Jim Albertini – Center for Nonviolent Education and Action, Hawaii

People are justifiably angry over billion-dollar bank bailouts, corporate mega-bonuses at taxpayers expense, giveaways to insurance companies, high unemployment, foreclosures, politicians in the pockets of lobbyists, the lack of true health care reform, etc., etc.  But where is the outrage over the escalating military budget and trillion dollar wars of empire disguised as a war on terror.

Congress just passed a record new Pentagon budget of $708 billion (with an Afghan war-fighting supplemental request of $33 billion, still pending but sure to pass). If you add all aspects of the national security state to the official Pentagon figures, the true budget for the American war machine (past, present and future) tops $1 trillion annually.

Militarism has become the religion of the U.S. empire.  It’s 700 plus overseas military bases are largely unquestioned  You find very few "Right to Life" and Tea bagger folks questioning sacred war spending.  How come these war gods of metal are so idolized by church going people?  Faith in a God of love is out the window.  Today, it is in arms we trust.

For 50 years the military-industrial complex used the red scare, fear of the Russians, to fuel the cold war.  Today, the word "terrorist" has replaced "communist" to justify a war without end.  Fear is the major factor that keeps the war machine running.  And of course huge profits for the arms makers and other war contractors.  But what are the costs?

Over 5,300 U.S. military personnel are dead, 35,000 have serious physical wounds, hundreds of thousands have serious mental wounds, more than one million dead Iraqi and Afghan civilians, infrastructure, homes and economies of both countries destroyed and the land contaminated with radiation from depleted uramium weapons used by the U.S.. The total dollar cost is in excess of $3 trillion for Iraq alone ($10,000 for each man, woman and child in the U.S.) –according to Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize-winning economist.

If you do not believe that 9-11 was an inside job to trigger wars of empire under the cover of a "war on terror," then consider the following two questions asked by U.S. war veteran, Nick Egnatz:

1-    "Is it possible that changing our policies of empire (economic exploitation and military dominance) might actually stop people from wanting to kill us?  

2-    Or are we, as American citizens, content to sit back and allow our government to continue the policies of empire at the expense of the rights and well-being of all the peoples of the world, U.S. included?"

Break the Silence!  Speak Out!

Stop the Wars and End Occupations

1.  Mourn all victims of violence.

2. Reject war as a solution.

3. Defend civil liberties.

4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, etc.

5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.


Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action
P.O. Box AB Kurtistown, Hawai`i 96760

Phone 001 808 966-7622 
Email ja@interpac.net  


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 29 Jan 2010.

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