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August 31, 2013 1:01 PM Defense industry lobbyists are terrible human beings and that’s putting it mildly, Syria edition

By Samuel Knight

In an article published by The Hill today, “defense” industry lobbyists have proven again why they’re among the lowest lifeforms on the planet. A number of them (joined by think-tank nomenklatura — often difficult to distinguish from “defense” lobbyists) argue that the Ghouta crisis will give opponents to DOD sequestration cuts some moral ammunition.

…Michael Herson, the president of American Defense International, a defense lobbying firm, said military action in Syria could boost the arguments of Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who both want to reverse the sequester.
Both senators support military action against Syria, though they and the White House oppose having U.S. boots on the ground.
“This brings to light that hey, the world is still a dangerous place, and we’re gong to have to have a military that can respond anywhere and anytime, and that costs money,” said Herson.
Dan Stohr, a spokesman for the Aerospace Industries Association, echoed Herson’s argument.
“It is absolutely true that situations like Syria and Egypt demonstrate the world is still very much a dangerous place. U.S. national security interests are at risk every day. So sequestration really is the wrong answer for addressing those national security concerns,” Stohr said.

Au contraire. I can’t think of a conflict that better demonstrates why we need to take the bluntest of meat axes to the Pentagon budget. We’d be intervening (without much international support) as a life-saving measure (of questionable effectiveness) over allegations (unproven beyond any reasonable doubt) surrounding hundreds of deaths (in a conflict that has seen 100,000 plus fatal casualties, with the plurality caused by our allies), when we could save lives by dropping the demand for regime change and pressing for cease-fire negotiations without preconditions. That were even seriously considering such madness is a clear indication we’re appropriating too many tax dollars to “defense.” On top of that, the vast majority of Americans “strongly oppose” intervention — a reality that makes the sequestration-reversal argument even more shameless (not that shame is the strong suit of the “defense” industry).

Samuel Knight is a freelance journalist living in DC and a former intern at the Washington Monthly.

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