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28Jul/08Off

Military

A Generously Reduced Military

I believe that countries export what they manufacture. We are a great people: diverse, generous and kind. How does sending guns anywhere under any conditions represent who we are as Americans? And since this activity is paid for by the government with our tax dollars, this should be a matter where the people have a great deal of influence, not only corporations. No one really responds to taking care of their own needs if someone else is doing it. We should not be providing military security to any borders but our own. If we leave Europe, leave the Middle East, leave the Pacific, leave Asia then the interested parties will take care of their own interests.

Did we not hear Eisenhower's farewell address 46 years ago? We have now spent half a century eroding our economy through taxation supporting military activity that gets us almost nothing. And we have spent that money while millions have had no health care and while our roads and bridges crumble beneath us. Why is it political poison to discuss that 60 years later we no longer need the equivalent of the vast army needed to defeat the Axis Powers in World War II. The American people proved ready and able to mobilize as needed. "As Needed" is, I think, the key phrase. When did we become convinced that Americans don't know how to win a fight?

Perhaps George W. Bush's strategy of asking the Iraqis to "stand up" as we "stand down" could be applied to the United Nations and NATO instead. Let's put OUR money into fixing some of our problems at home by putting military spending back on the table at budget time--and cutting it. It's time to talk about constitutionally mandating that our home needs come first--a military budget in peacetime should come LAST. Why propose that? Because the militarists are trying to encourage a permanent war footing by adopting a constitutionally mandated percentage of spending for military use. Why? The people of the United States have proven themselves more than ready to take up that task when it is required. In addition to that generosity, we know how to win a fight.