Foreign Policy

For foreign policy, our focus should be on normalization of trade relations to create healthy international relations and diplomacy to resolve conflicts.

I would close nearly all foreign bases. I would end the current wars and rein in our out-of-control military spending. The greatest waste in government is by far in our military. The US military has become a destructive force throughout the World – including within the United States – and the American people shoulder that burden in many ways.

Expenditures on military should be viewed in a similar way as expenditures on insurance. Just as we spend money on health insurance in the possibility an unforeseen health event occurs, we should consider our spending on military as spending to insure us in the event of an unforeseen military invasion. Unfortunately we wildly overspend for such military insurance to such an extent that we create the very hostilities we want to avoid. It would be like buying so much health insurance to be able to avail ourselves of daily CAT scans and weekly exporatory surgery. The insurance and the healthcare or military it pays for becomes the source of our problems.

The only attack on the United States (non-territory) in more than a century occurred on September 11, 2001. This was the first opportunity our modern US military had to show us the actual military defense our trillions of dollars had bought us. The military response was thoroughly incompetent and impotent. The only effective defense to that attack arose from the spontaneous civilian defense aboard flight 93 where passengers cooperated to prevent their own plane from reaching yet another strategic target. We Americans were all too stunned by those events to ask how our national defense could go so horribly wrong. Though we spend as much as all the other nations of the World combined on our US military, the attacks of September 11th 2001 demonstrated those funds have bought us no defense at all.

US Marine Major General Smedley Butler: War is a Racket

Smedley Butler spoke on his experience in the US Marines from 1898 – 1931.

— Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC (the most decorated marine ever at the time of his death in 1940).

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

The US Military has only transformed, even further, into a hostile force operating against the interests of the People of the United States since Butler’s tenure ended. Since Butler retired, the US became increasingly militaristic and the corporate controlled militaristic media grew increasingly concentrated into the hands of a few oligarchs. While Butler had believed he averted a coup d’état at the beginning of Roosevelt’s administration, the same oligarchs were able to use the drumbeat of war to secure their control of US imperial operations: orchestrating an imperial invasion of the Pacific while Europe suffered under simultaneous fascist imperial expansion at the hands of Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco. Only when the defeat of fascism in Europe because inevitable did the US Military shift its focus from the Pacific to Europe. The imperial adventures overseas also secured for these oligarchs greater domestic control through the deployment of McCarthyism, private for-profit media monopolies over the airwaves, control of Hollywood and so forth. Since the end of World War II, the key to the US Military’s domestic control is to keep the war machine active throughout the World whether through nebulous fights against communism or islamism or concrete attacks on Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Iran, Guatemala, Chile, Argentina, Grenada, Panama, Libya, Lebanon, Iraq, Kuwait, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Yugoslavia, Somalia, Cuba, Haiti, Afghanistan, Pakistan and on and on. While no one as brave as Butler has stepped forward in all of these cases, they all hold a similar story to the ones Butler told of his military service to corporatists.

The US Military cowers behind their own troops: pretending that a criticism like Major General Smedley Butler’s is somehow directed at the troops and not the highest levels of government and corporatism where the decisions to pursue permanent war take place. However, these troops have been the victims of the US Military Industrial Complex as well. Even by conservative estimates the power hungry ambitions of the US Military have caused the death of over a half million young men and women and another half million injured just since Butler’s tenure. The cost in life and pain and suffering alone is unconscionable. Yet this is only counting the American casualties.

These imperial adventures have also brought death and destruction upon civilians throughout the World. Untold millions have had their lives cut short due to the imperial adventures that serve only a few petty oligarchs within the United States. The American People are told that this imperialism brings greatness to America. Yet if they believe this permanent state of war is what brings greatness to America they will never recognize greatness even when it is staring them in the face.

America’s greatness is found in the ingenuity of its workers, in the vibrancy of its cities, in the majesty of its landscapes, in the promise of its revolution and Constitution.

Proposals

In general, I would:

  • advance resolutions to urge we re-establish diplomatic relations with North Korea, Iran, and Cuba.
  • sponsor legislation replacing the US military with a new US military focussed on defending the United States of America: the land encompassed within our own shores, including all 50 states, the District of Columbia and our overseas territories.
  • shift the focus from an extremely expensive and unresponsive standing professional military to a largely civilian defense force. Able-bodied Americans would be expected to serve, however no one could be deployed other than in their own locale unless volunteering for the heavily scaled-back professional standing military.

Civilian Military Defense Force

A democracy requires a civilian based defense force supplemented by only a minimum standing professional military.

  • Obligation for all but conscientious objectors to serve in a defensive capacity only within their own communities except during periods of foreign invasion of the United States.
  • Training focussed first and foremost on Constitutional law, including the chain of command that begins with the US Constitution, to the commander-in-chief and on down. Young men and women engage in an initial bootcamp of a few months and then provide two weeks each year of additional service.
  • All civillian defense force members issued firearms, sealed ammunition, body armor, communications equipment, and the like.
  • Community armories provide locations for stockpiling of other weapons with a mix of professional standing military and civilian defense force members.
  • Drastically scaled back navy, air force, army, coast guard, and marines in proper proportions for a non-imperial nation.
  • Elimination of the Department of Homeland Security.
  • The training of defense force members would be vastly different than current military training– focussing on military skills, clear US Constitutional understanding, and not on blind obedience to the chain of command without reflection on higher moral standards and Constitutional considerations
  • With a new US military refocussed on the defense of our nation and not on overseas adventures, our foreign policy would be shifted toward diplomacy, fair trade arrangements, and humanitarian aid for self-sufficient development (in contrast to the traditional development for dependency)

The results of military reform bring a stronger defense force to the United States, bring opportunities for peace throughout the World, and reduce the Federal Budget by hundreds of billions of dollars. The civilian defense force portion of the US military budget could be well under $100 billion per year in contrast to the nearly $1,000 billion spent annually today on US military. The professional standing military units would be reduced drastically as well and would also fall well under $100 billion per year. All in all this represents a reduction in the US Federal budget of nearly $800 billion per annum. By making possible the paying down the national debt – nearly all of which accrued due to the wasteful military expenditure – we would reduce another $400 billion from the US budget. These budget eliminations amount to well over half of the US Federal Government when accounted for properly.