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Thursday, September 15, 2011

U.S. broke, but right-wingers still refuse to consider cuts in militarism (and why this is in many ways the fault of the Left)

Clueless Republicans Demand More Militarism

( -- by Philip Giraldi --

While the Republicans who are running for president seem to have grasped the truth about the economic abyss that the country is peering into, there continues to be an air of unreality whenever the discussions turn to foreign policy and national security issues. Perhaps it is fortunate that the leading candidates rarely venture into those uncharted waters except in the form of simplistic slogans that could well be placed on bumper stickers.

Sen. John “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” McCain has been expending most of his strangled rhetoric on defending the indefensible by talking up the “success” of the Libyan adventure, so he has left it to his colleague from Arizona Sen. John Kyl to do the heavy lifting on other national security issues. Kyl has already announced that Republicans will block any defense cuts in the $1.2 trillion in overall spending reductions being negotiated by a bipartisan commission. It is also reported that some previously agreed-upon budget reductions at the Pentagon are already being shifted to other parts of the government, so military spending will essentially remain untouched.

Is there any doubt that pervasive militarism has now become a core value of the Republican Party? If there is any confusion, check out the positions being taken by the presidential candidates, with the sole exception of Ron Paul. Front-runner Rick Perry has this to say: “We must renew our commitment to taking the fight to the enemy wherever they are before they strike at home,” an assertion that is not too different from what President Barack Obama is doing, which in turns derives from the Bush Doctrine that the U.S. can respond to any perceived security threat anywhere, at any time, and in any fashion. Perry is also being advised on foreign policy by neoconservatives including Doug Feith, and he identifies strongly with evangelicals. He is also a strong supporter of Israel.

But Mitt Romney outdoes Perry. In spite of the fact that Washington spends as much as the rest of the world on what it refers to as defense, Mitt sees weakness. He wants to “restore defense capabilities to ensure security at home and peace abroad…. America must make long-overdue investments in our military. Modernize air and naval forces, weapons systems, and equipment. Grow the number of troops and ensure that funds go to their needs and care. Establish robust missile defense and repair and update our nuclear arsenal. Oppose efforts to cut our military budget.” We must also “bolster our support for Israel, which has always been and will continue to be our strongest ally in the Middle East” and, “building on NATO, establish a global military alliance of democracies dedicated to ensuring security and protecting freedom.”

Even more discouraging is the mindless jingoism emanating from tea party favorites. The tea parties have led the charge for reducing government spending, and one has to believe that most of them are sincere, unlike Sen. Mitch McConnell or Rep. Eric Cantor, both of whom are now urging fiscal restraint after cheering the bloat of the George W. Bush years. Someone has to tell the tea partyers that an interventionist foreign policy has not only made us less safe, but it has also been the major driving force in the surge in the size and cost of the federal government. A recent Special Investigator for Afghanistan Reconstruction report reveals that each of the thousands of federal employees sent to Afghanistan for the bottomless pit job of “reconstruction” costs the taxpayer more than $500,000 a year, not counting the billions of dollars more dedicated to various projects that they supervise. Each American soldier costs closer to $1 million annually. And that is only Afghanistan. Unless you address the money-hemorrhaging by eliminating the root cause of an out-of-control foreign policy, shaving a bit from Social Security and Medicare will only wind up freeing up still more money for overseas adventures...MORE...LINK

Chris Moore comments:

One has to remember the two-party system, socialist warfare/welfare dynamic in order to understand this stubborn right-wing mindset.

In what has become the quasi-socialist, two party system, the bottom line is a zero sum game. What’s good for one side is bad for the other, and vice-versa.

If the GOP cuts from the military state, it knows the savings will be sponged up by the welfare state, and the left simply gets stronger. Of course, the left doesn’t care whether it gains power by catering to the welfare complex or the military industrial complex, so long as it is able to sponge up more and more until it has a power monopoly.

Setting this dynamic into motion is what makes socialism so evil, because the Right will inevitably ramp up the fear, loathing and militarism to justify its socialism, and the Left will ramp up class, ethnic and public-private sector warfare to justify its socialism.

The Founders were trying to start a system where everyone agreed to play by a responsible, adult set of rules and not put this dynamic into motion. Unfortunately, once quick money opportunists and grifters get into the mix and seek to tap into taxpayer funds to enrich themselves or pursue a particular, self-serving agenda at the expense of the whole and at the expense of the long-term integrity of the system, that’s all she wrote.

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