might think I never advocate an expansion of any government function.
so. I'd like to see a greater national defense. In fact, I'd like
to see a national defense – period.
our government spends virtually nothing on defense. Instead, it
spends over $300 billion per year on offense – the most intimidating
national offense in the history of the world.
U.S. has the ability to destroy any country in the world – or even
the entire world. But it can't defend us from any two-bit dictator
who gets his hands on a nuclear missile – or from a dozen amateurs
there something wrong with this picture?
Constitution authorizes Congress to "provide for the common
defense." But it says nothing about running the world.
to the Madness
the country is virtually defenseless against "terrorist states"
and terrorist individuals, the politicians have a ready excuse for
depriving us of our civil liberties.
have to monitor our bank accounts. After all, one of us might
be helping to finance terrorism.
have to tap our telephones. After all, two of us might be
plotting the next attack.
have to monitor our email. After all, three of us might be
terrorists conspiring to overthrow the government.
since the country is virtually defenseless against such attacks,
the only recourse is to impose police-state measures – right out
of George Orwell's 1984.
it's even worse than that. Because we can't defend ourselves, the
politicians feel justified in launching "preemptive" attacks
against Iraq, Panama, Libya, Grenada, Afghanistan, the Sudan, Serbia,
and just about any other country run by someone our President of
the moment doesn't happen to like.
Did the President Know?
big issue currently is the question of how much the government knew
in advance of September 11.
that's almost irrelevant.
some people in the government did have advance warnings,
the government was too bureaucratic to respond. On the other hand,
if no one knew anything, you have to wonder what they do with our
way we're paying the government $2 trillion a year and getting nothing
in return. With all that money, the government should have
been able to defend us from the box-cutter terrorists.
after all the new invasions of our civil liberties and all the bombs
dropped on Afghanistan and all the people killed by our military
and all the bullying George Bush has done to make other governments
join the crusade against terrorism, Vice-President Cheney says another
terrorist attack is "almost certain."
what are we getting for our $2 trillion, for our lost civil liberties,
and for the ill will being created worldwide?
$2 trillion the government ought to be able to come up with a better
approach than by conducting military invasions that will just provoke
more terrorist attacks.
$2 trillion someone in government could at least explore
the possibility that American foreign policy has made America an
a chance. We're expected to pay our taxes, wave the flag, and keep
our mouths shut.
will America have a real national defense? It shouldn't cost more
than $50 billion a year.
requires only two essential elements.
first is the ability to repel foreign missiles.
Reagan proposed such a missile defense in 1983. But he gave the
job to the Defense Department, a bureaucratic government agency,
and 19 years later we're not one step closer to the protection we
government should simply post a reward – say, $25 billion – to be
given to the first private company that produces an actual functioning,
fool-proof missile defense. Not a prototype, not a plan, not a cost-plus
contract – but a demonstration of the actual system bringing down
missiles. If such an offer were made, we'd probably have a missile
defense within five years.
all the reasons given in 1997 that the Y2K computer problem couldn't
possibly be solved by 2000? Even computer experts said there wasn't
enough time, there weren't enough programmers, and there were too
many lines of computer code to be examined, altered, and tested.
But somehow, people in search of profits found ways to overcome
all the barriers that stymie bureaucrats, and they reduced the problem
to a minor inconvenience.
the same way, private firms competing to win a huge reward will
achieve missile-defense goals that bureaucrats (and even scientists)
working for the government might consider impossible.
then the politicians would no longer have an excuse to intimidate
anyone – foreign or American.
second essential element is to get the U.S. government out of the
affairs of other nations. No more troops stationed in other countries.
No more foreign aid – military or financial – to other governments.
No more demanding that foreign countries change their ways.
you want to be the world's policeman, telling everyone else how
to run their lives, expect to be hated – and even attacked.
if we restore America to the peaceful beacon of liberty that once
provided light and hope and inspiration to the entire world, we
can expect to be loved again – as America once was.
we really want from the government is to be defended against missiles,
bombers, and terrorists.
$2 trillion, is that too much to ask?