My Turn: Rethinking U.S. interests on anniversary of war in Ukraine


Published: 02-19-2024 2:00 PM


With the approaching second anniversary of Russia’s military operations in Ukraine, we can expect that there will be various solutions offered to the current war there. On one side there will be calls for billions more in U.S. and NATO military aid to Ukraine, and on the other side there will be calls for a cease-fire.

I would like to step back and look at some of the history of how we got here.

One place to begin is President Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell address in which he warned, “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.”

Then there is President John F. Kennedy’s June 10, 1963 American University commencement address on world peace. If you are not familiar with this speech, I urge you to get on your computer, look it up, and listen to it. For anyone who despairs of war and wants true peace, this speech is absolutely critical.

Kennedy understood that in the nuclear age there would be no national security without international security. He spoke of the need for a gradual process of conventional disarmament as well as nuclear disarmament to be achieved by seeking out agreements based on common interests between ourselves and other nations and gradually building the international institutions that could monitor and enforce these agreements.

He turned away from the Cold War and urged us to recognize that “we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children’s futures, and we are all mortal.”

Of course today the “military industrial complex” of which Eisenhower warned has morphed into something much worse and more difficult to combat — what Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity has call the MICIMATT complex — “the military industrial congressional intelligence media academic think-tank complex.”

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The current war in Ukraine is a result of the complete failure of the United States government officials to heed Eisenhower’s warning and to follow Kennedy’s realistic and reasoned approach. The war in Ukraine is an outgrowth of a policy that is based on the illusion that our national security can be enhanced by weakening other countries, in this case seeking to weaken Russia and ignoring its concerns about security.

Public support for this war in the United States, such as it is, is largely a result of a concerted propaganda campaign by the MICIMATT that constantly demonizes the leaders of other countries who are opposed to submitting to U.S. domination.

Fortunately there are still sources of information that are not in line with the MICIMATT — the Grayzone, Information Clearing House, blogs by Scott Ritter, Ray McGovern, Larry Johnson, Caitlin Johnstone, and Regis Tremblay are but a few I would encourage you to consult, if you don’t already. We, ordinary citizens, need to engage in political activity that is based on truly informing ourselves and encouraging others around us to do the same, if we are to have a government that truly represents our interests.

We need political representatives who will not take money from the MICIMATT and who understand that we cannot afford to have enemies, but instead need partnerships for survival. Seek out others in your area who are working for peace and join them. There may be little that any one of us can do, but if enough of us do a little, it will make a difference.

Dr. E. Martin Schotz is a retired physician who lives in Cummington. He is a member of the Franklin County for Peace and board member of Traprock Center for Peace and Justice.