Don't Blame President Obama for Telling Lies About You

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Arriving today in Poland on his four day trip to Europe, President Obama declared to the Polish people and other NATO countries:

I’m starting the visit here because our commitment to Poland’s security as well as the security of our allies in central and eastern Europe is a cornerstone of our own security and it is sacrosanct…we stand united together and forever.

President Obama’s assurances that we, the American people, are the geopolitical equivalent of BFFs with European NATO countries came with his announcement of an increased U.S. troop presence in Eastern Europe, with a starting price tag of $1 billion from the U.S. treasury. This increase of a U.S. military presence in Eastern Europe, of course, is connected to the recent events in Ukraine. Protecting your friends from democracy-loathing tyrants like Putin is what geopolitical friends are for, right?
Unfortunately, the government of France, also a NATO member, has not been such a good geopolitical friend to the United States, even less so to other NATO member states that are more vulnerable to Russia.
Recently, some members of Congress have expressed concern over France’s sale of two warships to Russia, known as Mistral Carriers. As mentioned in one congressional letter to President Obama, the “ships will provide Russia with newly-bought, advanced military power projection in Eastern Europe, the Southern Caucasus, and the Baltics. Each Mistral has the capacity to carry 16 helicopters, four landing craft, 60 armored vehicles, 13 tanks, and up to 700 soldiers.” This $1.6 billion deal between France and Russia was signed in 2011, just three years after Russia’s 2008 invasion of Georgia – a geopolitical heads-up that clearly did not register with the French government.
Some may ask, when did it become the profound moral obligation of Americans to go to war on behalf of foreign governments that not only put profits before people, but literally put profits before global security, namely the kind of global security that would move humankind toward peaceful forms of employment rather than building sea-based death machines for gay-bashing tyrants like Vladimir Putin? Answer: probably before you were even born.
Indeed, most Americans were not born in 1949 when Article 5 of the NATO charter, which mandates the collective military defense of NATO member states, was adopted. Nor have we had any concrete opportunities to weigh in on whether we ourselves are willing to die, or more accurately, entice other Americans with paychecks and military honors to die, so that France, for instance, can live free from the tyranny of the Putin regime – the same Putin regime for which it is building said navy ships.
As such, we should amend the U.S. Constitution to subject any provisions of treaties to which the U.S. is a signatory, and which mandate collective military defense, to continuous democratic review – namely, every three months – by both houses of Congress. That way the American people will have the chance to continually weigh in on whether we are willing to bring this nation to war on behalf of foreign nations.
In addition, before the United States gets dragged into another pointless war, it is imperative that we end the wholly immoral for-pay soldiery system in this country; a system that not only arouses the martial spirit in the tiny minority of Americans who posses that spirit – or at least pretend that they do in order to secure a paycheck in a brutal economy – but also allows not so few morally-shallow Americans to engage in the make-believe, “We support the troops!” brand of false patriotism, while they sit back and watch the wars from their living rooms.
Until we modernize the U.S. Constitution by providing ourselves the tools we need to address our modern global realities – instead of the tools for 1787 global realities – President Obama and his successors will continue to tell blatant lies about America’s political consciousness and our nation’s willingness to go to war; lies that not only slap democratic principles in the face, but only serve to provide foreign governments with the fodder they need to gin up their own war machines.
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