business of war. These chapters address the biblical narrative and the Christian tradition as a way of setting the stage for understanding what resources are available to Christians when considering our contemporary conundrum with the business of war. In particular, this opening section includes overviews of biblical texts relevant to the business of war and an in-depth analysis of the ethics of business and the ethics of war in Christian thought.

    Myles Werntz provides a survey of Old Testament and New Testament scriptures that highlights the ambiguous account of the intersection of economics and war in the Christian Scriptures and points us toward understanding. Werntz argues that the interrelationship between the military and economics has an ambiguous scriptural lineage. Exploring the contours of the canon, he finds that these two elements of political life are envisioned as running together faithfully, with the people of God called to exercise faithfulness in both their political and economic affairs, as these elements are intertwined. But what it means for the people of God to live faithfully at the intersection of these elements of political life changes over time. Werntz not only attends to the typology present within both Testaments but looks toward present possibilities of faithful practice in these intersecting elements of political life.

    Christina McRorie walks the reader through the history of Christian thinking on economic life and the ethics of war to highlight the historical resources available to Christians and the historical uniqueness of our contemporary situation. McRorie’s chapter provides a brief overview of the range of perspectives on business and war found within Christian thought and practice, highlighting points of congruence and contrast in the modes of moral reasoning used to respond to the concrete issues these distinct fields raise. McRorie proposes that theological reflection on each subject can be loosely plotted along a spectrum ranging from “rejection” to “embrace,” and that the recurrent disagreement over the ethics of wealth and warfare reflects a deeper ambivalence on these issues within the tradition that can be found even within Scripture itself. McRorie concludes by suggesting that this ambivalence has been productive of modes of analysis and habits of critical and prudential judgment that may be useful in facing the new questions that the business of war itself raises for Christians today.

    The Business of War in History

    The next section of the book provides several case studies that trace the historical impacts of the business of war around the globe. In this section, we learn about the rise of the business of war, its unique impacts in Latin America and the Korean Peninsula, and its global impacts on peace, justice, and sustainability.

    The business of war is integral to economic globalization, but it is costly. Pamela Brubaker argues that military spending produces fewer jobs than other areas of the economy and reduces funds for job creation in other sectors, such as education, healthcare, infrastructure, and clean energy. It is a major contributor to the international arms trade and climate change, which harm people, the planet, and peace.

    David Swartz offers a historical survey of evangelical debates related to business and war. In the 1970s, several discourses emerged to challenge the mid-century evangelical consensus around free enterprise, anticommunism, patriotism, and missionary work. An evangelical left, marshaling New Left critiques of the neoliberal consensus, argued against the military-industrial-corporate-university complex. International evangelicals argued against American cultural, economic, and political imperialism. While this pacific stream of the evangelical movement did not win the day in the context of 1980s America, the debate suggests a striking “ambivalence of the sacred” at work even within American evangelicalism.

    Matthew Whelan looks for clues regarding the functional and ideological interdependence of economics and warfare by examining Latin America’s Cold War and how it became what Greg Grandin calls “a workshop for empire.” The chapter concludes by reflecting upon the fact that there are now martyrs of the Church among the countless victims of this period, which raises the question of how we should approach the business of war in Latin America given that one of its products is martyrdom.



    Other wolves in sheep’s wool?

    “The conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence of the Military-Industrial Complex [MIC] — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government.” President Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell address, January 17, 1961.

    Why exactly does the US government go to war with so many of Israel’s enemies? Why has the US destroyed Iraq and half of Syria? The costs were enormous, the results horrible, the rewards imperceptible. The Iraq war not an outlier; it was the second in a long series of US invasions, bombings and destructions of majority-Muslim states. It’s still going on now, with Israel the only obvious beneficiary. How does this happen? Is the Israel lobby that powerful, and even if it is, why has the rest of the US establishment gone along?

    The explanation lies in the MIC and a deeply sinister marriage that has grown between them and Israel. Israel’s wars have become major parts of the MIC’s business plan. Every bomb Israel drops; every missile the US fires, every Muslim country the US invades makes money for the MIC. Israel receives over $3 billion in military aid from Washington every year. Most of this money immediately returns to US military corporations to buy weapons. They’re partners.

    The Armchair Warriors’ Club

    The group that became the center of neoconservatism started with Jewish intellectuals, many of them followers of Leo Strauss and Albert Wohlstetter at the University of Chicago. Strauss was a philosopher who had escaped the Nazis in 1937 and had observed Stalin’s purges of mostly Jewish Bolsheviks. Wohlstetter was a New York-born researcher who became a leading light at the RAND corporation, consulting with the Pentagon on intelligence and weapons systems. He was a constant advocate for more weaponry and a less conciliatory attitude toward the USSR.

    From their beginning, the causes of America and Israel appeared inseparable in Neocon writings. According to former CIA officer Phil Giraldi of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), the neocons have two unshakeable beliefs: “First is their insistence that the United States has the right or even the responsibility to use its military and economic power to reshape the world in to terms of its own interests and values…The second principle, inextricably tied to the first, is that Washington must uncritically support Israel no matter what its government does, which makes the defense of all things Israeli an American value.”

    Their third core value has been virulent opposition to the Russians (then the Soviets.) According to History Commons, “[In the 1970s] Neocons saw the Soviet Union, not the Israeli-Palestine conflict, as the chief threat to US interests in the Middle East and the control of that region’s oil fields. They see a strong, powerful Israel as essential to their plans for US domination of the region.”

    The neocons set out to popularize these ideas among the American people and government. Young disciples of the founders went to work for Senators Henry “Scoop” Jackson (D-Wash) and Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY,) both strongly pro-MIC Democrats. Wohlstetter, with his military connections helped young neocons Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz get jobs with Jackson, known as the “Senator from Boeing” for his constant advocacy of increased military spending and opposition to nuclear weapons treaties. He was also militantly pro-Israel, sharing all the core neocon foreign policy positions. Perle and Wolfowitz were soon followed by colleagues Douglas Feith, Elliott Abrams, and Abram Shulsky.

    As Senators Jackson and Moynihan’s leadership shows, neoconservatism is not just a Jewish thing. Researchers Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould wrote on Truthdig “Although clearly acting as a political front for Israel’s interests and an engine for permanent war, neoconservatism would never have succeeded as a political movement without the support and cooperation of powerful non-Jewish elites.” Many neocons have been non-Jewish, and their numbers grow year by year. Secretaries of Defense, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were early adopters, as were UN Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick, National Security Adviser John Bolton, and by now thousands of others. Neoconservatism has become dominant in the Department of Defense and increasingly at the State Department and CIA and has tremendous influence in Israel and the UK.

    Neoconservatism gained this influence through decades of setting up think tanks and commissions and serving on them as “fellows,” “scholars,” and directors. They move between these jobs and positions in the Departments of Defense and State, or in the White House or on Senators’ staffs, or defense corporations, becoming known as “experts.” They write position papers and op-eds; they appear on TV and testify before Congress. They lie. The work constantly to control the narrative.

    Early neocon dominated formations were the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD), founded in 1976 and the Committee for the Free World (CFW), founded in 1981. Both advocated strenuously for nuclear buildup aimed at the USSR. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, military spending dropped, threatening MIC profits. They needed new enemies to replace the USSR, and Israel was happy to provide theirs, and Neocons set up new formations to target these enemies. Current think tanks founded by the Neocons include:

    JINSA, the Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs; AEI, the American Enterprise Institute; WINEP the Washington Institute for Near East Policy; FDD. the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and a dozen others. These groups collaborate with longer-standing Israel advocacy groups like AIPAC and Stand with Us. They share staff and funders and rent space from each other. One of the most influential, PNAC, the Project for a New American Century met in offices rented from AEI and included at least six men who later served as leaders in the Bush administration as well as Bush’s brother Jeb.


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