Posts Tagged ‘Bring War Dollars Home’

Raleigh City Council calls on Congress to “Bring Our War Dollars Home”

January 16, 2013

Press Release

CONTACT: JOE BURTON 919-851-5596

At its January 15th meeting, the Raleigh City Council joined the US Conference of Mayors and cities in 14 other states in approving a “Bring Our War Dollars Home Resolution.” The original resolution was submitted to the Council by ROWD (Return Our War Dollars) of Wake County with support from NC Peace Action and American Friends Service Committee.

After amending the wording, the Council approved the following: BE IT RESOLVED that the Raleigh City Council call upon the U.S. Congress and President Obama to end our military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, bring our war dollars home, and use those and other savings in Pentagon spending to meet vital human needs, promote job creation, rebuild our infrastructure, aid municipal and state governments, and develop a new economy based upon renewable, sustainable energy.

ROWD of Wake County coordinator Joe Burton (pictured above) said: “Thanks to the Raleigh City Council for its approval of the Bring Our War Dollars Home resolution and the good message it sends to North Carolina’s Congressional delegation regarding federal funding priorities, as budget negotiations go forward in Washington.”

To read the rest of the resolution, please click here.

Raleigh City Council Resolution

 

January 2013

Proclamation calling on Congress to Fund Urgently Needed Services and Infrastructure Repair in Raleigh and Throughout the United States by Bringing Our War Dollars Home and Reducing Military Spending.

WHEREAS the members of the Raleigh City Council and the constituents we represent want to ensure the safety, as well as the physical and mental well-being of U.S. soldiers, veterans, and their families, and

WHEREAS more than 100,000 American soldiers have been officially injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, and 520,000 veterans or our Middle Eastern wars have filed disability claims with costs of their care expected to total between $600 billion and $1 trillion by 2040 (1), and WHEREAS, the US government has spent well over 1 trillion dollars nationally on the wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, with North Carolina taxpayers’ share of that total at $34 billion, and Raleigh taxpayer’s share of that total is $1.7 billion (3), and

WHEREAS the core defense budget has gone up for an unprecedented 13 straight years and reduction in defense spending will help reduce the federal deficit (2), and

WHEREAS the $50 billion reduction in defense spending required by sequestration under the Budget Control Act (adjusted in real dollars) is equivalent to what was spent in FY2007 and will keep defense spending above the Cold War average (2), and

WHEREAS even with a reduction of $50 billion, the United States will spend more on defense than the next 17 nations combined, most of whom are our allies, and 3 times more than the Chinese (2), and

WHEREAS the severity of the ongoing economic crisis has created budget shortfalls at all levels of government and requires us to reexamine our national spending priorities; and in Wake County budget cuts causing layoffs, cutbacks, and continual damage to our public education system (4), and

WHEREAS 1.6 million residents of NC live in poverty with nearly 50% of those having incomes less than half of the federal poverty level; in Wake County 1 in 6 children live in poverty (5, 6, 7), and

WHEREAS, cuts to federal programs such as Community Block Development Grants (CDBGs) and the Home Investment Partnership program (HOME) have forced Raleigh and local agencies and non-profits to lay off staff, reduce or eliminate services, delay infrastructure projects and reduce program benefits to low and moderate income families; and

WHEREAS, funding for a constructive economy that sustains high level educational services for the K through college, job growth, equal access to medical care, low cost housing, infrastructure repair, environmental protections, and family financing throughout North Carolina, especially in cities such as Raleigh, has been diverted to wars and occupations, therefore

BE IT RESOLVED that the Raleigh City Council call upon the U.S. Congress and President Obama to end our military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, bring our war dollars home, and use those and other savings in military spending to meet vital human needs, promote job creation, rebuild our infrastructure, aid municipal and state governments, and develop a new economy based upon renewable, sustainable energy.

 

1. Gusterson, Hugh, “The Costs of War”, 2011 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, September 6, 2011

2. Korb, Lawrence J., “6 Reasons to Keep the Defense Budget Sequestration Cuts”, Center for American Progress, April 3, 2012.

3. National Priorities Project, http://costofwar.com, Nov. 1, 2012.

4. Warren, Louisa B. “A Better Future Begins in Pre-K,” Policy & Progress, North Carolina Justice Center, Spring 2012, p. 13.

5. Hawes, Julia, “Poverty Tour Exposes Lack of Economic Opportunity,” Policy & Progress, North Carolina Justice Center, Spring 2012, p. 1.

6. Sirota, Alexandra Forter and Burch, Brenna Elford, “Dismantling Pathways to Economic Mobility in NC,” Policy & Progress, North Carolina Justice Center, Spring 2012, p. 1, 10-11.

7. http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/NC-County-Data-Poverty-and-Deep-Poverty-Rates.pdf

 

6 Reasons to Keep the Defense Budget Sequestration Cuts

By Lawrence J. Korb

Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress

April 3, 2012

About Lawrence J. Korb: Lawrence J. Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, served as assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration.

Unless Congress acts to repeal sequestration, the core defense budget (exclusive of war costs) for FY 2013 will be “only” $472 billion, about $50 billion less than the Pentagon requested. There are at least six reasons why Congress should not act.

1. First, a budget of $472 billion is more than sufficient to protect our national security. In inflation adjusted or real dollars, this is what we spent in FY 2007, the penultimate year of the Bush administration, when not even defense hawks were complaining about the budget being too low. Additionally, this budget would keep real defense spending above the Cold War average, despite the fact that we then faced an existential threat from Soviet Russia, a real “geopolitical foe.”

2. Second, in real terms, the core defense budget has gone up for an unprecedented 13 straight years. As Dick Armey, the former House leader, has noted, despite their rhetoric, the Pentagon has not yet made any real reductions.

3. Third, if Congress allows sequestration to remain in effect over the next decade, the total reductions in projected levels of defense spending will be $500 billion or 14 percent, much smaller than previous reductions. Dwight Eisenhower reduced defense spending by 27 percent in real terms over eight years, Richard Nixon by 29 percent in six years, and Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton by 35 percent in 11 years.

4. Fourth, reducing defense spending by $500 billion over the next decade will help reduce the federal deficit, which military leaders, like former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen, correctly label the greatest threat to our national security.

5. Fifth, sequestration will force the Pentagon’s leaders to make the tough decisions, which even they admit they have not had to make over the past decade. These include: reforming the military retirement, healthcare, and compensation systems, as recommended by their own task forces; canceling or reducing the numbers of unnecessary or underperforming systems like the V-22 and the F-35; and cutting our nuclear arsenal to a realistic level, as recommended by the Air War College’s School of Advanced Air and Space Studies.

6. Sixth, and most important, the alarmist claims of those opposed to cuts are bogus. Even with a FY 2007 level budget, the United States will still spend more on defense than the next 17 nations combined, most of whom are our allies, and three times more than the Chinese. We would still have more ships than the next 11 navies in the world combined, more manned and unmanned aircraft than any other nation, and a total ground force (active duty and reserve) of 1.5 million highly-trained people. As Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was forced to admit, even with these cuts the United States will still be a global power.

War Warnings

Letter to the Editor, by Betsy Crites. Published March 2nd 2012, News & Observer. 

As Afghanistan comes unraveled and U.S. officials scramble to justify 11 years of war, four North Carolina members of Congress signed a letter to President Obama saying it’s time to leave, and sooner is better than later. As The N&O reported, U.S. Reps. Walter Jones, Brad Miller and David Price all spoke to the issue at a Town Hall Meeting on Feb. 20. (The fourth congressman, Howard Coble, was not present.) Jones was especially passionate about questioning the human and economic toll, asking “Where is the outrage?”

At the same meeting Matthew Hoh, a former Marine and State Department official in Afghanistan, who resigned in protest of U.S. policies, said our soldiers are caught in the middle of local feuds that have nothing to do with our security. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost the U.S. $1.5 trillion in direct costs and will cost at least that much in ongoing care of wounded vets and war debt, according to Hoh.

Now, some U.S. senators and media are pushing for war in Iran. As Gen. Anthony Zinni said, if you liked Iraq and Afghanistan, you’ll love Iran.

See the original Letter to the Editor here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/03/02/1897373/war-warnings.html#storylink=cpy

 

February 20, 2012: Bring The War Dollars Home: Raleigh

 

Matthew Hoh addresses town hall attendees - with (from left to right) Congressmen Walter Jones (Dist 3), Brad Miller (Dist 13), and David Price (Dist 4); NC State Senator Ellie Kinnaird, Representative Paul Luebke, & NC Peace Action Director, Betsy Crites.

The Town Hall Meeting in Raleigh, February 20th, brought together 150 peace advocates to send the message for a need to reorder our priorities.  We need to “Bring Our War Dollars Home and Restore Our Communities.“

The keynote speaker was Matthew Hoh, a former Marine and State Dept. official who resigned his post in Afghanistan in protest of US policies.  He encouraged people to advocate for hearings for Lt. Col. Daniel Davis, the recent whistle blower on Afghanistan.  See the NY Times brief and a link to the full report. Also view the video interview with PBS Newshour.

Mr. Hoh also quoted the World Economic Forum, which ranks the US 52nd in the world for math and science education.  Even if you believe we need a strong military, he said, “you can’t have kids steering air craft carriers who don’t know math and science”. Read more about this in The Independent article about the event.

Hear more from Matthew Hoh on Frank Stacio’s “The State of Things”, airing on WUNC radio Thursday Feb 23rd, 9:00 and 12:00.

Congressman Walter Jones

Three North Carolina Congressmen were present, Walter Jones (Dist 3), Brad Miller (Dist 13), and David Price (Dist 4).  Each presented their views on the theme to “Bring Our War Dollars Home, Restore Our Communities.”

The three US Representatives were applauded for uniting around the message to move up the timetable for withdrawal of combat troops form Afghanistan to the end of 2013.  See N&O article on the event and this issue.

Along with 84 others, including NC Rep. Howard Coble, they all signed a letter to the President, stating in part:

The United States intervened in Afghanistan to destroy al Qaeda’s safe haven, remove the Taliban government that sheltered al Qaeda, and pursue those who planned the September 11th attacks on the United States; those objectives have largely been met and no longer require a large presence of combat troops in Afghanistan.”

Congressman David Price

State Representative Paul Luebke introduced the event.  He spoke about how the Triangle cannot afford a regional mass transportation system.  We finally had to pass a ½ cent sales tax increase to try to develop a fund for the system.  Meanwhile we send away billions of dollars a year to be used for war making.   Also participating as moderator of the press conference was State Senator, Ellie Kinnaird.

Several speakers from the audience talked about the hardships they face or the people they work with are facing.  In an economic downturn, with so many people without work, how can we afford to continue funding a military bigger than the next 14 countries combined? (Even if we could afford it, is it wise?)

Rev. Nancy Petty, Senior Pastor of Pullen Baptist Church, closed the event encouraging the audience to make peace not war and be foolish enough to think that we can make a difference.

We extend our gratitude to the Congressmen, Sen. Ellie Kinnaird, Rep. Paul Luebke, and Matthew Hoh for their presentations and leadership and to all who attended, participated, and helped with organizing.

Please continue to be involved through our “Cost of War” groups.  We need people to write letters to the editor, call Congress, plan educational events, fund-raise, and strategize.  The next step of the campaign will be called “Peace Voter”.  We will send a questionnaire to all candidates about these issues.  Contact Betsy Crites at (919) 381-5969.

Bring The War Dollars Home: Restore Our Communities

Town Hall Meeting
Raleigh, Legislative Buidling
February 20th, 2012

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September 10, 2011: Report on 9/10/11 Durham Town Hall Meeting: Cost of War Resolution


UPDATE! Durham County has already had great success with its flagship Cost of War campaign in the City of Durham. Due to this Durham Town Hall Meeting, in the Fall of 2011:

  • The Durham City Council called upon the president and Congress “to bring these war dollars home to meet vital human needs, promote job creation, rebuild our infrastructure, aid municipal and state governments, and develop a new economy based upon renewable, sustainable energy and reduce the federal debt.”  (Read full resolution here.)

September 14, 2011: Bring War $$$ Home Discussion: Asheville


Join us in Asheville on Wednesday, September 14th 2011 for a presentation on peace and why we are so passionate about it. We will start with a social time at 5:30 and then begin the presentation at 6 PM at Posana’s Restaurant on the corner of Patton and Biltmore, downtown Asheville. The meeting will be over by 7 PM. It is in the back room at the restaurant. Each of us will share who our group is and why we support BRINGING OUR WAR DOLLARS HOME, especially showing the connection of peace with environmental stewardship and why it is necessary that people for justice work together to bring about social, environmental and economic change in our area and the world. Please respond if you can speak a few minutes (less than 5 minutes) about your involvement in International Day of Peace Sept. 21. Please contact Rachael Bliss at 1 (828) 505-9425.

September 10, 2011: Updated Durham Town Hall Meeting


UPDATE! To read the full report and see what wonderful results we have had with the Durham Cost of War Campaign, please see the full report here and also get involved with the next phase of the campaign here.

Original Event Details:

As part of our “Bring the War Dollars Home: Fund our Communities,” show your support of this program by attending  Durham’s Town Hall Meeting on Saturday, September 10th from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM.

Ten years after the 9/11 attacks, the military budget has increased 67% but universities are forced to slash budgets and hike tuition, public servants are laid of, care for sick and elderly is reduced, and environmental protection is threatened.
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September 21, 2011: International Day of Peace: Asheville


Join us in Asheville on Wednesday, 21st September 2011, from 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM, for the 2nd Annual International Day of Peace! Peacetown Asheville and Local 099 of Veterans for Peace, Mountain Area Interfaith Forum and other allies are increasing their Annual International Day of Peace celebration in 2011 from 1 hour to 3 hours, and from a corner by the infamous Magnolia Tree near Pack Square into Pack Square itself.

The Asheville region joins with hundreds of other communities around the world as they continue to dedicate one day of the year as a day of ceasefire from all conflicts locally and globally. International Day of Peace has been observed since 1921 through the League of Nations, and was later continued by the United Nations, adding the goal of the one day cease-fire in 2002.
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