Column re-run for those who think I’m anti-military

Fritz is pro-military

I met an old friend at the phone store the other day and he said he liked my column except when I was “anti-military.” It strikes me as odd that my opinions are viewed as such. But considering how government has grown to consume about half of its citizens’ productivity without so much as a whimper, I can see government education has taken a toll on the founders’ vision.

There is a 180 acre field north of us that still has ponds and a full load of nitrogen applied. The dry springs we’ve had lately apparently lulled this farmer into renting too much ground and he will either have tall spindly beans or late corn. But as Bob Streit said in a recent Farm News article, he’s got crop insurance so it doesn’t matter so much.

The welfarists and warfarists have more in common than either would care to admit. They don’t pay all their costs themselves. The farmer mentioned above got in over his head because subsidized crop insurance let him shift costs to taxpayers. His risky decisions will draw from the societal pool of wealth and added to the bad decisions of others, make all of us slightly poorer.

Those who wish to abuse and misuse the military always do so with other people’s money, the same way supporters of the welfare state aim to help the poor as long as someone else pays for it. You cannot be a laissez-faire capitalist and support protection of American interests abroad. That is called crony capitalism or corporate welfare.

I am opposed to use of the U.S. Military to provide welfare to businesses who should provide for their own defense around the world. I choose to live within our borders because that is the jurisdiction of the U.S. Government. Controlling the entire world for the safety of U.S. interests is too large a task for any military. Private funding for protection of U.S. interests abroad would direct that funding to the most profitable uses.

If I wanted to be anti-military as my friend claims I am, I would simply do everything our government Neo-cons are doing right now. These are the positions I would take to fulfill the fantasy that I am anti-military:

  • If I were anti-military… I would advocate means tests for benefits promised to veterans. In the real world this would be called socialism. Our soldiers should be fully compensated for the work they do, not for their social or economic standing.
  • If I were anti-military… I would advocate our military be used to protect private business, putting our soldiers in danger to benefit those businesses at the expense of someone else. What is going on now gives foreign businesses and workers an advantage over Americans by furnishing defense for non-American interests.
  • If I were anti-military… I would send our military into foreign lands to micro-manage cultures foreign to our own and establish political systems they will never understand. Our soldiers are committed by our leaders to impossible tasks and then offered limited support to tackle those tasks.
  • If I were anti-military… I would put our troops in situations where innocent people are harmed and that harm is not justified in defense of our country, creating an overwhelming sense of guilt.

My pro-military positions are expressed by my advocacy for a purely defensive force. Such a military, that does not act pre-emptively would attract personnel dedicated to defending the United States rather than acting as agents for the United Nations or foreign governments. Without pre-emptive military action those potential enemies that are swayed to oppose us might stay neutral or even be our friends.

In other words, sending our military into combat to manage an unmanageable world is anti-military. Misusing our military is anti-military.

These two quotes from George Washington’s farewell address express my views better than I could myself:

“It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world…”

“…avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty.”

I am pro-military. I prefer that they stay alive to protect our country.

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2 responses to “Column re-run for those who think I’m anti-military

  1. While I often disagree with you on issues, this is an area where I, as a 20-year USAF retiree/veteran, am in agreement with you. This is one of the finest pieces you have ever written. Thanks for sharing it again, as I missed it first time around.

    • Thanks Stephen. I liked it too. It is so maddening when I know people who have lost their children or have had them come home from these non-defensive wars physically and mentally scared. The perpetrators should be serving life in prison and they are glorified instead. Our military deserves better. It is very difficult to buck the propaganda and not have my writing misconstrued as anti-military. I posted this because of a comment you made to dawn and I wanted to explain.

      On Mon, Oct 20, 2014 at 4:53 PM, alternativebyfritz wrote:

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