Fight The Power…And Everybody Else?

Why is it that when it comes to fighting, we can always find the money? Soup kitchens, winter heating oil for seniors, Head Start for kids, national public radio (NPR) — all are on the chopping block but  weapons and the military budget is a subject that is damn near untouchable?  Calling it out for being a huge waste is considered unpatriotic by the hawkish among us.

We have weapons that are now considered obsolete (so of course we have to make more) and a military presence at nearly 600 bases worldwide (over 1000 if we count other military installations). Why? Current battles aside (and we always seem to be fighting or getting ready to fight somebody), do we still have a beef with Germany? Are we worried about an invasion by Russia?  Do we need such a large number of military people in Italy?  I could be wrong but I thought World War II was over.

There is something to be said for protecting the homeland but where do we draw the line?  We can’t find funds to build or repair things that can move civilisation forward, educate people and make our collective lives easier but yet we continuously find new and improved ways to destroy ourselves and others. Seeing a “Made In The USA” label on anything other than weapons is as rare a sighting as Big Foot or the Loch Ness Monster.

What would it take to get our priorities in order?  Will reprioritising ever happen as long as the monetary incentive to make more weapons exists?   When do we stop fighting and focus on the fact that for every one job there are far too many applicants?

See Eisenhower’s warning; he wasn’t wrong and if something isn’t done to correct this, we’re headed down the road to ruin.

Got any ideas as to what to tell the government so the message finally gets through that war should not be at the top and a consistently increasing part of our national budget?  I have ideas as to where the saved money can go.  What are your thoughts?

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Comments

  1. I am not a hawk, nor am I am advocate of military interventions, nor am I a flag waiver with blinders putting patriotism over reason. Patriotism and pragmatism can, I believe, go hand in hand.

    However, the argument that support of the military complex, more than half a trillion dollars annually in the US, deprives the economy of some greater good is at worst just plain wrong and at best misplaced naiveté.

    The operations that constitute the military complex include; the employment of millions; the support of scientifically and theoretically driven bold new ideas; are a parent to innovation; improvements to medical research; applications to better feed the world; and which collectively in the best cases lend themselves to some degree of order and safety. It’s not simply about making bombs and dropping them on unsuspecting persons. That’s an argument against war not against supporting military funding. That is the argument that should be taking place. However, that is the distinction that many miss in their expediency to lob a easy pitch against military funding.

    International rescue and humanitarian intervention efforts are often militarily led. The satellites that track weather and allow for forewarning are the products of a military initiative; the GPS utilized to chart your path, also a military product; the MRE’s used to provide nutrition to locales where tragedy strikes are a military product; and not least of all the ARPANET is the product of the military and perhaps better recognized today as the Internet.

  2. The Brooklyn Dame says

    I respect your opinion and acknowledge that not every military function starts and ends with war. That said, I reject the notion that just because some great innovations (in addition to a significant amount of employment) come from the military that their massive budget should not be reduced. Using your language it is naive to think that all dollars devoted to military spending are going to only the projects you mention; there is a staggering amount of waste and duplication of resources.

    There is only one pie for the nation to divide; the more of it going towards weaponry (and to line the pockets of those who benefit from their production) means much less will be directed towards things that ultimately make a peaceful life worth living. What we continuously witness is a very high cost with low and diminishing benefits (except to shareholders of weapons makers).

    Just my two pence.

  3. Anonymous says

    "Why is it that when it comes to fighting, we can always find the money?"

    Thats because men run the world and have not evolved from their barbaric state. I dont know if it would be much better if women ran the world because there are too many women out there who want to please their man and if we had a female in power and she was married to lets just say someone like Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin combined, we might be in trouble if she was one of those women who had to check in with hubby everytime she made a decision. I digress. Men have turned the world upside down. Why do we need weapons that can blow us into the next several galaxies. I MEAN WEAPONS POWERFUL ENOUGH TO KILL EVERY SINGLE ORGANISM ON THE PLANET. What dont men get? War what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Nothing is being solved or will be solved with the current three wars going.

    Simone

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