Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Allow me to quote myself. This is from a recent email to one of my conservative retired military friends. Sorry to stereotype, but you can safely do it with just about every retired military person I know. Anyway I got wound up about the prospect of Obama's pouring thousands more American troops into Afghanistan:

Let's face it. Constant war has become necessary to the US to feed the Pentagon's insatiable appetite. The frigging country is going down the drain, and we're spending a $1 trillion a year in welfare for the military and the passel of greedy defense contractors . . . hell, their lying, cheating, and stealing makes the Wall Street boys look like the choir.

After 7 years, you're still entertaining the notion that we're going to bring bin Laden to justice? And that even if we did, it would actually mean a reduction in terrorism? And you all think we liberals are unrealistic dreamers! Fight them there or endure attacks here?? For pity's sake, Bob, this is a mindless slogan. T
he whole war on terrorism is like the war on drugs--another financial bonanza for the extended family of beneficiaries that this slogan feeds. What could be better for our legion of war profiteers than not one, but two, so-called wars that will never end?

I'm really get sick of it, Bob. The US is an empire, and it acts exactly like all empires did. We can always find money for war, more paramilitary police, more bombs. We're never too poor for that. All these justifications for war
are hollow and shameful. Because war never solved a single problem. All war does is beget the next war. Humanity doesn't have the sense God gave a billy goat, as my mom used to say.

And then today, I read that Obama's Pentagon FY-2010 budget contains a $40 billion increase--that's an 8 percent hike over the previous fiscal year. And wouldn't you know it, the conservative flacks like are moaning and whining (and lying) that Obama is cutting defense spending. You have to digest Glenn Greenwald's piece to understand how this is. But I'm convinced. Greenwald's pissed off at Robert Kagan's assertion in the Washington Post that Obama is cutting defense spending.

Of course, you can expect prevarication from the neocons, but what you don't expect is Obama throwing more billions into the slavering maw of the Pentagon. It just makes me sick. Over the past decade, this country has spent over $4.5 trillion on the military. The US spends almost as much on its military as everybody else in the world combined, seven times more than the next highest spender, China.

It's just sinful, and there's no end to it.
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