Sunday, May 4, 2008

Here is a portent for the fall

Donations to presidential campaigns by members and employees of the armed services have gone overwhelmingly to anti-war candidates.
From January 2007 through March of this year, service members or civilian employees of the military donated at least $766,000 to presidential candidates, according to data made available April 20 and provided by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit research group in Washington.

The analysis included donations of at least $200 made by individuals who listed their employer as one of the four branches of the military — Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps — or the Coast Guard, National Guard, Army Air Force Exchange Service, armed forces or military.

These donors gave the largest amounts to Rep. Ron Paul, the long-shot Republican candidate from Texas who has acknowledged defeat in the nomination process but continues to campaign, and Sen. Barack Obama, the Democrat from Illinois.

During the reporting period, Paul — a former Air Force surgeon who broke with his party to vote against the Iraq war — received the most military contributions, with $201,271.

That’s significantly more than the presumptive Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain from Arizona, who received $132,133 from military donors, according to CRP.

“I think that our fighting men and women want to protect America, defend our Constitution and defend our borders,” said Jesse Benton, a spokesman for Rep. Paul’s campaign. “I think they’re sick and tired of being sent overseas on these police actions and getting caught in the middle of these civil wars, and want someone like Ron Paul speaking sense.

“They signed up to defend our country, not police the world,” Benton said, “and I think they’re hungry for leaders who do that.”

I am not Ron Paul supporter - but that sentiment is right fucking on. Just because military members agree to fight wars by definition when they join up doesn't mean they lust after just any war. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Remember, it was easier to convince every last citizen of Athens that war was necessary than it was to convince a single Spartan. That is because a professional warrior class understands the seriousness of the undertaking in ways that simply aren't conveyed in repeated viewings of Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan.

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