Thursday, April 16, 2020

Whatever You Do, Don’t Ask the Military to Help

By Connor Freeman - April 16, 2020 at 09:46AM

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Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis and mass hysteria, there’s been a peculiar pattern, you will notice if you haven’t already, of certain, new non-interventionist talking points picking up steam.

The general premise of these arguments goes something like this: we are unprepared for this crisis because we’ve been spending all this money on war and imperialism. It should be spent on a proper government response to this wildfire-like spreading disease. The military should be here helping us combat this pandemic.

While there is much to be said for this thesis, it misses some central points about the sordid characters it appeals to for assistance in these difficult times.

The first part, regarding the extensive opportunity costs involved, is no doubt true. Americans spend well over $1 trillion every year on empire and mass murder. Our productive capacity is diminished to whatever extent wealth, labor, capital, etc. is transferred from productive and civil society to the military industrial complex.

Where these well-intentioned sentiments go way off the rails is asking the US government and its military to help us here.

More than three million civilians have died or been killed in these 21st century American forever wars. Beyond that, ponder the damage done by the myriad sanctions and bombing campaigns.

The country is bankrupt and the national debt now exceeds our GDP. Which is a misleading figure anyhow because, among other things, it includes all this war spending as if it’s every bit as beneficial and productive as stuff people actually want or need, and that adds value. Nor does it take into account the Federal Reserve’s boom-bust cycle inducing inflation.

We were mercilessly lied to, by the “authorities,” about the true reasons given for the 9/11 al Qaeda attacks. We let fear get the best of us and blew over $6 trillion, not including the interest on all that blood money which will cost many trillions more. We let the government harass us daily, and we gave up fundamental, constitutional rights like privacy and due process. It’s these nationally suicidal decisions, made in times of great confusion, such as these, upon which the Trump administration is capitalizing to outright end habeas corpus.

Even now, the government seems primarily concerned with exploiting this crisis to gain more surveillance powers and control over our movements, money, medical records, and communications.

One must only consider what this government is capable of in places like Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq, to know we don’t want that same military helping us with anything here.

We’re no different from Yemenis or Iraqis, it is only our naïve American exceptionalism that makes us think, “it can’t happen here.”

Those troops should all be called home immediately, where many if not most could be discharged.

The true extent of the danger of this novel coronavirus and what a reasonable response should look like is surely up for debate, although that is not our concern here.

The purpose of a military is to kill an enemy in a declared and just war, not to lead humanitarian efforts.

There is no need to appeal to the ruling class’ penchant for big government to invest further in a domestic totalitarianism, which is the direction we’re headed, in lieu of continuing the foreign interventionism. If history, indeed recent history, teaches us anything, this regime will be happy to oblige us on the former and, invariably, only escalate the latter.

Let the people keep their money. Bring the troops home from all over the world and say a permanent goodbye to all those bases. Get rid of the preposterously anachronistic and Cold War 2.0 fueling NATO. And end all the murderous sanctions, so we can trade goods, culture, medicine, and finally make peace .

Americans are losing their homes, drowning in debt, can’t pay their medical bills, many have lost their jobs, and there’s homelessness everywhere. In the face of that, how does having Special Operations Forces commandos deployed and killing people in a whopping 72% of the world’s nations help?

The absolute minimum the American people can do is demand that it all stop until it actually stops.

With tens of veterans committing suicide each day and this virus de jour rampaging throughout the branches, all this war isn’t helping our soldiers any either.

Before it’s too late, let’s end the war party and attack this virus ourselves. Indeed, if our goal is to save lives, we won’t be needing any assistance from the butchers of Yemen and Somalia.

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