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by adam mathes
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Pebbles and Mules

There was a time when the majority of my writing on the web was exclusively commentary on articles. I’ve stopped doing that for a number of reasons, which should be very clear from the following weblog like entry today.

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Guardian Unlimited Observer: Armed to the teeth -

Last Monday, to back that explicit threat, he announced an increase in US military spending of 15 per cent, the biggest in 20 years, more than double the military spending in all of the European Union. The rise will be $36 billion (26.5bn pounds) this year, $48 billion next year and $120 billion over the next five years, rising to a staggering two trillion over the next five years.

Even this is not enough for General Richard Myers, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. They want the US defence budget to increase at an even faster rate.

[…] The question the rest of the world is asking itself is: Who is the enemy America is arming itself so against? And why?

‘Ostensibly,’ says one European diplomat, ‘this is about security. But quite how a massive increase in defence spending is supposed to prevent another terrorist attack remains unclear. Instead this seems to be about repairing the bruised American psyche after 11 September. America’s powerlessness in the face of this attack requires big gestures and reassurances, even if they are counter-productive and meaningless.’

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It is very much like the men who spend all their time working out in the gym attempting to bulk up or who buy sports cars. Sure, it may make them feel a little better about themselves, but in the end they still have tiny, tiny penises.

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I kind of feel like I should write some Get Your War On style comics or something.

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“Some people hijacked planes with wire cutters and crashed them into major buildings a few months ago. What should we do to prevent this from happening again?”

“First of all, get rid of curb-side check-in.”

“But didn’t they take the wire cutters with them onto the plane? They didn’t check any bags.”

“Right. So next we need confiscate everyone’s nail clippers at airport security checkpoints.”

“Umm, sure. But…”

“Third, we’re going to need to build another nuclear powered carrier group that has more military power than most militarized nations. We only have seven right now. Oh, and get me some of those new F-22 fighter jets. They’re shiny.”

“But you didn’t even manage to intercept, let alone shoot down, a commercial jet that hit the Pentagon, the nerve center of the entire military, even though Andrews Air Force base is only 10 miles away and had two squadrons of F-16’s and FA-18’s just sitting there! I could have ridden a mule from New York to Washington in that time and thrown pebbles at it and had more effect than you guys.”

“Hey, you know, that plane just came out of nowhere. It’s not like we could have predicted that. Oh, and we need more money.”

“But there were those two other planes crashed into the World Trade Center an hour before. Don’t you guys have radar? What about all those AWACS flying command plane things?”

“Radar? That guy from MASH? That wasn’t the real military, you know, only a television show.”

“No, not the guy from MASH.”

“Look, the point is, we’re going to need more money. A lot more money.”

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