Friday, February 8, 2008

'What do Shimon Peres and Mitt Romney have in common?'

By Tim Swanson ∙ ∙ February 8, 2008

Neither apparently knows how the federal government gained control of Puerto Rico.

In his address to CPAC last night, Romney uttered a number of false statements. The first of which included reiterating a story from Shimon Peres who noted that,

America is unique in the history of the world. In the history of the world, whenever there has been conflict, the nation that wins takes land from the nation that loses. One nation in history, and this during the last century, laid down hundreds of thousands of lives and took no land. No land from Germany, no land from Japan, no land from Korea.

If there is any one common trait the political class in the US historically shares with its world-wide peers it is its unsatiable land-grabbing totalitarian tendencies. Manifest destiny was and is the forceful expansion of the military state across geographic boundaries that has left whole cultures in smoldering ruins. This ironically includes long-term US occupations of Germany, Japan and Korea where more than 100,000 troops are currently stationed.

From day one numerous US administrations waged dozens of wars across the continental plains and forcefully removed hundreds of thousands of Indians from their homesteads. Unruly elements incited a war with Canada in 1812. These same statists provoked and engaged a war with Mexico that ultimately settled the annexation of Texas and the Gadsden purchase (all of which was paid for by the unwitting taxpayer). Northern aggression resulted in a decimated and vengeful South. After provoking the Spanish into a war, the US acquired the territory of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Phillipines and parts of Cuba.

And what about little Hawaii? Its indigenous populace was subdued and its Queen overthrown by American interventionists.

But even ignoring those dusty historical footnotes how do Peres and Romney reconcile 800 military bases covering hundreds of thousands of acres in over 100 countries? Or the inconvenient fact that US military has bombed over thirty countries since World War II? And what about puppet states and proconsuls such as L. Paul Bremer?

Empire, what empire? (see: Sorrows of Empire and Ruses of War)

Romney also wants to rebuild what he sees as a weakened military,

But their numbers have been depleted by the Clinton years when troops were reduced by 500,000, when 80 ships were retired from the Navy, and when our human intelligence was slashed by 25%. […] we must act to rebuild our military might.

Romney failed to mention that despite these cuts US politicians desperately attempted to maintain its empire. Furthermore, numerous intelligence agencies were actively investigating potential terrorist threats prior to 9/11.

Romney’s solution to these ”liberal” slashes: increase spending to 4% of GDP.

I’m not entirely sure what budget outlays Romney has been reading over the past 7 years, but the current military budget is bigger than the military budgets of the next 25 largest countries combined. At a staggering $1 trillion, which does not include outlays for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is higher than that at any point in history. And it has only increased since the Clinton years.

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