The parable of the Pentagon as global neighborhood watch patrol

The Pentagon

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2014 — This is a parable inspired by and written in response to an editorial from Charles Krauthammer. It was a Sunday, so a parable seemed appropriate.

“There was a fellow who had taken on the role of the head of community security, let’s call him Mr. Zimmerman for convenience sake.  Mr. Zimmerman purposes to coordinate and spearhead an effort to methodically go through the entire neighborhood and look for suspicious activity, unlocked doors, improper security lighting, unsavory characters malingering – and to act as the first responder to possible criminal activity.  While he is doing this, he inexplicably leaves the back of his home completely unlocked and all the windows and gates wide open.

The very criminal elements he warns the community about and seeks to thwart, are entering Mr. Zimmerman’s premises from the rear and dispersing their networks from there. The trespassers on Zimmerman’s property commit an untold number of crimes, up to and including the murders of hundreds and eventually, thousands of people.

The foolish residents of the community still focus on distant activities of wrongdoers in other cities instead of recognizing their own exposure in their own neighborhood. A certain “Mr. Nobody” tries to point out the dysfunctional nature of all of this, but is either ignored or thought of as hopelessly naïve. “How unfashionable”, say the others among themselves. “What this country needs is a conflict to get the old adrenalin going again.”

We’ll hear from Mr. Nobody again, but for now – who does ‘George Zimmerman’ head of community security remind you of?  Here’s the key to the parable.

‘George Zimmerman’ is the President of the United States, and the neighborhood watch command by extension, the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security.  The ‘Community’ is the entire planet. The patrol apparatus is the U.S. Military.  Zimmerman’s ‘House’ is the United States. The back of his ‘House’ is our Southern border with Mexico and by extension, Central and Latin America.  The ‘Criminal element’ are the drug cartels, rapists, murderers, sex traffickers, pedophiles, smugglers and last but not least, Islamic terror cells.

Now there’s a little wrinkle here. Our present ‘George Zimmerman’ played by Obama, mostly gives lip service to the whole Community Security concept. He’s not all that much more concerned with the front door (the international scene) than he is the back door – our borders.

Taking up the slack of the passion here in the neighborhood, are the neo-cons – the Sean Hannitys’ the Charles Krauthammers’, the John McCains’, the Lindsay Grahams’, the Mark Levins’, etc., etc.  None of them are focused on our greatest point of vulnerability – the back door to our home. Instead, they are focused in like a laser on situations abroad that good old Uncle Sam can stick his nose into and let the troops be deployed as cannon fodder. Equally troublesome, some even want to pass legislation designed to make the back door of our home an even more inviting target.

Someone who only peripherally figures into this parable is Mr. Nobody – the contrarian. Mr. Nobody is standing off to the side and trying to reason with other onlookers as to the foolishness of all this. Mr. Nobody is of the opinion that for at least the last 60 years, America’s role as Global Policeman has been disastrous. All of our ‘busts’ have eventually gone bust. He provides examples. Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia (er, Kampuchea), Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Egypt. He asks them to name one country that is now stable, has a Constitution similar to our own, practices respect of human rights, has a viable system of Democracy or is an ally.

No one can think of any except the nation created as a result of the partitioning of Korea – South Korea. North Korea remains a menace. He further asks how much did we spend on all that?  How much larger and more authoritarian did our own government grow as a consequence? How have our bedrock civil liberties been enhanced?

Mr. Nobody, who doesn’t have a Super PAC, with which to spend gazillions on advertising in this and the next campaign cycle, also intrepidly points out that the national debt is a national security risk in and of itself. Mr. Nobody has the cheek to question the armchair patriots and sabre rattlers where all the money is going to come from to pay for more military opportunism. Are we, he says, going to print a couple Trillion more? What happens when the U.S. Dollar is pushed aside as the world’s reserve currency and we can’t simply resort to more printing $$$$ out of thin air and the bill comes due? To this and the other questions he posed, only the sound of crickets was heard.

Mr. Nobody proposed to ask Senator McCain personally why he thinks the the U.S. Military is a hammer and everything he sees is a nail. Mr. Nobody also made the point that to the billionaires who control the Military Industrial Complex, and by extension, Congress, there is no personal risk in lobbying for more military engagement, only more and more power and more and more profits.

On the other hand, Mr. Nobody attempted to dispel the perception that he is a pacifist.  Mr. Nobody affirmed that he is a proponent of a strong national defense and supports the idea (Constitutional mandate) that Congress must provide advice and consent to the President and approve the decision to declare war and deploy troops once it is clearly evident that doing so is in our national interest.

Mr. Nobody notes to the bystanders that he has not seen any evidence to suggest that there is a compelling need to engage in hostilities anywhere on the planet right now or to provoke ourselves into the necessity of doing so.  He thinks we have our own country and economy to rebuild and our own house to get in apple pie order.  He further reminds them that we have a border to secure and a domestic surveillance apparatus to bring into conformity with the 4th Amendment of the Constitution.  This, he says, doesn’t put him on the side of Obama. It puts him on the side of common sense.

With all due respect, where is Mr. Nobody wrong here, Mr. Krauthammer?


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