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Time to Call out US Militarism for What It Is: The Key Threat to America’s Security

No more worshiping of the military

So no. I’m not supporting private charity funding for America’s wounded soldiers. That is a cost that should properly be borne by the US taxpayer. Nor do I agree that our men and women in uniform are “defending our freedom,” and I feel no need to thank them for their “service.” I would like to tell them I feel sorry that they were misled into joining, and if they were injured, am all the sorrier, but I hope they will warn other young people not to make the same mistake they did. And I do believe that the American public should support adequate care for them, though it would be far better and more cost-effective to achieve this important goal by simply establishing a “medicare for all” single-payer health care system in which all Americans have access to free, taxpayer-funded health care. Countries where such an approach, or something like Britain’s National Health System, don’t need a special Veterans Administration to finance and provide medical care for military veterans. Their veterans simply get first-rate care like the rest of the citizenry.

It’s time to get the US out of the empire business, out of the endless cycle of wars and special operations actions and targeted drone attacks, out of promoting war and insurgency by providing arms to one or both sides of foreign conflicts, and out of the insane nuclear weapons business.

The way to national security is through peace and negotiation, not through war. Let’s tear down the Pentagon and replace it with a small rectangular building, bring home the 200,000 troops stationed abroad, and shrink the US military budget back to a small fraction of its present size — a size appropriate for a country at peace with the world and secure in its borders.

Lord knows that with all the 300 million-plus guns in private hands in the US, no country would ever dare to invade this place! And once we’ve eliminated that deadly and insidious “military-industrial-complex” that the retiring President Dwight Eisenhower so presciently warned us all against, we can start to really tackle the real threats to Americans’ security: poverty, ignorance, disease and climate change.

Note: For those who might fret that America's gun owners might not actually have the skills or courage to thwart some invasion by a professional military (coming across the border from Canada, Cuba, Grenada or Mexico, for example), I'm not averse to retaining the National Guard, but only as a true volunteer force of weekend soldiers, or perhaps draftees serving a one-year stint as weekend soldiers, and only if those Guard Units are rigorously under the command of each state's governors, with nationalization requiring an act of Congress, and only in the event of a true national emergency, like an invasion. They would not be permitted to be dispatched abroad, and, like soldiers in Germany, they should have a right to be unionized. As a way of ensuring that their numbers stayed small, I would propose that such Guard units be funded 25% by the states, which would be reimbursed only if the whole National Guard were nationalized.

Response from an Army veteran:

I was in the grocery store a while back when, after my items were tabulated, the checkout clerk asked, “Would you like to contribute to the Wounded Warriors fund?”

story | by Dr. Radut