Monday, April 30, 2007

When you're an admirer of an empire addicted to power...

columns such as this one make perfect sense. Otherwise, one might ask, what in the hell is the point? It doesn't even take much more than a cursory look at the last nearly 230 years of US history to realize that this nation has not been at peace ever in its entire history. That constant drive to expand by any means necessary and no matter what the cost (in both material and human terms) is bound to have created more than enough friction with those who have ended up in the line of fire. Continuing down the same path will not decrease that friction but rather will only serve to maintain and/or increase that friction. The last several years should have set that point in sharp relief against the backdrop of the fantasy of America as "gentle giant" intent on making the world a better place.

If the spilled blood isn't enough to sway an American these days, how about the financial costs of increasing the size of the military? Where is the money going to come from? The US runs both budget and trade deficits. Aside from the banking industry's exotic financing products, does the US actually produce anything any more? A bit hyperbolic perhaps, but let's face it, this is an empire dependent upon the kindness of strangers who are less and less eager to be kind. Would the US elites be willing to accept higher tax rates in order to finance an army? Doubtful. Will the burden of paying both in taxes and blood be placed increasingly on the shoulders of US workers? Bet on it. Maybe the continued onslaught of bread and circuses will keep us from noticing that we're being ripped off or notice the stench of rotting corpses from too many goddamned wars to count.

How about some sanity? We really don't need 700 military bases, nor do we need to keep massacring whole nations under the pretense of making the world safe for democracy. How about actually living within our means rather than acting as if we can forcibly extract resources and goods from others indefinitely. Now there's a concept.

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