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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/2/10

Your Choice America, War or Economic Survival; You Can't Have Both

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   9 comments
Message Michael Payne

Make your choice America and choose wisely because your decision will determine the ultimate fate of this nation. The choices are quite clear. We can choose the Washington Establishment's agenda of perpetual war or we can totally reject unnecessary wars and rebuild the economic foundation of America. There is only one choice; we cannot have it both ways.

By now every American should be well aware of the breadth and depth of our nation's economic crisis. We should also fully understand that our deep recession is not just the typical economic cycle; i.e., economic prosperity comes, it goes, and repeats again; we have highs and then lows. So, recessions come and go and they, typically, end after two or three years. Not this time, though; this time our economy lies in a comatose state and even the most respected economists can't begin to determine how or when it will, or even can, recover.

Under these extremely dire conditions our government acts like it's business as usual and continues to pump hundreds of billions of dollars into our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the worldwide network of more than 750 military installations. Our military leaders and our very inexperienced Commander-In-Chief Obama, think that they can have it both ways, but they will soon have to come to the stark realization that it is an unsustainable agenda.

Here is just how grave our current situation is: America's total national debit is approaching $13.5 trillion. The U.S. budget deficit for the year 2010 is projected to be at least $1.75 trillion and, believe it or not, it doesn't even include the Pentagon budget of $640 billion or the monumental ongoing costs of conducting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those two wars have cost America over $1 trillion to date and we're still counting.

Mr. Obama should listen to experts such as Chalmers Johnson and Andrew Bacevich, well-respected military analysts and observers, who are adamant that our wars and our military empire are unsustainable and are leading us into insolvency. But Mr. Obama has no ears for that and seems to listen only to his military mentors who have only one objective: to aggressively conduct military operations and wars to perpetuate their own existence.

Now here's the other side of the argument that attempts to make the case for continuing to fund that bloated, costly empire. Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke in Detroit on August 27th and made this statement: "The most significant threat to our national security is the debt." He then added, "That's why it's so important that the economy move in the right direction, because the strength and the support and the resources that our military uses are directly related to the health of our economy over time."

Here we have the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff telling the American people that it is imperative that our downward spiraling economy be restored in order to fund the military. What? In other words he's saying, "We need that money for continuing our wars, so please get that economy going again, folks." The audacity is overwhelming.

While I totally disagree with his premise, I commend him for being the only person in the Washington Establishment to admit this truth to the people of America; that those in power steadfastly believe that the U.S. economy's main priority should be to continue to fuel the ever-expanding military empire. So, we need not criticize Admiral Mullen, for he is just doing his job. If President Obama ordered him to wind down our wars and our military empire then he would have to obey that order; however, that's not happening under Mr. Obama's watch.

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