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Opening Arguments

Forward, march

Hey, let's have a role-reversal party!

Conservative George Will says Republicans should knock off the war-mongering:

The U.S. defense budget is about 43 percent of the world’s total military spending — more than the combined defense spending of the next 17 nations, many of which are U.S. allies. Are Republicans really going to warn voters that America will be imperiled if the defense budget is cut 8 percent from projections over the next decade? In 2017, defense spending would still be more than that of the next 10 countries combined.

Since 2001, the United States has waged war in three nations, and some Republicans appear ready to bring the total to five, adding Iran and Syria. (The Weekly Standard, of neoconservative bent, regrets that Obama “is reluctant to intervene to oust Iran’s closest ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.”) GOP critics say that Obama’s proposed defense cuts will limit America’s ability to engage in troop-intensive nation-building. Most Americans probably say: Good.

Meanwhile, a new poll shows majorities of liberal Democrats support drone strikes and keeping Gitmo open, antiterrorism tactics they bitterly denounced When George Bush was president. This really arouses the ire of liberal Glenn Greenwald, who accuses his fellow progressives of "repulsvie hypocrisy." Lot of that going around -- some conservatives who strongly supported Bush's fight on terror have been a litle more than reluctant to praise President Obama for continuing most of his policies. This has led one writer to conclude that many of our apparent policy differences are merely "crude partisan tribalism," and there's some truth to that.

This is quite the day for military news.

We're getting closer to the complete disappearance of the ban on "women in combat," which is pretty much meaningless anyway considering the changing nature of waging war and the blurring of the traditional definition of front line. This is one of those issues on which I'm more libertarian than conservative, so that's OK with me. Each citizen, man or woman, should have exactly the same rights and responsibilities, which includes military service and all that entails.

And Michelle Obama is taking her fight against obesity to the military:

The initiative Mrs. Obama and Mr. Woodson will announce Thursday will change the menus at the 1,100 dining halls on military bases and make adjustments to vending machines, snack bars and other places where service members and their families buy food, according to a press release.

Lord. If the military can't keep its members fit and healthy without outside intervention, we're in big trouble.