Stop Asking Why


Muslim whackos want to kill you. Does it really matter why?


Decide which gun you want to kill little Jewish children with when you grow up, son! AK47... When you absolutely, positively have to kill every Jew on the school bus! That's right, son, aim for the little Jewish girl's head! Daddy said I can wear real dynamite and blow up a restaurant full of Jews when I turn 12! Stop crying, son!  I'll get you a real automatic weapon to kill Jews with soon!
What kind of people teach their children how to kill other children?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The biggest mistake in US history

Quick - what's the primary purpose of any national government? Tick, tick, tick. Time's up. If you didn't instantly snap out the answer - defense of the citizens - you're not alone. It's a testament to how far America has strayed from this core concept that many people now believe government exists to provide what are in reality secondary services: an economic safety net, roads, education, health care, etc. What good are any of those things if your property, your freedom, your very existence are not being defended?

It's a simple concept, and it's been more or less entirely ignored since the end of the Cold War. It's not a political thing, either. Republican George HW Bush actually started the major draw-down of US military personnel, equipment, and munitions in the early 1990s when the Soviet Union collapsed. Clinton continued it, of course. And George W Bush surely would have continued the trend absent the attacks on 9/11/01.

When both parties' leaders do the same thing, it indicates that the majority of citizens are fine with the policy. When the Cold War was won after nearly 40 years of living with the constant fear of nuclear annihilation, it's perhaps not surprising that the nation let out its collective breath and turned its attention to less weighty issues. While that might have been the 'human' thing to do, it was also the irresponsible thing to do. We got away with taking our eye off the defense ball for about 10 years. Then our attention got snapped back to what truly matters in the span of about 2 hours one morning in September, 2001.

But the damage had been done, and inertia is very difficult to change on such a massive scale. The huge military machine we'd built during the Cold War (and, thankfully, never had to use), was finally needed, but didn't exist any longer by 2001. The nation was getting richer every year, but the military was shrinking every year (or at least, not growing to keep pace).

All of which brings us to our precarious situation today. We're bogged down in Iraq. Even sycophantic apologists for the current administration's actions have to grudgingly admit it. Bogged down = not being able to win decisively and/or not being able extricate yourself without being seen as running away. That's where we are today; no sense denying it simply because we wish it wasn't so.

As if the situation in Iraq wasn't bad enough, a confrontation with Iran is surely coming. And a good portion of the blame for Iran's leadership feeling bold enough to flex a little military muscle belongs squarely on the backs of.... us. Yes, us. We let our guard down after the Cold War ended. We gave our leaders every reason to believe we backed a military draw-down so more money could be spent on all of those secondary priorities mentioned earlier.

Meanwhile, the new threat, which is in many ways more dangerous than the USSR ever was, has grown and blossomed. The Islamo-Fascists sense American weakness. We're viewed as a 'paper tiger' superpower. Still strong, but beatable if played correctly. And they're right. No sense in sugar coating reality. We do not have the military might of, say, America circa 1985. In fact, we're woefully underequipped and undermanned for this war. And it is a war. World War III. No one should harbor any illusions about that fact.

How did we get the point where we can't even seriously contemplate full-scale war in Iraq and one other country (Iran)? During the height of the Cold War, we could easily have fought both battles and still kept the Soviets unsure of our remaining reserves. Now we can't field even 200,000 battle troops without stressing the military to its limits. Or so the world believes, and perception is 99% of what matters in this realm.

So there you have it. We are where we are today because we all took our eye off the ball when the Cold War ended. We forgot (or ignored) the most basic reason why people form nations in the first place - collective defense. It's to our eternal shame that we have squandered the trillions of dollars our economy pumps annually. That we no longer have a military machine that strikes abject fear into the hearts of any potential enemy is inexcusable, given our resources.

It's the single biggest mistake in US history. And it's our fault.

2 Comments:

  • At 4:03 PM, Blogger yournamehere said…

    I always thought nations were formed so they could field curling teams at the Olympics.

     
  • At 4:19 PM, Blogger Steve Harkonnen said…

    I believe that the underlying problem is because our administrations, no matter if it's a liberal or a conservative in power, they are all still in the old cold war mindset. Our government badly needs to abandon our old ways of thought and ideologies. We're facing a totally new and entirely different enemy and we need to combat it in most unconventional methods.

    Good blog, please stop by mine sometime.

     

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