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  Spring 2009

War & Peace

Hey, Obama, Yes, We Can. Troops Out Of Afghanistan

 We need to de-escalate troop levels and rapidly withdraw troops in Afghanistan, commit to negotiated diplomatic talks, and address the real needs of the Aghani people.  Tell President Obama and Congress that we need a comprehensive plan for Afghanistan before risking more American and Afghan lives. The American air strikes inside Afghanistan and Pakistan are stirring up more suffering, fear and hatred towards the US. And it is decreasing the prospects of a negotiated settlement. Congress needs to re-think and re-direct American resources.

The US needs to consider the advice of the last Soviet general to leave Afghanistan. He spoke on  the 20th anniversary of the Soviet withdrawal (2/14/09):  "Afghanistan taught us an invaluable lesson . .  . It has been and always will be impossible to solve political problems using  force. We should have helped the people of Afghanistan in improving their life,  but it was a gross mistake to send troops into the country." Retired Red Army General Boris Gromov.


‘US air-raid kills over 100 civilians in Farah’

 Up to 120 people, including civilians were killed in a series of US airstrikes on two villages in Afghanistan. On May 4. T bombs destroyed one whole village. Some mutilated bodies were beyond recognition. One family lost 23 members alone.

Villagers brought truckloads of bodies to the capital, Farah to prove that scores of civilians had been killed by U.S. air strikes.


Oh. Only Women and Children 

Finally an explanation for the US continued bombing of Iraq. 46% of the Iraqi victims of US bombings are women. 39% of the dead are children. Only 15% of the fatalities are men. Mortars kill 42% children and 44% women.

        Meanwhile the Sunni suicide bombers’ victims are 12% children and 15% women. 73% of their fatalities are men. That probably explains the US outrage against this type of bombing versus the air raids and mortars.       (Figures from the research group Iraq Body Count.))

Bring the Contractors Home 

Perhaps we could put an end to this endless Iraqi war more quickly by bringing home the contractors. There are now over 200,000 private contractors in Iraq. They cost taxpayers billions. And they take jobs from Iraqis who face massive unemployment (50-75%)

Three US solders were recently electrocuted while showering at U.S. bases in Iraq. KBR had done the electrical work. 


Military Does Not Stimulate Economy

For every $1 billion spent on the military, 8,555 jobs are created.  By contrast, the same billion invested in health care would create 12,883 jobs A billion spent on education would create 17,687 jobs. This is more than double the military stimulus payoff. 

Who Are the Pirates? 

In 1991 the Somalian government collapsed.  Its 9 million people have been teetering on starvation since then. The ugliest forces in the Western world have taken this opportunity to steal the country's food supply and dump nuclear waste in their seas. 

European ships have been dumping vast barrels of nuclear waste into the ocean near Somalia.  The Coastal population began to sicken.  At first they suffered rashes, nausea and malformed babies.  After the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up onto Somalia’s shore.  The Somalians began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died. 

European ships also looted Somalia's seas of their greatest resource, seafood.  Illegal trawlers are stealing more than $300 million worth of tuna, shrimp and lobster each year.  The local fishermen are starving. ;

So who are the real pirates? 


US Uses Incompetent Brutal Bombing  

U.S. bombing raids have killed 687 Pakistani civilians since 2006.  During that time U.S. Predator drones carried out 60 strikes inside Pakistan, But only 10 of the strikes actually hit their targets..

Israel Confident of US Rubber Stamp 

            Israel’s new foreign minister says Obama will only pursue peace with Palestine if Israel gives its approval

            Israel is insisting that they will condition Palestinian peace talks on US policy toward Iran.  They want the US to take military action against Iran.



Yes We Can Boycott Israeli Goods  

Make sure to check the barcodes on all items you purchase.  Anything that starts with a '729' is an Israeli product.  7 is to the left of the bars.  Don't purchase Israeli products until Israel ends the illegal occupation of Gaza and the West Bank..


Encourage President Obama to Sanction Israel


Stop Private Militariess


Obama Administration Continues US Military Global Dominance 

Obama continues the US military domination of the world—with a kinder-gentler face.  Overt torture is now forbidden. But military dominance continues unabated—including an expanding military budget and wars of occupation and aggression..

            The military expansionists (Reagan, Clinton, and both Bushes) gave solid support to increased military spending. Clinton held defense spending steady. And he increased foreign weapons sales from 16% to over 60%.              

The Bushes’ 2000 Project for a New American Century (PNAC) laid out their agenda for military global dominance. The report, Rebuilding America's Defenses, called for American Homeland protection, the ability to wage simultaneous theater wars, global policing roles, and control of space and cyberspace. Potential rivals —China, Iran, Iraq, and North Korea — needed to be held in check. US Military global dominance required US forces worldwide and increased war spending in the 21st century.

The result? The US military budget was doubled to over $700 billion in eight years. The US now spends as much on war/defense as the rest of the world combined. American taxpayers are the highest war tax providers in the world.                                   

Obama’s election brought a moment of hope. However, his administration is not calling for deceased military spending, or a reversal of US military global dominance. Instead, he retained Robert Gates. That makes Obama the first president from an opposing party, in US history, to keep the outgoing Secretary of Defense/War. And he plans to expand war in Afghanistan and only minimally reduce forces long-range in Iraq.

            The US military industrial complex is deeply embedded inside DC. OpenSecrets.org reports that 151 members of Congress have $195.5 million invested in defense companies.

Major defense contractors were seriously involved in the 2008 elections. Lockheed Martin gave $2,612,219 to political campaigns. 49% went to Democrats and 51% to Republicans. Boeing gave $2,225,947. About 58% went to Democrats. General Dynamics provided $1,682,595 to both parties.  Northrop Grumman spent $20 million hiring lobbyists in 2008. And Raytheon spent $6 million on lobbyists.

Registered lobbyists gave Nancy Pelosi more money than to any other House candidate.

            Official predictions of global economic growth in 2009 is at 0.5 percent—the worst since World War II. The UN’s International Labor Organization estimates that 50 million workers will lose their jobs worldwide this year. 62,000 U.S. companies are expected to close. Real US Unemployment is at 14 percent.

The military, industrial, congressional, and administrative elite profit from defense spending— both financially and ideologically.  Insider profit-making from pentagon spending is widespread in DC. Perhaps more important is the belief that—in an increasingly destabilized world—this global military machine is needed to protect US corporations and the American upper classes. Given that belief, Obama is unlikely to change the defense spending policies.  

Peter Phillips
Director of Project Censored


•    Obama asked Congress for an additional $83.4 Billion for war in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2009. He is also requesting $130 Billion for war in 2010.

•    Of the $83.4 Billion “emergency funds”, only $7.1 Billion is for reconstruction and diplomatic activities. $75.3 is for killing.

•    As of today, the House Appropriations Committee has actually increased this amount to $94.2 billion.

 Let Congress know that you want funding for the safe withdrawal of troops, and for diplomacy, economic assistance and  humanitarian aid. But you oppose more money for war. Urge  them to co-sponsor a bill by Congressman James McGovern that would require Obama to provide an exit plan for Afghanistan no later than December  2009.

 Last week Secretaries Clinton and Gates testified repeatedly that economic assistance and diplomacy are the keys to  stability and security. Yet only 8% of the funding is for non-military activities. There is no military solution to the problems of Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan.

 Key Talking Points: 

 At a time of economic crisis and  multiplying domestic needs, the 2009 Supplemental is an appalling waste of our  money.  

The Supplemental funds the increase of troops to Afghanistan, escalating the war rather than ending it.    

The Supplemental places no restrictions on American bombings in either Afghanistan or Pakistan, despite the disproportionate harm to civilian inhabitants. 

The Supplemental maintains a high level of American troops in Iraq for the duration of FY 2009.


Congressional Switchboard:  1-800-517-5696

Let Congress know that you reject yet another "blank check" for war!


US Labor Against the War


SOURCES: united for peace and justice.org ~ truthout.org ~ Iraqi Body Count ~ THE SPARROW SINGS ~ University of Massachusetts' Political Economy Research Institute ~ The News of Pakistan ~ Democracy Now!

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