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Wasting the next best thing to 5 % of your GDP on military pork can't possibly be a good way to run an economy. Hell, you could create a fully funded unemployment insurance system to pre-neolib Scandinavian standards with that kind of money and still have some left over.
Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.
I no longer expect rationality in the US, much less any vague sense of the Public Good. The US seems to want thieves, money grubbing greedheads, and batshit insane crazy people setting the limits and terms of National Debate and deciding National Policy.
She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
Most of the population is broadly center-left in practice, but has been excluded from policy and the media to create an impression that the US is somewhere between hard right and economic KKK right.
We should stop being polite about the crazies, or accepting their premise that wearing a suit or being published in a serious paper makes them respectable.
The Think Tanks may not dress up in white robes so they can lynch the niggers in person, but they have no problem at all putting them out of work, making them homeless and leaving them to rot.
At least they believe in equal opportunity of a sort - it's no longer necessary to be black and poor to be a nigger who's treated abusively.
And if this rhetoric is offensive - it's not nearly as offensive as the reality.
If we were really comfortable with overkill, there wouldn't be a single Afghani or Iraqi alive, and it all could have been done with far fewer US military casualties.
The US is only nominally a hyperpower. In practice its actions are always constrained by political and military consequences.
Which is why the calls for consensus and international support are more important than they seem to be. Even during the darkest and most psychotic days of King Bush it was very, very important for the US not to feel it was going it alone.
If European pols understood this more clearly, they'd realise just how much leverage they already have.
In the second world war, overkill (euphemistically known as "strategic bombing" and "total war") was the stated and practised policy on the Pacific Front. That still left enough living Japanese to warrant serious worries about casualties in the event of an invasion of the home islands. Even blanketing Iraq in nuclear fire (which, of course, would both piss off people the US can't afford to piss off and obviate the whole "take their stuff" part of "beat Iraq over the head and take their stuff") would leave quite a lot of Iraqis alive, armed and very, very pissed off.
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