Here is a question we have all asked ourselves. How come our foreign policy hasn’t changed regardless what party holds office or majority of congress? How come our reputation, globally, has taken a considerable hit? Why do countries not feel safe dealing with a republic like America? Why has the military industrial complex grown to irresponsible levels we see today? Why does a war or terrorism seem to last forever when we are the world’s superpower?

In spite of ideology or views, these are questions that must be addressed if we are to retain the rights and liberties our founding fathers established. How do we retain these liberties? How do we, in today’s times, fight for these liberties under the daily attack that we are under? One does not want to think of our leaders as being incompetent or agenda driven, but could that be the answer?

When I ponder these and many other questions I like to channel a speech made by someone who tried to warn us of these very questions. It was Dwight D. Eisenhower in his farewell address that pointed out the answer to this very question. Being a former General and then becoming President, Eisenhower gave a beautifully written and later spoken speech on the very issues we are asking today.

Sitting behind a desk, the oldest President handing the baton to the youngest President gave us inside information that many ignored or overlooked then as they are today. Without hesitation, and not once his voice shaking, he uttered a message of hope, integrity, and of warning.

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

But could it really be that simple? Is the problem from the inside and not a true and realistic outside threat? He believed so. And I must say, 54 years later it appears he had a very clear and precise knowledge of the problem.

The very next administration would answer this question for us. Kennedy, coming off a very emotional and exciting victory would soon be put to the test. With the communist Soviets placing nuclear weapons just 90 miles off the coast of Florida, America faced a very real and possible threat. Go to war and very likely spark a nuclear war, or use negotiating tactics. These were the only two options the Kennedy Administration had. And to this very day, though much information has been released, I do not know if Americans really know just how close to nuclear war with Russia we were.

Able to divert the worst case scenario, Kennedy eased the minds of many while upsetting the elite. The victory would be short lived as he would be faced with a very new challenged. That threat was the Vietnam War. Go into Vietnam or use diplomatic tactics like he did with the Russians.

There are many that speculate Kennedy’s involvement and thoughts on Vietnam, but it is clear he was very aware of the military industrial complex and the power they wield. He had heated and insightful meeting with his staff regarding Americas involvement in such a war that was between the North and South Vietnamese.  Often fights and arguments were heard and reported on between Kennedy and his cabinet.

On November 22, 1963 John F. Kennedy’s voice in the matter was silence and the push to not only continue, but expand the war, was implemented. Lyndon Johnson would take the oath of office and it would be clear from the offset that his buddies, the military industrial complex, would be given free reign and funding.

From that moment on it seemed like the agenda would only heighten in bad foreign policy. Whether the goal is liberation from a dictator or helping rebels fight the oppressors, it was without question that the only winners were the military industrial complex. While the funding increased, the liberties and freedoms of the people were slowly eroding.

Fast forward to modern times and that mentality is still in play. We are told that the enemy hates us for our freedoms, but we are seeing a massive decrease in personal liberties and freedoms. Not from the outside, but from our very own elected officials.  And it is being sold to us all under the guise of retaining freedoms.

September the 11th would be a perfect example of this scenario. Once again we are told that Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban hated us for our freedoms, however, it wasn’t Bin Laden that took one freedom from us. From the devastating attacks that day we were handed policies such as the expansion of the N.S.A. spying program on innocent civilians, to the T.S.A. program in our airports.

How can this be? How can we win a war against those that hate us for our freedoms by turning over freedoms? How could we claim any victory or success, when our officials are taking away the very thing we are told they hate us and are attacking us over? One must conclude that the way of approaching this is neither logical nor effective.

Is it bad foreign policy or an agenda? Is it incompetence or dominance? And who is incompetent? Who’s agenda? And what about dominance?  This is the very thing that we need to address in order to get the very answers we seek and are owed. After all, it is our service men and women that are risking it all and it is them that come out in the end, with the biggest lost.

At this time it may be important to quote Ben Franklin and see what our founding fathers had to say about freedom and the necessity to protect it.

“Those that sacrifice liberty for safety, deserve neither, liberty nor safety.” – Ben Franklin

It is very clear how Ben Franklin would have addressed the war on terrorism. He overwhelmingly believed no one, or no issue was above retaining God given rights, not taking them. After all, a republic is only free as long as we are able to have rights for all.

So, this brings us full circle. Is it bad foreign policy or an agenda? To answer this we have to ask ourselves who benefits and who profits? If we set aside our ideology and look at the root of the issue we find that not only is it the global bankers, but more directly the tax exempt, war perpetuating, military industrial complex. Just like Eisenhower warned us we have to address this growing threat to the nations sovereignty and even independence. We cannot and most importantly, should not send our men and women to die for anything less than retaining our rights.

Let’s look deeper into the problem. We now how over 700 bases in over 130 countries. On many of those bases we are the policing forces in that country. A very good, and confusing example of this is in Afghanistan where we have our soldiers guarding poppy fields which the Afghan people use for opium trade and commerce. Meanwhile we are fighting a drug war on American people. Look at how once the wars start we steal resources from the people of that land and say it is to fund the war. It’s theft and nothing less.  Another freedom we lose through these wars is the fact that none of them are declared as instructed and demanded by our constitution.

Our soldiers take an oath to defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, but go to war with undeclared actions. That not only hurts them and puts them in a position to break their oath, but it takes the voice of the nation away from saying, through our representatives, if we want the war or not. It should, as instructed by the constitution, be brought forward to congress and voted on. Now we have wars based on United Nations sanction, which is a foreign government.

So I ask you again, bad foreign policy or an agenda? The answer lies within the military industrial complex and the politicians that protect them. This is a very serious question that until it is addressed will continue to mount more dead soldiers, more generational debt, and a continue trickle loss of individual sovereignty and freedoms. It’s up to us. The tyranny we accept today is the tyranny our grandchildren will live under tomorrow.

Written by: Michael Howell

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