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Why Increase the War Budget

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President Biden has announced that all U.S. combat troops will be out of Afghanistan by 9/11 of this year. So why is the Pentagon budget increasing? Only in America do wars end and war budgets go up.

Arguing against Biden's pullout plan, more than a few commentators have expressed concern about the status and safety of Afghan women under Taliban rule.

Arguing against Biden's pullout plan, more than a few commentators have expressed concern about the status and safety of Afghan women under Taliban rule. As if America went to war to secure the rights of women in Afghanistan. So, I'd like to ask these commentators, what about the status and safety of women in America? What about equal pay? What about protecting women from domestic violence and other forms of assault? What about reproductive rights for women? Before you pontificate about securing rights for Afghan women, you should work to secure them for American women.

Speaking of which: Are these commentators in favor of the Equal Rights Amendment for women?

Speaking of which: Are these commentators in favor of a $15 federal minimum wage? Because a boost in the federal minimum wage will help women and minorities, who are more likely than white men to be stuck in low-paying jobs

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Empathy gap? What empathy gap?

Empathy gap? What empathy gap?

It's unlikely that the Afghan War will end on 9/11. It's just being turned over to the mercs, spooks, and drones. In other words, private military contractors (mercenaries), the CIA (spooks), and bombing via remotely-piloted aerial vehicles (drones).

A friend of mine has a theory. As long as Americans have plenty of cheap 70-inch TV screens available to them, as well as plenty of tawdry and violent entertainment, they couldn't care less about the Afghan War and similar issues. I think he's right. All these gigantic screens remind me of "Fahrenheit 451." Except in our future, the "firemen" won't have to burn the books since no one will want to read them.

Back in 2019, here's what I wrote about America's empathy gap: 

Despite our size, we are a remarkably insular nation and suffer from a serious empathy gap when it comes to understanding foreign cultures and peoples or what we’re actually doing to them. Even our globetrotting troops, when not fighting and killing foreigners in battle, often stay on vast bases, referred to in the military as “Little Americas,” complete with familiar stores, fast food, you name it. Wherever we go, there we are, eating our big burgers, driving our big trucks, wielding our big guns, and dropping our very big bombs. But what those bombs do, whom they hurt or kill, whom they displace from their homes and lives, these are things that Americans turn out to care remarkably little about.

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Perhaps that's because we're too enthralled with our new 80-inch super-high-def TV. Want to play a (war) game?

William J. Astore
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