Kill the Globo Cop Biz Before it Kills the USA
by David H. Hackworth
The Christmas season's here once more. But for thousands of our defenders, the
holidays are resounding with tramping boots in foreign lands rather than yuletide
caroling at home.
Once again our warriors are deployed around the globe, fighting in dangerous places
and continuing to defend other people's turf for reasons that don't always compute.
Since I was a kid, the sound of American boots marching off to war has come to
seem as inevitable to the young men of this nation -- and now, unfortunately,
to the young women as well -- as spring rain.
First there was World War II, a just war against totalitarian monsters in which
-- as with today's terrorist crazies -- we had to either whip 'em or wind up suffering
the terrible consequences.
But once the Axis was put down in 1945, America became the self-appointed guardian
of Western civilization, and Johnny didn't come marching home. Like the Romans
and Brits before us, we began setting up outposts around the world without any
mind of the burden or the cost.
This long occupation has been intermittently interrupted by the occasional hot
war, as with Korea -- another just conflict that certainly was in our national
interests -- or Vietnam -- where we had no reason for going except the greed of
the war profiteers.
More tramp, tramp, tramping of American boots was heard after Vietnam, first in
Lebanon, then Grenada and Panama, followed by Kuwait and Iraq, Somalia and Haiti
and Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia. Few of these operations had anything to do with
our national security, but all have been big winners when it comes to the bottom
lines of the companies and individuals that make up the military-industrial-congressional
complex. Special kudos should go here to the hard-lobbying oil cartel, which continues
to make sure our way of life includes bigger and better gas-guzzling SUVs. Defending
those far-flung oil fields keeps ratcheting up the goodies -- troops, toys and
dollars -- in the game.
Not only have the past six decades of hot- and cold-war bucks been finger-lickin'
good for the game's insiders who slip back and forth between government and business,
they have also motivated a lot of fanatics around the world to hate all things
American. And now many of these scary types are willing to kamikaze planes into
buildings on Main Street USA or drive explosive-laden trucks into our facilities
in other countries where we probably shouldn't be.
We maintain about 100,000 military personnel in both Europe and Asia -- where
many of the locals want us gone yesterday -- at a cost of billions of dollars
per year. The locals rightly say that we've overstayed our mission, which ended
when another empire, the Soviet Union, bellied up and followed the path of the
Romans and the Brits into history's dustbin. So it doesn't make a lick of military
sense. Not only are these people more than capable of defending themselves against
now mainly nonexistent threats, the average Hans and Kim are chanting, "Yankee
Look at Europe, which we've defended with our blood and dollars since before we
got stuck into both World Wars. After madmen clobbered the USA on Sept. 11, our
so-called friends there couldn't wait to criticize us for punching out the perps,
and now they're offering little help in this critical fight. If the twin towers
had been the Eiffel Tower and we didn't rush to the rescue, the French would be
demanding we return the Statue of Liberty!
Sure we need a strong military ready to defend America, but we need one that --
as opposed to the Roman, Brit and Soviet models -- follows the wise guidance of
our Founding Fathers when they said that we shouldn't do a Pax Americana and stick
our nose in other folks' dealings.
As we celebrate peace and good will on Earth, we must examine each overseas commitment
and ask: Does this mission have the moral right? Is it in our national interest?
And is it a militarily imperative or just a good deal to make the MICC's cash
The arms biz is where, sadly, we lead the world by a factor of four in ventures
that more than often have little to do with peace or good will.
http://www.hackworth.com is the address of David Hackworth's home page. Sign
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(c) 2001 David H. Hackworth
Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.