Posts tagged War
Posts tagged War
This piece, written by a former soldier and military defense contractor, is incredibly powerful. I encourage everyone to read it. Here’s an excerpt:
"I hereby resign in protest effective immediately. I have served the post-911 Military Industrial complex for 10 years, first as a soldier in Baghdad, and now as a defense contractor.
At the time of my enlistment, I believed in the cause. I was ignorant, naïve, and misled. The narrative, professed by the state, and echoed by the mainstream press, has proven false and criminal. We have become what I thought we were fighting against.” — Brandon Toy
Kerry says efforts focused on “all we can to support opposition” amid reports of sectarian killings by Sunni rebels.
I’m really not sure what to think about this — our track record in getting involved with conflicts in the Middle East is less than stellar.
From the White House’s official response to the “Death Star by 2016” petition.
They may not support blowing up planets, but the Obama Administration has little issue with leveling an entire village in Yemen with flying murder robots piloted from a booth in Nevada just to kill one suspected terrorist who’s “likely” there.
The civilians are just an oopsie who shouldn’t have gotten in the way of the Hellfire missiles, y’know? So unfortunate. /sarcasm
So there’s that.
Former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska is said to be on President Obama’s short list to be the next defense secretary. But even the possibility of his nomination has stirred up opposition — particularly from members of his own political party.
If Hagel can survive a political ambush in Washington, he would be the first Pentagon chief who saw combat as an enlisted soldier.
The blunt-spoken Hagel favors deeper cuts in military spending and is wary of entangling America in long overseas missions.
As a veteran, I find it fascinating that no former enlisted military member has run the Pentagon. All too often, it’s the men behind the suits and desks that send the soldiers in uniform off to fight and die in a war for the elites. Hagel may be a member of the political elite, but he’s been a grunt before. The life of an enlisted solider is much different than that of an officer.
Lest we forget, the two major reasons Republicans hate him are that he’s been critical of Iraq and our military interventionism in general, and he’s also criticized the GOP’s slavish devotion to propping up Israel at all costs.
Rebloggable by request:
did cutting pell grant funding REALLY save money? isn’t education like. the Very Best Investment?
You’d think that. Let’s get a little perspective. From FY2001 to the end of FY2012, taxpayers spent $1.4 trillion on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. That’s $1,400,000,000,000. If you were to pile all those dollar bills and stick it on a scale, it would be about 1,543,235 tons. Or about 289 Chevy Silverado pickup trucks.
That’s pretty heavy.
You know what else is pretty heavy? Thinking about what we could have gotten for that money instead. Check it out:
You might say, “But that’s all the war spending! That’s not fair!” Here’s a few other comparisons. First, U.S. Defense spending for FY2012. That’s $544.3 billion. Here’s what we could get instead:
Oh, but we need defense spending, right? Let’s examine weaponry. From 2001-2011, the U.S. fired over 11,000 Hellfire missiles in combat operations — keep in mind, this doesn’t count non-combat operations or testing. Each Hellfire costs roughly $68,000. That’s $748 million, or one year of full, $5,500 Pell Grants for 136,000 students.
Each F-16 Falcon Fighter costs $47 million. Or, 8,545 students could have Pell Grants of $5,550 for one year.
Each soldier in Afghanistan costs roughly $1.2 million per year. For that, we could give 218 students a full Pell Grant.
It’s not a question of cost. It’s a question of priorities. In FY2012, we spent $33.4 billion on Pell Grants — or six percent of the Department of Defense’s FY2012 budget.
But there’s always money for war, right?
Chris Hedges, from a talk given Sunday night in New York City at a protest denouncing the 11th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan. The event, at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, was led by Veterans for Peace.
Members of the organization were later arrested by the NYPD as they read the names of the war dead, including 85-year-old World War II veteran Jay Wenk.
Image from warisacrime.org