Thursday, March 14, 2013

Come Home, America

Everyone talks about getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan. But what about Germany and Japan where our military has been in force since the 1940s? Now, Secretary of State John Kerry is expanding American military roles in Syria and Africa. The sequester-cuts our budget by $85 billion, half of which comes from the Pentagon. Why are we still fighting World War II? Why is the US military budget as large as that of all other nations combined? Meanwhile we invented the practice of foreign aid beginning with the Marshall Plan and continuing by stationing troops, military supplies, and military bases in every country that will allow us. Our sainted forefathers who wrote our admired Constitution warned us against foreign military intervention as diversionary from constructing a fair and prosperous society of Americans with liberty and justice for all. George Washington, first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen warned of foreign entanglements. John Quincy Adams, the much admired Secretary of State told nation not to go abroad “seeking monsters to destroy”, avoiding the temptations of empire. Our natural tendency is to emphasize the political and economic gains, peaceful arbitration of international conflict and transparency in trade and business. Our current wars rely on our large permanent bases, now accepted as the way to keep America safe, wars that now virtually encompass the entire globe, surely every continent as we absorb the cost of policing the world without the allies who ought to be pulling their share of the human and financial cost. Sharing the burden of our common security is the least we can ask. More important by far is the development of a workable system for security based on military disarmament. There is no other way of securing human survival in the wake of the explosion of military invention initiated and led by the US.

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