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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/10/18

A Poor People's Campaign Against War

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I recommend reading the whole report, the militarism section of which discusses:

the war economy and military expansion:

"The expansion of the U.S. military around the world causes serious problems, from assaults on local women to environmental destruction to distorting local economies."

who's benefitting from war and privatizing the military:

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" Washington's wars of the last 50 years have little to do with protecting Americans. Rather, their goals are to consolidate U.S. corporations' control over oil, gas, other resources and pipelines; to supply the Pentagon with military bases and strategic territory to wage more wars; to maintain military dominance over any challenger(s); and to continue to provide justification for Washington's multi-billion dollar military industry. . . . A 2005 report by the Institute for Policy Studies showed that between 2001 and 2004, CEOs of large corporations averaged a 7 percent raise on their already lucrative salaries. Defense contractor CEOs, however, averaged a 200 percent increase. . . ."

the poverty draft:

"As reported in a 2008 study on race, class, immigration status, and military service, 'an important predictor to military service in the general population is family income. Those with lower family income are more likely to join the military than those with higher family income. . . ."

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women in the military:

"[A]s women's participation in the military increased, so did the number of women victimized by their fellow soldiers. According to recent Veterans Administration (VA) data, one in every five women veterans has told their VA healthcare provider that they have experienced military sexual trauma, defined as sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment. . . . Just four years before 2001, when the extremist anti-women Taliban ruled Afghanistan, UNOCAL oil adviser Zalmay Khalilzad had welcomed the Taliban to the United States to discuss potential deals. Little or no concern was expressed about women's rights or women's lives. In December 2001 President George W. Bush appointed Khalilzad special representative, and later U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan. After the September 11 attacks, there was a sudden onslaught of expressed concern about the Taliban's treatment of Afghan women. . . . But the U.S.-installed government that replaced the Taliban included many warlords and others whose extreme antagonism to women's rights was hardly distinguishable from that of the Taliban."

the militarization of society:

"Much of the federal funding comes through things like the '1033 program,' which authorizes the Pentagon to transfer military equipment and resources to local police departments -- from grenade launchers to armored personnel carriers -- all at virtually no cost. . . . While guns have always played a major role in U.S. history and culture, dating back to the genocide of Native people inherent in the European conquest of the continent and the enslavement of Black Africans, guns are now more prevalent than ever before."

the human and moral costs:

"The streams of desperate people seeking refuge across the sea or around the world have become a flood. In the United States more than anywhere else, those people have been met with racist attack, xenophobic rejection, and three Muslim bans. . . . Meanwhile, poor people around the world continue to pay a huge price for U.S. wars. During U.S. military actions abroad cities, countries and whole populations suffer, while stoking greater anger and encouraging the recruitment of new generations of anti-U.S. fighters. Even in the earliest years of the Global War on Terror, U.S. military officials recognized that military invasion and occupation created more terrorism than it ended."

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Imagine a multi-issue comprehensive worldview nonviolent activism movement with this sort of understanding of the topic that usually shall not be named.

This is what we'll need come November 11th to replace Trump Weapons Day with Armistice Day.

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David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online (more...)
 
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