Another war worthless

Published 10:22 am Friday, March 20, 2015

If you will find yourself soon wondering why your Medicare is under attack and your Social Security is underfunded that question will be answered by the currently proposed Republican House of Representatives budget.

In that budget the House allocates a $94 billion contingency funding for U.S. overseas military expenses while partially privatizing Medicare and failing to increase funding for Social Security.

If you wonder why we might need nearly $100 additional billion to spend in unspecified overseas military operations, look no farther than the narratives being developed and advanced about the threats posed to U.S. security by Iran and ISIS.

Email newsletter signup

After two Middle East wars of questionable outcomes for the U.S., the American public is war weary. But, even while our troops remain in Afghanistan esisting withdrawal another year, the drums of war are sounding in several political corners of the American political scene.

The 47 Republican senators did their best to undermine discussions aimed at a peaceful solution to Iran’s development of nuclear technology. Several other Republicans have gone farther in the newest march to war. Mark Levine, right wing commentator and radio talk show host, has argued that the U.S. should have (and presumably should still) invaded Iran instead of Iraq. Representative Duncan Hunter has offered that if the U.S. does attack Iran we should use tactical nuclear weapons in the attack. Sen. John McCain argues that if Israel thinks an Iranian attack is a good idea, we should trust Israel’s judgement (2012).

Given these thinly veiled intentions to go to war in Iran one would think the justification to war would be about the security of America and Americans. Yet Iran poses no threat to America now or in any foreseeable future.

An Iranian attack upon America with nuclear weapons, which they do not possess is simply not possible. And should Iran acquire such weaponry they do not possess the missile technology to reach the U.S. Even should they possess both nuclear weapons and delivery technology at some point in the future, to attack the U.S. would be not unlike imagining a herd of deer attacking a pride of lions. It is a senseless proposition that Iran poses a threat to U.S. security and therefore justifies increased military funding to protect us from this imaginary threat.

In a similar vein, Mitt Romney, John McCain and Lindsey Graham all argue for “boots on the ground” to fight ISIS. Were these esteemed individuals off planet when we had boots on the ground the last decade in the Middle East with little or no successful outcomes?

Again the argument should be that such decisions to commit the lives of our young and brave men and women would be the security of the United States. Yet ISIS poses exactly the same threat that every terrorist since the 1980s has posed to the U.S., an attack against innocent Americans in a public place.

But that problem has been best addressed by policing and sharing Intel with allies, with an outcome of no terrorist attacks in the U.S. since 9/11. Boots on the ground would offer nothing in terms of protection against terrorism in the U.S.

The problem is that in America today there is a never-ending group of leaders interested in perennial war, an idea justifying the nation spending nearly 47 percent of worldwide military expenses annually. And even that is not enough as the Republican Congress seeks to set aside another $94 billion just in case we can attack someone somewhere.

Will we watch Social Security fall to underfunding and Medicare, the only insurance for older Americans, suffer in their ability to meet their needs so those among us who seek war at any reason can be satisfied?

We should reject the Republican priorities forcefully.


Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.