American Empire, War Civil Rights (Minorities, Race, Immig, Vets)

“Family Values” Force Working People Into the Military.

(Yesterday afternoon Connie and I were discussing how many more troops would be necessary to fulfill the administration’s apparent desire to dominate the world. We thought it interesting how a need for (low-paying) jobs would mesh with the need for (low-paid) troops. Then a couple of hours later we received this article submission.)

Last week NPR broke a series of articles about the Pentagon’s recommendation to shut down more than 180 military installations across the nation.

Pentagon officials said the plan, which would shut down 33 major bases and realign 29 others, is a necessary component in transforming the military to face modern threats.

Whoa. The same people keep telling us we are in a national security crisis. And either they believe their own press, or they don’t. If they do, then what are they doing, reducing our national security forces during a domestic terrorism crisis? Now that the National Guard is gone, who is going to see to delivering food and water, guarding bridges and railroads and so forth, and keeping electricity flowing when all those nightmares happen to us that the government keeps telling us are inescapable?

If they don’t believe their own press – that we are in a state of urgent domestic threat – then our government is serving up even more labyrinthine lies than anyone so far has thought.

First, is this the time to leave our nation’s people so vulnerable to attack, and to abandon perfectly good architecture in North America because our focus has shifted from Europe to the Middle East, to hear the NPR article tell it?

Second, perhaps over 2 million jobs would be gone, if you think about it. The Ellsworth Base in South Dakota, for instance, is the state’s second largest employer according to NPR. All the peripherals to the Ellsworth base and 33 others – hairdressers, lube shops, grocers, everybody who does anything, in other words – are going to lose their jobs. Assuming that 2.7 million jobs are lost, that’s one percent of the population in the US.

This is a huge sector of our national economy that has just bitten the dust. Not to mention the utter destruction of many communities.

Third, the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), in an article called “Rebuilding America’s Defenses”, states the military ambitions of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz – their hopes for the build-up of bases overseas, in space, all over the world.

Which leaves us wondering: where’s the draft? But no, all this will do is force a lot of fathers and mothers, each with several kids, to have to move overseas to man the fantastic imperial international arsenal foreseen by the PNAC. ‘Family values’ at work, no doubt – the ‘defense of marriage’.

Not a draft, really, but what do you think they’ll do in South Dakota? Go flip burgers for wealthy Californians in Bozeman, Montana? Drive to Detroit, to try to get jobs that no longer exist? They won’t need help at the local Lube Shop. You get the picture.

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  • “Pentagon officials said the closures were a necessary component in transforming the military to face modern threats.” I love that. I can’t find anything in Rebuilding America’s Defenses about closing bases in the US, but with all the foreign bases they want to build… must be the only way they can afford it. Is that what you were pointing to? Kind of a clue that defending the nation isn’t just expanding to become international, it’s being replaced? I suppose if we subdued all our allies’ enemies, we wouldn’t need to worry about any invasions… and leave terrorism to the FBI/CIA and local police.Or else terrorist threat really is just a shadow for us to jump at. So simple… all you need to find lies buried in mixed signals is to see a motive.

  • During the last round of base closings, the Defense Dept wanted to close McGuire AF base in New Jersey. Good thing the base was preserved because after 9/11 it suddenly became indepensible to national defense, being only minutes from New York & Washington DC.

    But General Wesley Clark has made another important point, about the need for the military (who are after all us) & civilians to interact, which doesn’t happen when our armed forces are concentrated in a handful of “superbases.”

    Now New Jersey’s Fort Monmouth is on the hit list – a venerable (90 years) small post about 40 miles south of New York dedicated mostly to important communications research but used over the decades for many other purposes also, & well-integrated in the economy of the area & in the hearts of the people who live there.

    It is good to see soldiers on a daily basis, to meet them in stores & diners & on the street, & to have them as neighbors. That way we are always reminded of who is fighting & dying in Iraq & Afghanistan; our military then has a familiar “face.”