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HumanEvents is now officially a leftist, anti-defense magazine

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A Reagan picture produced by the Heritage Foundation.

Over the last few years, HumanEvents has repeatedly published garbage anti-defense screeds by professional blowhards, but usually it’s been just Pat Buchanan and, occassionally, Byron York – two well-known blowhards.

Now, however, HumanEvents is officially a leftist, anti-defense magazine, having just published its newest anti-defense screed, written by Steven Greenhut.

In it, the author tries to paint the US military – the defender of this country and its most respected institution – in the same light as the IRS, the oppressive federal tax collecting agency. What exactly distastes him about the military?

That it wants to be… the world’s strongest and a team of “warriors.”

Oh my goodness, what a terrible threat to US civil liberties! The US military wants to be the strongest in the world and wants to make recruits into “warriors”! Panic!

Greenhut objects to the Army (and its “Soldiers’ Creed”) calling soldiers “warriors”; he claims this is a militarist term and proof of America’s Spartan-like “militarization”. He even agrees with extremely leftist Associated Press reporter Robert Fisk calling it “militarization”:

“A few years ago, the Associated Press’ Robert Fisk reported on the rewriting of the U.S. Army’s rewriting of the “Soldier’s Creed.” It had long been a simple ethical statement in which soldiers vowed to protect our nation, live up to the highest ideals, and not disgrace the uniform. The Army rewrote it into a creed of the “warrior,” in which America’s soldiers vowed to “never accept defeat” as they destroy the nation’s enemies.

I don’t always agree with Fisk’s politics, but he was dead-on in complaining about a subtle shift in America from honoring our military and its necessary role to a more Sparta-like embrace of militarism.”

But the truth is, the Army has always, since the beginning of the Republic, considered its soldiers “warriors” and trained it to be such. Ditto the Marines, who have always led a Spartan lifestyle since their founding in 1775, as anyone who has served in the Corps knows.

The US military – like every other serious military in the world, unlike those of Europe – trains its troops to be warriors, not girly-men, smoothtalkers, or kid glove users. War ain’t beanbag.

(BTW, folks, you know what the British Army’s standard Infantry Fighting Vehicle is called? The “Warrior”.)

Greenhut objects to the US Navy calling itself “a global force for good”. He also condemns its statement that the power of every nation is measured in part based upon its Navy, so the USN wants to be the strongest in the world:

“I recently spotted billboard ads from the U.S. Navy, which proclaimed: “A Global Force for Good.” I perused the Navy’s Web page dedicated to the ad campaign, and there wasn’t a word on it about protecting freedom. I found the lingo a little creepy: “The strength and status of any nation can be measured in part by the will and might of its navy. … As the largest, most versatile, most capable naval force on the planet today, America’s Navy epitomizes this idea.””

Oh my gosh! Heaven forbid that America have the largest, most versatile, most capable navy in the world!

But doesn’t every self-respecting nation in the world want to have a strong, world-class, globally-capable navy – perhaps even the strongest in the world? Don’t China, Russia, India, France, and Britain want to have such?

Moreover, having a strong army composed of real warriors (as opposed to girly men) and a large, globally-capable navy is a prerequisite to being secure and and enjoying peace, as Ronald Reagan (quoted above) said eloquently many times, and as history has proven hundreds of times.

Yet Greenhut’s biggest lie is his utterly false claim that Republicans are protecting the defense budget, not willing to cut any program, not even entitlements, and objecting even to “modest” cuts in the defense budget. (He claims sequestration would be a “modest” cut). He even claims Republicans actually want to grow defense spending.

But, in fact, sequestration, combined with the $487 bn First Tier BCA-mandated defense cuts, means cutting the defense budget deeply, by over 30% from FY2011 levels. Sequestration has now cut the defense budget down to $469 bn, from which bottom it will never recover for the remainder of the next decade. By FY2022, it will still be at a paltry $493 bn in today’s money, as opposed to $525 bn in FY2013 pre-sequestration.

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Sequestration itself requires cutting the defense budget by a full $550 bn from FY2013 pre-sequestration levels. Such a deep cut – $55 bn every year – requires deep reductions in every part of the military, from personnel, to training, to operations and the maintenance of existing equipment and bases, to the development and acquisition of military equipment.

No, Mr Greenhut, this is not a modest cut. Sequestration, if it is continued, will, with previous Obama defense cuts, actually represent the deepest (and fastest) cuts to America’s defense since the 1950s.

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Greenhut’s claim that the military is “unlikely to shrink anytime soon”, like the IRS, is also utterly false. In fact, already because of previous Obama defense cuts, the ground force has to shrink by 100,000 men, while the Navy is on track to shrink below 280 ships and the Air Force has retired hundreds of aircraft since 2009, and plans to retire further scores of planes. And that is before sequestration is taken into account at all.

If sequestration stays, the Navy will shrink to just 230 ships, the Army to its smallest since since 1940, the Marines to just 150,000 men, and the Air Force will have to cut its bomber and fighter fleets by one third, according to former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and HASC Republicans.

With such a small size, the US military won’t be able to defend even America itself – let alone its overseas interests, critical supply routes, allies, or the world’s commons (seas, airspace, outer space, cyberspace).

Greenhut implies that the US military hasn’t shrunk since the end of the Cold War. This is also utterly false. The US military, at just 1.4 mn active duty personnel, and with 75% fewer nuclear weapons and delivery systems and far fewer aircraft, ships, missiles, and ground vehicles, is far smaller than it was at the end of the Cold War.

Greenhut’s screed is a litany of blatant anti-defense lies straight from liberal playbooks. By publishing it, HumanEvents has finally shown its true face and proven that it is no longer a conservative publication by any measure. By doing so, it has proven it is a stridently liberal trash paper not worth anyone’s attention or money. All conservatives should boycott it.

Shame on Greenhut for writing such a ridiculous screed, and shame on HumanEvents for publishing it.

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