2010 February 07 Sunday
Obama Continues War Hawk Military Spending
Republican war hawk Obama continues the military adventure spending of his war hawk predecessor.
WASHINGTON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday proposed another two years of hefty spending in Iraq and Afghanistan, seeking Congress' approval for about $160 billion this year and again in fiscal 2011 to pay war costs.
Obama's big restraint has been to cut back from fellow Republican war hawk Bush's $185 billion for 2008 and $171 billion for 2007.
If you are in the war hawk camp you can relax. Don't worry. Even a $1.6 trillion deficit doesn't provide enough pressure to make a substantial reduction in US military interventions.
The US is overextended in many ways. We have an unsustainable budget deficit, an unsustainable trade deficit, and large unfunded liabilities for old age benefits. Ultimately health care costs will rein in military spending and Peak Oil will force big cuts in health care. But the party continues for now.
Our military power is currently so awesome, no one can really make us pay our debt back. There is no debt-collecting-muscle-repo-man on earth who can make the USA pay up. The USA reminds me of Ghengis Khan's Mongolian hordes, awesome military, but weak economy. Its also reminiscent of Spain before the Armada was sunk. Its wealth in overpriced real estate and "markets" consisting of pieces of paper telling the owner he owns "shares" of large companies or "shares" of a lot of other people's mortgages, to be paid back at a rate that barely beats inflation. We need to re-industrialize and make real tangible-taxable weatlh again, and to make our own energy (nuclear plants), but I think our leadership is too beholden to campaign donations from entities that prefer the status quo to do either, and our elites are really enjoying decimating the middle-class (their true enemy**) to stop.
**True enemy- the group that you feel is the biggest PERSONAL threat to you socially, economcially, and reproductively. The cartoon's "sheepdog and coyote". Our elite hate the middle class IMO because they are potential social threats. Little chubby brown men and offshored-wage-slaves are not social threats, are not here in their faces, and aren't good-looking people, and hence no social threat. To a liberal who just hates the west, the middle class is another kind of social threat, a culture-social threat in a war the liberal desperately wants to win. The middle-class is churchgoing and monogamous and has replacement fertility. All these things keep the culture from becoming the libertine-national-San Fransisco the liberal dreams of. The middle class therefore has large forces in both parties arrayed against it.
I doubt the US is going to go down without a fight. A powerful military combined with a poor economy is a recipe for war.
I think his hawkishness is one element of his presidency which is perhaps to my mind at least moderately surprising given his pre-election stances and the general expectations. The continuation of Robert Gates showed that right from the start that continuity rather than revolution was going to be the order of the day.
Although cutting defense spending is not without considerable political risk (i.e. a carter/making america unsafe/weak label) I think that if he had truly wanted to he could have done more to reduce spending (particularly on capital projects) and to reduce America's on the ground presence in Iraq and Afghanistan et al. The fact that he hasn't done so suggests that he is a politician first and foremost and that he's not really a pacifist. Makes me wonder if the last laugh might not be on the Nobel committee.
"I think his hawkishness is one element of his presidency which is perhaps to my mind at least moderately surprising given his pre-election stances and the general expectations. The continuation of Robert Gates showed that right from the start that continuity rather than revolution was going to be the order of the day."
The reality is that he does not want to spend even one second on serious foreign policy matters, beyond opportunities to have foreigners cheer and clap for him. The only thing he cares about is "redistributing the wealth" of Americans and otherwise punishing us for our past sins.
It is also worthwhile to remember that these aren't really "wars" any more, they're basically peacekeeping missions.
...where peacekeeping mission equals occupation.
Randall. How much of a role does the Jewish lobby play in pushing these hawkish policies?
My gyess is that these guys (AIPAC, Likud, the neconservatives, etc.) are pretty influential due to
having the support of a lot of wealthy/powerful Jewish-American backers, but that there are other factors.
One would be the evangelical Christians. They tend to provide a lot of the foot soldiers to the pro-war movement,
with the Jewish lobby supplying the leadership and big donors. Another factor is the military-industrial-bueracrat
complex that profits all this overseas intervention and has an interest in it continuing.
Maybe you're right Bob. Now that you point that out, there doesn't seem to have been even one peace-loving U.S. president,regardless of how much they convince people of being pro-peace, during their campaigns.
So I rest my case.