By David Swanson
The New York Times has posted seven super-short columns on how to cut the
Seeking to dominate the entire planet by force is a losing proposition, but it isn't challenged in the New York Times' columns. In fact, the case for even teeny cuts to the military isn't so much made as assumed, as is the case for ending current wars. But the possible need for future wars is simply accepted, and the damage the wars do -- outside of budgetary concerns -- is either avoided entirely or reduced to purely U.S. terms
"[T]he lethality of the World War I battlefield -- a war in which we sustained 310,000 casualties in less than six months -- was far greater than anything we've witnessed over the last 10 years in Iraq or Afghanistan."
Tell that to 1.3 million dead Iraqis. The New York Times is teaching the xenophobia and militarism that causes the military spending and wars, while supposedly "debating" how to cut the military.
It is impossible to tell from these seven tiny columns how much military spending the authors want to cut. The President of the
"[We should] lower the current 10-year defense plan by 15 percent, contributing a trillion dollars to deficit reduction and leaving in place a globally operating, dominant military capability."
But a trillion dollars over 10 years is only $100 billion per year, and cutting $100 billion from a military budget that the Pentagon is dreaming of for 10 years from now is relative to that dream. It's also beyond the terms of any current elected officials. Not a single one of the seven Times columnists began to address how current elected officials might be persuaded to cut anything out of the Pentagon.
The second columnist proposed a similar level of cuts, to begin in four years
The third columnist actually argued against a particular kind of cut, without arguing in favor of cutting anything else
The fourth columnist dreams of even smaller reform
The fifth aims a little higher
The sixth seems -- again, depending on exactly what we're talking about cutting -- to aim significantly higher still
But the seventh strives to underwhelm them all
We are talking about a government department that "misplaces" over $30 billion annually. We are talking about a war machine that is itself, as Eisenhower warned, a major motivator of the wars we so casually and tangentially "regret." We are talking about, or failing to talk about, a war machine that attempts domination of the surface of the earth, outerspace, cyberspace, and the space between our ears. The New York Times hopes to remain a significant cog in that machine while discussing little tweaks to it.
Instead, the whole thing needs to be undone.
David Swanson is the author of "War Is A Lie"