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Breaking America’s Addiction to War & Debt: Out with the Enablers!

By MarcyWinograd - Posted on 14 May 2010

Imagine if in 2010 we did not spend one more borrowed penny to manufacture new weapons, occupy new lands, or recruit new mercenaries. Going cold turkey on military spending would wipe out nearly $1 trillion of our 1.6 trillion dollar deficit. A year and a half of war & weapons abstinence could erase our debt entirely.

The proposed new $1-trillion dollar military budget includes $800-billion for the Pentagon, a 30-billion supplemental to escalate the war in Afghanistan, plus funds to maintain secret black hole prisons; military aid to foreign nations, and money for mercenaries. Requests to approve this unprecedented military budget comes at a time when General Stanley McChrystal is apologizing for Sunday’s NATO air strike in Afghanistan that killed over two dozen civilians, women and children among the casualties.

To sell the American public on perpetual war, subsidized by the country we vaporized at the end of WWII, the Pentagon is rebranding the Iraq war and occupation, changing the name of Operation Iraqi Freedom to Operation New Dawn.

Dawn connotes daybreak, a new beginning rays rising from the ocean; gold ripples lapping our shores; poetry.

Sounds better than permanent bases, oil grabs, and soldier suicides.

To pay for all of this, including the marketing campaign, our nation must increasingly borrow from Japan as China recently dumped U.S. treasuries, leaving Japan to surge ahead as the largest foreign holder of US Treasury bonds.

And deeper into debt we sink, while Republicans clamor for slashing the deficit, calling for all- too-powerful commissions on fiscal responsibility to “study” Social Security all the while forgetting to mention we have over two trillion dollars in the Social Security Trust Fund and that it’s perpetual war, not Social Security, that drives our deficit.

If only the world had a 12-step program for war addicts.

Seriously, it’s time to break the addiction — and to vote the enablers out. My opponent Jane Harman relies on military contractors to keep herself in office. Military contractors rely on my opponent to keep us at war.

Already, my opponent has taken almost $60,000 in campaign contributions (2009/2010) from military contractors. Certainly, these contributions compromise my opponent’s decisions with respect to war.

Now, more than ever before, we need progressives in Congress who will challenge bloated military budgets which bleed our treasury of money better spent on jobs in mass transit, renewable energy, infrastructure repair, education, and health care. A 2007 University of Massachusetts study stated that a billion dollars spent on transportation would result in twice the number of jobs than if it were spent on military contracting.

Unlike my opponent who votes to take us to war in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and in Pakistan, I will seek diplomatic solutions to the world’s problems. Rather than accepting thousands from those invested in war, I will support a war tax so that pay-as-you-go applies to military spending now obscured in supplemental appropriations not considered part of our defense budget.

To lead in Congress… to break America’s addiction to war and to debt – I need your support.

Seize the moment for real progressive change.

Here’s to breaking our addiction to war and building a peaceful tomorrow

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September 22-24: No War 2017 at American University in Washington, D.C.


October 28: Peace and Justice Studies Association Conference

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