“These are the times that try men’s souls.” – Thomas Paine wrote those words during the difficult periods of the Revolutionary War, and George Washington was so impressed by those words that he insisted upon reading that sentence to his soldiers in the Continental Army
Thomas Payne also wrote the best known commentary in those troubled years, “Common Sense”, and wouldn’t it be just grand if the present administration and Congress used some of that common sense every now and then?
We’re in the midst of trying times nowadays and a man named Michael Payne has posted an article on OpEd News that merits attention. Not since Mr. Herbert retired from the New York Times have we reprinted an article in its entirety, but Mr. Payne’s post is a must read. So here goes:
“Job Creation and Economic Stability Are the Answers — Wars Are Not!”
“It’s decision time in America and for our government. This nation has backed itself into a corner and can’t seem to find a way out. America can no longer delay making a very crucial decision. The choices are quite clear. This government can continue on its current course that involves wars and occupations or it can change direction and aggressively pursue job creation. It cannot do both because perpetual war and job creation are entirely incompatible; no nation can maintain a military empire and economic stability at the same time, as history has proven time and time again.
“This government is pouring the lion’s share of its wealth and resources into war and is doing little to nothing to create jobs which would bring about economic stability. An agenda of permanent war and job creation cannot coexist, they represent completely opposite objectives that serve to pull the nation apart. Jobs create economic stability and growth which, in turn, creates wealth; war destroys wealth and creates economic chaos. When will those who are charged with leading this nation going to understand this fact?
“America’s national priorities and government policies are out of synch with the most urgent needs of this nation and its people. If logic and rational thinking were used to analyze and identify the specific root cause of our economic chaos, we would find that the wealth of America is being wasted on wars. The leaders of this government know the damages that their policies are inflicting on America and, yet, they refuse to pull back from their agenda of military expansion. What is it going to take for them to understand that we don’t need these wars, we need jobs?
“While President Obama is making a token withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, don’t be fooled into thinking this occupation will be ended, as he and the military have indicated that troops will be there into 2014 and beyond. And as the time approaches when all U.S. troops are to be completely withdrawn from Iraq, we hear that this administration is feverishly pressuring the Iraqi government to extend the stay of 25,000 troops indefinitely.
“Those decisions to keep troops in occupied nations indefinitely are a part of the master plan for continued military expansion. That is confirmed in an article by Rick Rozoff, ‘In Past ten Years U.S. Has Expanded Military Network Throughout the World.’ He effectively shows how the spread of the U.S. military continues unabated.
“There is no other nation in the world that is so deeply involved with the pursuit of wars and occupations as is the United States. This government is currently engaged in wars and military conflicts in six nations; Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia at the same time, with Iran seemingly the next target. And while all this is going on we are experiencing an economic crisis that rivals that of the Great Depression of 1929.
“Here’s the choice we have: we can continue to invest hundreds of billions, and trillions, of dollars in manufacturing weapons of war; bullets, bombs, missiles, drones, fighter jets, warships, and build airfields and military bases around the world; or we can invest in the creation of millions of new jobs in new industries dedicated to the development of new, alternative sources of energy, and the repair and rebuilding of our infrastructure.
“In this debate about job creation and economic stability versus war, what about the other developed nations of the world, where do they stand on this issue? What is China doing, is it involved in building a military empire with Chinese troops being deployed throughout the world? No, China which has a formidable military, is not pursuing war but, rather, is using the majority of its wealth in vastly improving its infrastructure and growing its economy.
“Well, then what about the nations of Europe, South Korea, Japan and countless other developed nations around the world? Except for the nations that are members of NATO and are making the huge mistake of contributing even a token amount of troops in Afghanistan, and air power in bombing Libya, these nations have no imperialistic intentions. They are not investing in debilitating wars, they are investing in their own nations and their economy. They have made the right choice; they have chosen economic stability over war. America has not. They need not invest heavily in their militaries to protect their citizens. America and its taxpayers are already doing it for them by stationing thousands of our troops in their countries. They have no worries about some military power attacking them; they can concentrate on their economies knowing full well that America is providing for their safety.
“What is Russia, our former cold war adversary, up to these days? Well, it doesn’t have a strong economy but it is rich in petroleum reserves and is using that precious resource to maintain its economy. But it always has its eyes on U.S. and NATO military expansion and encroachment. Russia sometimes pretends to be America’s friend but under the surface it is anything but. Many Americans are unaware that Russia has actually been aiding America and NATO by allowing them to fly through its airspace and cross over its territory to transport materials and supplies into Afghanistan. You might ask, ‘Why in the world would the Russians be doing that when they are anything but allies of America?’ It’s simply for this reason: they want to see America repeat the mistakes that they made in the ten years between 1979 and 1989 fighting an unwinable war in Afghanistan that devastated their economy. Russia wants America to expend hundreds of billions of dollars on that war and see America cripple itself financially.
“Here”s the crux of our problem: with an ‘effective’ unemployment rate of about 18%, not the understated 9.2% we hear reported, those dollars that used to flow into this consumer-driven economy from millions of workers’ spending have been drastically reduced and our economy is ready to fall into another even worse recession. Meanwhile mega billions of dollars flow in a steady, ever growing stream into the military budget. Is there anyone who doesn’t understand that these war-directed funds, largely borrowed from China, are the major cause of our current deficit crisis?
“Consumer spending is said to be between 60-70% of the American economy. Wouldn’t you think that the number one priority of this president and this Congress would be job creation? Well, it’s not; these backward leaders are determined to reduce the national deficit by dismantling entitlements and other social programs. They can’t seem to get it through their heads that if we can get these nearly 20 million unemployed or underemployed Americans back to productive work, their spending will stop the bleeding of the economy and wipe out a great share of this deficit.
“Never in my lifetime have I seen a president and a Congress with such little vision and so few ideas about how to create jobs and how to develop government/business programs to accomplish it. Mr. Obama should be talking about job creation and specific job initiatives each and every day, pressing his administration and Congress to make this America’s # 1 objective. It is mind boggling to try to understand why he has done virtually nothing to try to solve America’s most critical problem.
“Yet, there are some thinking people out there, not politicians, who are trying to find ways to create jobs. The July 23 article by Barbara Ellis on Truthout.org, ‘Put 15 Million Back to Work Fixing $ 2.2 Trillion in Infrastructure: the Works progress Administration’, makes a great argument for solving our jobs problem; one that would employ millions of workers and buy time to develop permanent new industries.
“America needs more in-depth, innovative thinking from our governmental leaders, from our business community and individuals on how to create new industries and rebuild our manufacturing base. This is not at all an impossible task but someone has to jumpstart the effort. That’s where the wealth of America must be infused; not in debilitating wars. What more proof does this president need to finally convince him that he must bring an end to these wars and direct a massive job creation program?
“Something is just not right in America; in fact, something is very, very wrong.
“Michael Payne – ”
There’s just one thing we’d like to add to Mr. Payne’s thoughtful and straightforward article. On November 8, 1954 Former President Eisenhower wrote: “Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in political history. There is a splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things … Their number is negligible and they are stupid.” –
That’s right, Ike. They certainly are stupid.