Bringing our war dollars back home.
Radio Ecoshock December 24, 2010 Holiday edition.
The Christians call their founder “The Prince of Peace.” Yet America, which loudly proclaims it’s Christianity, has been at war for decades, all over the world, during most of my life.
American states, cities, and towns are broke. They are laying off services to the most needy, cutting off even essential things like police and firemen. The media says America is too poor to deliver universal health care delivered by every other developed country. Following the real estate and banking crash, the States are going broke. While delaying payment of bills, States depend upon constant cash infusions from the Federal Government, which owes to many trillions, it prints money on demand, while buying their own bonds, through the Federal Reserve.
At least half of all available tax dollars, after the interest is paid on the massive Federal debt, goes into maintaining over a hundred military bases all over the world. By published figures, ten to twelve billion dollars a month to into the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Others speculate the real bill is much higher.
Why don’t Americans demand their war money back? To spend it on rebuilding their own declining services? A finish to endless war, and the self-appointed role of Policemen of the World. Will America withdraw from militarism gracefully, or spend to the end, as the Soviet Union did?
A world at peace, with nobodies soldiers, in other people’s lands. That is my idle day-dream. Peace seldom makes the newspapers, the television, or the violent movies and games. Who could talk about real peace?
My mind goes immediately to Bruce Gagnon. He is the coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. Bruce has a blog, a world campaign, a public access television show in Maine, and appearances in alternative video. He speaks, writes and protests. Bruce Gagnon has a lifelong commitment to the unsung underdogs of another American Dream: Disarmament, and Peace.
Even in my own mind, I’m not sure a less armed world is possible.
Bruce and I discuss some of the obvious objections to American withdrawal, the ones activists like Gagnon hear all the time. Against closing U.S. bases around the world, and resigning as the self-appointed “cop” of global affairs.
The interview goes deep, into what makes America tick. Don’t miss it.
Finally, we get a brief look at arms conversion in the United Kingdom, another former world empire that rapidly collapsed.
As student fees go up, as businesses go down, as welfare is cut off and pensions cut – people all over the world are calling for an end to wasteful military spending. On 17th November 2010 Stuart Parkinson, executive director of Scientists for Global Responsibility, addressed the Sheffield CND AGM on ‘Arms Conversion for a Low Carbon Economy‘. I run a small sample, taken from the hour-long presentation, thanks to Sheffield Indymedia.
I wrap up with the song “Peace Train” by Cat Stevens.
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