by Jacob G. Hornberger
Conservatives are at it again. Faced with the possibility that Americans are finally starting to realize that U.S. foreign policy is the cause of anti-American terrorism, conservatives are now reverting to their old stand-by position for justifying the continued existence of the national-security state: communism!
No, I’m not referring to China, even though the Pentagon is now reorienting its focus from the Middle East to that communist country. I’m instead referring to Venezuela — yes, Venezuela! — the country whose democratically elected president, Hugo Chavez, supposedly constitutes a grave threat to U.S. “national security.”
Shades of the Cold War and falling dominoes! Let’s see: Chavez is a socialist who has established close ties to Fidel Castro, which I suppose makes Chavez a communist too. Even worse, Chavez, like Castro, has chosen to maintain his country’s independence from U.S. government control.
In other words, unlike many other foreign countries, especially those on the U.S. foreign-aid welfare dole, Venezuela doesn’t chime in and endorse the U.S. Empire’s invasions, occupations, assassinations, kidnappings, renditions, and torture around the world as part of its much-vaunted “war on terrorism.”
In fact, Chavez, like Castro, is oftentimes very critical of U.S. foreign policy. Apparently, that’s one thing that makes him a grave threat to “national security” (whatever that term means).
So, how exactly do Chavez and Castro pose a threat to “national security”? Well, I suppose the scenario is that Castro’s military forces might cross the ocean and invade Miami while Chavez’s military forces work their way up through Central America and Mexico, where they then invade the United States at Brownsville — after merging, that is, with the Nicaraguan army, whose commander in chief, Daniel Ortega, is another long-time Cold War communist grave threat to U.S. “national security.”
Then, Chavez and Ortega’s forces could work their way to Virginia, where they could merge with Castro’s forces, which would have worked their way up the east coast. And then they all would conquer Washington, D.C., whereupon they would reinforce such programs as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and public (i.e., government) schooling, all of which are core features of socialism in Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua.
Yes, this is all ridiculous, as ridiculous as it was during the entire Cold War. The communists are not coming to get us. And the dominoes are not going to start falling. In fact, the biggest threat to our freedom and well-being lies with homegrown socialism and imperialism that are foisted upon us by American liberals and conservatives.
All this is just the standard conservative claptrap to keep the national-security state, the permanent military industrial complex, the CIA, the hundreds of overseas military bases, and the ever-growing military budgets a permanent part of American life.
Traditionally, governments turn to three primary “threats” to justify their permanent military establishments: communism, terrorism, and drugs. The U.S. government isn’t the only one that does this. Egypt’s military dictatorship, an ally and partner of the U.S. government that receives billions of dollars in U.S. foreign aid, does the same thing.
Communism was the big official bugaboo during the Cold War. “We have to have a permanent national-security state to protect us from the communists, conservatives said. If we don’t invade Vietnam, the dominoes will fall. If we don’t invade Cuba and try to assassinate Castro, the communists will soon by running the IRS and our public schools. But as soon as the Cold War is over, we’ll fully favor dismantling the big national security government that we have brought into existence.”
Nonsense! Despite the small-government rhetoric, conservatives love big government. When the Cold War was over, the last thing they wanted was to dismantle the national security state. After all, there were the drug dealers to worry about. And then after the U.S. Empire began provoking people in the Middle East, the “terrorists” became the new official enemy, replacing the communists.
And now we come full circle. The statists are now returning to the communists to serve as another official enemy. That means that if they get their way, we’ll now have all three official enemies to worry about, all at the same time — the communists, the terrorists, and the drug dealers. What a grand bonanza for the lovers of big government!
With the grand failure of both the welfare state and the warfare state, Americans now have a tremendous opportunity to restore a free society to our land. The best thing that Americans could ever do is dismantle both the welfare state and the warfare state and all the taxes that fund all this statist junk. That’s the key to restoring a free, prosperous, secure, and harmonious society to our land.
Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation.
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