Tag: militarism

Stop the largest military budget bill in US history

On Tuesday Oct. 6th, the U.S. Senate approved the largest military budget bill in the history of our nation: $626 billion. [1]

Next, the bill will be sent to a conference committee and then back to the House and Senate for final passage.

There remains a short window of opportunity to stop this wasteful military madness.

Tell your members of Congress to vote “NO” on the 2010 defense appropriations bill.

It's time to end the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It's time to roll back the out-of-control militarism that is bankrupting our nation, morally and financially.

The Pentagon budget bill contains $128 billion to extend the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — bringing total spending on these wars to over $1 trillion.

Enough is enough. 51% of Americans now believe that the Afghan war is not worth fighting. [2]

We should dedicate most of that $626 billlion to meet the needs of Americans hit hard by the economic crisis, facing foreclosures, lack of health insurance, hunger, and lamentable schools.

We need to take action, motivated by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King: “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

Yes! I'll tell Congress to vote “NO” on the bloated 2010 military budget.



(1) Andrew Taylor, “Senate Passes Pentagon Budget, War Funding.”  Associated Press, October 6, 2009.

(2) Jennifer Agiesta and Jon Cohen, “Public Opinion in U.S. Turns Against the War.”  Washington Post, August 20, 2009.


The US piggy bank is empty

The low-key announcements of several military retrenchment measures suggest to me that the US plutocracy is sufficiently frightened by the negative economic diagnosis to abandon its recreational drug of choice: military spending. Here are the clues:

1. Today brought news of the abandonment of a costly “missile shield” to be deployed in Europe. Not only does this remove an irritant in diplomatic relations with Russia and Europe, but it portends big cutbacks in the development and deployment budgets for all Star Wars missile defense programs.

2. America has suddenly developed a lively interest in free and fair elections in Afghanistan. This is consistent with the need to de-legitimize our puppet government in order to prepare for exiting this costly and futile “war.”

3. Iraq withdrawal plans appear to be picking up speed, with no signs that an upsurge of violence in Iraq will lead to second thoughts.

4. A few bloated defense procurement programs have actually been cancelled, including F22 production and an alternate engine for the F35.

The plutocrats are very afraid that they will not be able to make the bellicose American public go cold turkey when huge defense cuts come. But defense is the only place left to cut, and they know that a hard economic rain is going to fall when the current Fed cash-for-everything bubble pops.

The British and Soviet empires did not give up their military toys until their economies collapsed. We are following a similar course. We should have done so much sooner.

A Guantánamo system after Guantánamo?

Original article, a comment subtitled Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, explains why a preventive detention law being floated by some Obama advisers would be disastrous, via socialistworker.org:

WHEN I awoke this morning, I saw the New York Times headline: “Post-Guantánamo: A New Detention Law?” I was afraid to read the article for I knew what was coming: some on the Obama team, supported by a few liberals, were considering a preventive detention law.

Obama transition points to more war and repression

Original article, by Bill Van Auken, via World Socialist Web Site:

President-elect Barack Obama owes his victory, both in the Democratic primaries and the general election, in large part to the overwhelming hostility of the American people to the years of military aggression, torture, extraordinary rendition, domestic spying and all of the other crimes that will constitute the indelible legacy of the Bush administration.

US elections: Welcome to the “School of the Democrats”

Original article, by John Peterson, via Socialist Appeal (US):

The U.S. has elected a new president. On January 20, 2009, Barack Hussein Obama will be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. Along with the dramatic turn in the economic situation, this marks a definite turning point in the history of the country and of the world. On the streets across the U.S., you can feel a collective sigh of relief. Tens if not hundreds of thousands of people are on the streets of New York, Chicago, St. Louis and San Francisco, many of them dancing and even crying with joy. Young people drive by or ride their bikes through the streets yelling “Obama!” at passersby. Some have likened the celebration to New Year’s Eve, and people’s faces – especially young people and African-Americans – are glowing. These scenes have been repeated around the world, as frustration against Bush’s policies is unleashed. The world has not been a very pleasant place for the last 8 years.

Obama demands deep cutbacks to pay for Wall Street bailout

Original article, by Bill Van Auken, via World Socialist Web Site:

As the Bush administration and Congress continued negotiations Monday on a trillion-dollar bailout package for Wall Street, Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama delivered a speech in Green Bay, Wisconsin in which he promised to carry out sweeping cuts in government spending and impose strict fiscal discipline on the US government.

Bush-Obama: Separated At Birth?

MISSING IN ACTION! Ram-Obama wants you to you know that Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama Actually Wanted to Join the US Military, But There Wasn’t a War To Fight.  At least, that’s what Barack wanted to do, according to the One. Barack explains that what held back this terrible Dem tiger was an unfortunate lack of blood and gunfire.

“The Vietnam War had come to an end. We weren’t engaged in an active military conflict at that point. And so, it’s not an option that I ever decided to pursue.”

Waaaa…!! Damn that Viet-Nam ceasefire!! The Telegraph notes Barack omitted any previous mention of this deeply-held desire to join the US military. Nothing appears in any interview or publication. Memory loss? Scouring the formative years of his own past, Obama writes nothing about considering a military career, or any form of military service, in either of his two celebrity self-profiles.

Dems savaged Dick Cheney for masquerading as a patriot while doing everything possible to avoid suiting up. And why not? Called to duty five times, college student Dick Cheney received five separate dispensations from Selective Services, thus denying the would-be warrior the chance to guard America’s future.

Grandpa Biden Has His Own Pain to Deal With: Five Deferments. Just like Dick, Biden, the ‘bare-knuckle’ Dem Vice-Presidential candidate was ‘denied’ the right to serve five times. The silver-maned patriot waged a different kind of war, waddling through mountains of Congressional pork, waging war on drugs, and shrieking about morality.

George W. Bush stands head and shoulders above this crowd. It’s that bad. What with Barack’s crap about the ‘route-march’ not traveled and Biden-Cheney’s identical five deferments, Dubya, who actually made it into a recruiting center and into uniform, is positively heroic.

Barack, Bush both claim to have considered’ going to Viet Nam. Barack-Dubya both use exactly the same excuse to to ‘explain’ why staying home seemed a wiser path. With Viet Nam ending, Barack-Bush would have no chance of shedding blood for country.

Damn! Now it all makes sense. Obama wanted to wear the uniform! It’s so easy to picture Rambo-Obama on the roof-top of the US Embassy protecting the last helicopter out. True! Pesky peace kept the youthful patriot from achieving his high-school dream of serving Uncle Sam. If only Nixon had kept the war going until Obama had a chance to suit up! Totally believable. The One simply forgot to tell anyone of his secret ambition to head into combat!

Dubya-Barack are as patriotic as every other American. Both served in elite Ivy League schools, ‘toughing it out’ on term papers and all-night cram sessions before going on to pursue individual national political ambitions.

And the Dubya-Obama similarities don’t end there. Obama now claims the Bush tax-breaks for the rich are necessary.

Obama’s Cheney

Original article, by Justin Raimondo and sub-headed “Is there a curse on the office of the Vice President?”, via antiwar.com:

The office of the Vice President has surely undergone a transformation in recent years: from Dan Quayle to Dick Cheney is a long way to travel. The role of the VP, with Cheney acting as the eminence grise of the Bush regime – and, some would say, the real President – has been amplified to the nth degree, and it looks like the administration of Barack Obama is going to continue this ominous tradition.

Bill Moyers Journal – Andrew J. Bacevich

If you missed the PBS Bill Moyers Journal, this past friday night, or if not on your local PBS station, this is an Interview that should be seen, absorbed and discussed!

For Retired Army Colonel Andrew J. Bacevich, Conservative, lays out, very clearly, the wrong direction this country has set it’s course on which is leading it towards destruction or a meaningless society as others fill the void of the real World Leadership!

Childhood’s End Someday?

Alone among the developed nations of the West, the US still glorifies war and the “warrior.” This serves as an object lesson to the rest of the world about what happens when a nation obtains the means to wage war at will anywhere around the globe without also maturing into the wisdom to abhor the idea of war. I have come to believe that the love and glorification of war is something that a nation outgrows, and the US has a very long way to go before it is mature enough to turn its back on war. Indeed, I doubt that there can ever again be conditions dire enough to pull the US kicking and screaming out of its warlike childhood.

Join me below the fold, won’t you?

Army, Flag and Cross

Recently publisher here and crossposted here.

I wanted to try and generate some discussion on a subject that will continue to resonate regardless of who wins in November: the pathological coupling between fundamentalism, flag worship, and what can be called, for lack of a better term, “warrior worship.” Join me below the fold, won’t you?

Patriots Are Rebels, Not Bootlickers

Samuel Johnson famously wrote in 1775 that “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” In The Devil’s Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce made the appropriate correction: “With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first.”

The past eight years proves Bierce’s thesis once and for all.  

The remorseless gangsters currently in charge of the executive branch aren’t the first American leaders to falsely define patriotism to include torturing, racketeering, warmongering, privatizing, fraud, fecklessness, betrayal, incompetence, injustice, absolutism, corporatism, cronyism and horses’ assism. They aren’t the first to wave the red-white-and-blue while committing sedition against the nation’s citizens by lying them into a war. Nor the first to spy on dissidents of that war. Nor to treat the veterans of that war with public accolades simultaneous to budgetary disdain.

Nor, it must never be forgotten, the first to commit war crimes under a patriotic banner.

But these particular scoundrels have managed one new audacity: cramming the full roster of such behavior into two presidential terms. For this Herculean effort, the cabal of grifters who took over seven-and-a-half years ago surely deserve medals.  

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