Category Archives: Justice and Sustainability

Stop Using China as an Excuse – CNN’s Fareed Zackaria

It’s not often we can look to corporate mainstream media for facts on Foreign Policy.  This one must have slipped through the CIA filter.

 

Washington Post Opinion : Opinion: The Pentagon is using China as an excuse for huge new budgets

March 18, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. CDT

“On the eve of his visit this week to Asia, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin outlined his key concern. “China is our pacing threat,” he said. He explained that for the past 20 years, the United States had been focused on the Middle East while China had been modernizing its military. “We still maintain the edge,” he noted, “and we’re going to increase the edge going forward.” Welcome to the new age of bloated Pentagon budgets, all to be justified by the great Chinese threat.

What Austin calls America’s “edge” over China is more like a chasm. The United States has about 20 times the number of nuclear warheads as China. It has twice the tonnage of warships at sea, including 11 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers compared with China’s two carriers (which are much less advanced). Washington has more than 2,000 modern fighter jets compared with Beijing’s roughly 600, according to national security analyst Sebastien Roblin. And the United States deploys this power using a vast network of some 800 overseas bases. China has three. China spends around $250 billion on its military, a third as much as the United States. Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution notes that, “if China were in NATO, we would berate it for inadequate burden-sharing, since its military outlays fall well below NATO’s 2 percent minimum.”

At the height of its imperial might in the late 19th century, when it ruled a quarter of the world’s population, Britain adopted a “two-power standard” — its navy had to be larger than the next two put together. U.S. military spending remains larger than the defense budgets of the next 10 countries put together, most of which are Washington’s close allies. The United States’ intelligence budget alone — around $85 billion — is larger than Russia’s total defense spending.

The Costs of War: Panel and Discussion [Watch Recording]

link to recording
 Zoom Panel and Discussion on The Cost of War

We had an excellent lineup of guest speakers.
 

All wars have large costs, which the political, financial, and governmental elites instigating the conflicts would rather the citizens minimize –but pay for. With a “volunteer military”, outsourcing, drones, and “smart bombs”, the war-makers attempt to hide the costs of war. The true story, however, is much grimmer.


****************************************
Panelists:
 
***Veteran of the “War on Terror” Brittyn Calyx who will talk about the cost of war on the individual veteran and the impact of war on their own life.
 
***Vietnam veteran, artist, and peace activist David Giffey, who will speak on the societal costs of war,
 
***Dr. Eileen Ahearn, a long-time psychiatrist at the VA in Madison, Wisconsin who will take a look at war and moral injury and
 
***Rev. David Couper, who brings his experience as a veteran, former Madison police chief, and Episcopal priest, and will discuss the militarization of policing.
 

Each panelist will be given about 10 minutes to speak, followed by Q&A. We will use the Zoom chat box to field questions from our panelists.

Facebook Event for Costs of War Discussion

 

Peace
Fran Wiedenhoeft, faw231@aol.com608-576-7416
Primary organizer
Veterans for Peace Madison

Voices for Creative Nonviolence Farewell and Forward

VCNV Farewell Letter

Kathy Kelly, writing on behalf of the Committee to Oversee Closure of Voices for Creative Nonviolence: Sean Reynolds, Sarah Ball, Ken Hannaford-Ricardi, Kathy Kelly, and Bob Alberts 

 

VCNV is closed down but here are some important efforts that continue…


Voices for Creative Nonviolence UK 
(www.vcnv.org.uk) is not closing and will continue its work ably led by Maya Evans.

The Afghan Peace Volunteers (ourjourneytosmile.com) and the Global Days of Listening (globaldaysoflistening.org) will welcome ongoing communication and solidarity.

We at Voices U.S. will be archiving our website, and closing our bank account, in early 2021. We again thank all who have so generously supported us. We pledge to return-to-sender any checks
we receive after November 10th. All of the money in our account will be disbursed.

Any funds designated for the Afghan Peace Volunteers will be sent to them, and we hope to assist their budget requests for the Afghan calendar year which runs from March 2020 – March 2021.

We will also make, and additionally encourage, donations to:

  • Voices for Creative Nonviolence UK (www.vcnv.org.uk)
  • Jesuit Refugee Services projects in Kabul (1627 K St NW Ste 1100, Washington, DC 20006). Voices members have regularly visited JRS projects, including education efforts, within a particular refugee camp, and have known of JRS’ admirable work in Kabul since our first visit in 2010. Checks can be sent payable to Jesuit Refugee Services, with “Kabul projects” written in the memo section and/or with an accompanying note designating that the contribution is for JRS’ projects in Kabul.
  • Emergency Surgical Center for Victims of War, Afghanistan (https://en.emergency.it/projects/afghanistan-kabul-surgical-centre/). Voices members have regularly visited their hospital in Kabul since our first visit to Afghanistan in 2009. Donations can be made through Emergency’s website.
  • Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Fund (https://yemenfoundation.org/) Donations can be made through the website or checks can be made payable to: Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation (YRRF) and mailed to: 3216 74th Place SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040

Over the years, we have collaborated with several other organizations whose work we also plan to support with contributions. These include:

  • World Beyond War (worldbeyondwar.org)
  • Witness Against Torture (witnessagainsttorture.com)
  • The Nuclear Resister (nukeresister.org

    and

  • The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 (kingsbayplowshares7.org)

 

VFP Celebrates International Women’s Day 2020

International Women’s Day

March 8, 2020

#IWD2020 #EachforEqual

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. This day has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

An equal world is an enabled world, a gender equal world.
Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias.

Take action for equality.

~


 

War disproportionately affects women and girls.

In conflict, existing inequalities become magnified and social networks are broken down, making women and girls more vulnerable to sexual exploitation and violence. Yet, we don’t often hear about the women working for peace.

This Sunday is International Women’s Day. World BEYOND War is celebrating women dedicated to abolishing all war and replacing it with a security system based in feminism and peace. Leveraging frameworks like the United Nations Security Council’s Resolution 1324—which requires parties in conflict to prevent violations of women’s rights and to support their participation in advocating for peace—we work not only to affirm the critical role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflict but also to encourage and facilitate the role of women in abolishing all war.

War is not women’s history,” says Virginia Woolf. “War is only an invention, not a biological necessity,” affirms Margaret Mead.

It was once said that it was impossible to abolish legalized slavery and dueling. Once deeply embedded in societies of their time, these practices are now, if not fully in the dustbin of history, universally understood to be eliminable. Now, let’s make war a thing of the past!”

In peace and feminist solidarity,

Alex McAdams, World BEYOND War

 


Code Pink

CODEPINK is a women-led grassroots organization working to end U.S. wars and militarism, support peace and human rights initiatives, and redirect our tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming programs.

Founded in fall 2002 as a grassroots effort to prevent the US war on Iraq, we continue to organize for justice for Iraqis and to hold war criminals accountable. We actively oppose the continuing U.S. war in Afghanistan, torture, the detention center at Guantanamo, weaponized and spy drones, the prosecution of whistle-blowers, U.S. support for the Israeli occupation of Palestine and repressive regimes.

 


 

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

 

On 28 April 1915, during World War I, a unique group of 1,136 women from warring and neutral nations gathered in The Hague, the Netherlands, to discuss how to end the war and ensure permanent peace. The meeting ended with the foundation of the Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom. 

The organizers of the congress were prominent suffragists, who saw the link between their struggle for women’s right and the struggle for peace. They believed that the full and equal participation of women in the decision-making processes was necessary to achieve sustainable peace.

 


 

Find more ideas about International Women’s Day