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Jeff Danziger | Left Out to Sea / americanprogress.org

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The US Military is America's Biggest Security Threat

The US military is the number one threat to US security. It's leaders are part of the problem. Yes, we do need some form of military strength, but what we have is a cancerous monster that is totally unaccountable and out of control.

Rob Kall, OpEdNews

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

America's Military has become the biggest threat to US security.

The USA's military is supposed to make the US more secure. But it has become, for many reasons and in many ways, the biggest threat to American security, the American way of life and even America's future. The leaders-- both military and civilian-- have to be considered part of the threat-- part of the problem, part of the system that is endangering America.

The US Military is a huge cancer on our budget. It weakens our economy, weakens our currency, saps our ability to maintain vital infrastructure.  The 700 plus military bases spread throughout the world are supposed to make us more secure. Our wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya are supposed to make us more secure. Instead, the wars have raised the levels of hate for the US to unprecedented levels.

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The role of government

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If you have been appalled by Republican Party actions, be sure to see the first 20 minutes of Rachel Maddow's program of  Tues April 5th on MSNBC. It is the most fact-filled, effective explanation I have seen in decades talking about the role of government.

Rachel Maddow, MSNBC

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader Tom Dooley for this contribution.

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

Forty some years ago, Alabama Gov George Wallace, a segregationist, ran for pres. A  major talking points was,”there ain't a dimes worth of difference between the two parties.” Some of us allowed that maybe there was 15 cents worth.

If you have been appalled by Republican Party actions, be sure to see the first 20 minutes of Rachel Maddow's program of  Tues April 5th on MSNBC. It is the most fact-filled, effective explanation I have seen in decades talking about the role of government.

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Special Report | The Fight for the American Dream IV

"The top 1-percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles," Nobel Prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz concludes, "but there is one thing that money doesn't seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99-percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1-percent eventually do learn. Too late."

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  • Super rich see federal taxes drop dramatically
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  • America's ruling class is letting us--and itself--down
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

http://media.caglecartoons.com/media/cartoons/21/2005/03/26/14330_600.jpg Petar Pismestrovic

*Super rich see federal taxes drop dramatically, Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press/Dallas Morning News | TX<http://hosted2.ap.org>
http://evergreenedigest.org/super-rich-see-federal-taxes-drop-dramatically
There are so many breaks that 45 percent of U.S. households will pay no federal income tax for 2010, according to estimates by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.
This Tax Day, Make THEM Pay
Woe to You, Legislators!
Throw Out the Money Changers

Right-Wing Bullies Hold Nation Hostage, Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog/Social Europe Journal<http://www.social-europe.eu>
Why the Right-Wing Bullies Will Hold the Nation Hostage Again and Again
Stop the Austerity Craze! Massive Budget Slashing Can Lead to Economic Disaster, Violence and Repression
http://evergreenedigest.org/right-wing-bullies-hold-nation-hostage

*America's ruling class is letting us--and itself--down, E.J. Dionne, Syndicated columnist, Seattle Times | WA<http://seattletimes.nwsource.com>
Resolving the deficit problem requires America's ruling class to recognize its obligation to contribute more to a government that is neither investing enough in the future nor doing a very good job of improving the lives and opportunities of the less affluent.
How the Rich Soaked the Rest of Us
The Peasants Need Pitchforks
http://evergreenedigest.org/americas-ruling-class-letting-us-and-itself-...

Throw Out the Money Changers, Chris Hedges<http://www.truthdig.com/chris_hedges>, TruthDig<www.truthdig.com>
Once we defy the religion of unfettered capitalism, once we demand that a society serve the needs of citizens and the ecosystem that sustains life, rather than the needs of the marketplace, once we learn to speak with a new humility and live with a new simplicity, once we love our neighbor as ourself, we break our chains and make hope visible.
These are remarks Chris Hedges made in Union Square in New York City last Friday during a protest outside a branch office of the Bank of America.
Special Report | Protests: April 15
http://evergreenedigest.org/throw-out-money-changers

As Labor Goes, So Goes the Nation, Melvyn Dubofsky, In These Times<http://inthesetimes.com>
Unions once united workers across gender and racial boundaries. Their decline imperils modern American liberalism.
Chris Hedges on "The Death of the Liberal Class"
America's ruling class is letting us--and itself--down
http://evergreenedigest.org/labor-goes-so-goes-nation

9 Things The Rich Don't Want You To Know About Taxes, David Cay Johnston, Willamette Week | OR<http://www.wweek.com>
Here is a question to ask yourself: We started down this road with Reagan’s election in 1980 and upped the ante in this century with George W. Bush. How long does it take to conclude that a policy has failed to fulfill its promises?
How the Rich Soaked the Rest of Us
The Peasants Need Pitchforks
http://evergreenedigest.org/9-things-rich-dont-want-you-know-about-taxes

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U.S. Love Affair with Murderous Dictators and Hate for Democracy

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  • The U.S. love affair with murderous dictators and oppressive regimes – including Colombia, the murderous regime in Iraq, King Abdullah of Jordan, the criminal regime of Zine Bin Ali in Tunisia, the oppressive and illegitimate despotic regimes in the oil-rich Gulf Sheikhdoms (Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, and Saudi Arabia), the torturous regime of Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and the fascist regime in Israel – continues to be an open secret.
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  • It Ain't Just Mubarak -- 7 of the Worst Dictators the U.S. Is Backing to the Hilt
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  • Democracy is Bad for US Foreign Policy
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Ghali Hassan, Axis of Logic

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

Introduction Millions of people around the world are overwhelmed and encouraged by the popular uprisings against U.S.-imposed dictatorship regimes in the Arab world. Yet what is lacking is any serious examination of the complicity of the U.S. government and its allies in supporting murderous regimes. Far from promoting stability and democracy, the U.S. is the source of instability and an enemy of democracy.

To serve its imperialist interests, the U.S. government backed and financed murderous dictators around the world. From the fascist Augusto Pinochet in Chile to the criminal regime of François Duvalier and his son Jean-Claude (“Baby Doc”) in Haiti to the corrupt Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic to the murderous Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines to the criminal Mobutu Sese Seko of the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) to Indonesia’s mass murderer Suharto to the vicious Shah Reza Behlavi in Iran.

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It Ain't Just Mubarak -- 7 of the Worst Dictators the U.S. Is Backing to the Hilt, Joshua Holland, AlterNet

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  • From Saudi Arabia to Uzbekistan to Chad, the U.S. keeps some very bad autocrats in power.
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  • When Corporations Choose Despots Over Democracy
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  • With Democracy or Against It—There’s No In Between
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  • Chomsky: Why the Mideast Turmoil Is a Direct Threat to the American Empire
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Democracy is Bad for US Foreign Policy, Stephen Gowans, Centre for Research on Globalization

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  • Democracy and human rights are fine, but not when strategic and commercial interests are at stake.
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  • Washington’s cold-eyed commitment to realpolitik and profits “sometimes involves supporting autocratic and unpopular governments — which has turned many of those young people against the United States.”
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End the Wars NOW!

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  • So far, the peace and justice movement has failed to achieve what should be it’s expressed, irrefutable, non-arguable, non-compromisable objective: destroy this nation’s ability to wage wars on foreign soil.
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  • By God, if Ghandi could get freedom for India, if MLK could get freedom for slaves, then we can end these fucking wars.
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David Culver, Evergreene Digest

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Jeff Danziger

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This morning we just published the following story.

Mother of Sgt. Kirkland speaks out: 'The Army killed my son' March Forward!

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  • Kirkland one of many veterans who have committed suicide
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  • Click here to sign the petition demanding justice for Kirkland and his family.
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  • “All the clinicians up here are being pressured to not diagnose PTSD” -Fort Carson Mental Health doctor
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I’m sure I’m not the only one for whom this story has put their blood on maximum boil. I’m hoping it goes without saying that this violence (the wars and the sub-human treatment of vets and their families, combatants and non-combatants) has got to stop NOW! Like Cris Kraft, NASA Flight Director said of getting the Apollo 13 crew back (“Failure is not an option."), as veterans and associated peace activists we have to say, “Ending these fucking wars by year’s end is NOT an option.” Period. End of Sentence.

As we continue our efforts for an end to war, it has to be with the expressed, irrefutable, non-arguable, non-compromisable objective that it must result in destroying this nation’s ability to wage wars on foreign soil. I consider any action a failure if all our troops (and the CIA spooks) are not home from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, and anyplace else they’ve got no business being by midnight, December 31, 2011. And if it is a failure, I will lay the blame directly at the feet of the activists—myself included--who couldn’t (or wouldn’t) man- (and woman-) up enough to get the job done.

By God, if Ghandi could get freedom for India, if MLK could get freedom for slaves, then we can end these fucking wars.

All we have to do is just sit down! At last check, about 3/4ths of this country’s citizens want an end to these fucking wars. That means we simply outnumber the military-industrial-congressional war-making complex. Properly led and organized, we have enough people to occupy and raise hell in every legislative hall, the Pentagon, and the board rooms of the weapons manufacturers, their financiers on Wall Street, and the sanctuaries of the churches that sell their soul to the devil of war. We have enough people, if they’re properly led and organized, to block every road to every military installation and recruiting office in this country.

So far, the peace and justice movement has failed in it’s expressed, irrefutable, non-arguable, non-compromisable objective to destroy this nation’s ability to wage wars on foreign soil. And that’s because we’ve lost sight of that objective. We’ve substituted activity (dedication, personal sacrifice, effort expended, bannering, singing, exchanging ideas, setting sparks, meeting, numbers of people involved, numbers of actions conducted, numbers of organizations involved, etc.) for results. Well, activity is the means to the results, not the end in itself. And it is worthless, it’s male bovine feces, it’s inappropriate, if it doesn’t lead to results.  If the troops aren’t home, if this country’s ability to wage war on foreign soil hasn’t been destroyed, then we (you, me, us, and every other peacenik) have failed. We have screwed up!

Classic proof of this was the failure that was March 19. After all the the activity (the banner-waving and flag shaking, the choruses of “We Shall Overcome” and “Kumbaya,” the publicity, the people in the streets, the speeches, the solidarity, the travel, the dedication, good intentions, and personal sacrifice) what were the results? We not only failed to end two (three, depending on how you count Pakistan) wars, we started a third—Libya! I’m telling you: I will never, ever, come home again from an anti-war action with results like that. I either come home knowing we achieved our objective or I stay out there ‘til we do!

In that sense the blood of the soldiers and civilians destroyed in these wars is on our hands, not the hands of those who wage it. By our failure to do what we know in our heart of hearts to be the right thing at the right time, we are the perpetrators of the war! We are the ones who killed Sgt. Kirkland, not the Army, not the psychiatrists, not the Veterans Administration, or anybody else. Us. We have his blood on our hands.

This weekend we celebrate Easter, Spring, an annual renewal or renaissance of our minds, bodies, and spirits. I think this is as good a time as any for us peaceniks to examine our conscience, to see how we have betrayed our country and the citizens of the world by our failures. If you come from a Christian perspective, I think it’s time to see how we have played Judas and betrayed our Christian beliefs for the thirty pieces of silver of denial, ineptitude, and fear. Whether we want to admit it or not, whether we want to believe it or not, the truth of what St. Paul has written is still there:

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“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption.”
“Do not conform yourselves to this age,” as St. Paul also writes, “but be transformed by the renewal of our minds.”

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As W. H. Auden has written,

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“We would rather be ruined than changed;/We would rather die in our dread/Than climb the cross of the moment/And let our illusions die.”

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Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death.” At Gettysburg, Lincoln prayed that “this nation shall have a new birth of freedom.”  Frederick Douglass said, "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." Molly Ivins wrote, “We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. ‘Stop (the war), now!’”

I say, “Now is the moment. Now is the time. This very day there is peace and justice.” Failure to achieve that NOW is NOT an option.

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Mother of Sgt. Kirkland speaks out: 'The Army killed my son'

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  • Kirkland one of many veterans who have committed suicide
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  • Click here to sign the petition demanding justice for Kirkland and his family.
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  • “All the clinicians up here are being pressured to not diagnose PTSD” -Fort Carson Mental Health doctor
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  • End the Wars NOW!
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March Forward!

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Sgt. Kirkland with his daughter. The U.S. Army has refused to release the letters Kirkland wrote to his daughter and other family members found with his body.

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On March 19, 2010, Army Infantry Specialist and Iraq war veteran Derrick Kirkland took his own life. 

He was on his second tour in Iraq when a fellow soldier found him with a shotgun in his mouth, about to pull the trigger. He was sent home to be treated for PTSD, attempted suicide a second time during his flight layover in Germany, then a third time once he arrived at his unit in Ft. Lewis, Wash. After his third attempt, he was rated a “low” risk for suicide by Army psychologists and was discharged to a barracks room by himself, where he succeeded in his fourth attempt.

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Immediately afterward, March Forward! members in Kirkland’s unit wrote and distributed this statement, and have been publicizing the case ever since to expose the Army’s criminal negligence. Word of March Forward!’s work reached Kirkland’s mother, Mary Corkhill, who contacted us.

She gave the following interview.

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Click here to sign the petition demanding justice for Kirkland and his family. Please circulate widely to help build the campaign for Kirkland, and the countless others who have succumb or are struggling with PTSD and the U.S. military's criminal response.

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Justice for Spc. Kirkland! March Forward!

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  • The following was written by anonymous members of March Forward!, following a suicide in the barracks of 4-9 Infantry at Joint Fort Lewis-McChord. They distributed hundreds of leaflets with this statement in the barracks where the suicide took place just days ofter the incident.
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  • “All the clinicians up here are being pressured to not diagnose PTSD” -Fort Carson Mental Health doctor
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End the Wars NOW!, David Culver, Evergreene Digest

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  • So far, the peace and justice movement has failed to achieve what should be it’s expressed, irrefutable, non-arguable, non-compromisable objective: destroy this nation’s ability to wage wars on foreign soil.
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  • By God, if Ghandi could get freedom for India, if MLK could get freedom for slaves, then we can end these fucking wars.
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BP Marks Gulf Oil Spill Anniversary With Campaign Contributions

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  • "BP's political action committee had gone completely off the radar for the past year," noted Dave Levinthal of the Center for Responsive Politics. "It appears they're back in the political game."
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  • ‘Spillionaires’: Profiteering and Mismanagement in the Wake of the BP Oil Spill
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Michael McAuliff, Huffington Post

A year after BP's catastrophic Gulf oil spill, the petroleum giant is easing its way back into the political money race -- and the stain of shame candidates originally felt about accepting the company's contributions appears to have evaporated.

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The gas and oil giant's North America Political Action Committee filed its latest report with the Federal Election Commission Tuesday, which revealed $29,000 doled out to federal campaigns on its behalf.

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These figures mark the first contributions BP made that were not returned by federal office candidates since its drilling platform exploded on April 20, 2010, killing 11 people.

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‘Spillionaires’: Profiteering and Mismanagement in the Wake of the BP Oil Spill, Kim Barker, ProPublica

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  • Is BP shortchanging contractors? Are contractors trying to scam BP? Because none of the records are public, it's impossible to know for sure.
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  • BP directors take bonuses for year of Gulf of Mexico oil spillTransocean Execs Get Bonuses, Company Has "Best Year in Safety" Despite Spill, Workers Killed in Deepwater Horizon Explosion
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