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U.S. Democratic Party not really interested in reducing the bloated military spending

War, Peace and the Democrats, Common Wonders,  Wednesday, August 19th, 2020   By Robert C. Koehler

“There’s something happening here/What it is ain’t exactly clear . . .”

Or is it?            “……………………………Yes, there are progressive, antiwar Democrats out there, gaining power, getting elected to office, almost winning presidential primaries — scaring the bejesus out of the Democratic establishment — but the party itself still stands firmly in the middle of nowhere, fully in favor of empathy and compassion and yet, somehow, fully supportive of the endless wars most of its own voters hate and utterly unwilling to challenge the bloated and ever-expanding defense budget.Citing the analysis of William Hartung and Many Smithberger, the Milwaukee Independent described that budget thus: “As of 2019, the annual Pentagon base budget, plus war budget, plus nuclear weapons in the Department of Energy, plus military spending by the Department of Homeland Security, plus interest on deficit military spending, and other military spending totaled $1.25 trillion . . .”

This is untouchable money — not just to Trump and the Republicans but to most congressional Democrats.

Indeed, as Alexander Sammon points out in the American Prospect, Democratic majorities were crucial this summer to the defeat of three separate bills, introduced by progressive Democrats, to reduce military spending and/or undo the militarization of police departments. These included amendments in both the Senate and the House to the National Defense Authorization Act, diverting 10 percent of the Department of Defense budget to health care, education and jobs; as well as a Senate proposal to end the 1033 Program, which allows the Pentagon to transfer military gear to the police. The amendment’s defeat in the House was especially an outrage, Sammon notes, in that the Dems hold a majority in the House and could have passed it.

“If Democrats are going to enact anything that resembles their own agenda,” Sammon writes, “they’re going to have to aim way higher than cutting defense to near Obama-era highs. Taking military spending not to pre-Trump but to pre-9/11 levels should be a starting point. Democratic voters abhor the War on Terror; it’s what helped deliver Obama the presidency back in 2008. It’s incumbent on Joe Biden to deliver on that preference, not just to end engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan but to bring an end to the bloated defense budgets of the War on Terror era. His silence on the proposal even in the thick of a campaign against Trump sends a troubling message.”

War, militarism and the insanely bloated defense budget are never — never! — addressed with serious political pragmatism. Thus to see a peace symbol, the icon of a world beyond war, flicker meaninglessly for ten titillating seconds at the Democratic convention, was . . . well, discombobulating.  http://commonwonders.com/war-peace-and-the-democrats/

August 20, 2020 - Posted by | election USA 2020

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