Monday, October 4, 2010

Gunfighter: On Military Spending

So... here is the thing. As I was driving home from church today, I saw another Tea Party-Don't-Tread-On-Me-bottom-feeding Republican with the usual run of stickers on her car. The stickers accused the President of being a socialist; being a muslim; and seeking to weaken the United States by destroying the military. Oh, and one of the stickers on the car identified her (or whomever the owner of the car is) as a commissioned officer in the armed forces of the United States.

Can we say dangerous?

It sickens me to think that not only are some of our military people this bloody stupid, but that this is an officer. A leader. A commander. A commissioned officer that thinks that this kind of rhetoric is productive, useful, or patriotic. Personally, I think that the officer to whom that car belongs should be cashiered immediately. Oh, and spare me the usual crap about "she has the right to voice his own opinon" because if you know anything about the military, you know that this is not true.

It is time the military esptablishment in this country gets put back on it's leash and understands that the armed forces aren't special. The members of the armed forces of the United States aren't any better than the society they serve, simply by having decided to wear the uniform. Members and veterans of the armed forces aren't any more or less patriotic than the general run of Americans. All of these things are true... and they also apply to those who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan.

One of the things that I am getting tired of hearing about is the "fact" that President Obama is somehow "destroying" the armed forces. How can this be possible? I suppose it is because the President has supported legislation that would ensure that working Americans, many of whom make less money, and have fewer entitlements than members of the armed forces, are able to receive some modicum of decent, affordable healthcare. Have some military people never stopped to think that if it weren't for wearing a uniform and putting on airs, they would be in the same economic group as those in the ranks of the uninsured?

So... the right-wing crackpot machine thinks that the military is being "destroyed". Maybe they believe that because the President had the courage to actually put the costs of the wars on the books. You know... actually putting the costs into the budget, instead of pretending the costs were going to be paid out of some magic bag of money... or a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. You did realize that this where the bulk of the "runaway spending" that the GOP complains about comes from, didn't you? Good, I am glad that I could help clear that up for you.

Could it be that the right-wingers are mostly worried that the President is actually doing something that other Presidents didn't have the courage to try? Could it be that they are afraid that if if gay men and women have the opportunity to serve openly in the armed forces, that the sttraight men and women would somehow be diminished if their homosexual fellow citizens were able to serve their country, too? Hmm.

Personally, I don't see whatever it is that they think that they see. I happen to see a world that holds no military threat that could possibly be poised to strike the United States in such a way that would cripple or destroy us. There are no two nations that even if they were to combine forces that could actually threaten the United States outside of a nuclear attack, and in this I include Russia and China.

The truth of military spending is that this country could freeze military spendin at it's current levels for the next ten years, and our nearest rival/threat couldn't hope to gain any meaningful advantage over us. So why the hue and cry?

I dunno... maybe my perspective is poor. Maybe I just don't get it. Or, maybe... just maybe, I'm right. Maybe we could quit wasting time, lives, and money in Iraq and Afghanistan and start rebuilding the parts of our forces that have been broken since 2003. Maybe we could use that money to replace worn out helicopter engines, and destroyed humvees, and rifles and machineguns that have passed their peacetime shelf-lives ten years early. Maybe we can replace the destroyed vehicles, worn out tanks and all of the other equipment that our armed forces need.

I am proud of my own service to my country, and I honor my fellow veterans, including my father, father-in-law, brother, friends, neighbors and colleagues who have served their country... especially those who went on to fully-integrated, productive civillian lives as family members and taxpayers who pay for the entitlements of those still serving. Because we shouldn't forget, my friends, that no group in America, not even the mythological "welfare queens" or even our seniors, is more entitled and receives more monetary support when weighed against their rate of taxation than those serving in the active armed forces. N0body likes to hear it, but it is true.

When I am King, our armed forces will be largely conscripted, effectively eliminating the largest part of the entitled military class.