Dayton Grassroots Daily Show v25 “common defense”

We’ve been taking some heat for what should and shouldn’t be included in the “public good”- from schools to roads. Almost universally, even the most anti-big-government voices still believe in the need for a “common defense.”

However, our choices in foreign policy have often come back to haunt us. Picking sides in far away wars has proven to be expensive and having a net effect of turning our country into a debtor nation.

Greg Hunter and David Esrati talk about our choices, post 9/11, and if our country can really afford a war.

Let the comments fly.

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6 Responses

  1. Dad December 18, 2009 / 7:16 pm
    What’s a UAV, guys?

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  2. Seth December 20, 2009 / 9:57 am
    Good points guys.  Makes one wonder if we’re going down the same road as imperial Rome.  The real power of our country comes from our restraint and intelligence, not our trillion dollar wars or trillion dollar welfare programs.  Weren’t the United States supposed to be a beacon of liberty by our example not by our military policy?  Didn’t Washington warn of us about things like this?

    The “third world” idea you alluded to at the end seems to have some validity with a lot of people who see the Republicans as the party of nationalist warfare and the Democrats as the party of socialist welfare.  Both grow corrupt government, dissolve personal responsibility, spend money they don’t have partly because “the Dems/Repubs waste X amount on a stupid war/stupid welfare.”  There are some aspects of the two party system that lend themselves to a National (R) Socialist (D) model.  Kinda scary if you believe it.  Luckily we have elections every two years, so the politicians only last as long as the people’s ignorance lasts. 

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  3. jstults December 21, 2009 / 10:03 pm
    Seth:

    Luckily we have elections every two years, so the politicians only last as long as the people’s ignorance lasts.

    Some quotes I thought of when I read that:

    No one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.
    — H.L. Mencken

    and since financial catastrophes seem to be so popular these days:

    The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.
    — J.M. Keynes

    David:

    The Russians weren’t the first…

    Too true:

    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
    An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier.
    Go, go, go like a soldier,
    Go, go, go like a soldier,
    Go, go, go like a soldier,
    So-oldier ~of~ the Queen!
    — Rudyard Kipling

    Just so no one thinks there is anything new here under the sun:

    I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.
     
    War is a racket. …It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.
     
    — Smedley D. Butler, Maj Gen, USMC

    As bad as things may seem, I can’t give the cynics the final word:

    Others will debate the controversial issues, national and international, which divide men’s minds; but serene, calm, aloof, you stand as the Nation’s war-guardian, as its lifeguard from the raging tides of international conflict, as its gladiator in the arena of battle. For a century and a half you have defended, guarded, and protected its hallowed traditions of liberty and freedom, of right and justice.

    Let civilian voices argue the merits or demerits of our processes of government; whether our strength is being sapped by deficit financing, indulged in too long, by federal paternalism grown too mighty, by power groups grown too arrogant, by politics grown too corrupt, by crime grown too rampant, by morals grown too low, by taxes grown too high, by extremists grown too violent; whether our personal liberties are as thorough and complete as they should be. These great national problems are not for your professional participation or military solution. Your guidepost stands out like a ten-fold beacon in the night: Duty, Honor, Country.

    You are the leaven which binds together the entire fabric of our national system of defense. From your ranks come the great captains who hold the nation’s destiny in their hands the moment the war tocsin sounds. The Long Gray Line has never failed us. Were you to do so, a million ghosts in olive drab, in brown khaki, in blue and gray, would rise from their white crosses thundering those magic words: Duty, Honor, Country.

    This does not mean that you are war mongers.

    On the contrary, the soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.

    But always in our ears ring the ominous words of Plato, that wisest of all philosophers: “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”
    — General Douglas MacArthur, Sylvanus Thayer Award Acceptance Address

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  4. Greg Hunter December 22, 2009 / 9:33 am
    I really like the movie called Conspiracy and there was an exchange that showed the contrast between diplomacy and a soldier.  The movie is about the rationalization and legalization of the death camps.

    Kritzinger: This is more than war. Must be a different word for this. 
    Lange: Try chaos. 
    Kritzinger: Yes. The rest is argument, the curse of my profession. 
    Lange: I studied law as well. 
    Kritzinger: How do you apply that education to what you do? 
    Lange: It has made me distrustful of language. A gun means what it says. (Emphasis Mine)

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  5. David Esrati December 22, 2009 / 11:17 am

    @jstults and Greg- nice quotes. Thank you.

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