Both Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet just voted to authorize defense spending for Fiscal Year 2013 of $631 billion, including $88 billion for the ongoing illegal wars, plus funds to keep the Guantanamo prison functioning, and billions to keep the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal threatening the world and us. They do not vote for me and don’t reflect my values.
They are not serious about reducing the annual deficit and mounting debt without deep military cuts. Both senators suffer from “inside the beltway syndrome,” under the spell spun by military contractors who reap billions from war and weapons.
Today’s Pentagon budget is approximately 58 percent of all discretionary spending, twice what is was just 12 years ago and it should be immediately rolled back to Fiscal Year 2000 levels saving our nation approximately $3 trillion over 10 years. We could then preserve funding for real human needs, jobs, health, environment and investing in peace, conflict prevention. Spending $1 billion on the military creates only 11,500 jobs, while the same amount spent for a green economy or health care will create 50 to 60 percent more jobs, and on education more than twice as many jobs.
Military spending and wars of the last decade have not made us safer or the world more secure…quite the opposite. Speak some truths. We have created more enemies than we have defeated. We have threatened nations such as Iran, surrounding them and boxing them into a corner. We have propped up and armed Israel’s 45 years of constant aggression against Palestine and other neighbors, enabling Israel to be the major antagonist and cause for violence in the Middle East. At current trajectories we will spend an estimated $640 billion over the next 10 years on the outmoded nuclear weapons of the past. All this insanity simply has to stop.
Invest in people, peace, diplomacy and cooperation, not violence, war and threats of war. I call on my senators to unhook from the false, failed and deadly paths of the past.