- Politics and Social Issues
This Just In: the “Dirty Dozen (aka) My Beef with the Department of Defense
A pun for the 12 bipartisan members of the Congressional Super Committee charged with negotiating a budget that can pass the muster of either side. Well, loosely quoting from the classic 1967 WWII film, if anyone one these members screw up and no agreement is reached, Sgt Bilko gets one in the head, savvy? We progressives have the upper hand in this instance. If the committee does not come up with a plan that pleases all by November 23rd , then the automatic trigger will go into force. Automatic cuts, known as sequesters will occur. The nature of the trigger and what will be “shot” was known to all parties on either side of the isle and was part of a concession to getting the debt ceiling raised last Summer. Now after the Republicans had agreed to the terms of the cuts, they now want to renege. They are terrified about the possibility of substantial defense cuts and now want to rescind the actions of the automatic budget cutting robot that they help to build and activate. But, it is ALIVE and has no ‘off’ switch. I guess you should have thought about all of that when it was built. The robot does its thing after the November 23rd deadline and nothing with the exception of a negotiated agreement from the committee before that date will stop it. The Democrats will never allow for a GOP rescinding of the arrangements. There is no point in their trying because they don’t have the votes. Can you say checkmate? Just like Yosemite Sam said to Bugs Bunny in a cartoon “Ok, varmint, this time you are a gonna dive” So I tell the GOP that if they want to save their precious sacred cow from the slaughter house, they had better put Norquist on the shelf and get serious about budget negotiations and compromise RIGHT NOW!
As a former and proud member of the U.S. Air Force, I do not take a weak military lightly. But the thing I loathe about Republicans is that they give us a choice of no defense at all verses a bloated largesse of an agency. The sons and daughters of liberty who the GOP extols so often are actually bombs and aircraft carriers. I am well aware of the Constitutional obligation of government to provide for the common defense, but that is no excuse to tolerate waste anywhere by any entity of our government. Someone needs to tell me why:
We have over 1000 military facilities circling the globe. How much does all this cost? How does this presence in other societies make us any safer?
We are the lumbering giant of a dupe that fails to recognize that the race does not necessarily go to the one with the most bombs. We are being economically unraveled by China, and they do not have to fire a shot. This cold-war mentality of our defense people is part and parcel of a larger problem of Twentieth century thinking in a changed world.
We spend our treasure providing protection for our allies that have always been slow to lend a hand. Brazil and nations like it can take their resources and put them toward more plowshares (a robust economy), since they do not have to buy swords.
The structure we currently have reminded me more of a Dept of Offense, and it certainly does offend. Based on the fuss they GOP has made and the paltry budget provided veterans who serve, who or what are they really interested in? It is about making the world fertile for the American prerogative, to go and do what ever we want in any part of the world. This is a pipe dream and a terrible waste of money. It is about getting into a family squabble between Taiwan and Mainland China, sending submarines into the area. What would we say if China was caught with submarines just off the coast of Florida? The winners are the defense contractors and the money changers that make fortunes in the name of “defense of liberty”.
For goodness sake, we got our clocks cleaned engaged in conflict with a third rate military power like Iraq. Who was it that said, “Mission Accomplished”? Have we really won? Are the outcomes permanent, worth the lives lost and the treasure spent? I say, no, resoundingly. If Iran obtains a nuclear weapon, what are we prepared to do about it? Preemptive war? Proliferation of these weapons is inevitable as those new members of the nuclear club want to insure their security from the outside. That is our logic, why should it not be the logic of anyone else? Isn’t that the story why the ancient warriors always sought the high ground?
An accumulation of ‘fools errands’ that I am not willing to pay exorbitant amounts for , sustaining the continued illusion at the expense of sustenance for people that live and work here. There is always going to be a need for military service in a dangerous world, but lets not waste time and money both of which the rightwinger seems to have no problem providing without limit. Where is all that fiscal responsibility that they boast about so often? So, at some point the hunt for a boogie-man needs to end.