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DEFENSE: Samuelson uses fear-mongering

Letter by Justin Earick, Tacoma on March 9, 2012 at 11:12 am with 17 Comments »
March 9, 2012 11:12 am

Re: “The dagger of ‘budget sequestration’ dangles over the throat of defense’ (Robert J. Samuelson column, 3-6).

Digesting Samuelson’s weekly morsels requires much attrition; they constitute a biopsy of the neo-con soul for us to inspect.

His backdrop is sound; $2.1 trillion in budgetary reductions for 2012-2021 were passed in debt-ceiling negotiations. Of those reductions, $1.2 trillion were considered “painful” and renegotiable by congressional “super-committee” until a 2013 “sequestration mechanism.”

But Samuelson cannot resist the tried-and-true propaganda of fear-mongering, blaming our president for “devastating cuts” which “dangle over the throat of defense.”

Defense spending consumes roughly $700 billion of our annual budget – nearly half of global military spending.

“As we look beyond the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan … we’ll be able to ensure our security with smaller conventional ground forces,” President Obama said.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta concurred: “The U.S. joint force will be smaller and leaner, but its great strength will be that it is more agile, flexible, ready to deploy, innovative and technologically advanced,” adding that “The plan is aligned to strategic priorities we have identified to keep America safe and maintain the strongest military in the world.”

These statements are corroborated by foreign policy successes in Pakistan against Osama bin Laden; in Libya against Moammar Gadhafi; and by exercising discretion in Egypt.

While Obama achieves historic nuclear treaties with both Russia and North Korea, Samuelson cries foul that the budget unfairly hurts Republicans. He warns of “dreadful consequences” of “chaos” and “confusion.”

In reality, Obama plays chess, while the GOP plays checkers.

Leave a comment Comments → 17
  1. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    “In reality,” 0bama will subordinate national security to the UN by seeking “international permission” from that (most liberally august historically fair to US concerns) body to establish a “legal basis” before taking military action, and before and seeking congressional approval. Said Leon Panetta in testimony before before a Congress, yesterday:

    “Our goal would to be to seek international permission and we would come to Congress to inform you and to determine how best to approach this, whether or not we would want to get permission from the Congress. Those would be issues we would have to discuss as we decide what to do here.”

    These statements are corroborated by foreign policy successes in Pakistan against Osama bin Laden; in Libya against Moammar Gadhafi; and by exercising discretion in Egypt.

    While Obama achieves historic nuclear treaties with both Russia and North Korea…

    Man would I love to play chess with this guy.

  2. so how could bin ladin, mubarek, and gadhafy make anyone want to challenge this president?

    god luck with that

  3. Vox, Don’t forget that it was an American president who initially sought to create an organization of world cooperation like The United Nations, in an effort to prevent future war and bloodshed. What this world needs are more leaders like Obama who will take their case to the U.N. first for resolution, rather than launch some Go It Alone – Cowboy Diplomacy – Nation Building – Regime Change misadventure that ends up killing thousands of our young soldiers and sailors and draining our economy.

    Vote OBAMA for PEACE!!!

  4. pantomancer says:

    Yea, that Samuelson guy is the only one to fearmonger.

    BTW, treaties are only useful when all parties abide by them. But what the heck, as long as people feel better in the short term.

  5. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Ignored in this partisan, anti-military rant are the entitlements that make up the majority of the Federal budget.

    Muck- wasn’t the Iraq war brought before the UN? And the UN has continued to become a joke. They blast the US and Israel at every opportunity while giving the ME, China, and Russia a pass. It is a far left institution.

    Vote for Obama if you hate the military, if you want the nation to lose the ability to fight 2 land wars.

    Vote for Obama if you hate the Church, faith, or any religious institution.

  6. concerned…7, My comment was for Vox, but I will reply to you.

    Yes, I vividly recall Secretary of State Colin Powell showing pictures and maps on his easel to members of The U.N., and claiming that they were PROOF that Iraq had WMDs, a nuclear program, and was creating the delivery system for it’s nuclear weapons. Yet The U.N. chose NOT to go along with this Cowboy Adventure of that Yee Haw Goofball in The White House.

    So, Georgie said, “We don’t need no U.N.! Heh! Heh! We’ll go it alone and bring Democracy to the A-rabs! Heh! Heh! Regime change! Regimed!!! Empire buildin’. Empired!!! Heh! Heh! I’m the “Decider!” An this here is a Holy War!!! Decided!!! Heh! Heh! New-cue-ler! Heh! Heh! Heh!”

    And then as the war progressed, and Colin Powell realized he had been used and his reputation was splattered with the mud kicked up by the lies he was fed by The Withe House about non-existent WMDs, then Colin Powell QUIT the Bush White House. Didn’t he?

    That’s how I remember it.

    If the U.N. is a “far left institution” as you claim, and President Obama is a far left president, leading a far left government, then The U.N. should be giving the U.S. everything it wants right now, right? What’s your point?

    VOTE for OBAMA if you want Peace & Prosperity!

  7. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    “God luck”, indeed – LOL!

  8. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    What this world needs are more leaders like Obama who will take their case to the U.N. first for resolution…

    Except that’s not what Panetta’s saying. He’s saying that they will go to the UN before taking military action, and before getting the Constitutionally-required Congressional approval. This has nothing to do with simple dispute resolution. Constitutional questions aside, at the very least it would be a colossal ceding of our sovereign right to self defense, not to mention a waste of valuable time in the event of an emergency.

    And don’t forget, Congress may not authorize an action even if the UN does. So what then?

    Thankfully, this is just more 0bama policy folly, not actual law. And, as the current administration have consistently demonstrated, policies can be quickly reversed with the changing of an administration.

  9. The main point is that Iraq is over, and we are beginning drawdowns in Afghanistan, so why does the military need to be funded at the same level as when we were occupying both countries.

    The real question is why the US would want to occupy two countries at the same time.

  10. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Nice term, ‘occupy’. How about 2 unfriendly nations show aggression? How about 2 disasters?

    We have less ship then before WWI.

    No doubt DoD can cut some fat, but they cannot bare the weight of 80 years of entitlement excess.

  11. Cut the DOD budget by 35%, when nothing happens,and it won’t, cut 35% again.

  12. We have less ship then before WWI.

    I have no clue what this sentence is supposed to mean.

  13. concernedtacoma7 says:

    The navy has less ships then at any point since WWI.

    Typical libs/leftist/dem to ignore the elephant in the room and focus on what is political.

    BHO is ignoring his own debt commission. No fortitude of courage from the left side of the aisle. Bring up entitlement reform and dems start the ‘pushing grandma off a cliff’ ads.

    Where is the courage from the left to take action?

  14. “The navy has less ships then at any point since WWI.”

    What makes you think we need them?

  15. concer — the push granny off a cliff add was a right-wing ad campaign. get your slander straight. you don’t remember? the dreaded “death panels” that obama was going to use to kill off the elderly? ur a fool for that one.

    and “the elephant in the room” is BHO ousting bin ladin, mubarek, and qadafy in less than three years time. the elephant in the room is our treaties with russia and n.korea. the elephant is secretary panetta AGREEING with the president and co-signing the plan. the elephant is the fact that defense spending has CONTINUED TO GROW UNDER OBAMA! it has every year. only right wing-nuts think that we will be invaded if defense spending is cut a single dime.

    care to explain who exactly is going to invade us??? i’m curious who the big threat in the world is to our sovereignity? i dare you to say it’s china… they own 12% of our debt and we buy all of their b.s. products at walmart and the $ store; they would be bankrupt without us. is iran gonna attack us? we would wipe them out in a month if they tried. n.korea? we just made a deal with them. who? who is left? who is gonna invade our shores? who even could?

  16. concernedtacoma7 says:

    The payments on our debt pay for China’s military. That is ok for you?

    The grandma off the cliff was against Paul Ryan.

  17. The navy has less ships then at any point since WWI.

    During the First World War, the U.S. Navy’s Transport Force (also called the Cruiser and Transport Force) employed forty-five commissioned ships to transport American service personnel across the Atlantic to the European combat zone. One of these was an older ex-commercial steamer that had been in Navy hands since the early 1900s. Another had been specifically built as a U.S. Navy transport. The rest were former merchant passenger liners, sixteen of them German vessels that had been laid up in U.S. ports since the great conflict began in 1914.

    In addition to former commercial ships, the Navy pressed fifteen older battleships, eight armored cruisers and two larger protected cruisers into service transporting service personnel home after the Armistice. It also appears probable that additional Navy ships, not formally listed as part of the transportation effort, were also used for the purpose as the opportunity arose.

    At least four other former American coastal passenger steamers were employed carrying personnel between the British Isles and France, but apparently did not make trans-Atlantic passenger voyages. The Navy acquired two more, both former Great Lakes passenger vessels, but the fighting ended before they reached the war zone. They therefore saw no active service in European waters.

    This large number of U.S. Navy ships can be conveniently broken into several groups, containing between one and twenty-seven vessels. The groups are easily defined by bow shape, number of smokestacks and number of masts. The basic groups are further subdivided by additional recognition features, including variations in deck lines, superstructure size, stern configurations and the arrangement of smokestacks, masts and kingposts. Though mainly intended as a tool for ship picture identification, these groupings are also useful for analysis and understanding of the Navy’s World War I achievements.


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