I just don't get it. With the exception of Kucinich (and maybe Richardson) most of the candidates for President in both parties keep saying we need to build up the military. Giuliani, just today, when he presented his 12 whatever-they-ares, said we need to beef up our military. Similarly, most of the others have all bought into the notion that we need to increase our troops by 100,000. I want to know why.
We already spend more money on the military and defense than all the rest of the world combined. Why? Who are we afraid of? Are we expecting to be invaded by Martians? What country in the world is about to attack us? Oh, I know, terrorists. Do we really need to spend 500 billion per year (I don't know if that's the right figure but it is one hell of a lot) to protect ourselves from terrorists? If the bloated defense budget isn't enough for the purpose what more do we need? What is happening to all the money we are now allocating for defense? Why should we have to have another 100,000 troops? Because we don't have enough to conquer Iraq? As near as I can see the only possible reason for more troops would be to continue to expand our empire. Is that what the American people want to do? Have an empire? Kucinich said that if he were elected President he would reduce the defense budget by 25%. I'd call that 25% and raise it another 25%. Obviously I am not an expert on these matters but it is obvious to me, and it ought to be obvious to anyone with any sense at all, that half of what we are now wasting on defense should be more than enough to keep us as safe as we can expect to be. This money is simply being wasted by giving it to huge corporations to manufacture all kinds of stuff we don't even need (and in some cases apparently not manufacuring stuff we do need). Billions for a missile defense system that doesn't work. Billions more for a helicopter/plane that doesn't work. Billions more for tanks that we will never need. Billions more for nuclear weapons that we are supposed to be eliminating. Grossly overpriced toilet seats and hammers, and so on and on. How anyone can take this seriously is a mystery to me. It is all so obvious even children ought to be able to understand it. We are in the grips of a military/industrial/political complex that is nothing but a gigantic and immoral scam to take taxpayer dollars and give them to people and companies that already have obscene amounts of money. We absolutely do not need to increase our national defense budget, nor do we need 100,000 more troops. We need some sober-minded control over this grotesque racket and some accounting for what is being done with the money (we already know the Pentagon can lose billions without even knowing what happened to them). We already know that war profiteering is occuring on a grand scale in Iraq. We already know that war is good for business so who cares if a few troops have to be sacrificed. We already know that those who are profiting the most from these excesses of military spending are the very people who lied us into this disastrous "war" in the first place and are determined to continue it forever. Someone should tell these people to take their demands for more money and more troops and shove them into that well-known place where the sun don't shine.
And another thing (I know I am really wound up tonight - "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore"). How is it that these right wingers constantly whine about the fact that the MSM don't present the (presumably) good news from Iraq. You know, all the good things they claim are happening. Considering that the MSM are clearly on the side of the administration you would think they would be concentrating on all these good things (surely you can't believe the MSM is dominated by liberals) but they aren't. Why? I guess it must be because they just aren't happening. If they were I'm sure we would be hearing about it. We murder another few thousands innocent Iraqis but fly one injured child to the U.S. for treatment and we certainly hear about the latter. Oh, yeah, I guess our troops sometimes pass out a few candy bars and such. And, "we're sorry we mistakenly killed your entire family, here's a couple thousand bucks, just forget about it." Our country has gone mad with militarism. When someone pointed out to Madeleine Albright that our sanctions had killed hundeds of thousands of innocent Iraqi children she said it was worth it. Worth what? What have we gained? Virtually all of the present candidates for the Presidency are willing to use nuclear bombs in Iran, or willing to kill innocent bystanders (collateral damage) if it means getting rid of Osama bin Laden. I believe Kucinich is the only one who demurred. We long ago lost any moral ground we might have had and it appears we are going to continue to make things even worse.
"Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtaxed."