The EU has a GDP of $17 trillion—-a figure approximately 9X that of Russia. If there is any one over there who actually believes that Putin is about to mobilize his troops on a reverse of Hitler’s march through the Ukraine and back into central Europe, let them make their case and take up a collection from the purportedly threatened states.
Quite obviously no one is making that case in Berlin, Brussels or any other significant European capital—for the simple reason that such a scenario is purely a figment of the Washington War Party’s imagination. So what we actually have is an American president on a photo op tour of Europe being importuned by local dignitaries for more Washington largesse. And the result will be more kidstuff maneuvers that are laughable in there own terms, but still another irritant in America’s utterly unnecessary confrontation with Russia.
In that regard, we have already witnessed the President of Poland, Bronislaw Komorowski, making this hideous remark as he stood with Obama alongside F-16s employed in joint training exercises between the two nations:
Mr. Komorowski said the U.S. and Poland are a “brotherhood in arms.”
Well, not at all. We are actually two nations at peace, and Poland is a fortunate nation that has been born again solely because of the sacrifices American taxpayers made for 50 years to first defeat its German occupiers and then to outlast its Soviet overlords.
So Poland is no longer a “captive nation” and is free to prosper as a burgeoning capitalist economy at peace. Its president, therefore, should have the good graces to dispense with cold war politics. He might have even asked how Poland should repay America for its steadfast support against real enemies in times past, not indulge in a saber-rattling shake-down for Washington dollars to enable it to engage in petty war game maneuvers for domestic political consumption. And that’s exactly what all this military dress parade stuff is all about: The US now has exactly 150 soldiers on temporary “rotational assignment” in Poland!
That should be an embarrassment that adult policy-makers would not dare even report publicly. Instead, far more than 150 diplomats, military advisers, and national security apparatchiks from the two nations are at this very moment haggling over how to slightly increase the size and deployment tempos of this ridiculously irrelevant token force.
Moreover, any one with an ounce of common sense and knowledge of history most surely recognizes that Putin’s thoroughly plundered and rickety economy of oil wells, gas fields, nickel mines, fertilizer plants, dubious car factories, ample Vodka stills and not much else could never survive an invasion of Poland—even were Putin the mad man his caricatured to be rather than the disciplined realist he obviously has already proven he actually is.
Yet rather than have his handlers red pencil Komorowski’s preposterous reference to “brotherhood in arms”, the leader of fiscally bankrupt America came bearing even more arms, proposing a new $1 billion fund:
……to support the security initiative of up to $1 billion to increase the U.S. presence in Eastern Europe, included the expanded presence of rotational forces.
The combined defense and security budgets of the US and NATO exceed $1 trillion — or 12X more than Russia’s military spending. Yet the machinery of the Warfare State is relentless: Put an American President on the road and he must come bearing arms and bribes to the locals, no matter how trivial and pointlessly redundant.
Given the Washington caused tensions in Europe, Obama should have never gone on this grand tour in the first place; and, instead, he should have made a brief, quiet and dignified appearance on June 6 in commemoration of Normandy and then returned home for a far more important and urgent undertaking.
The sad fact of modern history is that the temporary war machine which saved the future of mankind at Normandy—-has since morphed into its opposite. That is, it has become a permanent Warfare State that drains America’s economic lifeblood and promotes aggression and misguided interventions all over the planet.
If Obama really understood the mandate on which he was first elected as the “peace candidate” in 2008 he would not be strutting around Europe with a cast of thousands sowing mischief, tensions and unreasonable expectations among local politicians kow-towing to a visiting emperor.
Instead, he would have motorcaded out to the Pentagon to crack the budget books, as did another accidental president in the movie called ‘Dave”; and to crack the whip of massive fiscal shrinkage including sweeping weapon systems cancellations and force structure reductions as did the last real commander-in-chief to occupy the White House—Dwight David Eisenhower.
Even at the peak of the cold war in 1953 Eisenhower figured out how to slash Truman’s war budget by 33%, the Army by 40% and the Navy ship-building program by even more. In present day dollars, Ike shrank the Warfare State budget from $500 billion to $370 billion. And he did so by getting his hands dirty–diving into the vast detail and endless fiscal obfuscations of the Pentagon for hours upon hours every week, year-in and year-out.
Ike’s devotion to wrestling down the Pentagon is exceeded only by Obama’s cowardly insistence on completely ignoring the swampland of waste that still lurks there.
Even then Eisenhower knew he had not finished the job and left the oval office with his famous farewell address about the dangers of the military-industrial complex. Not unsurprisingly, that particular warning found its way into Saul Alinsky’s training manual. Barrack Obama apparently did bivouac in Alinsky’s camp—but self-evidently he skipped class on the day the anti-Warfare State module was reviewed.
Reprinted with permission from David Stockman’s Contra Corner.