Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Truest statement of the week

Since Vietnam, the last war in which Americans were drafted into the army, the Pentagon’s long term strategy has been to make the nation’s gargantuan military machine and its wars as distant from the public as possible. This helps explain why there hasn’t been a march on the Pentagon since 1968. But Donald Trump doesn’t make long term plans. He seems to want a giant chest thumping our-missiles-are-bigger-than-yours military spectacle to boost his own popularity among the base that elected him – disaffected white Americans who blame blacks, Mexicans, women queers and foreigners for their own economic insecurity. His military parade will do some of that.
But it’ll also draw attention to the fact that America’s massive war expenditures are starving schools and libraries, housing and transit infrastructure, warping what teachers teach and what students learn. At $900 million plus apiece, every F-35 fighter is worth a small hospital. At $13 billion apiece an aircraft carrier without the aircraft is worth a dozen bus factories or half a dozen water and sewer and sewer systems for a city of 200,000. While public roads are privatized, and public schools can’t afford fast internet, teacher salaries or heat in their overcrowded classrooms, the US military maintains a thousand overseas bases on six continents and its own satellite network.

--  Bruce A. Dixon, "Dems Oppose Trump's Military Parade But Not the Bipartisan Warfare State" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

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