Dear editor,

We all look forward with hope for the new year, yet we know humanity faces great challenges. Growing competition among China, Russia and America is among them.

Looking back to an article from NPR, in April of 2019 (then) President Donald Trump called former President Jimmy Carter to seek his advice on China and express concern that China was “getting ahead of us.” Carter agreed and replied: “And do you know why? I normalized diplomatic relations with China in 1979. Since 1979, do you know how many times China has been at war with anybody? None. And we have stayed at war.”

Carter explained: the United States is “the most warlike nation in the history of the world,” while China is investing its resources in projects such as high-speed rail.” We have wasted, I think, $3 trillion,” Carter said, referring to American military spending. “China has not wasted a single penny on war, and that’s why they’re ahead of us.”

Concerning China becoming the world’s economic superpower Carter said, “I don’t really fear that time.”

For months Congress has failed to pass the 10-year, $1.75 trillion ($175 billion annual) Build Back Better Plan that would do so much to help children and families, reduce healthcare and drug costs for seniors and others, implement alternative energy infrastructure, and provide many additional benefits for working people. A large majority of Americans support this legislation. Predictably, we hear the tired litany of excuses: “How are you going to pay for it?”  “Whose taxes are you going to raise?” “The deficit is out of control!” “Inflation!” “Mortgaging our grandchildren!”

Yet this past December, the Senate followed the House in authorizing, with overwhelming bipartisan support, the $778 billion annual “defense” budget for 2022. Over four times larger than the Build Back Better Plan, scarcely a word was said about “how to pay for it,” “raising taxes,” “the deficit,” “inflation” or “mortgaging grandchildren.” It barely made the news. Ignoring the wisdom of President Carter, our legislators continue making China great, while simultaneously refusing to help the people of America. Waning empires waste their national treasure on endless warmongering.

Tragically, U.S. corporate media is now doing everything in its power to convince us that China and Russia are our enemies. The ultra-wealthy profiting from the “defense” industries (and purchasing “our” politicians) must create a “threat” to justify their continued looting of our nation.

Voices of concern regarding media coverage of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine:

“One thing I’m sure of is that media accounts available in the United States are so tainted by anti-Russia and U.S. nationalist and capitalist interests that we have no idea of what is really happening in Ukraine.” – Rabbi Michael Lerner – Tikkun

“The media contains constant, often daily warnings about Russian plans for aggression against Ukraine.” “What is lacking, however, is any evidence of anything else but the stationing of Russia’s forces within its own borders, while the military forces of fifteen NATO countries, including the USA, Germany, and Britain, conduct annual maneuvers – far from their homes, but all along Russian boundaries.” – Victor Grossman – Tikkun                    

Referring again to the wisdom of Carter, the greatest threat to the people of America (and the world) is not China or Russia. It is the U.S. Department of “Defense,” the military/industrial/congressional complex former President Eisenhower warned us about, and the self-serving politicians who continue to vote for the impoverishment of working Americans while paving the road to self-destructive militarism and war.

The world doesn’t have time for this insanity.

Dave Svetlik of Kronenwetter

Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly publishes commentary from readers, residents and candidates for local offices. The views of readers and columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot & Review. To submit, email or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.