Robert's Virtual Soapbox

(or, The Sanctimonious Professional Leftist's Blog)
MARCH 11, 2012 7:12PM

Time to reel in our stormtroopers and shrink the Death Star

Rate: 10 Flag

There comes a time when you should see things clear [sic]
Free from my innocence, there is no circumstance too severe
Only the need for us, for us to believe again
There is a time, temptation’s on the run
Dreamer, you’ve had your way
Soldier, you’ve had your day in the sun
Now it’s time for us to begin again

Le Bel Age
Only our love will remain
Le Bel Age
Close to the truth once again …

– Pat Benatar, “Le Bel Age”

Please forgive my incredibly cheesy ’80s reference, but I’ve always loved that line: “Soldier, you’ve had your day in the sun.” (I don’t know that that the “dreamer” has had his or her way; I suppose that we need to know what it is, exactly, that the said dreamer dreams.)

At least since after Sept. 11, 2001, “hero” worship — worship of the mostly white male members of the U.S. military, law enforcement and, to a lesser extent, firefighters and emergency medical personnel – has gripped the nation.

Never mind that it’s the blowback from our military “heroes’” actions in the Middle East (where they were sent by stupid, white, filthy rich, greedy white men) that brought us 9/11 in the first fucking place.

Blowback is quite real. Take the 16 Afghan civilians, nine of them reportedly children, who reportedly were mowed down by one or more American stormtroopers today in what Reuters calls a “U.S. shooting spree.” Their relatives won’t want revenge against the United States of America?

Shit like this — the stuff of which 9/11 was made — happens, and then when shit like 9/11 happens, American fucktards scratch their heads and ask, “Why do they hate us so much?” (They then conclude that “they” hate us for our “freedom” and our “democracy” and our general lily-white goodness.)

So the endless loop — endless until we sane, actually patriotic Americans put an end to it or until the American empire collapses completely – is that the U.S. war machine slaughters innocent people in the Middle East, there is predictable retaliation in the form of “terrorism” (it’s never called terrorism when the U.S. military or the military of an American ally, such as Israel, slaughters innocent people), and then the members who comprise the U.S. war machine claim that their existence — indeed, their expansion — is necessary because of the global threats! (Never mind that they are the ones who are creating any actual threats.)

Yet a nauseating pro-military, pro-“hero”-worship meme that ABC News rolled out recently is that the members of the U.S. military are “the other 1 percent,” and that the rest of us just don’t appreciate them enough.

Really? Really? The U.S. military is bleeding us dry of our tax dollars — and because of this obscene military overspending we are watching our empire crumble as did past empires that overspent on their militaries — but we civilians owe the members of the U.S. military even more?

This is the deal: China, which is second in the world in its military spending, spends only one-sixth of what the United States spends on its military. This is what world military spending looks like:

The United States easily could more than halve its military spending and still maintain its undisputed global military dominance. At this point — the point on which the American empire teeters upon collapse – I would accept even a one-third reduction in U.S. military spending (for now), with those funds returned to domestic spending in order to save the fucking empire.

But we are told by the pro-military wingnuts that we must have this level of military spending, even though millions of Americans cannot afford health-care costs (health care never should have been made for-profit), even though our public schools continue to crumble and our teachers don’t have the funding that they need (they pay for many things out of their own pockets), even though almost no American (except for the actual 1 percent, the plutocrats) feels any retirement security, even though we have plenty of homeless people in our streets, and speaking of which, our streets are disintegrating and our bridges are falling down.

But even though the U.S. military is bleeding the United States of America fucking dry, ABC News quotes one veteran as having said, “‘It’s hard not to be a little bit angry when you see the tremendous sacrifice that some have paid in this war’ while others have been completely unaffected.”

No, the 99 percent of us have been quite affected by the right wing’s wars of choice in the Middle East for the benefit of the oily war profiteers, such as Dick Cheney’s Halliburton, which received no-bid contracts for the wholly unnecessary war in Iraq that the treasonous, unelected Bush regime delivered for Halliburton and the other oily, war-profiteering subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp. (No war, no profits, so indeed, BushCheneyCorp created a war.)

Largely because of the astronomical costs of the Vietraq War (and also, of course, because of his tax cuts for the wealthiest among us), while George W. Bush inherited a record federal budget surplus from Bill Clinton, Bush handed over to Barack Obama a record federal budget deficit.

Americans who have been unemployed and who have lost their homes and who can’t afford decent health care (and for whom a college education is pretty much a financial impossibility) don’t need to be lectured to by any bitter veterans that they haven’t sacrified enough. They have. We have. We have sacrified ridiculously more than enough to the U.S. war machine, and while the mostly-white-male objects of “hero” worship expect us to get on our knees and suck their dicks (or maybe they want us to play dead and they can then urinate on our “corpses” — that certainly seems to be their fetish), the members of the female-dominated professions, such as teachers and nurses, whose sacrifices also are immense, not only go unappreciated and unrecognized, but are told by the stupid white men that they must continue to suffer budget cuts and have their unions eliminated so that they lose altogether what paltry remaining rights that they have.

(I used to be a nurse in the for-profit wealth care — er, health care — system. I can tell you that with chronic understaffing and other lack of resources due to capitalistic greed, and with patients [most of them baby boomers] feeling entitled to the best health care possible even though most of them put themselves into the hospital because of their selfish, greedy, irresponsible lifestyle choices, going to work felt very much like being in a war zone — so again, nurses and teachers need no fucking lectures on the topic of self-sacrifice from egomaniacal G.I. Joes.)

If American veterans want to be angry for what they have been put through — and I suppose that they should be angry — then they need to be angry at the plutocrats who sent them unnecessarily to war in the first fucking place — and not at us civilians who pay for these military misadventures that are initiated by the treasonous, chickenhawk plutocrats who cannot empty the U.S. Treasury via the military-industrial complex fast enough.

And you know, I was one of millions of Americans who protested during the run-up to the Bush regime’s launch of its bogus Vietraq War in March 2003. Yes, I was at the California State Capitol at an anti-imminent-war rally in early 2003. I knew that invading Iraq was a horrible fucking idea, that it was a bogus war that was about to be launched by the treasonous, unelected Bush regime, and I registered my protest.

But at that time we progressives who opposed the impending Vietraq War were branded by the pro-military wingnuts as lunatics or “terrorist”-loving traitors or both.

And today, these pro-military wingnuts are telling us that we’re not sacrificing enough for the bogus warfare in the Middle East that we opposed from Day One.

And it’s interesting: The members of the U.S. military predominantly come from the red states, and the denizens of the red states are always accusing others of being parasites. They’re the hard workers, and we of the blue states are the slacking parasites on their hard work and their sacrifices, according to their narrative, yet it has been the case for years that the blue states get back significantly less from the federal government than they pay into it, while the red states get back significantly more than they pay into it. (I wrote about this fact here way back in April 2009.)

I assume that the calculations that show that the red states actually are the parasites on the blue states factor in the federal tax dollars collected from the blue states that go into the U.S. military and then are diverted predominantly to the red states, but if not, then the parasitical relationship is even more severe than it has been reported.

In any event, upon examination what emerges is the truth: Which is that the red states, appropriate to their assigned color, are blood-suckers — ticks, fleas, leeches – while we of the blue states, appropriate to our assigned color of oxygen-deprived, near-death blue, are the host, and not fucking vice-versa.

The right-wing fascists love the U.S. military because whatever they do not understand or they do not like or agree with they wish to destroy, and because of their ignorance they are fearful, and because they are fearful, they glorify the capacity to kill those of whom they are afraid. Fearful idiots — not truly brave and loving individuals – glorify guns, bombs and other means of killing people.

And, of course, there are millions of traitors — from big-time military contractors all the way down to individual soldiers – who feed at the trough that is U.S. military overspending. They are traitors because they don’t care that U.S. military overspending is destroying their own nation; they just want their gravy train to keep on chugging. To justify their continued looting of the U.S. Treasury — to continue to rob us blind — they have to invent perpetual “threats” and “national interests,” when the real interests sure the fuck aren’t national, but quite personally financial.

Religion has played a role, too, of course. Most members of the U.S. military, most of them being from the “Christo”fascist red states, identify themselves as “Christians,” even though, perversely ironically, Jesus Christ was all about nonviolence (turn the other cheek, he taught, not gun down your opponent and then piss on his corpse). These “Christo”fascists are having their little crusade in the Middle East, slaughtering Muslims left and right, but why should atheist taxpayers like me have to fund their fucking crusade?

Prick Santorum and Newt Gingrich and their “Christo”fascist ilk whine that the U.S. government “persecutes” “Christians” and that there should be no separation of church and state in the United States, but when the U.S. government is sponsoring their anti-Muslim crusade, I don’t see any real fucking separation of church and state.

Indeed, the U.S. military is rife with “Christo”fascists like Marine Sgt. Gary Stein, who, The Associated Press reports, “first started a Facebook page called Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots to encourage service members to exercise their free speech rights [and then] declared that he wouldn’t follow orders from the commander in chief, President Barack Obama.”

This is a photo of the traitor Stein, out of his pointy white hood:

He looks just like all of the other embittered right-wing bald white guys, like “Joe the Plumber,” who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in Ohio:

(Yes, apparently “Joe the Plumber,” a.k.a. Samuel Wurzelbacher, had someone write a book for him. No, he is not expected to win the election in November, and very apparently “the American dream” is that right-wing white guys maintain the control that they’ve had since the nation’s inception. A “dream” for the stupid white men, I suppose, but a fucking nightmare for the rest of us, such as women, non-whites, non-heterosexuals, non-“Christians” and non-fascists. [And civilians in the Middle East, of course...])

So: My — our – federal tax dollars don’t go things that we need, such as health care, education, infrastructure maintenance and environmental protection, but go instead to the U.S. military, where blatant traitors like Marine Sgt. Gary Stein proclaim that they don’t have to follow the orders of the nation’s first black president. On our dime.

Any member of the U.S. military who dared to publicly announce that he or she would not follow George W. Bush’s orders would have found him- or herself in knee-deep shit. He or she would have been expected to keep any dissenting political opinions to him- or herself or to be disciplined, but obviously Marine Sgt. Gary Stein and his treasonous, fascistic ilk feel that the U.S. military is only an arm of the American right wing, and thus only Repugnican Tea Party presidents are to be obeyed.

We truly patriotic Americans – who fucking fund the U.S. military in the first place – need to reel in this treasonous bullshit quickly. I see precious little difference between the supposed “subversive,” “Communist” infiltration of the U.S. military during the McCarthy era and the actual subversive infiltration of the U.S. military by the right-wing, white supremacist “Christo”fascists today.

It’s not their fucking military. It’s our fucking military, and it’s insane that we fund them only so that they then can bite the hands that feed them.

We progressives need to man up, so to speak, and demand that politicians, perhaps especially those who call themselves “Democrats,” stop being cowed by the pro-military, “Christo”fascist right wing and stop being the Pentagon’s little bitches. The stupid-white-male-dominated Pentagon (the “Death Star” that I made reference to) should answer to us, the people, and not vice-versa.

Military overspending must be contained before the American empire collapses completely. To be complicit in the empire’s collapse is to be a fucking traitor. There is no way around that.

I don’t want the members of the U.S. military to be unemployed. We have enough unemployment. I want a great number of those employed by the U.S. military to be re-employed, but this time in capacities that help the taxpayers of the United States of America — and not the greedy, treasonous actual 1 percent, who are the only ones who really benefit from the perpetual bogus warfare that they impose upon the 99 percent of us for their own treasonous war profiteering.

These re-employed, redirected individuals from the U.S. military can be engineers, teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, scientists, construction workers, architects, cooks, environmentalists, artists (yes, we need art much more than we need more bombs and fighter planes), whatever they want to be that they are able to be, and those services are worth paying for.

American stormtroopers urinating on corpses and mowing down innocent civilians in the Middle East as a by-product of obscene war profiteering – that, apparently, is what the pro-military right wing wants.

That’s not how I want my tax dollars spent, and the progressive vision, I argue, is infinitely better for the United States of America than is the apocalyptic “vision” of the pro-military “Christo”fascists who tell us progressives that we’re just not sacrificing enough for them.

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I quite agree. Isn't there supposed to be a reduction coming up? Or have they managed to circumvent that already? Or are they using Iran to do that?

I sincerely hope that we are watching the last gasp of the fundamental white man's grip on power. Please, please, please, please, plea-e-e-e-ease!
And that fuck Joe The Plumber stole my name!

This is a great post and I agree with every last word. Thank you.
I love Joe the Plumber's BS... hope he gets his ass kicked. By the way I made the same kind of arguments for defense spending reductions in speech class in Southmore Jr. High back in 1964. Got labeled a communist and lost the election for Sophomore Class President to the only male cheerleader in High School. Guess I learned my lesson!!
phyllis45's Bright eyes: I seem to remember hearing/reading about a slight reduction in U.S. military spending. However, let's face it: under Barack Obama it will be just a bit of a trim, nothing like the drastic haircut that is needed. Obama has kissed the ass of the military-industrial complex just like Bill Clinton did.

Anyway, the stupid white man indeed slowly is losing his grip on power. Changing demographics, the spread of information via the Internet, and the results of decades of the stupid white man's actions (and inaction) are becoming harder and harder to spin as positives.

The only real question, I think, is whether the stupid white man will go out with a whimper or try to take the rest of us out with him with a big bang...

Others: "Joe the Plumber" is in a Democratic congressional district. He won't win. What a piece of shit, though, claiming for the McCainosaurus campaign in 2008 that because of the policies of Barack Obama he'll never own his own plumbing business, but when journalists looked into "Joe the Plumber's" background, they discovered he wasn't (still isn't?) even a licensed plumber! Maybe he might have wanted to become a real plumber first before blaming his own failures on Barack Obama. But hey, blame the black guy!

Anyway, I find the Marine sergeant who believes that the U.S. military belongs to the white right wing to be much more dangerous than "Joe the Plumber" most likely ever will be.

The Marine sergeant claims that he won't follow any orders of Obama's that aren't legal, yet the Vietraq War certainly never was legal. The United Nations Security Council refused to rubber-stamp it, yet the unelected, treasonous Bush regime launched it anyway. Yet any U.S. soldiers who refused to carry out these illegal orders probably found themselves in the brig and then dishonorably discharged.

No, the Marine sergeant's real problem isn't with the legality of Obama's orders; his problem is that Obama isn't a white Repugnican Tea Party asshole.

Fucking right-wing hypocrites...
P.S. To phyllis45's: Yes, apparently Iran is the "threat" du jour. Thing is, after the Vietraq and Afghanistan debacles, and especially after the Bush regime's blatant fucking lies about Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction," will Americans buy it?

Polls show that more than 50 percent of Americans want us out of Afghanistan NOW. (Source: I don't see a war with Iran having enough public support. Not when our empire is teetering on collapse.
nice rant. deserves EP. much more on the warma$hine in my blog. strange how closely this mirrors a diatribe I was laying on my sig.other last summer on a long drive in the car....
Thank you. It was simmering in my mind for about a week. First I read the pro-corporate, pro-military "news" story about "the other 1 percent," then I read about the treasonous Marine sergeant who apparently believes that the U.S. military belongs to the "tea party," and then I read about the latest massacre of civilians in Afghanistan by our stormtroopers whose salaries we, the taxpayers, pay. So I guess that it was three strikes, and then I had no choice but to write what I'd been thinking about writing for the past week.

I don't hold that we should have no military at all. Of course we should. But obviously the U.S. military has become bloated beyond belief over decades of graft and corruption, and it's time for radical liposuction, whether the parasites of the military-industrial complex want it or not (and of course they don't; when do parasites ever voluntarily stop their blood-sucking?).

EPs are nice, but I don't expect to get them. I've had a few, but whatever. Some EPs seem worthy, but many others seem chosen almost at random...
Amen, Robert! The increasing demand for blind worship of the military and of militarism keeps escalating in the media and popular culture. Half the channels on cable tv seem devoted to the military, or police, or prisons. The Coercion & Control Industries. How many Muslim-dominated countries of the Middle East have we now waged war in, either through invasion or bombing, this past decade--is it six or seven? How many more are scheduled after Iran? It's a vicious circle, creating more and more enemies to justify more and more war and invasion. Destroy whatever you don't understand or like. This dynamic appears to be escalating out of control. I wonder what would happen if America troops attached a country capable of fighting back--by things like retaliatory bombing of our cities or drone attacks and targeted assaissinations. I sometimes fear only successive bloody defeats will cure America of its lust for war. [r]
The U.S. military stopped being about actual defense after World War II. Now, it's only about war profiteering and opening up more of other nations' natural resources for corporate exploitation (through force or the threat of force). So all of this rhetoric about our soldiers fighting and dying for our "freedoms" -- it's a load of horseshit.

And yes, the idea that we're supposed to worship them when they are making our lives worse, not better, when they need us but we don't need (most of) them -- yes, that incenses me...

P.S. Thank you for bringing up the prison industrial complex, a cousin to the "criminal justice"/"law enforcement" complex and the military-industrial complex, all of which primarily are about maintaining the socioeconomic status quo, that is, keeping the richest among us on their lofty, opulent perches and the poorest among us at the bottom of the dogpile.
P.S. to phyllis45's: I just saw this sentence in a news story about China's defense budget: "Obama's proposed budget for the fiscal year of 2013 calls for a Pentagon base budget of $525.4 billion, about $5.1 billion less than approved for 2012." So we're looking at what, a budget cut of not even a full 1 percent? Yeah, what a "sacrifice"!

(News story here:
Kiss my black ass! Americans love a good war! You cannot question war! And war is what makes us safe! I'm saving the world! No price is too high for that! "Just believe!"
Imperial over-reach is gonna destroy our nation and our society, so, to all of the above, an emphatic "yep." With this caveat; yeah, there are plenty of fuckstains like Gary Stein in the armed services, and the military has no shortage of war criminals at all levels, from PFCs to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but the majority of those serving at noncommissioned officer level and below are people who signed up as a way to get useful education to help them find a career when they get out because our society doesn't offer many ways to make a decent living if you're poor. Most of those folk don't murder civilians or piss on the corpses of dead insurgents or what have you, and, with some exceptions, they're as much victims of the Death Star as any Iraqi or Afghan. Our government, via "stop-loss" extensions and so forth, has had our frontline service men/women serving 3 or 4 or even more consecutive tours of duty in extremely perilous and challenging combat situations and it's understandable under those conditions they'd feel alienated from and resentful of a population which has mainly spent the last ten years running up credit card debt and either ignoring what's going on overseas or preaching about how *good* or *bad* it is. That being the case, I take exception to blaming a bunch of kids being used as cannon fodder for decisions taken at the highest level of our government, decisions, it needs to be noted, taken mainly by civilians who'd shit their pants if they ever heard an incoming round whizz past their lily-white overly entitled heads and whose own kids wouldn't be caught within 5000 miles of a combat zone. Grunts come mainly from the blue-collar/working poor tiers of our society, and they have absolutely no say in where they're sent or what they're ordered to do; I realize you know that already, but I thought it was worth mentioning here.
Barack: I have TOLD people that you are one of my regular readers, but they've acted as though I were CRAZY! Now I have PROOF! Anyway, since you have DRONES at your command and since you have announced that you may have any U.S. citizen ASSASSINATED for secret reasons, I will politely -- VERY politely and VERY respectfully -- agree to disagree with you...

nanatehay: As was the case with the Abu Ghraib House of Horrors in Vietraq, of course I blame the stupid white men at the top of the chain of command more than I blame our "grunts." When you put our stormtroopers where they never should have been put in the first place, you have to take responsibility for whatever our stormtroopers do (or fail to do, depending upon the situation).

And yes, I realize that many if not most of our young adults join the U.S. military out of economic need. They need jobs and they can't afford college. Many if not most of these individuals see the military as their only option, because at least since the Reagan years, all of their options have been wiped out in the steady right-wing assault on the working class and the middle class.

That's why I would love to see a huge chunk of the military budget diverted to PRODUCTIVE projects that benefit the 99 percent of us instead of to destructive, bogus wars that benefit only the 1 percent. We're paying these tax dollars anyway; we might as well divert them away from EVIL and toward GOOD. I'd much rather pay, through my federal taxes, for college education and job training and job creation for young people than to continue to bolster the treasonous military-industrial complex that indeed puts our young in the meat grinder that is the Middle East.
It is also time to reel in the propaganda machine led by the corporate media which is trying to take over the schools.

Some of the most effective ways they're doing this involve the increased reliance on programs like Channel One and Charter Schools; in the case of Channel One they may have peaked for now but they're still increasing the reliance on charter schools.

Both of these are targeted towards the lower classes which they don't intend to educate to stand up for themselves; instead they're trying to increase advertising that teaches them to be come obsessive consumers and trying to make profits more important than education.

The for profit system shouldn't be increased here anymore than in the health care industry.
Great Post! what more can I say? rated
---- other than the fact, that you just made it to the top of my favorites list!