Arianna Huffington on Homeland Security

2004 former Independent Challenger for CA Governor


Hallmark of nation in decline is increased military spending

A warning sign that we are on the way to becoming a Third World nation is the trillions of dollars we continue to spend fighting unnecessary wars and building ever more powerful weaponry while our people here at home do without.

You want Third World thinking? How about North Korea joining the nuclear club while its people starve? Since the fall of the Roman Empire, one of the hallmarks of nations in decline has been increased military spending at the expense of other essential priorities. Think of the Soviets trying to match America, nuclear warhead to nuclear warhead.

Civilizations almost always die from suicide, not by murder. That is, our future is dependent on the choices we make and the things we decide to value.

Today, while America's economy sputters--with more than 26 million people unemployed and underemployed and record numbers of homes being lost to foreclosure--the "guns versus butter" argument isn't even part of the national debate.

Source: Third World America, by Arianna Huffington, p. 31-33 , Sep 2, 2010

Guns vs. butter: make it part of the national debate

See if you can identify the bleeding heart liberal who said this:

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."

Noam Chomsky? Bernie Sanders? Nope, it was that unrepentant lefty, five-star general Dwight Eisenhower, in 1953, just a few months after taking office--a time when the economy was booming and unemployment was 2.7%.

Yet today--while America's economy sputters & the middle class struggles to make ends meet--the "guns vs. butter" argument isn't even part of the national debate. Of course, today, the argument might be more accurately framed as "ICBM nukes, Predator drones, and missile defense shields vs. jobs, decent schools, foreclosure prevention, and fixing holes in our social safety net."

Source: Huffington Post, "Guns vs. Butter" , Apr 22, 2010

Reduce military spending or America will decline

We hear endless talk in Washington about belt-tightening and deficit reduction, but hardly a word about whether the $161 billion being spent this year to fight unnecessary wars of choice in Afghanistan and Iraq might be better spent helping embattled Americans here at home.

Pres. Obama proposed freezing all discretionary government spending for 3 years--but exempted military spending, even though the defense budget has increased by 50% since 2000.

We are not talking about lessening America's national security. We are talking about eliminating or cutting back outdated and redundant military defense programs.

Increased military spending has been a hallmark of nations in decline since the fall of the Roman Empire--including the Soviets matching nuclear warheads and North Korea joining the nuclear club while its people starve. If we don't come to our senses and get our deeply misguided priorities back in order, America could easily join that ignominious list.

Source: Huffington Post, "Guns vs. Butter" , Apr 22, 2010

Funds going to rebuild Iraq; schools needed for US schools

As a first step toward Iraqi prosperity, the president’s ambitious postwar plan earmarked $100 million to ensure that Iraq’s 25,000 schools had all the supplies and support necessary-including books for Iraqi schoolchildren. I’m sure the schools in Oregon that were forced to shut down a month early due to inadequate funding or the low-income students in California who sued the state in a desperate effort to obtain adequate textbooks and qualified teachers of their own would have loved to see such “tangible evidence” of President Bush’s support.

While most communities in the U.S. are facing deferred school maintenance bills of tens of millions of dollars, the Coalition Provisional Authority points with an obvious lack of irony to the 1,600 Iraqi schools that have been refurbished since the putative end of hostilities. Schools reopened for business are clearly a symbol of some significance to an administration that is so rhetorically devoted to the cause of education.

Source: Fanatics and Fools, by Arianna Huffington, p.100-101 , Apr 14, 2004

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