Second post in one night? You readers sure are lucky.
I had to after reading a story originally published in the Washington Post, and republished on the Japan Times news website. Former Secretary of the Navy Gordon England whines that we are making the same mistake we made in the early 2000s. He says that the military was underfunded due to the peace dividends of the Clinton years, and that military members were underpaid, bases in disrepair, and worst of all submarines went out to sea without cruise missiles. Hold on one second while I wipe away a tear. *sniffle* OK. I’m back.
Military spending went through the roof during the Bush years, as we invaded countries and overthrew their governments; for their own good of course. Hundreds of thousands of civilians died as we handed Iran their mortal enemy Saddam on a silver platter. Afghanistan was ravaged by war, many civilians dying in a war they didn’t understand against an enemy they had no chance of beating. Wars of aggression, military expansionism, have long reigned supreme in the US. No politician dare speak out against our militarism and imperialism, lest they anger the gods of death and the military industrial complex.
While the American infrastructure fell into disrepair, as the US became one of the highest rates of economic inequality in the OEC. As our economy struggled to keep from stagnating, military contractors were making bank like nobody’s business. Millions of Americans have fallen into poverty, millions more going on the dole because of recession, while we just kept expanding our empire.
And we’re still expanding, building bases in Australia and threatening Syria and Iran. Ever increasing, the militarist beast just can’t get enough to sate its blood-thirsty and infinite appetite. Let me give you a little bit of perspective:
And that’s just the map the DoD provides. There are an estimated 750+ military bases in at least 150 countries worldwide. Maybe we don’t have enough money for our military because our military is too large. It is quite telling that conservatives have no problem throwing trillions of dollars at dropping bombs on poor brown people, but just can’t stand giving money towards education or the poor. Our ridiculous obsession and worship of the military is going to kill us as a nation. Imperialism is destructive, not only to the victims of aggression, but also the aggressor country as well. Just look at Japan, it spent decades invading and attacking its neighbors, thinking it was invincible. It raised a culture of militarism and imperialism. How did that end for the Japanese? It ended with starvation, death and destruction, not only for countries like Korea and China, but also for Japan. The Japanese people suffered greatly for the hubris and excesses of its leaders. You think America’s fate will be any different?
Priorities. Close the overseas bases, end imperialist expansion, take that money saved, invest in education and infrastructure. If we remember history we may avoid making the same mistakes again, but I won’t hold my breath.