Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bernie Sanders, (National) Socialist?

    Within our lifetimes, millions of men and women have put their lives on the line for us. These service members have paid a very high price for their service. The price is a lot higher than most people perceive. My belief is that we’ve got to do everything possible to give back to them and their families, to make them whole.
Such claptrap was uttered not by one of the one of the usual neocon/neolib suspects, but by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the only "self-described democratic socialist" in the Senate — Sanders introduces $30 billion omnibus veterans’ bill.

I guess one should not be surprised by "a self-described democratic socialist" fighting to redistribute $30 billion from America's productive class to government employees, but this boilerplate about the "millions of men and women [who] have put their lives on the line for us" is really getting to be too much. The last time that U.S. soldiers "put their lives on the line for us" was 1783.

Smedley Butler, "at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history," knew better; he knew for whom he put his life on the line:
    I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.
Mr. Sanders, you're no Eugene V. Debs, the Socialist Party of America's presidential candidate imprisoned under "progressive Democrat" Woodrow Wilson's Espionage Act of 1917, but freed by Republican Warren G. Harding, and subsequently invited to Christmas dinner at the White House.

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