Green Left Weekly fighting fund: Spend money on people's needs not war

Saturday, February 13, 2010 - 11:00

United States President — and Nobel Peace Laureate — Barack Obama will spend nearly US$1 trillion on war this year.

The February 5 Toronto Sun said: "This includes Pentagon spending of $880 billion. Add secret black programs (about $70 billion); military aid to foreign nations like Egypt, Israel and Pakistan; 225,000 military 'contractors' (mercenaries and workers); and veterans' costs. Add $75 billion (nearly four times Canada's total defence budget) for 16 intelligence agencies with 200,000 employees."

It's hard to even fathom the figure of $1 trillion. But consider this, the Sun said: "To spend $1 trillion, one would have had to start spending $1 million daily soon after Rome was founded and continue for 2,738 years until today."

It went on: "The Afghanistan and Iraq wars ($1 trillion so far), will cost $200-250 billion more this year, including hidden and indirect expenses. Obama's Afghan 'surge' of 30,000 new troops will cost an additional $33 billion — more than Germany's total defence budget."

In the US, "Military spending gobbles up 19% of federal spending and at least 44% of tax revenues. During the Bush administration, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars — funded by borrowing — cost each American family more than $25,000".

These figures highlight the urgent need to build a mass, people's movement against war and for social justice. They also expose the immense wealth at humanity's disposal — wealth that could be used to build a better world.

Please help us build such a movement; a movement that redirects wealth away from death and destruction, and towards meeting people's needs.

Imagine what $1 trillion could do for hospitals, schools, public housing, welfare, public transport, Aboriginal communities and more.

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From GLW issue 826