August 05, 2007

Chaos, War, Murder and Destruction Are What They Want

Remember that the United States now spends more on defense and the military than the rest of the world combined. But you can never be too safe, right? Especially if it's all paid for with the money you extort from those insignificant plebeians. Besides, everyone -- Bush, Harry Reid, and major "progressive" bloggers -- is convinced we need a bigger military! Well, you never know when you might need to murder another million people who never threatened us.

Behold the glorious products of your government. Behold the magnificent work of the "anti-war" Democrats (apologies for the extended coughing jag):
The House approved modest changes to President Bush's record Pentagon budget proposal early Sunday, but Democrats signaled plans to resume a more contentious debate over the Iraq war after the August recess.

The House's $459.6 billion version of the defense budget, approved on a 395-13 vote, would add money for equipment for the National Guard and Reserve, provide for 12,000 additional soldiers and Marines, and increase spending for defense health care and military housing.


The measure does not include Bush's 2008 funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. ...

The massive military measure represents a nearly $40 billion increase over current levels. The Pentagon would get another several-billion-dollar budget increase through a companion measure covering military base construction and a recent round of base closures.
And go, go, go, fighting Dems!
Murtha had prepared amendments to close the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and require troops be fully trained and equipped before going to fight in Iraq. But facing the prospects of losing votes and inflaming partisan tensions, he withdrew them.
Oh, well. Guantanamo is only the most loathsome symbol of omnipotent government power, which is the final goal of the ruling class. No need to "inflam[e] partisan tensions" over so minor a matter, or about requiring "troops [to] to be fully trained and equipped before going to fight in Iraq." Don't want politicians in Washington sitting on their fat asses to fight a merely legislative battle if they might lose. Messy. Demoralizing. Too unhappy-making.

And then there's this final bit:
The bill contains a provision barring the establishment of permanent bases in Iraq.
On this point, I remind you that since we are concerned here with Washington logic, which operates on the basis of laws that are the perfect inversion of what any remotely sane human being would anticipate, the prohibition against permanent bases means the opposite of what you think. There will be tens of thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq for decades to come, regardless of which party controls the White House and Congress. Unless, of course, large parts of the Middle East are consumed by nuclear clouds. Never fear: the Democrats and Republicans are both working toward that end, too. Is anybody going to do anything to stop it? Nah, nobody's going to do anything to stop it. And Hillary loves her some nukes. Think how totally awesome it will be!

And about Mr. Murtha, widely lauded for his "anti-war" positions (insert second extended coughing jag here), feast on this, you pork-lovers:
Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), chairman of the House Appropriations defense panel, has secured the most earmarked dollars in the 2008 military spending bill, followed closely by the panel’s ranking member Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.).

Even though Young secured 52 earmarks, worth $117.2 million — and co-sponsored at least $27 million worth of others — Murtha’s 48 earmarks amount to a total of $150.5 million, according to a database compiled by the watchdog organization Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS).

The House is expected to take up the $459.6 billion defense appropriations bill Friday. It contains 1,337 earmarks, costing $3.07 billion, which is less than half the number and value of earmarks in last year’s bill.

Keith Ashdown of TCS said, however, that the sum is derived from only the earmarks that the panel disclosed at the back of the bill’s report. He expects to find undisclosed projects as well.


Murtha, the defense industry’s darling, has been known throughout his tenure on the defense panel to shell out a large number of earmarks. His biggest earmark in the bill is $23 million for the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), a move that sparked a fierce fight with Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), who earlier this year voted in a private meeting to strip Murtha’s earmark.

The Bush administration requested $16 million to shut down the center, which is in Murtha’s district, because it replicated the work of a similar center.


The embattled former Appropriations Committee chairman, Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.), also claims a big haul of earmark dollars, totaling $95 million. In some cases, he joined Reps. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.), Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-Calif.) and other California lawmakers in requests for earmarks.


Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) got her share of pork projects — 11 projects valued at $37.3 million.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s (D-Md.) haul is $26 million.
The Democrats and Republicans are equal-opportunity pigs. Equality is important.

Doesn't it all just fill you to bursting with pride? This has to be the best damned government the world has ever seen. So many people keep saying that, it must be true.

About all this, I remind you of Robert Higgs' point, included in a post yesterday:
As a general rule for understanding public policies, I insist that there are no persistent "failed" policies. Policies that do not achieve their desired outcomes for the actual powers-that-be are quickly changed. If you want to know why the U.S. policies have been what they have been for the past sixty years, you need only comply with that invaluable rule of inquiry in politics: follow the money.

When you do so, I believe you will find U.S. policies in the Middle East to have been wildly successful, so successful that the gains they have produced for the movers and shakers in the petrochemical, financial, and weapons industries (which is approximately to say, for those who have the greatest influence in determining U.S. foreign policies) must surely be counted in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

So U.S. soldiers get killed, so Palestinians get insulted, robbed, and confined to a set of squalid concentration areas, so the "peace process" never gets far from square one, etc., etc. – none of this makes the policies failures; these things are all surface froth, costs not borne by the policy makers themselves but by the cannon-fodder masses, the bovine taxpayers at large, and foreigners who count for nothing.
Endless war, an increasingly oppressive surveillance state, the evisceration of individual freedom and civil liberties, and ongoing chaos and destruction are all what they want.

None of this is an "error," or a "mistake in judgment," or "good intentions" gone awry. This is what they want.

Never, ever forget it.