Saturday, February 09, 2008

From War Games to Police State

The Toledo Blade is reporting the Mayor of that city is telling the Marines to take a hike, because there are people in Toledo who aren’t enamored with the idea of War Games being played in their backyard. In predictable fashion, the right-side of the blogosphere (the side that believes that nothing military related should ever be criticized, limited, or placed anywhere lower than Sainthood) is just spitting with anger over this. (Here , here , here , here and here)

Now, is there any rational reason that something like this might be opposed? I mean, we know that to Conservative Military-Worshippers, you can’t love your country if you hate the government, because to them the State and the Country are identical. Criticize one, you criticize the other. But that all just dogma, and is completely separated from the truth.

So why would someone not want the military conducting war games out in the street where your kids are playing, or in the coffee shops where you are getting your lunch, or perhaps down the hall from your office at work?

Well, the way I see it, this is all just part of a pattern to destroy liberty in this country. Allowing the military to conduct war games amongst our homes and businesses is just a way to start getting people accustomed to seeing armed government agents wherever they go. Militarizing society is just another step toward the implementation of a full blown police state.

And don’t give me this “readiness” hogwash. For one, I doubt Toledo is in any danger of being attacked by armies of rampaging Canadians. Secondly, the military controls large tracts of land in various parts of the country. I’m sure they could allocate a few million dollars from their budget of…what? $500 billion?… to build mock cities to conduct these drills… away from the public.

I’m not surprised by the reaction I’m seeing from the War Worshippers. Nothing must be allowed to interfere with the rolling of the American War Machine…even Americans who wish to keep the State’s machinations held down and restricted to a separate sphere of life.

There is no need for the Marines to play their games in Toledo. Kudos to the Mayor.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ohio’s biggest threat is radical Canadians sneaking across the border! Maybe a bigger threat than the terrorists and Mexicans. Oh, I am so scared! Big oppressive governments save me.

Ohio Border Patrol Office Proposed
Jan 29 2008 7:57AM
OTTAWA COUNTY, Ohio - Detroit is the closest border patrol location in the Lake Erie Island Region. Perhaps that's one reason the U.S. Border Patrol is thinking about opening up an office in Ottawa County, reports ONN affiliate WTOL's Dick Berry.
Usually, the agency sets up an office there during the summer. There are, after all, 110 miles of Lake Erie shoreline in Ottawa County. The area is also home to a nuclear power plant.
"We have a huge influx of visitors in the summertime. I think another set of ears watching their safety would be a huge benefit to the community," says Ottawa County Commissioner James Sass.
The sheriff's department says the main selling point to the border patrol is its high-tech communications center. Manpower and equipment can be quickly mobilized with other county law enforcement agencies.
Last summer, when the border patrol worked out of the Marblehead Coast Guard station, officers learned the Great Lakes region was wide open to illegal immigrants and terrorism-related activity.
"And in doing so, documented what they seen, it was evident to them they need 24/7 here with border patrol," says Sheriff Bob Bratton, who also says there were numerous occasions when people who attempted to arrive from Canada were detained and kept out of the county.
"They had several countries that were on the terrorist watch list where individuals were secured out here in boats coming across," Bratton says.
Still, nobody expects Ottawa County to be the target of a terrorist attack -- even with a nuclear power plant. The concern is that people with violent intentions could use the area as an entry point.
A decision from the border patrol is expected this summer.
Copyright 2008 by WTOL-TV and the Ohio News Network.


3:13 PM  
Blogger BizzyBlog said...

I think the cost of building model urban environments would be prohibitive, wouldn't necessarily simulate every possibility that could be faced, and would carry huge ongoing maintenance and upkeep costs.

If the cost of the exercise is really only $10,000 there's no way building probably a half-dozen such "model cities" around the country could make any fiscal sense.

As to the mayor's actions, he must surely know the Marines have been in town before, and hasn't objected. If he really had a problem, he had many months to address it before grandstanding and turning them back at the last minute.

As to the conditioning of the populace, I'd agree if it just happened out of the blue, as it apparently did in some Texas towns in the mid-late 1990s. But that clearly isn't what's happening here. I suspect if the community objected to such exercises, it would have done so by now, and I would guess their objections would be heeded.

My guess is that you can relax about it happening again -- With all the publicity, the hard-core antiwar crowd will probably ensure that from this point forward the mayor gets his way.

6:03 PM  
Blogger Libertarian Jason said...

Thanks, Bizz for the comment....

I hardly think you would need to build "every conceivable" variation of city layout to affect this, nor do I think that it would take a lot of money to provide upkeep. Besides, whatever it would cost would be a drop in the bucket of the Pentagon's budget.

Not knowing the actualy political conditions of Toledo, I might hazard a guess and say just because he didn't complain before, doesn't mean there isn't objection it now. People may not have been aware or bothered by it in the past... or, maybe once they;ve seen it, they have figured out that they don't particularly like it. WHo knows? All certainly are reasonable possibilities.

Lastly, eternal vigiliance is the price of liberty. I wouldn't be so sure that this will "never happen again".

2:41 PM  
Blogger John W. said...

What about all those military bases that were closed during the Reagan years? They could practice there...or how 'bout in their own backyards on open military bases. I for one am uncomfortable with heavily armed military personnel milling about in my community. Who could predict what chaos might result? I might feel differently if I could have a 6-shooter strapped to my hip. Of course, if law-abiding citizens carried 6-shooters, we would not need storm troopers in our communities for "protection".

2:25 PM  
Blogger Libertarian Jason said...

Amen, John!

4:25 PM  

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