Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

IRAQ OCCUPATION COST KILLING AMERICA

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The Bush administration is preparing to submit a request to Congress for up to $160 billion to fund the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan for fiscal year 2007. This will be on top of $70 billion that Congress has already approved for 2007.

Since 2001, Congress has approved $502 billion for the war on “terror,” roughly two-thirds for Iraq.

The cost of the entire Vietnam War, in today’s dollars, was $536 billion.

The UK’s Guardian recently reported that Bush told senior advisers that the U.S. must make “a last big push” to win in Iraq and may increase U.S. military forces by as many as 20,000 soldiers.

In our recent national election, the people voted for a change in policy in Iraq. The message seems to have reached Washington and their answer to the public appears to be “Ok, we will change our policy. We will dramatically increase the amount of money we are spending on the war and we will send even more troops.”

Not quite what the 62% of Americans who oppose the war had in mind.

The net result of this new policy will likely be more violence in Iraq, more hostility toward U.S. troops, more casualties on all sides, and a deepening quagmire.

Another important result will be that the Democrats, who so far have been most willing to support ALL Bush’s funding requests for the occupation of Iraq, get locked in to the “new policy.”

Bush has long said that in his remaining time in office he will not bring the troops home. Thus the only way to end the costly and outrageous Iraq fiasco is to cut the funding for the occupation. This is ultimately how the Congress had to end the war in Vietnam.

Soldiers are now coming home from Iraq and not getting adequate treatment from the VA because of lack of funding. Cutbacks in social programs are now becoming the norm in the U.S. as we spend 50% of every tax dollar on the Pentagon budget.

Our nation’s number one industrial export product today is weapons. In 2006 the U.S. exported over $21 billion in weapons – up from $10.6 billion the previous year.

Studies have long shown that military spending is capital intensive. In other words, each million dollars spent on military production creates far fewer jobs than if the money were invested in any other kind of job creation effort, including building trains, solar panels or windmills.

America is now hemorrhaging jobs and our debt is over $8.6 trillion and growing by $2 billion a day. We’d better wake up quick and tell the Democrats that they must stop funding this war. It’s killing our country.

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