Monday, October 14, 2013


Shomei Tomatsu: U.S. bomber over Okinawa
Since we're being given a taste of what can happen when parts of the U.S. federal government are shut down, let's talk about having a real party: how about shutting down all those military bases?

Just think how much money would be saved if the U.S. shut down its approximately 1,000 military bases around the world.

(It's not just the direct costs of the bases themselves. Every base is an "enabler" of spending on personnel, weapons, etc. etc. etc.)

US military bases on Okinawa
Just think about how much less often the U.S. would be tempted to throw itself into another conflict if it didn't have bases nearby just waiting to be used.

And just think how differently people in the rest of the world would view us if their first encounter with us didn't involve troops and weapons and barbed wire.

What would happen if every member of Congress "adopted" a foreign military base and demonstrated what would happen if all the money spent there were brought home to local districts? Do you think the constituents would welcome THAT initiative?

MORE: See "Phase Out Foreign Military Bases" in the World Beyond War Global Security System: Alternative to War.

UPDATE: November, 2015 - As people worldwide join in a #NOwar social media campaign in November, the people of Okinawa continue to struggle against US bases dominating the island.

#Okinawa: let's start here to end the world-strangling domination of US bases.
(Please retweet this message.)

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When Afghan activist Malalai Joya spoke to a group in Chicago, she said it is not enough for the U.S. to pull out its remaining combat troops. The presence of U.S. bases assures that the violence and instability will continue. The bases are an especially important problem. Their presence virtually guarantees a whole chain of military activity.

(See Malalai: The "Big Lie" of U.S. Troop Withdrawal from Afghanistan)

There's no question that, in the months ahead, we members of the general public will be deluged with media about the 2016 presidential election. Maddeningly, 99 and 44/100% of that media will make no mention of the need to end U.S. wars, occupations, imperialism, and militarism.

(See I Support Antiwar Candidates! (Know Any?) )

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(See October 28, 2015, GOP Debate: "Your money, their DoD" )

People in Illinois made it clear they didn't want an attack on Syria.  Based on what I was able to detect, some representatives in Congress were listening, and some weren't:

Looks Strong -7
Question Mark - 4
Looks Weak - 3

You might think that each person is just another face in the crowd, but if you look closely, they're all carefully drawn to depict an individual, and it's all these individuals working together that is going to stop Japan's return to militarization and war.

(See People Power Against War in Japan: A Lesson for Us All? )