January 10, 2009

1 Hour With Barack Obama

{This was my response to an Open Call on that theme at Open Salon}

I'd be kibitzing of course, because I'm a Canadian citizen not an American but I think I'd go bold and say "Why don't you announce the U.S. is dismantling its military apparatus and invite every nation of the earth to follow suit?" No, I wouldn't say that except as an opening gambit to get his attention, too impractical, but I would suggest he put the U.S. on the way to leading by example to a world where ultimately weapons are everywhere an obsolete relic of the past. The U.S. could considerably diminish its stockpile of nuclear and conventional weapons and its contracts for new ones without diminishing its ability to defend itself, only its ability to invade other nations. I'm assuming that's an ability Obama has less interest in than the Bushes and Clinton had.

There are many potential benefits to a serious reduction in the armament trade apart from the reduction of war's obvious harms. Everything on the social agenda, from effective green policies through health, education, welfare right down to the establishment of a truly efficient free market at home and abroad is hampered by the deforming effect of runaway military spending. Only the nation that most overextends in this area can really lead. Mr. President?

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