Heterodox Views on Politics and Public Policy from Michael Blaine

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Democrats' Push to Militarize America

"To renew American leadership in the world, we must immediately begin working to revitalize our military. . . We should expand our ground forces by adding 65,000 soldiers to the army and 27,000 marines . . . As commander in chief . . . I will not hesitate to use force, unilaterally if necessary."
--Barack Obama, Foreign Affairs, July/August 2007
Apparently, the Democrats have spent the last few years examining the US' military situation and foreign policy, including the debacle in Iraq, and concluded that what the nation needs is to take the status quo and give us more of it. How they have drawn such a lesson is a bit mystifying. Iraq is in shambles, with around $600 billion in direct costs down the drain; our nation's international standing is at an all time low. And let's not forget the 3,600 American soldiers killed in Mesopotamia, along with at least 66,000 Iraqi civilians. More than 3 million Iraqis have fled their home country since America overthrew its prior government, and Baghdad now suffers from the worst living conditions in the world. At Abu Ghraib, our nation's youth in uniform - our purported "heroes" -- committed what the Pentagon's own investigator, Major General Antonio Taguba, determined to be torture against the very people who were to receive the gift of democracy.

Time to Change into Battle Gear

That Obama wants to divert more potential teachers, doctors and entrepreneurs into America's military ranks, where they will be trained to kill while drawing a salary on the back of the taxpayer, shows a devastating failure to understand what our country needs for long-term prosperity and viability. The US faces no large and imminent conventional military threat. The "peace dividend" of the '90's contributed to the strongest national economy seen in forty years. As baby boomers retire en masse, we will need more young workers to pay into the Social Security system. To take American youth out of civilian life, where they can learn and work in mainstream society, and place them into an institution that constitutes an economic deadweight, is high folly. What happened to investing in our kids' futures, instead of suiting them up for either make-work or death in the desert? America deserves better than the Democrats' vision of further militarization.


Elaine said...

I think there's something to be said though for revitalizing the military, as Obama proposes. It's true, we don't have a conventional threat to our country, but the military currently is overstrectched and practically may need more troops. Still, it's too bad Obama has to puff out his chest and say how much he'd support unilateral action.

Anonymous said...

Yes Michael,

You left a very accurate comment on my blog.

Almost all the candidate would do as Romney and Obama propose. They are not at all different from one another except Gravel, Paul, and Kucinich. Republicans love Obama and he has been selected for a reason to appeal to the young and minorities.

Michael Blaine said...

Thank you, Elaine and "Anonymous."

My hope is that Americans will see that voting for either party in the horrible duopoly is like banging your head against the wall, and simply stop. Vote for a minor party candidate, or write in your own or your mom's name, but stop legitimizing oligarchy and militarization. Our country is off on the wrong course, and neither major party has the courage or ability to change.


Anonymous said...

A vote for either party is one for permanent war, for continuing policies that down the long decades since WWII have nearly drowned us in a sea of tears.

I second Michael Blaine's wise call: do not vote for more empire. Empire makes no bones about holding *you* in contempt, whether ignoring your opposition to war or consigning your fate to the brutalities of market fundamentalism. Why legitimize it? Why help it hurt you?

--Richard in Portland

Michael Blaine said...

Thanks, Richard in Portland. I'm sorry our youth have been conditioned to think they must choose one of only two parties. They don't have to constrain themselves in this way. They could in fact pull the rug out from under the duopoly and help build a better nation. Americans need to give Republicans and Democrats alike "shock and awe" at the ballot box.