To the editor:
Who will the US be at war with in five years?
I know this may seem an odd question to ask, but I think it is the right question.
If you asked a person on the street in 1936 in the middle of the depression who would we be fighting in five years they'd have probably looked at you like you were crazy. Nazi Germany, Italy, Japan? In 1936 most would have thought war with those countries absurd.
We seem to be in a similar situation now.
Right-wing propagandists not withstanding, our elites understand that global warming is a real and serious problem, that we must end our addiction to oil, that the high unemployment rate is a ticking time bomb.
So too, they realize that to solve these problems it will be necessary for the American people to make major sacrifices.
But how do you accomplish that in the current economic situation?
The middle class is already bearing most of the burdens of an economic crisis that continues to deteriorate, the lower classes have nothing to give, and the wealthy are looking for ways to profit from this crisis not make sacrifices.
The answer is simple.
I'm not talking about invading some third world country. Been there done that.
Rather, I'm talking about a rally around the flag, draft a million 18- and 19-year-olds, hire at the munitions factory war.
I'm talking the kind of war where people patriotically endure shortages, and where the wealthy become war profiteers. I'm talking war on a grand scale.
Obama's stimulus plans aren't working, and Congress is balking at more stimulus as fiscally irresponsible. But Congress is always willing to spend money on war.
War must be looking awfully tempting right about now as a way to stimulate the economy. As the economy continues to deteriorate that temptation is going to get worse.
And there are plenty of countries with their own problems with the same temptation. The Iranian regime could use a good war to rally the people behind them. The Chinese economy is facing the collapse of a housing bubble and war might provide the perfect distraction.
Europe has major economic problems, and what could be a better distraction for the European people than a bloody war or two.
There is also this to ponder. Despite the world economic downturn, world military spending increased 5.9 per cent in 2008 and 65 per cent of the world's countries increased their military spending in 2009.
It appears the world is preparing for war.
I want to make clear I am not advocating war. I would much prefer we faced our economic, climate, and energy problems head on rather than wasting trillions of dollars and thousands of lives because we're in denial about those things.
But it appears wasting lives and money is the path we are heading down.