Our current military should indeed serve to “defend the United States”. That means keep ‘em home and defend our cities, our borders and our infrastructure. How about we stay the hell out of other people’s business. Maybe, just maybe, then they will choose to leave us the hell alone too!
Better yet, how about we simply shut down that military industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about. Certainly you remember General Eisenhower. In his farewell address on 17 January 1961, while acknowledging the need for such tools, his words should ring through each and every statehouse as well as the halls of Congress once again. “…we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.
My personal fear is that far too many of us have relinquished our rights to the government out of fear of the “other” and/or out of some sense of patriotism that only leaves us wrapped up in a flag and leaving the option of peaceful methods in its’ wake.
That military industrial complex is now so entrenched in each and every corner of the country that no politician dares to touch it for fear of being branded anti-military and unpatriotic. And, in spreading its’ tentacles into each state, politicians fear for their jobs if bases and/or projects are closed in their district.
I believe Congressman Andy Harris (R-Md.) summed it up best when he said,
- “We have countries that depend on our technology and our defense suppliers and contractors.”
- “We have to keep that business going.”
Is this really what our men and women in uniform have been reduced to…keeping defense suppliers in business. I propose we get about the business of shutting down as many overseas bases as possible. Bring ‘em all home.
And, for people who are fond of saying we should “listen to the generals”, how about we give that a try. God knows they have attempted to say we have enough “stuff”. They have lobbied Congress to spend money elsewhere…
- The Army told Congress “no more tanks” – did they listen? Hell no.
- The Navy’s wanted to retire several cruisers. Did Congress listen? Hell no.
- And, the Air Force; they have several aircraft they no longer need and it has fallen on deaf ears where Congress is concerned.
Peter Schweizer, with the Government Accountability Institute responded to Congressman Harris by saying “the defense budget should be about protecting our national security and serving the interests of our fighting men and women. It shouldn’t be about providing money to politically connected corporations in some Congressman’s district.”
But, no… we live and breathe that America is “exceptional” and heaven help us if we provide any assistance to “those people over there”. Being “exceptional” should make us want to do the “exceptional”, i.e., share more. But, hey, that one penny out of every dollar of the federal budget that actually goes to foreign aid is eating into the tin foil budget isn’t it. And, then there are those “pull yourself up by the bootstrap” people who are quite comfortable saving money on the backs of children who, through no fault of their own, go to bed hungry.
For many who are so fond of quoting from the Bible, I am reminded of a story. It’s an oldie, but a goodie.
The Sheep and the Goats
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these; you did not do for me.’
If you believe in a CREATOR, a GOD, I have serious doubts that HE/SHE will ask for your passport in order to determine which heavenly benefits you are entitled. And, I am absolutely positive that God will not care how many fuckin’ BASES, GUNS, TANKS, PLANES, SHIPS or ARMYS you command. But, hey – HOORAH!