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.