The Hypocrisy Of The Bi-Partisan Congress On Militarism

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Note: While the Congress and president see no money to ensure healthcare for all, provide basic food needs to the poor, build affordable and efficient mass transit, transition to a clean energy economy and more the bi-partisans in Congress have passed a record military budget. The vote on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was 344-81, which sets military policy and authorizes up to $696 billion in spending for the military.

Extreme military spending is bipartisan, 117 Democrats joined 227 Republicans in backing the measure. Only eight Republicans and 73 Democrats voted no. When it comes to weapons, war and militarism deficits do not matter but when it comes to the necessities of the people deficit spending is used as an excuse. People trying to understand this should learning about Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) which basically holds the Congress can authorize spending as needed. Money is not limited by how much gold we have, it is a fiat currency and the issues really are: what are US needs, what are our priorities and will spending expand the economy or cause inflation. Congress believes in MMT when it comes to military spending but not the needs of the people, planet or economy.

Another inconsistency in Congress — when it comes to climate change the Republicans are a party of climate deniers. Both parties want full exploitation of oil and gas as if climate change was a fantasy. But, the also in the NDAA they funded military action to defend against climate change. In the bi-partisan NDAA the House included an amendment affirming that “climate change is a direct threat to the national security of the United States.” It orders defense officials to draw up a report laying out which facilities would be most affected.You see, one study last year found that rising oceans threaten 128 military installations on the coasts, including naval facilities worth around $100 billion. When military bases are threatened Congress is a climate change believer but what millions of people living on coasts, or countries being threatened by climate change — Congress is a denier.


Ending the “Austerity” that Affords Endless War and Little Else

U.S. leftists in search of a leader and political model could do worse than Jeremy Corbyn, the British Labour Party leader who is pulling the party back to its social democratic roots. “Corbyn has spoken out not only for a more egalitarian, communitarian Britain, but also for a world governed by international law, not by the U.S. with all its weapons and NATO allies.”

Corbynmania has spread far beyond the UK.”

Supporters of the British Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn marched through London streets on Saturday, July 1st, from the BBC headquarters to the Parliament Building at Westminster. The London- based Independent reports that tens of thousands joined the “Not One More Day” march against the Conservative Tory government and its austerity policies. They carried signs that read “Tories Out,” “No to Islamophobia, No to War,” “Cut War, Not Welfare,” and “Austerity is the New Terror.”

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn addressed the crowd upon their arrival outside Parliament.

What this election campaign, this anti-austerity movement, this current mood in British politics has done is unleashed the ideas and the imagination, unleashed that day-to-day conversation on every street corner, every café, and every pub of how differently this country could be run. The Tories are in retreat. Austerity is in retreat. The economic arguments of austerity are in retreat. It’s those of social justice, of unity, of people coming together to oppose racism and all those that would divide us that are the ones that are moving forward.”

Some marchers held signs that said “Austerity Kills, Justice for Grenfell” and a large contingent marched behind a banner reading “Justice for Grenfell,” meaning justice for the victims of the horrific Grenfell Tower public housing fire that killed mostly Black and Brown people, including refugees from the war ravaged Middle East. The fire occurred because of cost cutting on the cosmetic cladding, which was not fire retardant, applied to the outside of the building. The government has asked residents of other public housing towers with the same cladding to move out until the danger can be mitigated. Jeremy Corbyn spoke to the Grenfell tragedy at the rally:

The economic arguments of austerity are in retreat.”

“And so, in the public inquiry that’s now going to be called, I’ve written to the Prime Minister yesterday to say we want it quick and urgent in the case of Grenfell Tower, and we want a longer, much longer, more detailed inquiry into housing conditions and stock all over the country. So surely if ever there was a wake up call for what happens in modern Britain, it’s gotta be that disaster at Grenfell Tower and the loss of life that went with it.”

Some believe that Conservative Party leader Theresa May’s minority government could fall before the end of the year, despite her deal with the Democratic Unionist Party whose main issue is keeping Northern Ireland within the UK and thereby preventing the reunification of Ireland. Whether a new election is held this year or later, Jeremy Corbyn promised to throw himself into the next campaign.

“So we’ve identified 73 constituencies in England, Wales, and Scotland that we can win, and you know what? I’m going to go to every single one of them. We’re gonna take the campaign to the Tories because we are utterly determined that the message will get out there, the message of hope.”

Is this the end of “austerity” in which spending for war and weapons knows no bounds, and spending for everything decent can’t be cut fast enough? Jeremy Corbyn is not even Britain’s Prime Minister yet, but Corbynmania has spread far beyond the UK. Even Congolese look to the antiwar, socialist, vegan, bicycle riding Labour Party leader and his wildly enthusiastic supporters to lead the way forward. Corbyn has spoken out not only for a more egalitarian, communitarian Britain, but also for a world governed by international law, not by the U.S. with all its weapons and NATO allies.

Even Congolese look to the antiwar, socialist, vegan, bicycle riding Labour Party leader to lead the way forward.”

During her last year in power, Margaret Thatcher and her Tories managed to do something that even our Republicans haven’t done yet. They privatized the water. Reclaiming it as a public resource is now a principle of the British Labour Party Manifesto and one of Jeremy Corbyn’s most passionate campaigns.

In one of the great moments of the Reagan Administration, Interior Secretary James Hodell suggested that people turn to more private means of protection—hats, sunglasses and protective sun creams—to combat the added risk of skin cancer as man-made chemicals reduce the Earth’s protective ozone layer. Now we have a president who just viciously declared an “end to the war on coal” and celebrated the opening of a coal mine in the rust belt State of Pennsylvania, even though it created only 70 new jobs, fewer than the 92 averaged at an American supermarket. And four hundred people applied.

We didn’t get to this point because of Ralph Nader, Jill Stein, or any other Greens who dared to run for president. We didn’t get here simply because the Republican Party became more and more extreme. We got here because Clinton Democrats followed Reagan Republicans to the right, forcing them even further right, to the extremes now required to distinguish them from Democrats. By 2008, we had elected our first Black President, who rightly traced his own political lineage to Ronald Reagan himself, the U.S. president he most admired.

  • DHFabian

    Obviously (by all measures), US military spending is out of control, and is sinking the country. When it comes to budget priorities, however, here’s the catch: Americans don’t shout with outrage even over the massive amount of public dollars that go down the military’s “unaccounted for” hole. What brings them to their feet is the very thought of any crumbs trickling down to the poor.

    We already know from modern history that when the US takes a semi-break from war, and when the economy noticeably improves, attitudes don’t change. The money that becomes available for meeting the needs of the people and the nation, doesn’t trickle down to the poor. When the economy is bad, they say that we can’t afford to help the poor. When the economy improves, they say there is no excuse for being poor, so we choose not to help. We’ve seen this cycle repeated over the past 30+ years.