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Peace & Nonviolence

New Afghan War Plans Could Cost US Taxpayers an Extra $125 Billion

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  • US war planners have been signaling that troop withdrawals set to begin in 2011 will be mostly symbolic and that the handover to Afghan forces in 2014 is “aspirational.”
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  • A Shift in US Deadlines
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  • Higher war costs could hurt the base defense budget [and] the rest of the discretionary budget.
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  • I want my president back
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Ben Arnoldy, Christian Science Monitor

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

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In this Sept. 29 photo, a girl walks past a US Marine, as he patrols through a field in Marjah, southern Afghanistan. As leaders at the NATO summit in Lisbon meet this weekend to discuss strategy in Afghanistan, President Obama pushes to soften troop withdrawal deadlines. Todd Pitman/AP/File

As leaders at the NATO summit in Lisbon meet this weekend to discuss strategy in Afghanistan, US war planners have been signaling that troop withdrawals set to begin in 2011 will be mostly symbolic and that the handover to Afghan forces in 2014 is “aspirational.”

Such could cost American taxpayers handsomely at a time when deficit cutting has gripped Washington. According to one estimate, softening those deadlines could add at least $125 billion in war spending – not including long-term costs like debt servicing and health care for veterans.

“I don’t think anyone is seriously talking about cutting war funding as a way of handling the deficit,” says Todd Harrison, a defense funding expert at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. But higher war costs “could hurt the base defense budget [and] the rest of the discretionary budget.”

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I want my president back, Nita Chaudhary, MoveOn.org Political Action <>

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  • New Afghan War Plans Could Cost US Taxpayers an Extra $125 Billion
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  • Now more than ever, we need the Barack Obama we elected in 2008—the smart, tough, hopeful progressive champion who inspired millions of us—to stand up and say "no".
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  • Can you record and share a video message to President Obama today? Read here to get started.
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Section(s): 

Close the School of the Americas

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Nov. 19-21: Converge on Fort Benning

School of the Americas Watch

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From November 19-21, 2010, thousands will gather at the gates of Fort Benning to stand up for justice and call for the SOA/WHINSEC to be shut down! Below are some helpful links for your trip planning, and a sneak peak into what SOA Watch has lined up for this year! (para información en español, haga click aquí)

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Engage in Nonviolent Direct Action to Close the SOA/WHINSEC
This year there will be different ways for people to be involved in the Saturday action including crossing the line of the base of Fort Benning which risks federal arrest, or a city side action, outside the permitted area. But note that you may also participate without risking arrest. SOA Watch has permits for the activities in front of the base, and the acts of civil disobedience for those risking arrest will be clearly marked.

Stage Program

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Rebel Diaz

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The stage program at the gates of Fort Benning will take place on Saturday, November 20, 2010 from 11:30am - 4pm and on Sunday, November 21, 2010 from 8am - 2pm. The program will feature leaders from the resistance against the illegitimate U.S.-supported government in Honduras; Padre Jesus Alberto Franco, a renowned leader from Colombia, risking his life working with Afro-Colombian, indigenous and mixed-race farmers in resistance; Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit; Marie Dennis, director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns and Co-President of Pax Christi International; United Auto Worker president Bob King; the Hip Hop group Rebel Diaz from the Bronx; the puppetistas, musicians and many other beautiful people.

Section(s): 

Projecting Power or Promoting Peace: The Prophetic Call for Justice, Kindness, Humility

I want to talk about sin and redemption. I want to confess, to testify, and to prophesy. I want to speak in this manner not just because we are at Southern Methodist University, but because it is appropriate for end times.

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Robert Jensen, Common Dreams

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A version of this essay was delivered at the “People’s Response to the George W. Bush Library and Policy Institute” event at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, on November 14, 2010.

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I want to speak tonight in the language of spirit, but about subjects that transcend religion. I want to discuss politics, but in a way that transcends parties. I want to struggle with crises we have created out of ignorance and inattention; face up to problems that have no simple solutions; deal with the depths of human destructiveness and despair.

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This will lead us, of course, to George W. Bush and his administration’s contribution to this mess.

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Florida peace activist tells how antiwar movement has prolonged wars

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  • The Antiwar Movement avoids 9/11 Truth
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  • War Crimes are War Crimes: Prosecute Bush, impeach Obama!
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Phil Restino,  Central Florida Veterans for Peace

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Central Florida Veterans For Peace chapter co-chair Phil Restino was a guest on Deadline Live with Jack Blood on Voting Day, Tuesday November 2, 2010 on the Oracle Broadcasting Radio Network. Phil talked about the Central Florida chapter of Veterans For Peace July 2009 resolution calling for the Impeachment of President Obama for war crimes knowingly committed under his own command and authority ... the same war crimes that Veterans For Peace and other national antiwar groups for years cited in our respective calls for the Impeachment of President George W. Bush. To access the Impeachment resolution, please go to this post from Gold Star Mother Cindy Sheehan who endorsed the resolution on 19 July 2010.

Phil also revealed how more and more of us believe that the leadership of the national antiwar groups is actually prolonging the wars by doing all it can to keep the wars a partisan issue by (1) its very clear double-standards in calls for accountability in regards to the Republican War Criminal in Chief George W. Bush and the Democrat War Criminal in Chief Barack H. Obama, (2) focusing their respective flocks on differences with groups of Americans from the "right" concerning issues other than stopping the illegal wars, thus preventing any possibility of the "left" coming together with the "right" in a truly bipartisan populist opposition to the illegal wars and a bipartisan populist demand to stop the wars and cease the occupations, and (3) the big reason that anyone with any common sense at all should be questioning ... and that is the organized antiwar movement's strange refusal to publicly question and strongly demand immediate investigations into the many, many holes in the government's own ridiculous theory explaining the conspiracy behind the attacks of 9/11/01 which to this very day is used as its sole, one and only reason given for justifying the wars that the antiwar movement is supposed to be stopping.

Anyone with at least one working eyeball and 2 live brain cells to rub together who takes just 5 minutes to examine the evidence will see that the holes in the government's own official theory explaining the conspiracy behind the attacks of 9/11/01 are big enough to drive WTC Building 7  itself through with room to spare!

Peace everybody,

Phil Restino
Chapter Co-Chair, VFP Chapter 136
Central Florida Veterans For Peace
P.O. Box 9012
Daytona Beach, FL 32120-9012
ph/fax: (386) 788-2918
email: CentralFlaVFP@aol.com
website: www.cflveteransforpeace.org

Related:

Please listen to the interview.

Watch this video as Veterans For Peace explains to FOX-35 TV the pre-9/11 plans for war by PNAC.

Watch this video to see how "We The People" can end the wars.

Watch this video to see how 9/11 Truth can end the wars.

Watch this video to see why the Antiwar Movement avoids 9/11 Truth.

Section(s): 

It's Jobs or Wars, Not Both

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  • Every military job, every weapons industry job, every war-reconstruction job, every mercenary or torture consultant job appears to be a job, but it is not a job. It is the absence of more and better jobs. It is public money wasted on something worse for job creation than nothing at all and much worse than other available options.
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  • Spending money on the military, even in the United States, hurts the U.S. economy. Spending money on foreign wars is even worse, but all military spending is economically destructive.
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  • The goal? Corporate domination of resources and markets with expanding militarism
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David Swanson, Global Research

Kahlil Bendib
Washington Post's David Broder thinks more war will bring us more jobs. Unlike in Germany, where the president was forced out of office earlier this year for suggesting that war in Afghanistan could benefit the German economy, Americans don't seem to have serious moral qualms about slaughtering human beings for no good reason. We've got three significant wars and a variety of secretive military actions going on now without the slightest mention in our elections. A majority of Americans tell pollsters that the wars should end, but virtually no one tells candidates. However, one has to assume -- for the sake of one's own sanity -- that even Americans, if they knew, would seriously object to further damaging our economy through war and allowing people like David Broder to paper over that process with demonstrably false claims.

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Contrary to partisan myths and stereotypes, U.S. military spending has been on the rise these past two years. And military towns have seen a boom this past decade. But spending money on the military, even in the United States, hurts the U.S. economy. Spending money on foreign wars is even worse, but all military spending is economically destructive. It's worse, economically, than doing nothing. Failing to spend that money and instead cutting taxes would create more jobs than investing it in the military. Investing it in useful industries like mass transit or education would have a much stronger impact and create many more jobs. But even nothing, even cutting taxes, would do less harm than military spending. And that's domestic military spending; spending on foreign wars, funding the Taliban, funding Karzai, misplacing $17 billion, etc., all does even more economic harm.

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The goal? Corporate domination of resources and markets with expanding militarism, Bruce Gagnon, Organizing Notes/Axis of Logic

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  • “Either the Transnational Capitalist Class alliance self-destructs, compelled by the conscious mobilization of the working people in solidarity across the continents, those who oppose war and stand solidly together in a counterforce on the side of humanity, or we go further downhill the slope of lower depths, into an abyss.
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  • For every person there are always two choices in life: to accept things as they are or to accept the responsibility to bring about change – from a war economy to a political economy of peace to share, to preserve our environment and to belong to the commons in which every being has an equal stake for our minimum needs.”
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Neo-cons who brought us the war in Iraq are now seeking to get us into war with Iran

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  • Foreign Policy expert MJ Rosenberg takes on the latest version of the build-up for war against Iran orchestrated by neo-cons in The Atlantic Magazine, including the Atlantic's Jeff Goldberg.
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  • Goldberg Gets His War On
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  • The Point of No Return
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MJ Rosenberg, Tikkun

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

There is a great bumper sticker that reads: "America's Labor Unions: The People Who Gave You The Weekend."

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That slogan came to mind after reading three blog posts this week (Oct 24-30) on attacking Iran from the Atlantic's Jeff Goldberg.  It made me think of a bumper sticker that could be made about those promoting war with Iran. "America's Neocons:  The People Who Gave You The Iraq War."  
It is incredible that people who agitated so recklessly, and with so much deception, to get us involved in the still ongoing Iraq debacle would try it again. So many dead, so much destruction, so many brain-injured heroes condemned to live out their days in military hospitals.

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The Point of No Return, Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic
Image Credit: Alex Williamson

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  • In the gap between Washington’s and Jerusalem’s views of Iran lies the question: who, if anyone, will stop Iran before it goes nuclear, and how? Here’s an inside look at how, if things remain on the current course, an Israeli air strike will unfold.
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  • Targeting Iran: Is the US Administration Planning a Nuclear Holocaust?
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Section(s): 

Armistice Day Message

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  • Veterans For Peace, while grateful for the parades recognizing our duty and the ultimate sacrifice of our fallen comrades, would prefer a time of reexamination of the jaded justifications and obscene outcomes of the military causes we served.  All too frequently those justifications have been morally insufficient to vindicate the malevolent international conflicts to which they gave such ignoble birth.
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  • View a list of VFP's Armistice Day events
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Betsy Reznicek, Veterans For Peace

November 11 is a cause for mixed emotions among those former members of the military who wish to permanently halt the horror of war.

A holiday in our name is indeed an honor, as was our service itself, but “Armistice” somehow still sounds more suitable.  That word refers to the end of a conflict, the end of the killing, the maiming, the destruction, the inhumanity, the erosion of civilized personal behaviors that have taken centuries to mold.  While “Armistice” does not connote lasting peace, at least it does connote a chance for societies to grasp hold of themselves and, if able, to pull back from the abyss.

Veterans For Peace, while grateful for the parades recognizing our duty and the ultimate sacrifice of our fallen comrades, would prefer a time of reexamination of the jaded justifications and obscene outcomes of the military causes we served.  All too frequently those justifications have been morally insufficient to vindicate the malevolent international conflicts to which they gave such ignoble birth.

For these reasons Veterans For Peace gratefully acknowledges the heartfelt recognition which our nation solemnly offers us today.  But we fervently urge that tomorrow our great nation devote its equally heartfelt and solemn attention and talents to the cessation of existing wars and to the prevention of similar calamities in the decades to come.

Kurt Vonnegut, the internationally acclaimed author from our country and a POW in Dresden during the Allied firebombing of that city in WWII, gives us something to think about on this day of remembrance.

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"…November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy all the people of all the nations which fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I've talked to old men who were on the battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one or another that the sudden silence was the voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.

Armistice Day has become Veteran's Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veteran's Day is not…Armistice Day I will keep. I don't want to throw away any sacred things."

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Related:

View a list of VFP's Armistice Day events

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