Defense Spending: Mirror, mirror on the wall...

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We were told the 2006 Defense spending part of the budget would be $453 billion, advertised in the bill, H.R. 2863. What did our President and Congress actually spend? Try 200 billion more than the figure above. How about the upcoming Defense appropriations bill for 2007 (beginning July 2007 fiscal year)? Adding the reported numbers up, it comes to between 566.9 and 586.9 billion. This doesn't include unanticipated emergency supplementals.

Are we engaged in a vicious cycle of self-fulfilling prophecy here? Is it possible, that the more we spend in preparation to engage the rest of the world militarily, the more conflicts we must engage in, and the more we must increase our military spending to do so, ad infinitum?

The U.S. now spends more each year on military spending than all of the rest of the world's nations summed together ($509 billion). Put in another way, 5% of the world's population (Americans) now spend more for war than the other 95% of the world's population. Should it be any great surprise that so many people outside the U.S. have come to view the U.S. as the single greatest threat to peace in the world? We spend well over 1/2 trillion dollars per year on war making and defense capacity, and our politicians still don't feel safe. Nor do they want the American public to feel safe for obvious military budget reasons.

There is a major disconnect here - and at its heart lies the paranoia of a mafia bully. Allow me to explain!

Let's call our mafia bully Mr. B. Now, Mr. B. makes his living intimidating, coercing, and attacking other people to extort and elicit from them actions which benefit Mr. B. Consequently, Mr. B. is very aware that those he intimidates, coerces, and attacks, would very much like to do him in - take him out - deep six his posterior! As a result, Mr. B. invests more of his revenues in more body guards, high tech surveillance equipment, snitches and informers, security protection for his vehicles and home, bribes to judges, police, and city council persons, in order to defend himself. Which in turn, drives up his cost of bullying others. Which Mr. B. will recover by expanding his extortion, intimidation, black mail, and black market covert revenue operations.

For Mr. B., this becomes a vicious cycle. The more people he bullies, the greater the retaliation threat against him. And to pay for additional security from the greater threat, he must bully ever more people. And round and round it goes. This is quite accurately what the United States has engaged in under the Bush Administration and Republican Congress regarding international relations.

Regardless of what we have been told, the truth is we cannot supply our own oil needs. That posed a problem. In such a dependent position, we were vulnerable to the whims and profit motives of the controllers of Middle East oil. In order to protect ourselves from price gouging by the Arabs, we introduced our military forces smack dab in the middle of the region, Iraq, and demonstrated the shock and awe power of our weaponry and military technology for all Arabs to witness. The effect was to intimidate Arab controllers of oil to the U.S. against believing that price gouging the U.S. on oil would be a wise act.

Following the example of Mr. B, the Mafia bully, it is clear what should have been expected as a result. The Arab leaders would find ways to fund and arm our terrorist organization enemies to fight us by proxy. It would be suicide for the Arab controllers of oil to defy America's intimidation directly. But, there are many ways in which those Arab controllers of oil, very smart persons most of them, can drive America's costs up in other ways. Expanding the terrorist organizations is one of many ways. Which in turn drives up our military investment costs.

Hence, our intelligence community tells us al-Queda has grown. Also, Hezbollah is growing, not only in Lebanon, but, they are crossing our southern border as well, masquerading as S. American illegal immigrants. America forced Russia to spend so much on counter defense, that its economy failed. It is logical to assume this lesson was not lost on the Arab controllers of oil? There are many ways to skin a cat, the old saying goes. And there are many ways to force the U.S. to spend its savings on oil by intimidation of OPEC, in other ways, and then some.

Therefore, one has to ask, are we not complicit in our inevitable bankrupting of our society (Soc. Sec., Medicare, education, infrastructure maintenance, etc.) through this self fulfilling prophecy of having to grow our military spending to unsustainable levels to protect ourselves from the ever growing and widening threats from the rest of the world? Are we not caught in Mr. B.'s vicious cycle of intimidation and defense spending without end?

How is it, China, without doubt the new growing superpower in the world, does not feel the need to even remotely consider spending the kind of money on defense that we feel we must? Is it perhaps, because China is not electing to intimidate, and invade, other nations of the world, but, rather, to build trading relationships which will be durable and mutually beneficial throughout the 21st century? Whether real or erroneously perceived, the new 21st century map of international relations is painting China as the darling superpower other nations (including the U.S.) wish to work and deal with, while the U.S. is being painted by ever more 100's of millions of persons each year as the single greatest threat to world peace and order.

America has a very expensive and growing public relations problem. The White House knows it. The Congress knows it. Our military establishment knows it. What they don't seem to know is why? That is because the answer lies in their own decisions and behavior which are immune to self-criticism.

We ask in the mirror who is the fairest in all the world, and the answer we reply to our reflection is predictable, we are, of course. But a mirror's image is not reality. It is an opposite reflection of reality. The greatest threat to Americans in the 21st century is our own government, its politicians, and Joint Chiefs of Staff of the military who fail to see Mr. B. in the mirror.


NEWS FLASH! Just in - Reuters. Condi Rice is reporting the following, in keeping with the gist of this article and comments:

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Friday she would ask the U.S. Congress for tens of millions of dollars to strengthen the security forces of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

"We will request funding to support the security reform (of Abbas's forces) and I think we will get support," Rice said in an interview with Reuters, adding that the aid would be in the range of tens of millions of dollars.

Not in the budget? No problem. That's what emergency supplemental spending is for. And the creep just keeps on coming.

So, we are funding Israel's defense against the Palestinians, at the same time Rice wants to fund the Palestinians.

The trick is to bankrupt entitlement spending programs with military spending. Doesn't matter if we fund both sides to any particular conflict, so long as our spending on war and foreign based conflicts keeps increasing. That's what's important.

We fund Abbas, Abbas buys weapons from American companies with American tax dollars, which keeps unemployment down, military production profits up, the war continues and our debt increases. As if the solution to Middle East violence is more weapons sent by American companies using American tax dollars.

And the American tax payer gets screwed when it comes time to need Medicare or collect Soc. Security. See, it is just a matter of priorities.

That's the neo-con agenda in a nutshell. And all the while the Republicans yell it is entitlement spending that is threatening our future. What a perfect little shell game.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on December 17, 2006 7:00 PM.

Rumsfeld: Farewell to a Misapplied Ideology was the previous entry in this blog.

Of Peace and Bounty is the next entry in this blog.

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