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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Chalmers Johnson on Eisenhower's famous warning against the "Military Industrial Complex" and history unfolding...

Here is an interesting article about the privatization of our military and intelligence. I find it interesting for the historical perspective. This development was warned of by Eisenhower almost 50 years ago. It is a trend that has been propelled forward by Republican and Democratic administrations ever since. The designation of outsourcing as actually being the use of mercernaries is an interesting historical comparison. Machiavelli saw the unreliability and destabilizing influence of mercernaries on a republic. Maybe we should too.


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Monday, July 28, 2008

Imperialism: Power Before Profits?

Over at antiwar.com, Justin Raimondo asserts that the left's analysis of imperialism is inadequate

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Scott Ritter on Antiwar.com (The Topic is Iran)

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Jim Bovard on the FISA Amendments

In this youtube of an interview at Antiwar.com, Jim Bovard, author of Attention Deficit Democracy, explains how the bipartisan FISA amendments pose new dangers to individual liberty and privacy.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The McCain/Obama Echo Chamber (Part 2)

Both Obama and McCain almost simultaneously endorsed an expanded military. Now, both candidates have echoed each other again (see here and here) in calling for a surge of U.S. troops into the worsening Afghan quagmire.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Obama's Janus-Faced Foreign Policy

Obama lays out his plans for Iraq and Afghanistan in an op-ed for The New York Times. It reveals on full display a proposed foreign policy of confusion and contradiction.

With the notable exception of calling for a "residual force" to fight Al Qaeda and train troops, Obama sensibly argues that the best policy is to wean the Iraqis from dependence on the United States and create "a successful transition to Iraqis’ taking responsibility for the security and stability of their country."

Not recognizing the contradiction, however, Obama proposes the exact opposite solution for Afghanistan. Instead of letting the Afghans take "responsiblity for the security of their country," he wants to make them even more dependent on American welfare:

As president, I would pursue a new strategy, and begin by providing at least two additional combat brigades to support our effort in Afghanistan. We need more troops, more helicopters, better intelligence-gathering and more nonmilitary assistance to accomplish the mission there.

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Gordon Prather on Iran's Nuclear Program

Here is a youtube of Scott Horton's interview of Gordon Prather on Iran's nuclear program (or lack thereof):

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Friday, July 04, 2008

Robert Higgs on the McCain/Obama Call for a Bigger Military

Economic historian Robert Higgs has this to say about proposals by both McCain and Obama to increase the size of the military:

We hear much talk of “the burden on our troops.”

First, what’s the meaning of “our” in this construction? They’re not my soldiers. Are they yours? It seems to me that these soldiers are the hired hands of George Bush, Dick Cheney, and the other leaders of the gang that styles itself the government of the United States of America. None of this has anything to do with me, except that I am compelled by threats of government violence to pay a portion of the expense of maintaining and deploying these troops.

Second, what’s the sense of the “burden” they are supposedly bearing? They hired themselves out to work as soldiers; they are now working as soldiers. What could be more natural? People who hire themselves out as prostitutes expect to provide sexual services, and they do. People who hire themselves out as bakers expect to make cakes, cookies, and bread, and they do. People who hire themselves out as soldiers expect to kill people and destroy property as instructed by their officers, and they do. None of these classes of workers is any more burdened than the others: each type of worker makes a voluntary contract to supply services, and each fulfills the contract. There’s nothing especially burdomsome about the fulfillment of a voluntary contract.

Of course, we are constantly told how beholden we all are to the soldiers’ selfless services. Nonsense. I am not beholden in the least. Indeed, I devoutly wish that they had confined themselves to earning a living honestly, peacefully, and productively, rather than in a fashion so manifestly fruitful of senseless mayhem, death, and destruction.

And now, to top the evils that already exist, both major presidential candidates propose to employ even more people in this evil fashion. According to St. Matthew (26:52), Jesus declared that “all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” On the strength of this declaration, one would seem well advised to decline the sword or, if one has already taken up a sword, to put it down before somebody gets hurt.

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

The McCain/Obama Echo Chamber

In the last two days, both Obama (here) and McCain
have called for a bigger military. Here is what Obama said:

But we need to ease the burden on our troops, while meeting the challenges of the 21st century. That’s why I will call on a new generation of Americans to join our military, and complete the effort to increase our ground forces by 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 Marines.

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