Militarism isn't safety

Published: Thursday, April 1, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 31, 2004 at 10:56 p.m.

What constitutes the security of the United States? Is it 725 military bases outside of the continental limits of this nation in addition to the hundreds inside? Is it spending our nation into bankruptcy?

I believe we are equating our security with militarism. We think the more bombs we make, the more tanks we produce and the more countries in which we build bases, and which we seek to control, the more secure we are. History is replete with the stories of nations that have gone this route. The most recent example is the Soviet Union, which imploded from overextending its grasp and running the nation into bankruptcy with thousands of nuclear bombs, 40,000 tanks and millions of troops.

No true American questions the need for us to protect ourselves. However, I believe that the greatest threat to the security of this nation is millions of poorly educated people who do not read, have not learned elementary logic and can be easily influenced by unsound propaganda.

We, the strongest nation in the world, could take but a portion of the $500 billion a year we are spending on defense and make ourselves physically safe. With the rest we could build the most wonderful system of education the world has ever known.

However, it seems apparent to me that we have forgotten those wise words of one of our forefather, Thomas Jefferson, who said: "A nation that expects to be both ignorant and free, expects what never was and never will be."

The militaristic road we are now traveling makes me very fearful for the safety and security of this great nation.

William D. Hedges,


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