For a freshman senator, Senator Cotton definitely found a way to get name recognition. His open letter to the Iranian government set him apart from his fellow freshmen senators, by shocking the American public by the letter’s boldness and controversy. If fame is his goal, he accomplished his goal. History will note whether it was an unwise provocation or a successful ploy to destroy the ongoing negotiations.
One questions whether you can take him seriously or what he did seriously. Part of his true motivation was betrayed by what he did the very next day after the release of the open letter to Iran. Senator Cotton went to visit Military Contractors. Hmmn!!!!! There is money in war, money for defense contractors and potential campaign contributions for an ambitious politician. His act of going to see those military contractors call into question whether his motives were genuine to begin with.
One should not be fooled by Senator Cotton’s alleged goal of forcing Iran to disarm their nuclear capabilities unilaterally. Senator Cotton does not pretend to have any alternatives to an avoidance of war between Iran and the United States. If he does not support any agreement between Iran and the United States that would leave only one alternative and that is war.
With the drumbeat of war becoming louder and louder on the far-right of the political spectrum it would be wise of us all to once again remind ourselves of what President Dwight Eisenhower said in his famous farewell address. President Eisenhower knew a thing or two about war having been the allied commander in World War II. In his address to the nation in January of 1961, he did not say that we did not need a military but he did warn us about the dangers inherent in having a very strong military. At the time of his address we had in a country of around 130 million people 3 million people working directly in the defense industry.
President Eisenhower gave us wise advise that is timeless in its importance. He warned us that “in the councils of government we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence.” He went further by warning all of us that “only and alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful goals and methods, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
Eisenhower also stated that the danger lies in the influence that this might have on our economy, our political system and our spirituality.
A culture of war is a distinct danger to all Americans. It is a danger to our future financial stability and to our own consciences. We are no longer in a very dangerous Cold War with two adversaries armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons. War can weaken us spiritually as life becomes more expendable.
I hope that what the misguided Senator Cotton did was not motivated by his own political gain. I see there is a Senator Cotton for President site on Google now. A potential loss of life and treasure from having another war is not worth the fulfilling one person’s own personal ambition.
Senator Cotton has reminded us of the potential danger to peace if we are too closely tied to military contractors. War should never be the first option. It must be part of the equation of potential outcomes. President Obama has made it abundantly clear that the use of force is an option on the table to be used only if necessary to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons. They do not presently have nuclear weapons and any agreement whose goal is to eliminate the possibility of war should be given every chance to succeed. To seek to deny our government of that opportunity to have peace instead of war is just plain wrong. As a Commander-In-Chief, it must be a horrible responsibility to send our young people off to war. A single senator nor 47 senators do not have that responsibility. Cotton and the others should stop interfering in our government’s efforts for peace.
The Military Industrial Complex still employs about 1 in every hundred Americans. It still has the very real potential to corrupt our political system and to pollute our very spirituality as a nation. When does a good defense become too costly to our own financial well being? Let us take a hard look at what is necessary to protect us as a nation and what might be too costly to the body politic and to our Republic.