Defense Budget

Are We On The Brink Of A Nuclear War, Or Another Massive Infusion Of Troops In The Korean Peninsula, As In 1950?

Today is Easter, and any sensible person is on tenterhooks as we seem to be on the brink of a nuclear war, or another massive infusion of troops in the Korean Peninsula, due to the crazy North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un, striving to be a threat to the United States mainland and to his Asian Pacific neighbors.

Kim Jong Un is unstable, unpredictable, mercurial, dangerous, reckless–but so is our President, Donald Trump.

Trump seems to be on an ego trip over his bombing of a Syrian airfield, and the MOAB (Mother Of All Bombs) dropped on an ISIL (ISIS) stronghold in Afghanistan in the past week.

Military leaders are running the show, while Trump says the North Korean issue will be settled one way or the other.

The ratcheting up of rhetoric on both sides is terrifying, and it means we have the possibility of all out war coming, either by use of nuclear weapons for the first time since World War II, or more likely, a massive infusion of American troops into the Korean Peninsula after an expected North Korean invasion of South Korea, and the raining down of missiles on Seoul, the capital of South Korea, with more than 10 million people, by the North Korean regime.

If a ground war develops, we could see massive loss of life on the part of South Koreans, and Japan is also in danger, as well as the 28,000 American troops already present in South Korea, the reminder that we have had troops in South Korea since the end of the Korean War in 1953.

So 64 years later, nearly two thirds of a century, we may be soon engaging in another major war, which could, if things do not go well, lead to the decision to restart the military draft of young Americans, even though there has been no draft since 1973, and only registration required since 1980.

There is no question of the threat of North Korea, but to have an unstable egomaniac in Donald Trump dealing with this, instead of the sane and experienced Hillary Clinton, is a true concern.

Donald Trump had said he wished to put “America First”, and not engage in foreign wars, and yet now, he seems likely to engage in a war with North Korea, that will not easily be won, along with hints of ground troops in Syria, causing a confrontation with Russia and Vladimir Putin.

We must recall that the Korean War was not won, but was simply a truce, and there are no simple answers to this crisis, but we can sense military leadership taking over from civilian leadership, as Trump allows Secretary of Defense James Mattis and National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster to make final decisions on intervention that could undermine the nature of our democracy for the long term.

Let us not forget that when we commit troops to foreign war, in an age of no draft, who are the victims? They are primarily poor whites, as well as racial minorities, who commit themselves to a military career as the best alternative of occupation in a nation that has a growing poverty level, and the rich getting ever richer while the middle class sinks.

Instead of spending another $50 billion on defense, we should be spending on domestic needs, as we already have a bigger defense budget than the next eight nations combined.

George McGovern’s Advice To President Obama: Worth Considering And Pursuing!

Former Senator and 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee George McGovern, now 89, has just published a “Letter To President Obama” in the September issue of Harper’s Magazine, and what he wrote deserves our and the President’s attention.

McGovern, much loved by those who supported him 40 years ago, including this author, said that President Obama has faced greater economic challenge but also greater attacks from the opposing party than anyone since Franklin D. Roosevelt.

McGovern said Obama should pursue the following ideas:

1. Withdraw from Afghanistan over the next year, as no one has ever been able to overcome that nation in war, and it would save a trillion dollars or more over time.

2. Withdraw most of our troops from overseas commitments, as it is no longer necessary in the modern world to have so many troops overseas, and it would save trillions of dollars.

3. Withdraw our troops from the Islamic nations, as they see our military presence as a sign of American and Christian imperialism over their holy lands and territories.

4. Find ways to cut the defense budget over time, by getting rid of unnecessary missile systems and the returning of troops to America, with the amount on defense being cut from the present $700 billion to $500 billion and eventually to $200 billion through the use of intelligence utilized by the Department of Homeland Security.

5. Tax the wealthy the way they used to be assessed, bringing in large amounts of additional revenue to the nation.

6. Spend money on health care through nationalizing Medicare for all; providing government supported educational opportunity for all at the college level; and building high speed rail systems that will lower the energy drain and the power of oil over our lives.

While it might be argued that there is no way to pursue all of these goals in the short run, it certainly is worth consideration, although in reality the accomplishment of much of this is hard to conceive in the present political climate.

However, there is a growing feeling in this country, and even in the Republican Party, that our overseas commitments MUST be cut as we can no longer afford the kind of financial burden that we are dealing with at this time in our history.

Much of our focus must be on improving our own country which is in dire need of domestic investment at this time, and cutting of foreign commitments as long as we have good intelligence gathering, excellent military special forces, and the ability to use drones and other technology to fight the enemies we have in this world!

Reality: Bin Laden Won In Goal To Bankrupt America By The War On Terror!

As we celebrate the demise of Osama Bin Laden, we must remember that his major goal was not to count the number of people killed over time, but rather to divide us, make us paranoid, and cause us to spend trillions in reaction to September 11.

That is precisely what has happened, with our defense budget doubled since 2001, and with a tremendous investment in national security, including a new cabinet agency, the Department of Homeland Security.

This is money that could have been used to improve our infrastructure, our health care, our education, our environment, and so many other domestic needs!

The median income has declined five percent since 2001, and the country is much worse off economically, as we battle over the national debt and the deficit, after such a heavy public investment in reaction to Osama Bin Laden.

So while we may have finally killed Bin Laden, he could enjoy the past ten years of his life knowing that he had bankrupted us, spending ourselves into oblivion!

We must start to plan the future, and that includes a realistic look at our role in the world after Osama Bin Laden!