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Scared, broke, and still marching to stupid wars...

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"I'm scared, mommy"-"- "The Russians are coming! Russians are coming!"- trembled many Americans, who had never visited Russia or learned how broke its economy, and consequently its military, was.

Some believe we contained the barely economically viable Big Red machine by sprouting costly missiles everywhere. And those believers convinced us to escalate till 50,000 + of ours died to stop a pink South Vietnamese domino, powered by bicycles and rice farmers, from toppling America, destroying its freedoms, and staining us blood red.

We blew about $500 billion in losing that pinko domino. And today that little commie nation merely wants to peddle trade, not invade us. Today we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.

We are met on a great battlefield of that war"- somewhere in Iraq. The preemptive Iraq Occupation has morphed into an Endless Terror War. Surrounding the world with missiles will not win this viral war. Neither will sending more of our troops to bleed and die. Sending many more Doctors Without Borders, Red Cross, Peace Corps, etc., volunteers will stem the bleeding and dying on both sides. Recruiting those volunteers will reduce soaring terrorist recruitment.

In the 21st century, FEAR is again the WORD our government uses to implement myopic policies. They use it to make us fear an enemy: · Whose inexpensive guerrilla army and war machine is financed by our oil and drug addictions, which pads the checkbooks of rich Arabs and feeds poor Afghan opium farmers. · Whose invasion fleet has to hijack unhardened airplanes to send an invasion team of 18. · Who multiplies exponentially for each presumed "enemy"- we kill, wound, or imprison. Buddies or bullies win the schoolyard.

To contain this enemy, reduce its numbers, and end the viral Endless Terror War, we need a 21st century volunteer army whose troops are filled with heart and mind winners, whose deployment eases our soldiers' burdens. Peoples Lobby's citizen-initiated American World Service Corps (AWSC) Congressional Proposals creates that army.

If enacted in this Congress, each year for the next seven years approximately 140,000 additional Americans per year would voluntarily choose to serve in their choice of the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity, Head Start, Doctors Without Borders, Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, OxFam, Mercy Corps, State Conservation Corps, etc.

By the seventh year, one million American World Service Corps members of all ages, or less than .5th of 1% of those aged 20-70+, would annually serve for a year or two at home or abroad in such existing governmental and non-governmental organizations. After 20 years, Congress could consider sun-setting the AWSC legislation. The financial incentives that would encourage a million Americans a year to serve include:

· Two years of community plus two years of state college or vocational tuition (approximately $15,000 in 2004 transferable to family members).

· Equivalent educational loan pay off or

· Investment in Medical or IRA Accounts or · Home down payment or

· Tax credits.

· Readjustment allowance equivalent to what a Peace Corps volunteer receives upon service completion. (About $6,000)

How do we pay for fielding a million American World Service Corps (AWSC) volunteers a year?"- For specifics, visit The simple, practical, and righteous answer is that just "investing" in the AWSC saves us many multiples of what it costs, removes the economy-debilitating cost of future wars, allows us to invest in infrastructure, and multiplies our competitive and knowledge potential in today's global village. Waging billions of acts of kindness builds peaceful, productive communities. It doesn't destroy lives and economies, make enemies, create refugees, require huge reparations, and generate enormously enhanced security costs. But many earthlings who believe in an afterlife don't seem to believe that their Maker will credit their ledger for doing well on earth, unless the good doing can seemingly enhance their personal or corporate checkbooks. If only they carefully counted the fiscal impacts of war on millions of souls, rather than just on the checkbooks of a corporate few, they would see that doing good does well for their bottom lines, as well as for the checkbook they surrender on judgment day. "Hundred billion here, hundred billion there"- Pretty soon it's real money."- What follows is an incomplete accounting for those number crunchers suffering from earthbound cost analysis. Department of Defense Budget 2007 Request $439.9 billion. Supplemental to cover 2006 combat operations $70. billion Bridge funding to cover Iraq & Afghanistan operations during the first part of 2007 $50. billion

In addition to FY06 supplemental funding approved as part of Congress' regular 2006 budget work $50. billion Subtotaling $809.9 billion. That doesn't include the following partial list of related costs. President Bush's 2008 budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs provides approximately $86.7 billion for veterans' benefits and services: $41.8 billion in discretionary funding, including medical care collections, and $44.9 billion for entitlements. Of that total of $173.4 billion, let's estimate that 25% goes to Iraqi war related costs, or"$43.5 billion President Bush's 2007 Energy Department Budget request was $23.6 billion. An increasing proportion of that goes to developing weapons systems, which are concentrated on Iraq and which we'll estimate at 25%. Or "- $ 5.9 billion In 2004, with only 10-15,000 mercenaries estimated in Iraq, income to corporations providing mercenaries was estimated at $100 million. These primarily American corporations, like Halliburton, its subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root, or DynCorp and Raytheon frequently overcharge the government, consistently pulled well-trained tax payer financed American soldiers away from their service branches with salaries in $100,000 "" 200,000 range, and write off these costs on their tax forms. Today estimates are that 100,000 or more mercenaries are stationed in Iraq, unhindered by our military's war rules, yet protected by our military. Let's estimate that cost to American taxpayers at 50% of what could in 2007 be a $2 billion dollar annual windfall to our mercenary corporations, or $1. billion Subtotaling $50.25 billion Then add some logical estimates for such lost investments that will weaken our nation for decades in:· Research, patents, etc., that builds our competitiveness in the Global Village. Estimate $20 billion. · Border security and enhanced security technology $10 billion · Infrastructure, potholed roads, aging bridges, anemic rail, and other world lagging transit systems which, if updated, reduces our oil addiction. $50 billion ·

Clean, safe alternative energy such as wind, solar, water currents, bio diesel, hydrogen fuel cells, etc,that produces jobs, reduces dependence on foreign oil, decentralizes our energy sources and thereby checks our exposure to terrorists' attacking nuclear sites, and inhibits Global Climate Change. $20 billion · Education that keeps our kids competitive, off the streets, out of trouble, away from drugs, etc. $200 billion For more costs go to Subtotaling $300 billion $809.9 billion + 50.25 billion + 300 billion = $1.160 TRILLION. Real money. About $1,160,150,000,000 worth. Well, surreal to middle class taxpayers. But like the brunt of our financing in recent years, it is mostly borrowed. Since May 23, 2006 our Federal Reserve ceased tracking M3, which helps decipher how money our government may be printing to make economically depleted America seem richer than it is. To the ultra rich, where wealth is increasingly concentrated, these costs mean little, bother them little, and allow most of them to capitalize on the difficult economic times those below them are enduring to acquire more discounted assets. To Middle America, it means more foreclosures, longer work hours, more 2nd jobs, higher living costs, lower wages, harder struggles to pay for their children's education, more dilapidated roads and collapsed bridges, less of a medical and old age safety net, etc"- The more cost-effective army we need to field Dividing the number of our military personnel into this incomplete list of pre-emptive war costs, supporting just each of our 1.5 million military personnel for this year costs $773,433.

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Dwayne served in the Peace Corps in the slums of Mumbai, India, worked several Habitat Projects, and was on the start-up team of the California Conservation Corps. He has a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University, has been a builder, teacher, (more...)

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