Could the U.S. see a Military Coup?

Are the nation’s fiscal, economic, military, political and social challenges setting us up for a Military Coup? Will the U.S. Military Industrial Complex, acting through our Joint Chiefs of Staff or some other high-level corps of U.S. Military officers, and supported by a variety of angry business leaders and extreme conservatives be so resentful of any changes to our national priorities that they would encourage a complete removal of our elected civilian federal government, save the Department of Defense?

If the President and Congress decided to actually reduce or freeze Military spending over the next 4 years in real dollars, eliminate some programs to build or acquire various types of military hardware, close more domestic and foreign bases and remove troops from Europe and Asia, and veto any escalation of and start deep reductions in our military presences in Afghanistan and Iraq, will the conservatives in our Military be outraged enough to take action? This consideration might make President Obama a bit skittish about not following his generals’ current recommendations to escalate our national and NATO presence in Afghanistan. His decision on this matter and other domestic issues might be viewed as the precipitating events for actions that could significantly alter the U.S. and global history.

If a direct physical removal of civilian government by military force is not in the cards, perhaps some generals and strong military supporters could defeat President Obama and the Democrats in 2010 and 2012. This peaceful mechanism is constitutionally-protected and these political campaigns could be well-financed by the many large international arms manufacturers and other parts of President Eisenhower’s vast military-industrial complex.

There is still much popular domestic support for global military power and some think more military spending is our ticket to future economic prosperity, not domestic spending on transportation infrastructure or renewable energy technologies. Will that large minority view hold sway in the early part of the 21st Century as we see other nations build up their economies, domestic infrastructures and militaries?

During the next 4 to 12 years, the U.S. will have to make very difficult choices on how to succeed as a nation in a very competitive global economy. These decisions will occur while we are still in severe domestic economic distress and our public finances in deep disarray.

Eventually we will have to tackle our massive federal budget deficits (and state budget messes) by raising taxes, cutting programs, or both. What programs can we live without and by cutting them will we bring our financial house in order? How much of a global military, economic and political empire can the U.S. afford in the 21st Century? Will global climate changes that we fail to address become the future causes of military conflicts around the world over water, food, energy sources and natural resources?

Why do pundits in Washington DC argue for expanding our Military operations in Afghanistan with borrowed money but we cannot borrow funds to expand our domestic healthcare programs or infrastructure projects? Should not all government programs be revenue neutral or paid by new taxes? Shall we soon face the difficult choice of throwing granny under the tank?

We have already wasted billions of borrowed dollars on propping up our financial and banking sectors, who are mere unrepentant and greedy oligarchs feeding off the public’s dwindling assets. If they get in financial trouble again within a few years because they take even greater risks thinking there is an endless supply of bailout funds, will we further impoverish our nation and our children by transferring more national wealth up the economic ladder?

How long can we continue to be a viable global economic power if we must accept permanent unemployment for 10% of our working-age citizens, and under-employment (part-time temporary work) for an additional 10% of our workforce? Will not additional bank bailouts and foreign military operations be looked upon as even more unnecessary national spending if we are mired in a protracted recession or job-less meager recovery? How long can we continue to outsource our economy to our global competitors?

Would the U.S. electorate even care if we dispensed with our constitution republic in favor of a dictatorship chosen only by our military with the advice and consent of our wealthiest citizens and corporations? Over 35% of Americans continuously think that voting is a complete waste of time and that percentage goes up on off-year elections. About 20% of the extreme right of the electorate thinks that the current leaders in Washington are moving us towards some sort of political and economic nightmare that must be stopped by any means possible.

Wouldn’t having a dictatorship run the U.S. eliminate any responsibilities we might have as citizens to making personal and collective efforts to improve our country and world? Just as long as we have 24/7 Media diversions and new electronic gadgets to amuse ourselves endlessly, why do we need to waste time, energy and brain power getting involved in public life when the lives of our shallow celebrities and our narcissistic selves are so much more interesting?

As long as most of the U.S. educational systems and the personal intellectual development of most people in the U.S. are steadily degenerating vis-à-vis the rest of the world, would it not be better if we take seats in the far rear of the theatre as permanent members of the global audience to a vast human spectacle that requires less and less of our collective attention or active participation? Can anyone come up with some convincing arguments why the U.S. is not moving inexorably towards complete systemic collapse within the next decade?

These have been a few frightening thoughts as we move towards Halloween 2009, as submitted by Marc Pascal in Phoenix, AZ, who always enjoyed the campy horror movie spoofs of Vincent Price.

Author: MARC PASCAL

Marc Pascal is an private enterprise counselor and independent arbitrator and mediator in Phoenix, AZ.