Monday, March 9, 2009

The Wars We Fight

Now I don't speak for my generation, mostly because they wouldn't let me do so, but I highly suspect that my generation is getting tired of war. Now, I don't mean solely the War on Islamic Head-Choppers (which is called the War on Terror everywhere else), I mean all these wonderful wars we are currently fighting.

Firstly, there's was the War on Poverty. It was started in the 1930s in an effort to "combat" the Great Depression and was ultimately made into a coherent policy in the 1960s. This is a war that is 100% unwinnable. Ignoring any religious arguments (Jesus did say the poor will always be with us), the truth of the matter is that the United States uses horrible measurements to illustrate progress and keeps on moving the goalposts. This nation has spent billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars to keep people from poverty and yet, we still haven't won anything and there's nothing to show for it.

The War on Poverty has ravaged the potential savings of the young as well. For years, the young and healthy have paid for the retirement and medical care of the elderly through Social Security and Medicare. The young do so because more of the elderly vote than the young and many of them don't care about the younger generation (Incidentally, this is probably why Obama can borrow so much money and it doesn't upset too many actual voters). But that's OK, since the United States government has already started the process of implementing euthanasia, so it won't be long before the elderly are a myth.

In any event, the War on Poverty is unwinnable and we should pull out of that one. Since we spend about 1.5 Trillion a year on it, it is well worth consideration. At the very least, people will begin to take personal responsibility for their own lives again. The economy would rebound too, since starving people will do what they need to in order to eat.

The next big war we are constantly fighting is the War on Drugs. It was started around the turn of the century, when everyone believed that the government could fix everything, and basically created a very dangerous criminal underbelly that continues to damage lives to this day. Yes, substance abuse is a horrible thing to go through or witness a loved one go through. But at the same time, how is marijuana different from alcohol? Both are addictive and both cause good people to fall. And it was during the 1920s that organized crime groups became very prominent and wealthy as a result of the sale of illegal booze.

The truth is, in my view. that the Federal government should not be in the business of curtailing the drug trade. Instead, they should back off and dismantle the various enforcement agencies at the Federal level involved. While there will probably some serious backlashes in various areas initially, in the long run the drug trade will involve actual businessmen and not thugs who couldn't make in the real world if they tried.

Another war we are fighting is the War on Terror. Apparently, fighting a war on a military tactic is really stupid at face value. But yes, I am aware that there is a face and an enemy in this war. But he seems to have disappeared into a cave somewhere. In any case, the War on Terror has been used to intervene in affairs not related to the War on Terror and linked to other wars and conflicts, despite some of them not having anything to do with terror.

I am not dismissing the notion of a group or network of people who are intent on inflicting harm on this nation. What I am asking for consideration is that we tone our engagement in world affairs and let the rest of the world sort itself out. Maybe it's high time we changed tactics and only respond when we are attacked, but so brutally and swiftly that it will become unthinkable to attack the United States.

The last war that we are still fighting is the Cold War. Yes, despite the Soviet Union collapsing, we still have bases and military in the various places that they really shouldn't be. On top of that, we are still treating Russia like they are the Soviet Union, by and large. We also still maintain many outdated alliances, which is what brought about the fall of Athens in the days of the ancient Greeks.

So really, the majority of the Federal government's budget is dedicated to some war or another. Frankly, it sickens me because none of these wars are all that serious (except for the Iraq War) and it cheapens the severity and seriousness of war. I am not a hippy peacenik. I'm a regular guy with too many ideas and not enough listeners (hence this blog). But I do believe that we are over-extending the capabilities of the United States government and it's high time we all just took a step back and did some national soul searching.

Oh, and don't expect Barack Obama to do anything to end any of these wars.