This hypocrisy was on full display on Oct. 4, as American Enterprise Institute president Arthur Brooks, Heritage Foundation president Ed Feulner, and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol penned a joint op-ed for the right-wing Wall Street Journal editorial page on why the defense budget should be totally off limits to budget cutters.
First, they claim the military is not the “true source of our fiscal woes.” No one is saying the defense budget is the sole source of the deficit, but the fact is that it has risen from 3 percent of the gross domestic product in fiscal year 2001 to 4.7 percent this year. That additional 1.7 percent of GDP amounts to $250 billion in spending — almost 20 percent of this year’s budget deficit. And according to a recent Congressional Research Service report, the cost of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan alone accounted for 23 percent of the combined budget deficits between fiscal years 2003 and 2010.
The neocons think terrorism and piracy represents the same threat level as thousands of Soviet missiles during the Cold War. American Enterprise Institute and Bill Kristol among other far right conservatives have proven themselves utterly incapable of making rational analogies. Lack of health insurance kills 45,00 U.S. citizens a year. Kristol and the neocons dismiss out of hand any deaths do to a lousy social safety net. The math is simple and the neocon logic is backwards – a legacy passed to the tea baggers. The tea bagger neocon conservatives or whatever new brand name they’ve picked this week claims the U.S. needs to stop expecting government to organize programs that protect its citizens on the social public policy level, but government is your daddy when it comes to protecting us against tyranny. The military certainly has a role to play in our security but lack of health care, car accidents and street violence will kill more of us in one year than terrorists have in the last three. Ironically here the right never makes the argument that among our best protections for national security are adherence to the Constitution and reigning in presidential power. That power has been used to have open-ended wars carried on with private contractors who are hampering the mission not helping, and an ever expanding national security apparatus – A hidden world, growing beyond control. Our military budget is easy to find. It serves as a giant national moisture alarm. Every time a rational adult talks about making it leaner and more affective the Right has another tragic bed wetting episode. Part of the current preemptive push back – Obama has increased military spending – is not those terrorist loving liberals but the possible influence of the conservative libertarian tea baggers. Mind you this new source of defense spending paranoia is all because of one person and a few bits of chatter: Rand Paul and the libertarian tea partiers. It doesn’t take much talk of defense spending to get the Right to have cold night sweats. As Paul has become more like Mitch McConnell(R-Ky) in his campaign there has been less and less libertarian and more same old G.W. Bush conservative. The WSJ editorial is simply part of the latest round of preemptive attacks on those who would make some reasonable cuts to a bloated budget. China spends half the share of its GDP on defense as the U.S. and the U.S. defense budget is 54 percent of total world military spending. There is no way not to make fear profitable, but it is possible to make defense a less an all you can eat buffet that includes private mercenaries like Blackwater/Xe.
An election year already notable for its menagerie of extreme and unusual candidates can add another one: Rich Iott, the Republican nominee for Congress from Ohio’s 9th District, and a Tea Party favorite, who for years donned a German Waffen SS uniform and participated in Nazi re-enactments.
[ ]…Iott says the group chose the Wiking division in part because it fought on the Eastern Front, mainly against the Russian Army, and not U.S. or British soldiers. The group’s website includes a lengthy history of the Wiking unit, a recruitment video, and footage of goose-stepping German soldiers marching in the Warsaw victory parade after Poland fell in 1939. The website makes scant mention of the atrocities committed by the Waffen SS, and includes only a glancing reference to the “twisted” nature of Nazism. Instead, it emphasizes how the Wiking unit fought Bolshevist Communism:
Nazi Germany had no problem in recruiting the multitudes of volunteers willing to lay down their lives to ensure a “New and Free Europe”, free of the threat of Communism. National Socialism was seen by many in Holland, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and other eastern European and Balkan countries as the protector of personal freedom and their very way of life, despite the true underlying totalitarian (and quite twisted, in most cases) nature of the movement. Regardless, thousands upon thousands of valiant men died defending their respective countries in the name of a better tomorrow. We salute these idealists; no matter how unsavory the Nazi government was, the front-line soldiers of the Waffen-SS (in particular the foreign volunteers) gave their lives for their loved ones and a basic desire to be free.
Wikipedia is not the last word on WW II but its entry on the Eastern Front is pretty good introduction to the bloodiest front of WW II. In no way what so ever was there any Nazis who “gave their lives for their loved ones and a basic desire to be free”. The Soviets did not attack Germany, Hitler invaded Russia in what he hoped would be a quick and decisive victory and domination of the Soviets. This tactic was so he could than focus his attention on western Europe. The Nazis, including the Waffen-SS practiced a “scorched earth” policy of engagement – killing soldiers and civilians, destroying anything that might be useful including farm animals and food storage facilities. Membership in the Waffen- SS was initially limited to Aryans and the Nuremberg Trails condemned the Waffen-SS as a criminal organization – the SS directly participated in the Holocaust. As the history professors who commented on the Wiking division note, where did these nuts get their perverse revisionism.
So Rich Iott was only reenacting some history. The snip of Wiking glossing over history is a blatant testament to their view of the Waffen-SS as some kind of heroes. There were a few conscripts late in the Waffen-SS history for whom a case might be barely made they did what they had to do under the circumstances, but Wiking and Iott are not reenacting those few conscripts. There is an easy test for Iott and the Wiking reenactments. Where Iott and Wiking says things like the Waffen-SS – “thousands upon thousands of valiant men died defending their respective countries in the name of a better tomorrow. We salute these idealists; no matter how unsavory the Nazi government was, the front-line soldiers of the Waffen-SS (in particular the foreign volunteers) gave their lives for their loved ones and a basic desire to be free.” – where it says Nazi substitute Taliban and ” their basic desire to be free”. I doubt even the rabidly partisan apologists trolls at the link would be taking up for Iott.