A blog I follow, http://theethicalwarrior.wordpress.com , and which I highly recommend to anyone who appreciates deep questions, and well-written thoughts, recently featured an excellent post which I felt compelled to reply to.  The post concerned the fiscal nightmare currently plaguing not only the US, but the entire world, and the curious reluctance of either party, or either candidate, to address it openly.  The post laid out a large number of generally unknown to the public at large, but easily verifiable, facts regarding the deficit and the state of our blighted economy.  Here are the last two paragraphs of the post:

“The bottom line is that the government wants to hide how bad things really are.  Sure, Obama is politically motivated to suppress the truth – he has an election to win.  However, this problem has been around for a while.  President Clinton left office with a surplus so just how could things have gotten so bad so fast?

So there you have it – political intrigue, government bailouts to corrupt financial institutions, including foreign banks, and a cast of characters worthy of an Agatha Christie novel.  It’s a $200 trillion secret that they don’t want you to know about… but, of course, now you know.” ~ chicagoja , http://theethicalwarrior.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/the-200-trillion-secret/

This was my reply:

‘All of what you say is very true, but your last question isn’t really all that mysterious: Two decade long wars were launched under Bush, one of them with nearly completely fabricated pretexts … the wars were fought with very high tech weapons in enormous numbers (TLAM missiles are very costly, and getting a platform in place to deliver them, such as a sub, a B-2, or a variety of surface warships) is a pretty darned expensive endeavor. Add the fact that nearly ALL of the troops deployed have not been regular Army, Air Force, or Marine units, but National guard, which are FAR more expensive to deploy: not only is it expensive to Federalize and train them up for a combat tour, but it’s tough on the businesses back home that the soldiers work for: these companies are obliged to hold their positions open, so they either A) have to hire a temp to do the work, or B) have to shift the load onto another employee. When those troops get home, they have injuries to be taken care of, and after a decade and 3, 4, or 5 combat deployments each, they increasingly have need of psychological and psychiatric care.

Add to all that cost, the cost of some pretty darned hefty tax cuts for big corporations, and the loss of Clinton’s surplus is not only understandable, but inevitable. The Bailouts were of questionable use, and the loss of productivity caused by displaced workers, and downsized companies just added to an already miserable situation!

I’m not really savvy on economics, and I’m ill qualified to judge how well Obama has performed in this area, compared to how another might have done, whether Republican or Democrat, but my gut tells me it’s unfair to expect ANY President of either Party to fix in three and a half years a mess that took eight to get us into …

It’s also my personal opinion that the Republican Party that got us into this situation, and which, in Mitt Romney’s various gaffes seems to have little interest in looking out for the middle class, would be very unlikely to improve matters if voted into Office.

I work at the University of Mississippi, where the first debate of the LAST Presidential race was held, between McCain and Obama, and there was another Elephant in the room on that occasion that infuriated me: The lack of a clearly defined mission for either of the two wars that were launched!

I am, among other things, a former Air Force Officer. The Military Doctrine of the Armed Forces of the United States is laid out VERY clearly, and every single Officer is required to study it. The very first thing in that doctrine is the concept of MISSION. Paraphrasing the rather stilted language of the regulation, every military action, of whatever size or scope, from a raid, to a war, needs a clearly defined, realistically attainable MISSION.

It’s the thing Officers can tell 18 year-old Kids “Look, this is what we’re here to do … THIS is why it’s important enough to ask you to lay down your life, if need be, to achieve it … and THIS is what must be accomplished in order to claim victory and go home …”

Neither of the wars still being fought had a real mission. It wasn’t killing Hussein or Bin Laden: we DID those things, and the wars still go on!

You see, without that mission, there’s no end to the spending. No end to the suffering. No end to the trauma of warfare. No end to uncertainty, to marital stress, to worries over whether you’ll still be able to do your job when you get home. We learn this in Viet Nam. Maybe Obama wasn’t aware of it, but McCain damned well certainly was! And no one said a word. No one mentioned that the congress of the United States DIDN’T vote for a Declaration of War. No one mentioned, until FAR too late, that the Bush administration pressured the CIA to show evidence of WMDs that weren’t actually there. And no one mentioned the fact that an Urban war in Iraq and a war in the mountains of Afghanistan, are about the most foolish and expensive and impossible to win scenarios that we’ve faced, since Viet Nam.

The result of all this was inevitable, and goes FAR beyond the economic chaos which you rightly point out as being a greater threat to our nation and way of life than Terrorism: remember the end of Viet Nam? after a decade of horrendous fighting with no end in sight, soldiers began going nuts. Officers were Fragged. Civilians were slaughtered in pure fits of frustration. Remember Lt. Calley?

It’s all happening again, and for the same reasons. Massacres. Murders. Drug abuse. Suicides. It is a fact, according to the Pentagon, that more military members died in the past year of SUICIDE than did from enemy action.

The Republicans were responsible for that. I may not know economics, but I’m an expert in military matters: I will never, ever, again, give my vote to the people that wrought this nightmare!

Forgive me, sir, for taking up so much space on your blog! I didn’t intend the rant to be this long, and I’ll fully understand if you choose to remove it! ‘

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~ by dourscot on October 19, 2012.

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