Why I’m Against Current Wars—and Most Foreseeable Wars, Too
No, I’m not against all wars. But I’m against the Afghan war, the “secret” war in Yemen, the occupation of Iraq, and any war with Iran under any circumstances I can imagine.
- They are moronic (in the sense that they cannot be “won” and I oppose unwinnable wars);
- The US is in steep decline in an economic/industrial sense and needs to spend its money on other things.
As noted, I’m not opposed to all wars. Hell I even supported the Afghan war up to the point where it became clear that it was destabilizing Pakistan, polls of Afghans indicated they wanted us out, and it become obvious it couldn’t be “won” in any meaningful sense.
Anyone who supports the current wars is not someone I have much time for, I’m afraid. I regard them as fundamentally stupid wars and significantly immoral to boot, plus on pragmatic terms I believe they are doing more harm than good to the US, not just economically, but in terms of real security and in terms of the erosion of civil liberties. States at permanent war cannot and do not maintain their liberties. Permanent occupations are particularly corrupting and badly damage the real war fighting capacity of the armies doing them (see Army, Israeli).
Anyone who’s in favour of imperial wars and permanent war can’t really be on the left in any meaningful fashion, because the cost of permanent war is:
- every domestic priority that left wingers claim to care about
- plus the gutting of civil liberties in the core.
To a liberal, military spending is a necessary evil, and as such you do only as much as is necessary to:
- actually defend the country. (I.e., hardly any. Who is going to invade the US?)
- hold open necessary trade lanes. (I.e., the navy would be smaller than it is now and differently organized, but it would be the primary US military arm.)
And that’s about it. Every dollar spent on the military is not spent on actual economically productive activity. Yes, there are some exceptions, but there are other ways to do R&D spending, and more and more military R&D is not applicable to civilian matters.
(I’m sure Vladimir Putin laughs himself sick every night that the US pays him off to help America stay in Afghanistan. The irony must be one of the great joys of his life.)
In terms of dependence on foreign commodities, the progressive solution is to move the energy basis of the US economy off of oil and onto a basis which is much more domestically available (and built). That way you don’t need to be able to knock around middle eastern nations.
While many lefties wouldn’t agree with me, I would also move to mandatory service, everyone serving 2 to 4 years. Most wouldn’t serve in the military, but every male and any woman who wants it would get military training. A militarily trained population tends to concentrate the minds of politicians and other elites and I also believe that the military should be much more representative of the population as a whole, for a variety of reasons.
What do you do with all those people in national service? Rebuild the country: teach them skills and put them to work on broadband, infrastructure of various kinds, refitting all buildings for energy efficiency, etc… Why? Well, because that makes the country more secure and safer by reducing dependence on foreign oil, etc… (Well, that’s one reason.)
In my opinion anyone who’s for the current war is delusional or attached to the military industrial complex and willing to betray their country’s real interests for money. The US cannot afford war. Period. To be for war right now is to be for the ruin of America.