15 April 2007

Choice in a limited pool may not be much of a choice at all.

There's something really depressing about reading about the United States's growing dependence on mercenaries. What's even more depressing is that our armed services are apparently the breeding ground for these soldiers of fortune, at least if you take three of the four individuals profiled in the Sunday Post. In fact, it seems more and more like the revolving door of congress person to lobbyist: do a few years in the military and then join up with a mercenary unit and get paid upwards of $500 a day.

Of course, we American taxpayers are paying these gun thugs' salaries, gussied up and sanitized under the generic "contractors" label. It's a big shell game, meant to line the pockets of a few well-placed ruling class executives with money from the public trough: you "shrink" the military and "contract out" the boring business of war: feeding and housing the troops, etc.; then you pay firms (that just happen to be headed by the same old gang of friends -- it's a small world) exorbitant amounts of taxpayer money to do the jobs the military used to do. It's a brilliant way to extract even more money out of the national coffers for the military-industrial complex while pretending you're "shrinking government."

And here's the big question: while BushCo is certainly elevating this practice to a higher level, does anyone think the system would be so very different under the Democrats?


Reya Mellicker said...

Ethics and compassionate morality always go into the toilet at the end of empires. It was the same with Rome, the Ottomans, Tzarist Russia ... I'm sure you could name others.

I find it terrifying and mind numbing all at the same time. That kid at Virginia Tech yesterday is a mercenary in training. Was. There are others just like him, though. It's a frightening time in history. At least we still have freedom of speech.

cuff said...

For now.