CHRIS POWELL: Less war means fewer jets and tanks and submarines

Published on Wednesday, 26 February 2020 19:59


Connecticut’s members of Congress, all Democrats, are upset - some almost apoplectic - about President Trump’s using his emergency power to divert military appropriations away from nuclear submarine and jet-fighter procurement to help finance the wall he is having built along the border with Mexico.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal says, “This is about appealing to President Trump’s political base” - as if in opposing the diversion the senator and his colleagues in Connecticut’s delegation aren’t appealing to their political base, the military contractors and subcontractors in the state that make submarines and jet fighters.

Sen. Chris Murphy says, “The president is stealing money from programs that keep us safe during real national emergencies to fund his stupid border wall.”

But how persuasive is any member of Congress from a military contracting state like Connecticut when he is just defending appropriations for his own constituents?

Has any member of Congress from Connecticut ever opposed an appropriation for military contracting that was to have been spent in the state?

As for keeping the country safe during “real national emergencies,” how about that “emergency” with Afghanistan, now in its 20th year?

How many more years of that “emergency” will be required before Connecticut’s congressmen acknowledge that it is not an “emergency” at all but just another discretionary war of nation building, less of an emergency than the illegal immigration Trump’s border wall addresses?

To his credit Murphy lately has led the effort to stop the president from waging war on Iran without the approval of Congress. But the long war in Afghanistan, having achieved nothing but death, seems to have escaped the senator’s notice.

Where is the legislation to terminate appropriations for that war?

Why does that war keep getting a pass from Connecticut’s delegation, if not because of the delegation’s reluctance to jeopardize the state’s military contracting?

Besides, the delegation shares the blame for diversion of the sub and jet-fighter money. For politics is compromise, the president’s discretion to move military money around in emergencies he declares and defines has been the law for many years, and Democrats have yet to want much compromise with Trump over illegal immigration.

Indeed, most leading Democrats in Connecticut want as much illegal immigration as they can get, since it proletarianizes the country, increasing the population’s dependence on government welfare programs, and increases the number of Democratic-leaning legislative districts, since illegal immigrants cluster overwhelmingly in Democratic urban areas, where, though they aren’t supposed to vote, they still are counted toward formation of new congressional and state legislative districts.

That is, the more illegal immigrants, the more Democrats in Congress and the General Assembly.

Silly as the Democrats consider the border wall, by appropriating directly for it and giving Trump what he wanted they might have guaranteed their wildest dreams of military contracting and even have achieved at last the naturalization of the innocent young people, the “Dreamers,” brought into the country illegally by their parents and now living in limbo.

But blocking immigration law enforcement comes first for Connecticut Democrats, even ahead of more weapons.

Somehow the country will manage with fewer jet fighters and subs, especially if Congress goes beyond posturing against a hypothetical war and terminates one that is only too real.

Chris Powell is a columnist for the Journal Inquirer in Manchester, Connecticut.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Columns on Wednesday, 26 February 2020 19:59. Updated: Wednesday, 26 February 2020 20:02.