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Senate Democrats, with Few Exceptions, are a Gang of War-Mongers

Where’s the 'democratic socialist' challenge to militarism?

Full disclosure: I was a writer for ITT since its founding, and in the '90s was listed on the masthead as a contributing editor and Asia correspondent. But I quit back in 2005 in disgust when the editor, Joel Bleifus, ran a fact-challenged letter ITT had received objecting to my piece on the US military's use of depleted uranium weapons in Iraq. That letter (that today we'd call the work of a troll) was run by Bleifus without my knowledge or my being given a chance to respond in the same edition, which was the standard practice for such letters at ITT. And when, even after I did successfully insist on getting a chance to respond, I found my letter run only in part, selectively edited, and with a comment by Bleifus saying they he agreed with the troll that my article had not proven the case that the military was using DU weapons -- a claim that was clearly ludicrous and has been proven false over and over again -- I demanded that my name be removed from the masthead. I have not contributed to the publication since. In fact I wrote an obit for the publication that ran in Counterpunch.

After all, it’s not rocket science: A country that spends two-thirds of all the taxes it collects on war and arms will rot from the inside. Just check out the fate of the Roman Empire.

I just returned from “socialist” Europe. In Italy, a taxi driver told me of his desire to visit America and of his plan to tour our beautiful land on a motor scooter. I had to warn him not to rent a Vespa, but rather to rent big motorcycle with large wheels. “If you try to tour America’s highways on a scooter, you’re likely to hit a deep pothole with those small wheels and end up dead or in a hospital,” I told him.

He looked at me incredulously. “How can America allow its highways to be so bad?” he asked.

“Nobody wants to pay taxes in America,” I said. “And all the taxes they do pay end up paying for war, not for highway maintenance or anything else useful.”

And it’s true. Italy, often called the “sick man” of Europe, has much better roads than the US I discovered (better coffee too!). In fact its roads — both highways and urban streets — make the US look like a third-world country…which increasingly, particularly in its cities and its rural regions, it really is.

Polls show that Americans are sick of all the wars, and that they want programs like Medicare for All, guaranteed jobs, paid maternity leave, and affordable college for their kids, but Congress won’t vote for these things that the public wants. Clutching their corporate campaign lucre, they say America “can’t afford it,” and then turn around and pass a record $717-billion Pentagon funding bill for 2019, while warning that Social Security and Medicare may need to be cut.

It’s time for real progressive Democrats, and especially the ones calling themselves “democratic socialists,” to speak out against this scandal, and to openly call for slashing Pentagon spending — not to “eliminate waste,” but because the entire Pentagon budget is a murderous, society-destroying, freedom-undermining, budget-sucking, politics-corrupting waste.

story | by Dr. Radut