By Steve Elder | CNA Media Team
Veterans Day 2019 will be observed Monday, Nov. 11, and is a federal holiday. This year’s Veterans Day marks the 100th anniversary of the ending of World War I. The holiday was originally known as Armistice Day until World War II, and Korea crowded the calendar.
Veterans Day usually is wrapped around by a three-day weekend – usually glorifying commerce and often doing only lip service to those who were killed, wounded or psychologically impaired in the armed forces during their service. (Disclosure: I spent two years in the Army in the 1960s. I saw no combat and have no PTSD.)
Throughout American history aggressive military force has helped establish our moral position in the world. Our worldly reputation is based on how much we are at war and how much we are at peace.
To maintain our war credibility the administration is currently ginning us up for several new wars, particularly in Venezuela and Iran.
At a recent town hall in Clatsop County, U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley was asked what he has done to ensure we engage in diplomacy instead of the use of troops in Venezuela. He spoke of a proposal he had introduced in the Senate which, if enacted, would prevent the president from using armed force in Venezuela.
Not only is the United States ready to attack Venezuela, he said. It is readying us to support more military action in the Middle East. Not seemingly having learned any lessons in Iraq, the administration talks about the threat Iran poses to the United States.
Just in the past few weeks the United States deployed a carrier strike group along with bombers to the Middle East, supposedly to counter possible Iranian threats. A couple of weeks ago, in spite of Congress having voted that the U.S. should not assist in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, another “emergency” was declared by the administration and spending of $8 billion for more guns to Saudi Arabia was authorized.
Miniaturization of the American budget and foreign policy is a bipartisan endeavor. Republicans and Democrats like to claim they are on opposite sides of many issues but, when it comes to militarism, they are on the same side.
Old men and women are sparing no expense, sending young men and women to be killed or wounded. The administration budget request is almost 10% more than the Congress said was needed for military spending.
We have many many things to spend on besides military spending.
Note: CNA respects the views and beliefs of all cultures and faiths. The views expressed by this writer do not necessarily reflect the views of CNA.
Steve Elder, East2@ConcordiaPDX.org, is an inactive lawyer, a developer, activist and old grouch.