Letters to the Editor

Political hawk or poseur?

The U.S. leads the world in military spending at nearly $600 billion annually. The $54 billion President Donald Trump hopes to add to defense (2/28 CDT) is 80 percent of the Russian military budget.

Meanwhile, Trump said he would cut the same amount from non-military, namely social programs. For example, he’s planning to eliminate 20 percent of the Environmental Protection Agency’s staff by slashing its $8 billion budget by a quarter.

In Wednesday’s CDT, Trump vowed to take on “radical Islamic terrorism,” presumably by continued policies of endless war. He is putting my grandson in harm’s way in Africa to fight drone wars in Somalia and Yemen. The U.S. budgetary costs of wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan to date is about $5 trillion. Using the trappings and powers attached to his “imperial presidency,” Trump has suggested that the U.S. might “have another chance” to take Iraq’s oil.

Trump ends with a statement in the Feb. 28 CDT that appears to slam the military, saying, “We never win a war ... and we don’t fight to win.” We Vietnam veterans have been hearing such diatribe since the 1960s, when our president took four student deferments to avoid the inconvenience of Southeast Asia before getting a medical exemption for heel spurs (Trump termed these bone growths a “minor” problem). Our fearless leader was declared “fit for service” when he had his first military medical exam in 1966.

It seems politics’ biggest hawks are always its biggest poseurs.

Douglas M. Mason, Port Matilda