A group for political progressives and warriors for truth and justice. Socialism isn't a bad word here.
Resolved: Liberal Democrats should support sensible defense and IC spending for their own protection
August 31, 2010 at 8:00 pm #109852
As a reporter and editor covering the federal government for more than 25 years, and as an activist for withdrawal from Vietnam, and as an advocate for alternative energy and energy conservation during the Carter administration, I would propose this discussion, in the form of an Oxford Union Debate:Resolved: Liberal Democrats support a technologically superior, well-funded and -staffed military and intelligence community because domestic and overseas demagogues and tyrants of the left and of the right from Castro to Pinochet, represent essentially equivalent threats to democracy and freedom; and that those authoritarians and totalitarians and their apologists, whether in Beijing or on the Fox News Network, present a clear and present danger not only to the United States but to the health and safety of human rights campaigners and people who practice democracy both here and abroad.
August 31, 2010 at 8:11 pm #109860
On a personal note, I have thought, many, many times, that when the totalitarians come, they'll have my name on one of their special lists.
On a more general note, we should remember that the majority of the uniformed personnel who served in the military during World War II voted for Franklin Roosevelt for President either once, or twice, or three times.
The Democratic Party shouldn't just cede the military-, navy-, intelligence community- and contractor-vote to the GOP as a matter of course. President Clinton certainly didn't, he worked hard to regain that segment of the electorate. But proposing defense budget reductions that are non-starters in Congress just leaves the left out of the debate and alienates the military vote.
Liberals should focus on a "mend it, don't end it" approach to the military sector of the economy. The first, and most vital step, is to replace the incredibly wasteful mercenary forces with uniformed troops, and to restore the balance between contractor spending and direct federal spending.
Contractor waste, and the recycling of contractor profits into political contributions, weakens the military and corrupts Congress. I personally hope that Secretary Gates stays on board, because he has the expertise needed to drive a stake through the hearts of contractor Draculas.
Don't expect them to give up easily.
August 31, 2010 at 8:52 pm #109858
August 31, 2010 at 9:21 pm #109856
In what sense, Al?
September 1, 2010 at 10:28 am #109854
We should be building Alliances in this Hemisphere instead of trying to rule the world and intercede in a religious struggle btween Jew and Muslim on the other side. Our pushy international posture just makes us part of the target. The war in Iraq is over - how many mercenaries were left there? We hire mercenaries to do things internationally so we can claim to have clean hands.
Our Military and Military Contractors have grown so bloated and corrupt that the only ones I have any confidence in anymore aren't wearing Brass. Our young men enlist for financial reasons (decent pay and benefits) and just hope they dont get killed. There is little respect for democracy in our Officers Corps as evidenced by senior officers criticizing civilian leadership. Lots and lots of money is missing, confirming the corruption. We need more civilian control of some of this military extravagance. How about some serious audits and head-rolling.
In fact, the only real reason that I can see for these overseas adventures is to keep the money flowing into those contractors pockets.
The problem with the all Volunteer Army is that it encourages the creation of a Military Cult . In WWII all kinds of Americans Went to war. In these middle east wars, the Contractors and
"Specialists" go to war and seven years later we are still trying to figure out how much money is missing.
I'm more worried about the plight of Americans right here. I'm trying to find volunteers to clean puke for cancer victims - there is no money. People are thrown out of their houses - there is no money. The shelves of our food pantry are almost empty - there is little money. Kids can't go to college, and many have trouble competing in school because education has taken last place in this country. No money? They had to spend it on the war. Is Osma Bin Ladin in jail?
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