Romney and the Eternal Warfare State

Romney pledges to get serious about cutting federal spending but at the same time he promises to “reverse irresponsible Obama-era defense cuts.”

So far, these cuts have amounted to 2% of the defense budget if we adjust for inflation and, not adjusting for inflation, the defense budget has increased every year of Obama’s term. Additionally, under Obama’s proposals spending would have increased in real terms but only through spending freezes enacted by Congress has the negligible 2% cuts taken place. Obama does intend to decrease military spending in the future by 8% over ten years. However, this is still a small cut over a decade-long time period in which Obama won’t even be president for most of that span.

So what’s Romney’s plan? Create a defense spending floor of 4% of the GDP. This constitutes a massive increase in military spending. Keep in mind that Romney wants to cap all federal spending at 20% GDP, meaning that, at the bare minimum, military “defense” spending is obligated to constitute 20% of all federal spending no matter what. Spending amounted to 24.3% of GDP last year. Romney’s plan seems to be to cut “spending” without touching any of our biggest expenditures: Social Security, Welfare, Medicare, and Medicaid. In fact, Romney’s biggest cut would be Obamacare, about 95 billion. Romney’s plan to increases military spending dwarfs Obamacare – to say nothing of the 2010 $700 billion Wall Street bailout which Romney thought was the “right thing to do”.

Romney’s promises to reduce our escalating debt and return us to fiscal responsibility are empty. He will do no such thing. So when Romney states, “Getting our fiscal house in order has become more than just an economic issue; it’s a moral imperative. Every dollar of deficit spending must be borrowed, with the bill sent to our children to pay back. As president, Mitt Romney will ask a simple question about every federal program: is it so important, so critical, that it is worth borrowing money from China to pay for it?” That’s just rhetoric. That should really come as no surprise since Romney believes that cutting spending, paying off our debt and returning that money to the American people causes depressions.

What we can expect from Mitt Romney is an eternal warfare state with a bloated military budget that the Pentagon will have to perpetually justify if they want to keep their funding. We already have 700 – 1000 military bases around the world, we have been in a constant state of war in the Middle East for well over a decade and, prior to Romney’s spending increase, nearly half of worldwide military spending comes from the US with second place going to China with a budget only 1/6 the size of ours.

With the incentive of even more money thrown at the problem we can expect even more aggressive military interventionism, sinking us into greater debt, with more war, more US casualties and the propagation of anti-America sentiments as we get even more involved and use even more force around the world in places where we’re not wanted.

We’re not fighting Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia any more. We’re fighting ragtag terrorists with no nation and no center of command. We cannot win with tanks or nuclear submarines or fighter jets that can land vertically. Bloated budgets and aggressive interventionist foreign policy are terrorists’ greatest ally: millions of otherwise ordinary Arabs hate us because of what we’ve done in the Middle East making us the best recruitment campaign the terrorists ever had.

If we want to beat the terrorists we will do so through discretion and cunning. If we want to help our friends in the military-industrial complex we can do so by making sure we have a constant supply of enemies to fight – and we can do that by increasing out “defense” capabilities so as to constantly meddle with the affairs of every country in the Middle East from now until Hell freezes over.

Republicans talk endlessly about how we need to have an active presence in the world. They are right, but that presence should not be defined by how many people we kill or by how many countries we occupy. Instead of responding to every whim with deadly force or the threat of deadly force, we need to bring our military home to defend our own borders and in its place open up free trade and diplomacy. That’s how you make allies. That’s how you foster peace. That’s how you change hearts and minds. Because no military can kill hate; guns and killing only perpetuate it. You kill hate by finding solidarity.


The Fabricated Threat of Iran

Russia Today sums up the American political climate concerning Iran:

“Iran could attack the United States in a much more fearsome way,” claims CNN. “We have to assume that Hezbollah would be the proxy for Iran and could well carry out the attack,” it specifies.

“Some believe that New York could eventually be on Iran’s hit list,” Fox News scares.

The American media might be exaggerating the Iranian threat as the US military officials say the contrary.

US intelligence, personified by Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess, officially states that Iranian attack on America is unlikely, saying “The agency assesses that Iran is unlikely to initiate or intentionally provoke a conflict” – unless the US attacks first, the general adds.

Moreover, America’s intelligence community hasruled out allegations that Iran is creating a nuclear bomb a long time ago. The Los Angeles Times reports that 16 special service agencies have all reached the same conclusion.

Sasan Fayazmanesh, from California State University, says similar reports a few years ago were ignored by Washington, because they did not sit well with its ultimate goal in Iran.

“It is an issue of regime change. The National Intelligence Estimate is many years old, it’s first came up in 2007, […] it judged with high confidence that as of fall 2003 Iran has halted its nuclear weapons program,”

he said.

“Nevertheless, when it first came out during the Bush administration, they’ve dismissed [it], obviously the Obama administration is not going by this report either.”

Actually, the US has had a political quarrel with Israel over Iran. Tel Aviv openly demands Washington support and participate in a military attack on Iranian nuclear objects, while the Obama administration has been reluctant on any military action against Iran, hoping sanctions and strong wording will do the same job.

US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey called the idea of an air strike on Iran “foolish”, “destabilizing” and “not prudent.”

For his intractability the general was ostracized by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who accused Dempsey of “serving the Iranians.”

However fantastic it might sound, two US Senators, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, sided with Netanyahu against the top brass of their own army.

The layout appears to be intriguing. The US government at the moment does not support a military operation against Iran. The US Army intelligence dissuades from harsh actions against the Islamic Republic.

But the US mass media and some agenda-driven lawmakers apparently know better what is good for America, and are actively sculpting an enemy image of the Tehran regime.

Both our military leaders and our intelligence agencies have repeatedly made it quite clear that there is a blatant lack of evidence that Iran poses any real threat to our national security. Yet, the mainstream media continues to whip up hysteria and politicians in Washington continue their call-to-arms – labeling Iran enemy #1 and demanding US military aggression against the Islamic Republic. My question to the citizens of America is this: whose claims should you allow to mold your views on American foreign policy and Iran? The US military’s top officials and intelligence agencies who have the authority and expertise to make statements regarding threats to our national defense and defensive strategies? Or armchair generals in Washington and the mass media who make decisions based on amassing votes and special-interest support and  keeping their ratings high?

Iran Won’t Attack Says US Intelligence

Turns out that, according to US military intelligence, Iran will not attack us first. If there is to be an Iran-US war then our own intelligence believes that it will be us who initiates it – and with politicians like Gingrich and Santorum vowing to dismantle Iran’s nuclear program via any option necessary such a preemptive war on the part of the US does not seem unlikely.

However, conservative Catholics must accept that if our best intelligence views the likelihood of Iranian aggression as unlikely then we have no grounds upon which to justify any military action whatsoever as defensive without the threat of attack and therefore cannot abide by just war doctrine and attack Iran at the same time.

On the other hand, preemptive strikes against Iran will surely result in a war with foreseeably terrible consequences such as the closing of the Strait of Hormuz,  missile strikes against US targets and our allies, possible terrorist mobilization, even nuclear launches if Iran were to have that technology. Not to mention that both China and Russia have pledged their support for Iran.

Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization states “What we are witnessing here is a build-up towards a military confrontation. These sanctions constitute the staging of a military agenda. In turn, we have massive deployment of US military hardware, troops going to Israel to be stationed in Israel, more troops go to Kuwait, [American] naval forces are entering the Persian Gulf.” Michel Chossudovsky continues, “This war has already started. There are drone attacks, there are special [American] forces inside Iran and there is financial warfare. The WWIII scenario is unthinkable. This war would extend from the Mediterranean to the Chinese border. It could possibly include Russia and China. We could find ourselves at a very critical crossroads.”