“The Burning Platform” website, a treasonous libertarian webpage, has repeated some old libertarian lies about America, its defense, deficits, and America’s debt.
The website alleges that America is a “welfare-warfare state”. Although America is a welfare state, it is not a “warfare state”, and has never been one. America’s military has always been controlled by civilians (Presidents, cabinet secretaries and the Congress), and the defense budget is miniscule. It currently equals a paltry 3.65% of GDP; the total military budget (the core defense budget + the GWOT supplemental) constitutes a tiny 4.5% of GDP. Both of these levels are lower than the defense spending of the Carter Administration.
The website also alleges that “welfare and warfare have gone hand in hand for over a century.”
That’s another blatant lie, as welfare programs and a strong defense (or wars) are mutually incompatible (and they compete against each other). You can’t have both. You must choose: either a strong defense or lavish welfare programs that subsidize lazy people. The law of limited resources cannot be avoided. Countries which have lavish welfare programs – so-called “welfare states” – have weak militaries (with the singular exception of France, whose President is now scaling back the welfare state) because their governments wish to finance their bloated welfare programs rather defense (the #1 duty of every government). A textbook example is Britain, which has been gutting its military for 19 years to finance its ever-growing welfare programs cherished by almost all Britons. The new coalition government of the UK has chosen to cut the already-small defense budget of the UK by 20% while not reducing the bloated budgets of the NHS and the Dept. of Intl Development by a penny.
The authors of that website proved how ignorant they are by stating this:
“The immortal German warmonger Otto von Bismarck was the first politician to introduce social insurance legislation in the 1880s. His reasoning was not strictly humanitarian. According to Bismarck, “A man who has a pension for his old age is much easier to deal with than a man without that prospect.” Bismarck was a shrewd politician who realized that when you provide people something for nothing, they will vote for you. When you go to war with France, a population sedated with entitlements is more easily malleable and controllable.”
The truth is that Bismarck waged war with France during the years 1870-1871, before the 1880s (i.e. before he implemented serious welfare programs in Germany). As for the First World War, Bismarck died in 1890, 24 years before that war began, and did not involve Germany in it, nor did he stir up the French for it. Moreover, Bismarck was not a warmonger – he merely wanted to unify Germany (and did so). He argued against the colonial-imperialist plans of the last German Emperor, William II, and argued with him so feverishly that the Emperor eventually sacked him.
The website also ridiculously alleges that there is a “military-industrial complex” in the US. This is a myth spread by the opponents of a strong defense for many decades to mislead the American people that a strong defense is unneeded and that the only reason why defense programs exist is that a “military-industrial complex” is pressuring the US government to maintain them.
And the website does indeed make such ludicrous, treasonous, factually incorrect claims. It alleges that:
“The defense industry and their lobbyists benefit by creating phantom enemies around the globe and stirring up the masses through fear and propaganda.”
Firstly, the defense industry doesn’t have any effective lobbyists – if it had, Obama wouldn’t have been allowed to implement his severe defense cuts. Secondly, no one has created any “phantom enemies” – the enemies of America are real. China (governed by hardline communists), Russia (governed by the veteran KGB thug Vladimir Putin), North Korea, Iran, Syria and Venezuela are real enemies. Some of them, such as China and North Korea, have repeatedly attacked America or its allies. They are not “phantom enemies”, they are real enemies. The defense industry has been “stirring up the masses through fear and propaganda”? Hardly. It doesn’t have any propaganda institutions. Indeed, other than me and a few other conservative advocates, defense doesn’t have any friends. And what benefits has the defense industry received from the Obama Administration? This administration has gutted the US military to pay for Obama’s bloated, unnecessary, unjustified civilian federal programs, including welfare programs (which cost $888 bn per year), because Obama knows that a strong defense and a welfare state are irreconcilable.
The website also falsely alleges that
“Is it a coincidence that the largest expansions of the U.S. welfare state occurred in the 1930’s before a World War, in the mid 1960’s in the midst of the Vietnam War, in 2003 at the outset of the Iraq invasion, and in 2010 as we continue to fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? It was essential for politicians to buy off the populace before conducting undeclared wars in far off lands.”
Actually, during the 1930s defense spending was reduced and the US government did not know that by December 1941 America would be attacked. During the 1960s, the welfare state was expanded at the expense of defense spending, as it was during the 1970s, when, under the guise of the “guns vs butter debate”, the welfare state was expanded again, while defense spending was severely reduced and the US military became decrepit. Moreover, WW2 was a declared war. Moreover, the welfare programs instituted during those eras were NOT instituted to buy off the populace – they were instituted to enslave it and subordinate it to the federal government. Politicians knew that such programs were incompatible with a strong defense, so they cut it and reduced its budget to pay for the welfare state.
The website also falsely claimed:
“Who has benefitted from entitlement spending and endless warfare? Politicians and the Military Industrial Complex benefit. (…) Politicians discovered that the populace will go along with their never ending military adventures if they were bought off with promises of generous pensions. (…)”
This is utter gibberish. America has not witnessed “endless warfare” during any era. During the last 64 years – the 64 years since VJ day – America enjoyed more years of no wars than war years: 1945-1950, 1953-1964, 1973-1991, 1992-2001. 33 of those years were no-war-years. And the reason why America was spared from wars during the years 1981-1989 was that the Reagan Administration rebuilt the US military and made it strong enough to deter America’s enemies. Ronald Reagan correctly said, “I’ve witnessed 4 years during my lifetime, and none of them began because America was too strong”. A strong defense PREVENTS wars; a weak defense causes them by encouraging aggressors to wage wars. The purpose of a strong defense is to prevent wars, not start them.
Endless warfare? The Vietnamese war was ended by the Paris Peace Treaty; the Gulf War ended in 1991 after just a few months during which the US military swiftly defeated the Iraqi military. The Iraqi war is scheduled to end next year, and all Western troops are scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan by 2014.
The website also claimed that “young Americans fought and died in foreign countries in undeclared wars of choice”. By this it also means the Afghan war, which it also calls a war of choice. This is what the authors of that website believe – they believe that the Afghan war, provoked by Al-Qaeda, which the US and 40 allied countries are waging against Al Qaeda and the Taleban, is a war of choice. By making this ridiculous claim, the authors have proven that they are treasonous propagandists serving Al-Qaeda, and that their website is nothing more than an Al-Qaeda propaganda tube.