Tom Schorr: War just isn’t the answer

Tom Schorr

As a fiscal conservative, it troubles me that the Republican Party continually ignores the connection between our gigantic military and inability to tame the federal deficit. If you include the CIA, war spending, and border patrol, the United States spends over $1 trillion per year on “self-defense.” Did anyone listen to the Republican primary debates? If Mitt Romney was in charge, we would have invaded Syria and Iran two months ago, with the blessing of Sen. McCain. Romney wants to increase military spending to be ready for China, too. This testosterone-filled war mongering may work if you coach a football team, but it fails as an example of true democratic world leadership. Ron Paul was the voice of reason when he asked how we plan on paying for all these wars, and why we need a military presence everywhere in the world. I am thankful President Obama has kept a cool head while still eliminating bin Laden, his second in command, and other terrorists.

No country will directly attack the United States. We would annihilate it 10 times over before they had a chance to apologize. Countries seek nukes so we will stop bullying them. We do not need more fancy fighter jets and aircraft carriers to combat terrorism. Leading the world in reducing poverty, promoting economic development and education (especially women), will tend to dry up terrorist recruitment sources. If you have a family, a job and hope, you are much less likely to want to blow yourself up! Guantanamo must be closed. We must set a democratic example if we expect others to follow.

The best way to protect our troops is to stop invading other countries. We send our young men and women to battle not truly knowing who the enemy is, and without having any clear goal or exit strategy. We expect our soldiers to occupy and rebuild these countries where the population hates them because our country just bombed them. How is that keeping our troops safe? Why do we refuse to learn from Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam?

Imperialism did not work for the Romans, the British or many others who have tried. On the home front, our middle class is shrinking. Access to affordable health care and education is dwindling. Top corporate executives influence the rules to their favor with shareholder money and set their own pay. Hedge fund betting and CDOs produce nothing for our economy, yet we think these executives should pay a lower percentage tax rate than the upper middle class who provide jobs. We even bail them out when their gambling fails!

As long as we allow ourselves to be brainwashed by super PACs, sound bites and red-versus-blue mentality, our country will continue to crumble from within. To be responsible citizens, we must research the issues and think for ourselves. Even though our leaders are now bought instead of elected, we can demand that they work together for the good of the whole country, instead of just their puppeteers.

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