Archives For war machine

We’re Number One……

March 7, 2012

Most people, especially those in the U.S. like to proudly proclaim we are number one. We shout it from the rooftops. We scream it about our favorite sports team. We are often caught with that silly large rubber hand to show our pride. We as a country are number one in several areas.

  • We’re number one when it comes to our war machine. Heck, you could combine all the other war machines in the world together and that would still not knock us out of first place. We spend many times more in this country than in country in the world on our war machine.
  • Because of the above item we are also number one when it comes to our debt load.  No other country in the world has borrowed as much as we have from our children and grandchildren to finance our way of life.
  • We’re number one in global weapons sales. That is probably our number one export. We sell more weapons of mass destruction than anyone else in the world.  We sell to our neighbors, even those who eventually become our enemies and use them against us (take Iraq for example, or Iran as a future example).

We pride ourselves that we are number one. But let’s look at some of the areas where we fall very very short of being number one.

  • We’re number 34 in the world when it comes to educating its citizens. Finland, which many here call a socialist country claim the number one mantle in education. As a matter of fact almost all industrialized countries are ahead of us in education. This fact does not bode well for our future citizens.
  • We’re number 16 when it comes to infrastructure. We just don’t do a good job of keeping up in this area. Everything except for our military establishments are in decay.
  • We’re number 37 when it comes to healthcare for its citizens. We are the only industrialized nation that does not provide healthcare for all its citizens. Yes if you have the money, and it takes a lot of money, you can get very high quality care in the country. If you don’t have the resources for a typical 6 figure surgery cost then you are pretty much out of luck.

Maybe I am just a naive soul but I would rather be number one is just about any of the items in the second list as opposed to be number one on all of the first. Until we somehow get our priorities aligned we will continue to slide down the lists of things that are really important.

But what do I know…..

Why do we as a society allow our war machine to gobble up so much of our taxes.  Do we really need to spend so much in money and young people’s lives to be the policemen of the world?? When we quit believing that our security lies in the ability to kill then we will truly be secure.

War Is Not the Answer

Source:  Editorial: Too fast to get out of Iraq? No – USATODAY.com.

Just nine days after the departure of U.S. forces, Iraq is looking more like its old self — divided, angry and threatened by civil war and dictatorship — than like the self-reliant democracy President Obama described as the troops came home.

I don’t understand why the Republicans, and even some Democrats believe that we can change thousands of years of local history in a foreign nation by occupying it with our military might.  I truly think that those who follow this tactic believe that they can turn nations into democracies in this manner. They have good but just very misguided intentions in that regard. History shows us again and again that it is not possible.

I’m absolutely sure that these well-intended guys will blame President Obama for this quick turnaround in Iraq. They will say that he did not keep our war machine there long enough. But how long is long enough? We had been there for ten years. What would it take to make all the feuding tribes of Iraq suddenly get along with one another? For the most part the Sunnis and Shiites (or like tribal groups) have been at it for hundreds of years. Our military presence was only a minor distraction for that feuding. I am not at all surprised that they are back at it again almost immediately after our withdrawal.

Moving on to a different topic our Republican friends are now on a “frugal government” rant. They insist that the government is spending too much of our hard-earned money. I agree somewhat with that statement but where to cut back is the biggest problem. They want to take the money out of  welfare, social security, Medicare, Medicaid and most other places that help our citizens.  They want to keep and even increase the amount of money we spend on our warring capabilities. I’m not sure what the primary draw is for them? Is it to maintain our overwhelming superpower status in the world or is it nation building of foreign governments as cited above? Either way they are very misguided in my mind. We should be taking care of our own instead going around the world trying to instill some sort of peace between long time foreign rivals. Let Iraq be Iraq. Sometime, probably in the distant future, they will eventually tire of hating each other in that corner of the world. When that happens peace will prevail as it did, without our help, as it did in Ireland.

The thing that saddens me the most about these nation building attempts is all the lives that are lost,  both our kids and innocent Iraqi citizens.  This war will end up much like Vietnam of my generation and countless other wars from my forefathers’ generations.  We just can’t seem to learn to keep our nose out of others problems and our kids have to pay for that consequence.  That is what truly saddens me.

But what do I know….

Don’t Be Silly

March 22, 2011

Universal Healthcare

This is definitely a place where a picture, in this case a poster, is worth a thousand words so I don’t have much to add. Someday we will join the rest of the industrialized nations and provide universal healthcare for all our citizens. We could very easily do that if we only brought our military budgets in line with every other country in the world.

Sadly but what do I know…