Money in Politics Series, 1 of 2. Find the Second Part here.
A Brief History of War for Oil & Soul
Since World War II, following conflicts around the world had less to do with atrocities such as those performed by the post-Wiemar Republic regime, and more to do with oil. For those unfamiliar, it was planned by fascist leaders in Europe to reach outwards to oil fields in the Middle East, the Caucasus range, and anywhere they could for a supply of it in order to force their beliefs upon others in perpetuity. Oil fueled almost every weapon of war and furnace for weapons manufacturing, a key reason why
As history showed however, the Axis had little in terms of an organized force enough for such a venture – an issue the United States and allies have not had in the decades following. What the modern extremist far-right has learned from the furor and his 20th century ilk, though, is the unity of a single national identity. Specifically, as we’ll read here: white Christianity and a single language.
Thanks to Precedent: Eisenhower
Somehow, the President that gave us the following quote, set the country up for failure following this massive global conflict, ignoring the facts of the rise of the fascist state in Germany.
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.Dwight D. Eisenhower. 34th President of the United States, U.S. Army 5-Star General, and Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe during World War II.
Eisenhower is remembered for the above quote as well as his signing into law the Civil Rights Act of 1957, which was the first civil rights legislation since Reconstruction and established the Civil Rights Section of the Justice Department, empowering federal prosecutors to obtain court injunctions against interference with the right to vote. He was the first President to serve during the Civil Rights Movement, and he’s also remembered for his order of federal troops to protect nine children integrating into a public school, in Little Rock, Arkansas, the first time troops were ordered to the South since, again, Reconstruction.
This is where memory of this President, even by Baby Boomers, may cease. Here’s a refresher of where this President opened the door for the abuse of political action committees (which first began in 1943) and imperial hate funding campaign finance.
Eisenhower started the first National Prayer Breakfast. There, Billy Graham left an indelible mark on conservative politics. It was his influence too that created this meeting of church and state, and later inspired the non-secular additions: “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance, and “In God We Trust,” to the American currency.
“Soon after his election in 1952, Eisenhower told Graham that the country needed a spiritual renewal. For Eisenhower, faith, patriotism and free enterprise were the fundamentals of a strong nation. But of the three, faith came first.”Diane Winston, USC Annenberg religion scholar
Successive to the Second World War, the Peace Movement began out of the Civil Rights Movement. The economic, corporal, and costs of life due to the preceding wars had set a fuse inside of many around the world and, most importantly here, in the United States. However, the Peace Movement stateside is embodied by the protests against the war in Vietnam, which many protesters argued was a front to expanding media contracts for Lady Bird Johnson, and the profiteers of war such as the Military-Industrial Complex and most significantly here, Halliburton.
Following that first period, there was enough happening at home with the draft into Vietnam, the Civil Rights Era protests, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the British Invasion, the Space Race, and, the Summer of Love and subsequent “hippie” concert traditions, that the war continued until about the same period that the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC – not to be confused with the more inclusive OPEC) proclaimed an oil embargo. This oil embargo was in response to the Arab-Israeli War over the Suez Canal, one the world’s eight oil traffic chokepoints, at a period when Palestinians and Israelis were first finding unrest between each other in the region. Many remember from their history classes that this resulted in President Carter negotiating the Camp David Peace Accords.
Yet, before a solid celebration of peace could be had, there was another major conflict during Carter’s tenure. An Iranian Revolution to change leadership was happening, and in its wake, in 1979, oil was halted from export. This caused the Second Oil Crisis and perhaps inspired what many considered to be a false flag operation created by mercenaries for oil companies: the Iran hostage crisis.
While Carter was somehow unable to use the same charm which found him success at Camp David, his successor President Reagan made it look like an easy job, as minutes after being sworn in Carter-era diplomats did the work in Algiers. However, while the Algiers Accords meant that oil companies were barred from Iran internal affairs, this marked the beginning of a new era of efforts in the Middle East. This was especially required since some of the first acts of Reagan were to remove price controls on domestic oil, allowing consumer gouging, as well as repealing the Crude Oil Windfall Profits Tax, that taxed corporations’ massive gains. Just the beginning of trickle-down, supply-side, Reaganomics pushed by corporate advice onto the actor.
While the windfall profit tax is claimed to have increased dependence on foreign oil, that is by in large by the choice of oil companies involved. Returning back to U.S. soil, there was an increase in the use of American reserves for only a short period before the wars for oil continued, and later down the line found profit in transporting oil from the Canadian oil sands. This small moment in history is considered by some conservatives to be why Reagan was iconic, however the following big moment, is the real reason.
The Moral Majority
Following the influence of Billy Graham, the Falwell’s have been following the road map of money in politics. Money that arguably is laundered through churches, similarly to banking and real-estate, to clean the money and erase its roots in what may be a checkered past. Such as televangelists.
Here, I’m just going to leave a quote from Richard Flory, Senior Director of Research and Evaluation at the University of Southern California, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.
Coinciding with the popularity of Ronald Reagan, [Jerry Falwell Sr.] founded the Moral Majority in 1979 as a conservative Christian political lobbying group. Although the founding of the Moral Majority is popularly seen as an anti-abortion and pro-family movement, its real roots were different. Falwell and other evangelical leaders felt the federal government was overreaching with its guidelines into how Christian groups maintained racial restrictions in their schools.
The Moral Majority ultimately expanded its platform from segregation in schools to include what is now a familiar agenda: supporting and sponsoring legislation for “traditional” family values and prayer in schools. It also opposed LGBT rights, the Equal Rights Amendment, abortion and other similar social-moral issues.Richard Flory. USC Dorsife. The Conversation.
Since the Reagan administration, the environment for information has changed quite considerably. In 1987, under the Reagan Administration, the FCC abandoned the “Fairness Doctrine,” which required licensed radio and television broadcasters to present fair and balanced coverage of controversial issues of interest to their communities, including by devoting equal airtime to opposing points of view. This, some argue, paved the way for particular news outlets to provide misinformation under the guise of being, as is sometimes even advertised, “fair and balanced.”
Succeeding Reagan, George H. W. Bush (Bush I) made promises to be as similar to Reagan, who he served as Vice President. And while some may argue he didn’t hold true to that, he did, and here’s why: At the same time as the beginning of the hostage crisis in Iran, Saddam Hussein, a nationalist and fascist dictator, rose to power in Iraq, setting up the next oil stage for the US Presidency to step onto.
In 1990, during the Bush I administration, Iraq, led by Hussein, invaded the oil-rich nation of Kuwait. This was the perfect reason to intervene and accept the oil fields there as US protections. His son followed in very much the same vein of thought, guiding foreign policy and the economy very much the same way for years to come.
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning.”Frederick Douglass, American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman.