As an habitual writer of letters, it does not take much prodding for me to do so. After seeing a new commercial pleading for donations to help provide adequate medical treatment for America’s wounded service men and women, I just had to write President Obama (and send copies to my three Congressmen, one of which is the Speaker of the House of Representatives) to express my outrage regarding this travesty.
Steven H. Spring
August 8, 2015
The Honorable Barack H. Obama
President of the United States of America
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20048
Dear President Obama,
This past Sunday night, while watching a program on the making of arguably The Who’s greatest album, Quadrophenia on the Palladia television network, I saw a commercial pleading for a donation of sixty cents a day to help fund the Paralyzed Veterans Of America organization. For years now, I have opined that seeing Trace Adkins beg for donations for the Wounded Warriors Project is a disgrace for the wealthiest nation in the history of planet Earth.
America and especially Congress should be embarrassed and ashamed for not one, but now two organizations having to beg Americans for donations to help our wounded military men and women. We can go to war seemingly every other month, or at least talk of doing so, yet we cannot afford to provide adequate medical care for our wounded service members? Since President George H. W. Bush attacked Iraq in the first Gulf War in 1990 over that nation’s invasion of Kuwait, there have been only two years that we have not been engaged in some sort of war, 1997 and 2000. Osama bin Laden stated in an interview that his horrific attack of America on September 11, 2001 was in response to our nation leaving military personal in Saudi Arabia, the most holy of land to Muslims. Since this nation’s founding two hundred and thirty-nine years ago, we have been engaged in war two hundred and twenty-two years, an appalling ninety-three percent of the time.
In my writings over the past two decades regarding military issues, I always like to quote former president and five-star general Dwight Eisenhower, who in his January 17, 1961 farewell address to the nation warned the country to beware of the mighty military-industrial complex. President Eisenhower stated “…we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” Coming from a five-star general, America should have listened.
War is big business and the only way the military-industrial complex stays in business and remains profitable is by this nation engaging in war. We have become so engaged in war that Northrop Grumman, the fifth largest defense contractor in the world has taken to advertising its weapons of mass destruction on television. Who exactly are their potential customers? For all of our numerous military skirmishes, what exactly have we accomplished? As a nation, we live in constant fear of another September 11th attack; all the while, we are despised by much of the world.
It is our military endeavors that are bankrupting this nation. With an annual defense budget of nearly $900 billion, we spend nearly as much on our military as the rest of the world combined. When combined with our intelligence agencies, we spend nearly $1.5 trillion on defense and intelligence related expenditures every year. Moreover, this amount does not include America’s newly created ultra secret intelligence budget.
Since September 11, 2001, our government has built up such a top-secret network of intelligence agencies that no one knows how much it cost, how many it employs or how many agencies it runs. The defense budget itself has nearly doubled since 2000, all the while our country is falling apart at the seams, be it our rapidly aging and decaying infrastructure system, crumbling inner cities that have become battlegrounds or a failing public school system. America is bankrupting itself and it is not from our spending on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. It is from our imperialistic attitude and our attempt to dominate the world we call Earth.
In a rather sad, ironic twist, America is by far the world’s largest arms dealer, selling nearly as many armaments as the rest of the world combined. Thus, not only are we bankrupting ourselves with our military spending, but we are also heavily arming the rest of the world. One must remember that America armed Saddam Hussein when he was at war with Iran in the 1980s and we armed Osama bin Laden when he fought the Russians in Afghanistan, also during the ‘80s. America has a very long, extensive history of arming and supporting malevolence dictators and lunatics, in the name of what is best for this country, not necessarily what is best for the rest of the world.
As a nation founded on the genocide of its indigenous people, we have long ago become the world’s biggest bully.
Steven H. Spring
Speaker of the House John Boehner
Senator Sherrod Brown
Senator Rob Portman