Archive - Opinion
SUBJECT: U. S. Defense
February 11. 2005
Our defense budget is larger than the next ten nations of the world. That is a nutty defense policy. And that’s saying it nicely. My real belief is harsher.
Let me set something straight before I express my opinion. I am a former Captain of U. S. Army Intelligence [no, that’s not an oxymoron] honorably discharged with letters of recommendation and commendation. I believe in Defense, I am not a terrorist sympathizer. My taxes are paid, and I am not planning any violence to unseat the U.S. Government.
But, I ask, who is our enemy today: some large nation with massive resources able to fight a conventional or nuclear war with us? No. Our enemy is a loosely allied band of religiously fanatic terrorists. Much, if not most, of our military hardware and our nuclear capabilities are useless against them. Our battle with them is a psychological one: one of Intelligence and its resulting precision military surgery on specific targets as we uncover them.
So why are we spending $500 billion annually on Defense? When the Soviet Union dissolved a decade ago, we were spending $250 billion annually on Defense. We’ve doubled our defense budget as our only viable military enemy ceased to be a direct military threat. I ask again: why?
Why does this “Christian” nation not drop its military defense back to $250 billion, and “do unto others” by spending the saved $250 in domestic and international diplomatic assistance to people and nations needing help? Why does this religion-based government not act Christian?
Does it not believe that spending $250 billion helping those in need would have a positive effect? I do. America’s international aid now is miniscule, compared to its military spending. We laud ourselves that we are giving $750 million to the Tsunami effort. That is less than 1/5th of 1% of our military defense budget! Our Tsunami aid is token at best. It is embarrassing compared to the obscene profits our military corporations are making off their defense contracts!
Why do this nation and its people not realize that we are perceived as sword rattlers by millions worldwide because, in point of fact, we do rattle swords? How can we, with weapons and military personnel positioned worldwide, not understand why terrorists would arise in poor, backward countries emerging from nomadic tribe conditions?
America worldwide is being viewed with suspicion and outright fear today by many who used to consider us allies. The dividing gap between what we say we are and how we act is widening.
Our integrity is at stake here.
I no longer consider our Defense posture to be built on integrity. It is overly aggressive, it is profit-oriented, it is duplicitous. Our military is too closely allied to high financial interests; it is too closely allied to those who own our public media. It is questionable these days.
It imprisons people with no legal recourse; it tortures them; many have died in our prisons. It has killed tens of thousands of civilians, including children, in Iraq, probably in Afghanistan too. It has violated basic law and human rights as it allegedly fights for law and human rights. Its hypocrisy is too blatantly open to ignore.
Our new Secretary of State [our chief diplomat] not so subtly rattles American sabers. I believe she is out of her element in this new job. She is warning Iran and North Korea about nuclear weapons. What about our nuclear weapons? What about the 200 – 480 U.S. Nukes remaining in Europe? What about all the U.S. Nukes in American submarines? What about all the U.S. Nukes, wherever they are, the ones our government doesn’t talk about? Why should we not be subject to the same restraints we are unilaterally demanding of other nations?
Who set us up as the Overlord of nations? Who set us up ethically above the United Nations? Who established us as the Saviors of the world? Who anointed us the Good guys? Objectively, I don’t see us as much better than most nations.
In many ways we are worse. We consume over 50% of the world’s economic output while being only 6% of the world’s population. Over 10 million children starve to death worldwide annually while Americans have become the fattest people on the planet. How do we justify that? That is pure greed. That is uncontrolled appetite. That is self-aggrandizing arrogance. That is insensitive ignorance.
Our present Defense is not pure defense. It is pre-emptive Offense. And it is an offense to the other nations of the world. I want us to defend ourselves too. But I no longer believe our government is conscientiously looking out primarily for the well being of all Americans; nor is it presenting America properly to the nations and the people of the world. I believe it is driven by a narrow-minded group of wealthy people who are looking out for themselves, and – in their purely self interest – are exploiting working class Americans
These are my opinions. You may disagree with them. If so, you are invited to e-mail me your thoughts, which I may post on my website. If you don’t agree they may be made public, I’d still like to see them. But, may I then suggest you could be philosophically part of the secretive mentality that charades as democracy today?
An open citizen’s dialogue about our Defense and its budget is needed. Here’s an opportunity for you to be involved. What’s on your mind?
You may reach me with your comments via the Contact button. I’ll get back to you whether you’re Left, Right, In-Between, or Beyond.