Saturday, September 19, 2009
Obama's give-away to the defense industry will be "a little less" than what Bush gave them. Now the defense industry and its friends are throwing a tantrum.
What's the purpose of missile defense? It sure seems like a handy excuse to transfer money from US taxpayers into the hands of defense industry contractors. These corporations invariably get everything they want in the name of "national security."
And when they don't get something? They throw a tantrum. The Obama Administration decided it wasn't going to give Pentagon money-suckers quite everything they wanted, so now the sky is falling.
That's what is happening today. But you would not appreciate this just by reading the reports about the Obama Administration's cut-backs to the Bush missile defense program published in the US press. Or would you? The unquestioned assumptions that litter these reports tell the real story.
The question about missile defense ought to be simple: Either such a program is necessary, or it is not. Reading the articles, mainly only two angles of the story get presented: 1) how Central Europeans feel betrayed; and 2) how the right wing is "complaining" about Obama's plan to limit the Bush program. The US news media is not reporting the "complaints" of those who do not think that Obama has cut the missile defense program back nearly enough. Many people on the left and the right want missile defense scrapped altogether. We see it for what it is: a waste of money and a potentially needless provocation of the only country capable of destroying the United States -- other than the United States itself.*
The strange logic of missile defense was that in order to protect yourself from a hypothetical future danger (Iranian nukes), you anger the country whose cooperation you need to deal with today's threats to global security (including Iran). For example, if any of Russia's nuclear warheads got into the wrong hands, nobody would be safe. Such weapons exist today -- thousands of such weapons. Missile defense against non-existent Iranian weapons has become a substitute for pursuing arms reduction. Both Russia and the US must abide by their end of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. They need to cooperate to reduce their own missile stockpiles -- eventually down to zero.
Obama photo: by Jotman.
* The possibility that US weapons could be misused by American leaders or stolen is probably the greatest military threat Americans face.
Posted by Jotman on Saturday, September 19, 2009