Last week, with Democrats holding a majority in the House, Rep. Peter DeFazio voted to green light another $740 billion in “defense” spending, and in doing so he abandoned dozens of progressives who voted against it. DeFazio’s vote comes while the U.S. maintains some 800 bases overseas, making our military the greatest consumer of fossil fuels in the world, defying warnings to cut consumption immediately.
Could these “defense” funds be used differently? COVID-19 deaths in the US just surpassed all US combat deaths since WWII, illustrating that “defense” spending isn’t really meant to protect Americans.
Now Trump is using force against protesters in a desperate show meant to help his chances in an election he is predicted to lose. It’s easy to imagine him using force abroad for the same reasons. Just weeks ago he visited Southern Command and told reporters “something will happen with Venezuela.” In April he launched a military deployment targeting Venezuela.
The Afghanistan Papers revealed the unending occupation was fueled by lies and “defense” spending that mostly flowed to from your pocket to “defense” contractors whose profits rely on never-ending war. When Trump nearly started another war by assassinating an Iranian general on a diplomatic mission, “defense” contractor stocks soared.
Pseudo progressives like DeFazio will no doubt attempt to justify their vote with nonsensical excuses ignoring all the context above, but it’s hard to overlook the fact that “defense” donations to DeFazio have climbed, with Trump in office, to levels far beyond what he took before.