Obscenity!

I, like many rushed to express dismay at the pending Defense cuts announced by our hand puppet Secretary of Defense, Mr. Hagel. Yup, I’ve engaged in name calling again, I must be spending too much time listening to arguments on the Left.

But I digress. Our military is more than the finest active fighting force in history; it is a message. The inconsistency is the message delivery system which is a function of who sits in the Oval Office and who controls Congress. As party dominance changes to and fro so does the message, the money and the mission.

Throughout the Cold War, while politics existed on the fringes, the core strategic imperatives remained consistent. That is likely the last challenge we will be able to point to as a demonstration of consistency across party lines, and thus we are less secure. But no such challenge exists anymore you say. I would argue that a conservative estimate of 1.5 million radicalized Muslims gives lie to that argument. The Imperialistic history of Islam would also negate the argument that we do not face threats worthy of unity. Russian and Chinese desires also give lie to the absence of unified strategy, regardless of political leaning. The absence of a unifying strategic approach leads to …… well …… what we see now; reeling from crisis to crisis making it up as we go along.

The message? The message is that we will retreat from our Post WWII role. Prior to WWII democracies existed in the single digits, in the decades that followed 120 democracies existed. They came into being because America provided the example, context and security for that growth; as America retreats that number will diminish replaced by despots and oligarchs. The message is that we’re tired and we don’t want to be a superpower anymore. The message over the last five years and the message that will exist over the next three is that if you hunger for freedom, if you are prepared to take on a tyrant, if you are willing to commit your life to such an effort; you’re on your own! Greens in Iran, protestors in Venezuela and the Ukraine; Georgia, East Africa you’re on your own. Genocide, nearly anywhere on the globe; ‘sorry, we don’t have the resources to make it stop’. Keep in mind that as we ‘led from behind’ in Libya, the Euros taking the lead quickly ran out of ordinance. This is the security environment that we will now embrace where our allies can’t seem to afford to buy bullets!

Okay, I get it, I’m tired too; I’m tired on behalf of the folks who have actually served and done the dirty work. I’m tired for the grief their families have suffered, for the wounds, for the displacements, for the nightmares. I’m tired of hearing politicians speak of their support for the troops and then turn on them when there is a dollar involved. Want to save some money, eliminate fifty percent of the flag officers meandering around the halls of the Pentagon and save the pay and benefits for those who ate dust, took fire, flew the missions and sucked jet fuel fumes. Replace seniority with meritocracy and we won’t even miss those flag officers.

China keeps 2 million men under arms, Russia 800,000; this plan will place us behind Turkey in terms of a standing Army. Turkey! Yes we have superior technology, but the history of arms tells us that the other guys always catch up. Will this budget provide for ever more sophisticated weapons development and will that development be capable of holding off the mass that potential opponents can bring to the field? Should Turkey decide that Northern Iraq is a security threat under the guise of Kurdish incursions who stops them? Should Russia invade Eastern Ukraine who will intervene? Should China move against Taiwan what will stop or even de-motivate them? Over the recent past it was the threat of American power; that threat is being taken off the table unilaterally, bit by bit. It’s not as if there have not been cuts; Secretary Gates reading the Tea Leaves set out to make common sense cuts ahead of the politics; the sequester mandated more cuts, now this.

The Administration can’t get out of its own philosophical way. The administration brings Samantha Powers to the U.N., Ms. Powers’ reputation was made as the author of a policy that argued for intervention to defend human rights; she must be very disappointed. White House security advisors operate within the context that the Military is not to be trusted. Joe Biden has poisoned President Obama related to trusting relationships with military leadership. Joe “I’m wrong about almost everything’ Biden is a chief advisor on military affairs; God save us all!

So, what’s the takeaway, the message? It’s the same message FDR delivered as he increased government spending everywhere except the military. Prior to WWII our military spending levels were behind Portugal. It’s the same message that the Soviets saw after Vietnam as they got ready to invade Afghanistan. The converse of that message was Regan as he saw American security as a function of strength and peace as a result of no one being willing to mess with you. Regan contended that his strategy was the one that would keep us out of war and, in the long run, save thousands of lives. He was correct if history is to be our guide.

But there is more than message here. There is obscenity! Outside of the sequester, I cannot, for the life of me, recall one single area of the Federal government where significant cuts have been made, not one, albeit I stand to be corrected.

The obscenity is that those who serve voluntarily, leave their families, live in extreme conditions, bleed and die must bear yet another burden because it’s the easy way out. The obscenity is that the 1% who serve to protect and defend the 99% are asked to do yet more, and more, and more!

If there is a clearer definition of obscenity, please point me to it!

  • Correction: 10.5 million radicalized Muslims

  • Bill Hedges

    Landreaux wrote:

    “The obscenity is that those who serve voluntarily, leave their families, live in extreme conditions, bleed and die must bear yet another burden because it’s the easy way out. The obscenity is that the 1% who serve to protect and defend the 99% are asked to do yet more, and more, and more!

    He ask:

    “If there is a clearer definition of obscenity, please point me to it!”

    Why NOT ask Ron Paul ? He’s for military cuts which LAYS HEAVY in our nations expenditures.

    If spending cuts IS THE TEA THING TO DO you can’t have a bunch of sacred cows that must not be touched. The other side will have theirs & soon NOTHING GETS CUT. Voters see disagreements on WHAT TO CUT with nothing cut. THUS Congress approval BELOW buma’s approval.

    Excuses such as SAVED MONEY will only be used for more social HAND OUTS is DON’T DO propaganda rationalization. You can ASSUME many things when you don’t like the area of THE CUTS. REALITY IS (Ds) CAN’T increase welfare $$$’S WITHOUT House approval. UNLESS there is a __ Presidential ((( monarch proclamation ))).

    I remember WELL early on England ran out of cruise missile in Iraq war. WE ARE NATO. THINGS can/MUST change.

    I’m do NOT espouse isolationism. I do say military “establishment” is of sufficient mammoth size that its budget can be bleed without DEATH or weakened TO DEGREE where disease can conquer the host. In Iraq war the less costly National Guard was used as replacement to cut time at war front for regulars IF NOT in lieu of regulars GI.

    FOR those REASON and more, little agreement with Landreaux quoted statement I sighted.

    Obscenity IS ASSUMING hands off this budget. Talk about China’s massive military manpower, we spend what 4 TIMES more than China:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget

  • Bill Hedges

    As far as emotional outcries of:

    “The obscenity is that those who serve voluntarily, leave their families, live in extreme conditions, bleed and die must bear…”

    There are a NEVER ENDING LIST of deserving CAUSES. Reid COULD NOT part with federal funding for his pet_ Cowboy’s Poet Society.

    John McCain went through YEARS of unimaginable torture YET his name is marred on this site. That did not cause HANDS OFF. I AGREE. Nothing IS above honest evaluation…

  • Bill,

    Get straight, I did not argue for no cuts, I argued for not cutting those who suffer and bleed. Those cuts are obscene! to conflate Cowboy poets with what is happening is why you have zero credibility with this writer.

  • Bill Hedges

    “zero credibility” ???

    As far as emotional outcries, BEEN SAID. AS when liberals spoke of dying children in the gutters without bumcare. You write “not cutting those who suffer and bleed.” (Ds) FOUND LITTLE TO CUT beforehand, not even cowboy poets. You only speak of “suffer and bleed”. You SPEAK NOT of cutting military as Ron Paul does in any of your recent articles. Someone used excuses that such cuts would only be spent on something social.

    MILITARY is a big slice of the pie. Ron Paul said CAN BE CUT without harming DEFENSE:

    http://www.usnews.com/debate-club/are-cuts-to-the-defense-budget-necessary/cutting-military-spending-does-not-mean-cutting-defense-cut-military-spending-to-strengthen-us

    FOR YEARS Ron Paul has been for military CUTS. WHATEVER makes you comfy….

    Naughty list. “Report button”. You’re on my HIGH “credibility” list ??? You ignore MUCH OF others wrong doing (DD Mao. bob). Nate has my comments “awaiting moderation” when bob’s comments are ones MOST ERASED for “CAUSE” in recent times. DON’T EXPECT honest, FAIR treatment…

  • Bill Hedges

    Taking me OUT OF CONTEXT landreaux USES the word “conflate”. My previous statement WAS:

    There are a NEVER ENDING LIST of deserving CAUSES. Reid COULD NOT part with federal funding for his pet_ Cowboy’s Poet Society.

    I also concluded in previous comment:

    Nothing IS above honest evaluation…
    __

    Your “suffer and bleed” can apply to bumcare, homeless, etc…

  • Bill Hedges

    To Reid a “pet” project MUST NOT BE CUT for his own State. Historically For (Ds) LITTLE CAN BE CUT.

    But Frank & Ron Paul FOUND A COMPROMISE where military cuts, BIG PART OF budget pie, COULD TAKE CUTS. A beginning. Ron Paul continue to preach.

    You think Ron Paul was FOR CUTS that endangered troupes ??? You blocked out much of my comments on THIS to re-write MY COMMENT meaning_ “conflate”. I gave AT LEAST 3 links on this.

    Do quote Yourself where in say last 5 articles you WERE FOR MILITARY CUTS:

    “Get straight, I did not argue for no cuts, I argued for not cutting those who suffer and bleed”

    OR do all in military “suffer and bleed” ??? Not JUST THE FEW that FIGHT. Do clarify.

    NO WONDER little gets cut & programs CONTINUE with little fruit from expenditures.

    NO HOLY SHRINES NEED APPLY. Congress is full of them. When faced by polls & voters THEY NOTICE. REMEMBER Cruz’s reckless abandonment considering DEFAULT ??? ANOTHER all time low in Tea popularity when new lows were commonplace for Tea…

  • Bill Hedges

    Author suggest:

    “Want to save some money, eliminate fifty percent of the flag officers meandering around the halls of the Pentagon and save the pay and benefits for those who ate dust, took fire, flew the missions and sucked jet fuel fumes. Replace seniority with meritocracy and we won’t even miss those flag officers.”

    “Those who ate dust” etc., some of them must of played GOLF as well. Guarantee flag officers “ate dust, took fire, flew the missions and sucked jet fuel fumes” while working up the RANKS. Also guarantee NOT ALL “dust eaters” CAN FLY FIGHTER JETS. I belittle NO JOB POSTITION as author does. But jets firing at enemy attacking our troupes IS important. As much so as his engines working with jet fuel in plane. Those flag officers in DC make sure the manpower, equipment, supplies ARE at locations WHEN NEEDED. Also A IMPORTANT JOB. Is not ALL WORK, a little golf is a pleasant distraction FROM DUTY.

    That SAVINGS would be so small it would evaporate before reaching the bucket of deficit reduction. Not that any reduction isn’t GOOD, but more like level (Ds) would propose if they were so inclined. NOT a staunch, serious Tea believer who sees economic GREEK STYLE mayhem HERE IN AMERICA coming, as Nate has mentioned.
    ___

    “Until Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) rode to the rescue this week, Pentagon brass and their allies had been issuing dire warnings about the nation’s military readiness: The armed services were being decimated, they said, by sequestration—the automatic budget cuts that were set to trim $1 trillion from the Pentagon budget over the next decade. “It’s one thing for the Pentagon to go on a diet. It’s another for the Pentagon to wear a straitjacket while dieting,” grumbled Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.). The message got through: The House overwhelmingly approved the Ryan-Murray plan just two days after it was introduced.”

    Hey:

    1. “The Pentagon operates more than more than 170 golf courses worldwide.”

    2. “One out of every five tax dollars is spent on defense”

    3. “We’re still the world’s 800-pound gorilla”

    4. “Too big to audit”

    Ron Paul got FEDERAL RESEVRE books checked.

    5. “Anatomy of a budget buster”

    Articles CONTINUES but I must stop. My fingers are cramping.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/12/pentagon-budget-deal-charts-cuts

    Correct me if I am wrong. Sequestration done because CUTS could not be agreed upon. How big would the river of tears be if original Sequestration military cuts OCCURRED ???

    Did buma develop RULES OF THIS Sequestration ??? NO. Didn’t Tea support this sequestration after immediate cuts was DOA previously ??? Author can answer THAT. I don’t recall.

    ___ LET’S FACE FACTS ___

    “One out of every five tax dollars is spent on defense”. CAN NOT be serious about CUTTING SPENDING without heavy military TRIMMING. A STARTING POINT not a singular destination. Military spending will be affected, with no sacred cows on citizens tax $$$ there are OTHER DEPARTMENTS.

    I can hear your skepticism, no agreement will be made to cut other areas. Well sequestration HANGS OVER THEIR HEADS as well. I CAN SMELL YOUR skepticism that money saved would BE WASTED & not used to reduce DEBT. WE OWN HOUSE. We can STOP spending IS IN OUR POWER.

    ALL OF US now MUST “suffer and bleed” BEFORE a similar situation as Greece reaches our shores, as Nate has alluded to recently…

  • Bill Hedges

    “Senate GOP fails in final bid to block military pension cuts in budget bill”

    December 18, 2013

    “Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash.,who brokered the budget deal with House counterpart Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., argued the GOP effort was really an attempt to kill the entire bill”

    So politicking continues. If both houses don’t sign an agreement, WORSE OF CIRCUMSTANCES, sequestration, settles issue. Including military CUTS.

    Not exactly a serving of apple pie for Landreaux.

    “The Republican-led House passed the bill last week in an effort to avoid another stalemate leading to a potential government shutdown, like the one in October that polls showed was largely unpopular with voters.”

    “The two-year budget deal would ease for two years some of the harshest cuts to agency budgets required under automatic spending curbs commonly known as sequestration. It would replace $45 billion in scheduled cuts for the 2014 budget year already underway, easing about half of the scheduled cuts”

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/12/18/senate-gop-fails-in-final-bid-to-restore-military-pension-cuts-to-budget-bill/

    February 23, 2014, 5:51 PM

    “Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to recommend deep budget cuts targeting pay, benefits”

    Required sequestration. BE CAREFUL WHAT IS ASKED FOR, result MAY NOT BE TO YOUR LIKING…

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/defense-secretary-chuck-hagel-to-recommend-deep-budget-cuts-targeting-pay-benefits/