Some people say Bush’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have now become Obama’s wars. But to be honest, we live in a democracy and “we the people” have allowed the wars, so there is blame to share. We have spent more than $1 trillion on these wars already. A majority of Americans oppose both wars; they want to end these wars and bring our troops home. And with the national debt soaring above $13 trillion, America cannot afford these endless, atrocious wars.
The United States is not only involved in senseless wars but also maintains more than 800 military bases worldwide and another 6,000 in the United States and its territories. The United States has some military forces in about 150 countries around the world. In fact, the 2011 U.S. defense budget is $758 billion-nearly half of the total military spending of the rest of the world combined. This is on top of the trillions spent on bailing out banks, insurance companies and other big businesses. At the same time, trillions are lost by working people in jobs lost, foreclosures, pension failures, healthcare costs and cuts in social programs and public services.
As a result of U.S. interventions and aggression, more than 10 million people have been killed, maimed and uprooted to become refugees and internally displaced in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Our duty to resist complicity in mass murder does not change with the election of a president from a different political party. These wars are unjust, illegal, immoral and economically catastrophic.
On Saturday, August 28, Dr. Bob Bowman will bring his unique point of view to Fresno. His topic is familiar, “End U.S. Wars, Bring the Troops Home Now!” But his background is unlike any other and is impressive. He is neither a liberal nor a conservative.
Bob Bowman (http://www.thepatriots.us) is a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, a former fighter pilot in Vietnam, a former director of the Department of Defense “Star Wars” programs under Presidents Ford and Carter, a professor and a businessperson. He has lectured at the National War College, the United Nations, Congressional caucuses and the House of Lords. From 1971 to 1974, Bowman was responsible for Air Force and NASA contracts in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and southern Asia. His Ph.D. is in aeronautics and nuclear engineering from Caltech. He will speak at 4:30 p.m. at the Mennonite Community Church (5015 E. Olive Ave.). Donations accepted.
On September 11, 2010, bring your ideas and energy to Peace Fresno’s Peace Community Meeting and Dinner, where local peace and justice activists will decide what to do locally to end the U.S. wars, occupations and drone attacks. The Peace Community Meeting is a perfect place to strategize, energize and create our vision of a better tomorrow. Jackie Ryle, respected local facilitator, will lead and focus the meeting, which will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church (2672 E. Alluvial Ave., Clovis) from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Reserve your place at $10 per person, payable to Peace Fresno; write “Peace Dinner” and the names of the attendees on the memo line, and mail it to Peace Fresno, P.O. Box 5115, Fresno, CA 93755-5115.