Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Getting It From Both Sides

Trey Smith


When I write or talk about my opposition to the military-industrial complex, in general, and Obama's drone war, in specific, I get blasted from both conservatives and liberals. Though their viewpoints and analyzes are different, they both tend to see me as some type of outlandish idealist who can't come to grips with the realities of the modern world.

Conservatives, like one of my sister-in-laws, are pro-military, pro-US to unbelievable levels. In their eyes, we have the God-directed right to do whatever the hell we want to do in the world. If we attack some group in another country, it IS the right thing to do. If our government decides that someone is a "terrorist," then that individual IS a terrorist and no discussion can be had. If we happen to kill many women and children in a drone strike, it means that they WERE guilty of no good.

When I happen to get into a political discussion with this sister-in-law -- something I try to avoid at all costs -- she often says that people like me would do away with the military altogether which would lead to the US being overrun by our "enemies." People like me would lead to the downfall of this great nation, the "greatest nation on the face of the earth."

To set the record straight, I understand that all modern nations need to have armed forces. The US would become a sitting duck with a large target on her back if we disbanded our military. However, just because we need to have DEFENSE forces, this does not mean that we should be an OFFENSIVE nation. That, in a nutshell, is my central critique.

It is because of the inherent nature of our offensiveness that we spend more on our military-industrial complex than the next 13 countries combined! When you spend that kind of money, you want to play with your toys. When we play with our toys, it means death and destruction to people in faraway lands.

If there was truth in advertising, we don't have a Department of Defense. If we called it what it truly is, then we would refer to it as the Department of War. Our chief aim isn't to make the world safe -- it's to terrorize anyone who doesn't fall into line with what WE want (and "we" means our corporate and political leaders).

Liberals castigate me as well. While many privately agree with my overall assessment, you will find few of them who will say so publicly. The reason for this is because their guy is in the White House. As long as their guy sits at the head of the table, anything goes. He can behave like a dictator and you won't hear as much as a whimper.

These Democrats tell me that I must support the President, lest I provide aid and comfort to this nation's truest enemies: conservatives! Every critique of Obama from the Left emboldens the Right. So, even though he consistently thumbs his nose at progressive values, I should be cheering his every move.

Poppycock!

I don't care who the president is or what party he/she represents. If voters had elected a Green Party or Socialist Party president and he/she was following the same course as Obama, I would be just as loud and forthwith as I am now. In fact, I would yell even louder because it would be obvious that this leader had turned his/her back on the ideals of the people who elected him/her.

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