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WORSHIPPING THE MILITARY MACHINE | 1999-10-23

As I pointed out on June 12, in "Busing By Bomber," General Wesley Clark pointed out that it was the US main military objective in Europe to make sure that there were no ethnically pure European states! Ethnic balance, like racial balance, is the purpose of our armed forces there.

Not one single conservative objected.

This guy is a general, and conservatives worship generals. Listen to any professional conservative, and you will hear that the main item in his political wish list is that there be more generals, more soldiers. It doesn't matter to him what they are used for.

One thing that the Founding Fathers had no use for was a huge standing army. Nothing could be more alien to the mentality of the Founders than the endless, mindless demands of conservatives for a bigger army, navy and air force. But every time you hear a professional conservative set out his policy goals, one of the first things he mentions is a bigger, more expensive military.

No conservative ever says WHY he wants this military expansion. If anybody ever asks him for a reason, his eyes go glassy and he begins to talk vaguely about "America's place in the world."

A vague comment about "America's place in the world" was NOT what the Founding Fathers considered a reason for expanding the military. As a matter of fact, that was EXACTLY the kind of cant the Founders intended to leave in Europe. It was fine for Prussians to talk about "Germany's rightful place in the world" or for Russians to say they were following Russia's World Mission. But that was for Europeans, not for free born Americans.

How is it that we now have twenty-first century American conservatives talking like eighteenth century Czarists?

The only reason for a big military, according to those who wrote the Constitution, was for a very specific, very short-term need. Unlike any professional conservative, a real American would say, "World War II is over."

The Cold War is over. What are all those troops FOR?"

No conservative ever asks.

This reveals something very basic about today's conservative. Nobody could be further from the Founding Fathers than the modern so-called conservative. The Founding Fathers were, first and foremost, makers of policy. They demanded a reason for anything the government did. Respectable conservatives are not guided by reasons. Modern conservative policy is purely a matter of blind worship.

Today's so-called conservative worships liberals. Liberals make policy, define the question, and then conservatives debate the question strictly within the guidelines set by liberals. They want respectability, and for them respectability is defined by liberals. Above all, they need to avoid liberal labels like "racist" or anaziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

Conservatives also worship institutions. In fact, a blind worship of the military is, to today's "conservatives," the basis of their claim to the title.

Blind loyalty to institutions like the military is EUROPEAN conservatism. As stated above, mouthing phrases about wanting a big military to ensure "America's place in the world" is good PRUSSIAN conservatism. It doesn't belong HERE.

The only proper, historical American attitude toward the armed forces is that they are a necessary evil. Americans have always kept the standing military as small as possible. We have just had a period of national emergency lasting from 1939 to the present day, when World War II and the Cold War required our expanding the military and our worldwide commitments to previously unimaginable levels.

One could say that, after two generations in which the military has been expanded and bloated beyond previous imaginings, it is natural that we have forgotten the traditional place of the military in our society.

The problem with that logic is that it ignores what conservatism is all about. How can someone who forgets our basic tradition be called a conservative? Who is going to remind us of what our proper traditions are if not the conservatives in our society?

Conservatives talk about paying for more soldiers for foreign adventures, but our own borders are completely unprotected. Illegal immigrants pour in. According to the Constitution, the purpose of the United States is to provide for "OURSELVES and OUR Posterity." The first purpose of our armed forces is to protect OUR borders.

We spend a lot more to defend Israel's borders than we do to protect our own. And conservatives want more troops to protect other people's borders. Until OUR borders are defended, no more troops should be provided for our politicians to play with abroad.

Until the Vietnam War, it was truly said that, "The United States has never lost a war or won a peace." After Vietnam, the first rule was broken, but the second rule holds firm. The Gulf War demonstrates, once again, that the United States never wins a peace.

Since the Gulf War, American troops have been used for Wesley Clark's ethnic balancing and for disasters like Somalia. Since the Cold War, our military has never been used for anything a conservative could defend. Yet conservatives keep up their knee jerk demands for more troops.

What has the United States done with its military since the end of the Cold War? The only thing that was semi-defensible that we have done was the Gulf War. That, at least, was fought to save oil rather than for some liberal objective. But it was fought to save EUROPE'S oil supply. There is plenty of oil for America's needs in the Western Hemisphere.

If we keep doing that, Europe will never grow up and provide for its own defense. Like every other kind of unnecessary welfare, military welfare is destructive.

It is time to cut the umbilical cord and let Europe grow up.

It is also time to stop giving our politicians American lives to play with.

If we give our politicians troops, they use them horribly. Politicians will only be careful with using American troops if their numbers are very, very limited. It is time to put them on a starvation diet. Cut the military, and cut it hard.

We will give them back their soldiers if and when they give us a good reason why they are needed. That is the way the Founding Fathers set it up.