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Old 10-09-2010, 10:41 AM
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One of the primary themes of the Tea Party folks is deficit spending, in fact government spending in general. a national debt nearing 100 percent of gross domestic product and a deficit of 10 percent of GDP. As to the cause of the deficit that could precipitate a run on the dollar, double-digit inflation, even a default, the Tea Party and GOP also agree — federal spending that consumes 25 percent of GDP. Both are also on the same page in their opposition to closing the deficit with new or higher taxes.[1] Not to mention the interest on the debt that must be paid or risk default, so the money has to come from somewhere.

There are two major sources of where this money is to be found, one being in social services, VA benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, education, Social Security and all the traditional areas where Democrats support. The other place to look for some cash is our military apparatus and costs to defend our empire.

Now here is where we will see just how principled the Tea Party movement really is.

If Obama makes good on his pledge of full withdrawal of the 50,000 U.S. troops in Iraq by the end of 2011, will the Tea Party and Republican right oppose that withdrawal and join the War Party in demanding that we retain an army in Iraq indefinitely?

If Obama refuses to go to war against Iran, a war that would send oil prices soaring, close the Persian Gulf and be a disaster for the global economy, will the Tea Party join the War Party in denouncing Obama for not launching a third war in the Near East?

If Obama begins his promised withdrawal from Afghanistan next July, will Tea Party Republicans join the War Party and the generals in accusing Obama of inviting an American defeat? The neoconservaitves are nervous the Tea Party may not sign up to soldier on for the empire. Writing in The Washington Post, Danielle Pletka and Thomas Donnelly of AEI have sniffed out the unmistakable scent of "isolationism" among Tea Party favorites.

I rather enjoyed that the American Conservative agrees with me that there is a distinction between national defense and defense of the empire. I mean we are still defending Europe from an enemy that collapsed 20 years ago. Even President Eisenhower told John F. Kennedy to bring the troops home from Europe and surely Eisenhower wasn't a closet isolationist.

The United States is now in its thirteenth straight year of uninterrupted growth in the defense budget, an unprecedented rise in spending that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has rightly termed a “gusher.” Yet even though we no longer face an enemy that is economically or technically on par with the US as was the former Soviet Union, we are still looking to fund massive top tier weapons systems that have little logical sense in todays environment.

Take the Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) a 13.2 billion dollar project for an amphibious assault vehicle. proponents suggest that since it allows Marines to be staged further off shore it adds to security and thus an added dimension to the Marines arsenal. Of course the United States hasn't engaged in any wide scale amphibious assault since the Korean War, nor does it take in account that modern anti-ship missiles have much greater range so thus offsetting the benefits of its range. This also doesn't include numerous design and systems failures during testing as well as an expected cost overrun of 168%!

We won't even bother discussing the 11 new 13.8 billion a piece aircraft carries the Navy wants, let alone the pet projects of the Airforce, Marines and Army.

What more pragmatic Presidents and national security experts have in the past noted was that national security is also heavily dependent upon our economic security. So what happens when our lust for high ticket, bloated, delayed and cost overran projects begins to have diminishing returns? Will we end up like the former Soviet Union, buying aircraft carriers while the people wait in bread lines?

For me, this is an issue which will define how principled the Tea Party movement is, or whether it is just another bought and paid for rage campaign.

(permission to reprint extended excerpt granted if provided the following link)
[1]Pat Buchanan The American Conservative » Tea Party vs. War Party
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Old 10-09-2010, 06:09 PM
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Tn, in terms of arms, my position is: its better to have it and don't need it, than need it and don't have it.

I'm definitely against the Iraq and Afghan wars as the Osama situation demanded a different set of instruments for the required operation.

Dumbya used a sledge hammer instead of a strategic, surgical scalpel.

I remember watching an interview when the war drums began their beat, that a general said something along the lines that: it would be unwise to use a conventional army suited to fight a conventional enemy nation against an opponent which is not a nation in the 1st place and definitely not conventional.

That Osama situation (which mysteriously has never been resolved) would perhaps be better suited by a better spy and intelligence network, black/special ops, etc.

You just don't wrecklessly throw trillions of taxpayer dollars and thousands of American lives away for your pet experiment projects for the fossil fuel cartel.

So I'm not against military intervention or having the mightiest weapons or the biggest budget per say, because better us than some other guy.

I'm against using the military to satisfy fossil fuel cartels that gouge us as a thank you for our sacrifices and crackpot politicians with an ideological axe to grind.

I think the problem with the fall of the Soviet Union is that maybe there was a loss of direction of what to do with the enormous military apparatus we built up during WWII and the Cold War.

I justifiably trash Dumbya a lot but methinks maybe he was on to something with wanting to colonize Mars and the rest of the solar system. Also Barry with wanting to divert resources to be able to deal with asteroids and stuff.

I think the best thing for our military (DARPA & NASA make a killer team) to do is to focus on developing alternative energy sources so we stop creating more suicide bombers trying to smoke us and to develop technologies and strategies to expand off the earth.

That's my 2 cents on the military.

Now for the other question, I think the cat who reintroduced the Tea Party for the 21st century, Ron Paul, teamed up with Barney Frank to craft strategies to make the military more efficient AND effective.

Not necessarily, weakening it, but making it stronger by cutting waste and excess. But this is only in regards to Ron Paul and his Tea Partiers.

The apocalyptic millennial, tea baggin', lunatic fringe cult of Beck won't be satisfied with anything less than a return to the Dark Ages.

The very question you pose would go over their heads, short circuit what little rationality they have left and lead them to label you a socialist nazi. I kid you not.

Last edited by kovert; 10-09-2010 at 06:18 PM..
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Old 10-09-2010, 06:17 PM
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Ron Paul is more radical and fringe than Glenn Beck.
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Old 10-09-2010, 06:31 PM
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Well there was an excellent piece in Newsweek recent and I think there was also one in The American Conservative in the same vein about Robert Gates "war on the pentagon". While not only were the big ticket items listed like the ones I offered, but Gates was digging much deeper and looking at how our military has become bloated over all. One of the things I noted was where he pointed out that back during WWII, a low level general or commander would have (for example) 5 aides that would buzz around collecting data, compiling information and organizing things. Today that number is like 20-25 and unlike the predecessors, they have modern computers and while granted the volumes of information today are far far greater, how many staff members does a general in peaceable areas need?

Here, just found the article so I'll post a link as it was a really good read and gave me an all new perspective on Gates.

A War Within
Robert Gates has one last, crucial mission before he leaves office, and it’s not in Afghanistan or Iraq. It’s in Washington—within the hallowed halls of the Pentagon.
What Gates Plans to Do Before He Leaves Office - Newsweek

There is a huge connection between our military expenditures, the cost of our occupations and over all empire and that of our economic health at home and that very few in contemporary media will even address, let alone in any great detail or frequency. So when I read your thread on fiscal conservatives being an endangered species, I can't help but agree. Defense is like some holy grail, or the virgin mother that people on the right will not under any circumstance even consider cutting. Its like their antithesis of taxes. In the cases of taxes, less is ALWAYS better and in the case of military expenditures, more is ALWAYS better, and when these two things come to divest from reality, doesn't seem to matter.

As you may know I was part of the Ron Paul campaign and have always admired the mans convictions, even if I don't agree with him wholly. I still remain a part of the Campaign for Liberty which started just post 08 election cycle, but I have to tell you, I'm disappointed in the direction the CFL has taken, in that it rarely points to the connection of cost to empire and our economic well being. This was something he did constantly during the election and it resonated with many people, myself included. I have written him on several occasions and have only gotten one response back, so I haven't given up entirely but I can only hope it gets back to the vein it was in back in 07.
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Old 10-09-2010, 06:49 PM
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Tn, I think our nation can walk and chew gum at the same time.

We can reduce waste and excess in our military to help make it stronger, efficient and more effective.

I agree that defense should not be thought of as a holy grail.

Like I said, I think we built up such a huge military juggernaut over the decades that once the major threats collapsed, we have had no idea of what to do with it.

And that is not the kind of beast that will just sit quietly and stand by idle.

I think our military needs direction.

In the past many kingdoms and empires would deal with the dangerous buildup of idle and aggressive energy by sending their forces out to conquest and colonize.

That's why I think a mission focused on developing alternative energies and space based activities could be a good channel for all that adventurous and aggressive energy.

I don't follow Ron Paul that much but I know he has also worked with Denny and Grayson on issues neither party has the guts to deal with.

Paul has also appeared on the Rachel Maddow show, enemy territory according to the Beckites.

There are probably a lot of things I would disagree with him philosophically, but he seems not to be an entirely disagreeable man.

This is an example site (http://www.gop.com/index.php/issues/accomplishment/ - broken link) of old school GOP accomplishments, most of which (pre-1994), the current freak show that have hijacked and marginalized the right wing, would consider the work of radical pinko, communists.

Those old school right wingers are the ones the country is sorely in need of.

I think you should keep making noise, because even if Paul isn't directly listening, at least you will have the ear of someone in his camp.

And you should keep posting here because having a rational conservative as a regular poster here is like having a pretty boy booty virgin in Sing Sing.

Basically, a miraculous, once in a lifetime event.

Last edited by kovert; 10-09-2010 at 07:00 PM..
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:05 PM
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Well one of Buchanan's points that I really took to heart is one I've often cited myself, and that is we need to distinguish between National Defense and Empire Defense. We are defending the relatively wealthy Europeans from an enemy that has all but collapsed 20 years ago and has since formed its own union. We have grown accustomed to transmuting the term "National Defense" into "National Interest" and right now, America's national interests are just about anything it lays its eyes on.

You will notice one thing you seldom hear from the establishment GOP is a great deal of criticism of Obama concerning the Middle East. Oddly, left met right in 08, and have walked through the sands of Afghanistan, hand in hand ever since. However this is just the state of things now, what about how things will look tomorrow, or a month from now or this time next year. Already this month there were 97,000+ new home foreclosures and jobless numbers are dismal, and the people are getting angry. At some point some hard choices are going to have to be made and we will see proof in the pudding with where the Tea Party and establishment GOP's principles lay.
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:23 AM
11,135 posts, read 13,698,516 times
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Originally Posted by kovert View Post

And you should keep posting here because having a rational conservative as a regular poster here is like having a pretty boy booty virgin in Sing Sing.

Basically, a miraculous, once in a lifetime event.
Ok, you're scaring me here man, thats quite the visual.

I meant to post you this link to an interview between Bill Moyers and Andrew Bacevich, who I cite often. Bacevich has some pretty substantial creds, a military background and is what I could call a very rational and traditional conservative.

(Prior consent to post in part or entirety from this interview given by Mr. Bacevich.)
Bill Moyers Journal . Transcripts | PBS
BILL MOYERS: So, this brings us to what you call the political crisis of America. And you say, "The actual system of government conceived by the framers no longer pertains." What pertains?

ANDREW BACEVICH: As the imperial presidency has accrued power, surrounding the imperial presidency has come to be this group of institutions called the National Security State. The CIA, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the other intelligence agencies. Now, these have grown since the end of World War Two into this mammoth enterprise.

But the National Security State doesn't work. The National Security State was not able to identify the 9/11 conspiracy. Was not able to deflect the attackers on 9/11. The National Security State was not able to plan intelligently for the Iraq War. Even if you think that the Iraq War was necessary. They were not able to put together an intelligent workable plan for that war.
BILL MOYERS: What do you value most?

ANDREW BACEVICH: Well, I think the clearest statement of what I value is found in the preamble to the Constitution. There is nothing in the preamble to the Constitution which defines the purpose of the United States of America as remaking the world in our image, which I view as a fool's errand. There is nothing in the preamble of the Constitution that ever imagined that we would embark upon an effort, as President Bush has defined it, to transform the Greater Middle East. This region of the world that incorporates something in order of 1.4 billion people.

I believe that the framers of the Constitution were primarily concerned with focusing on the way we live here, the way we order our affairs. To try to ensure that as individuals, we can have an opportunity to pursue our, perhaps, differing definitions of freedom, but also so that, as a community, we could live together in some kind of harmony. And that future generations would also be able to share in those same opportunities.

The big problem, it seems to me, with the current crisis in American foreign policy, is that unless we do change our ways, the likelihood that our children, our grandchildren, the next generation is going to enjoy the opportunities that we've had, is very slight, because we're squandering our power. We are squandering our wealth. In many respects, to the extent that we persist in our imperial delusions, we're also going to squander our freedom because imperial policies, which end up enhancing the authority of the imperial president, also end up providing imperial presidents with an opportunity to compromise freedom even here at home. And we've seen that since 9/11.
What is more is that Obama has slid right into George W Bush's shoes and its not because Obama thinks the same, but because those in the Pentagon and Joint Chiefs of staff that surround and advise this President are many of the same ones who advised the former.

So we arrive once again at the crossroads of actual principles. Will the Tea Party that often cites the US Constitution as the basis for much of its reasoning, endeavor to continue empire building that isn't even remotely addressed in the Constitution while our house remains in flames? Will it even consider that the problem exist?
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Old 10-10-2010, 08:27 AM
Location: Minnysoda
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Along with the Military\industrial complex perhaps we could save added billions by taking on the Narco\law-enforcement complex?
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Old 10-10-2010, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by my54ford View Post
Along with the Military\industrial complex perhaps we could save added billions by taking on the Narco\law-enforcement complex?
Absolutely! I heard an interesting term coined recently as the "Prison industrial complex" system in America. Odd thing too, how is it that companies like CCC private prison systems can show a profit but state and federal ran prisons cannot?
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Old 10-10-2010, 08:43 AM
Location: The Republic of Texas
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When Clinton castrated our military, Reagan had built to be the most powerful in the world, it only stands to reason, your going to get punched in the face and not be able to punch back and get a knockout every time, to end it quick.
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