Saturday, June 11, 2011

PINKs to Panetta: Bring our war $$ home!

War protesters demonstrate as CIA Director Leon Panetta arrives for testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee. " LA Times (Win McNamee, Getty Images / June 9, 2011)
When the CEO of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan becomes the director of the CIA, and the CIA director is named Secretary of Defense, it's hard not to see these as signs of the end times. End times for anyone's naive faith that our government represents the people, that is.

We're bombing five countries that I know about, destroying a coral reef in South Korea to make more places to keep our nuclear destroyers, and my senator, Susan Collins, is sucking up to Panetta to get more, more and more war dollar contracts at Bath Iron Works in Maine.

“I strongly believe the Navy has to project our force throughout the world and that the Navy is obviously crucial to that mission,” Panetta replied to Collins, according to her statement to the Times Record in Bath.

Then I realize it's the end times all over the place, with youth rising up. The Arab spring ripens into summer, with death and torture unleashed -- whatever it takes to keep the power structure in place. In Spain, the UK, the U.S. and Canada they're rising up against no jobs, cuts to education, huge student loan burdens, no health insurance -- and no light at the end of the economic outlook tunnel.

That's why we need to bring our war dollars home, now more than ever.

Senators, are you listening? Are you reading those bright pink signs that Tighe, Allie and Medea are holding right in front of your faces? Almost half of your constituents think the country is headed even deeper into economic distress, maybe even depression. A whopping 30% told CNN they fear they will be unemployed soon. And building nuclear war ships is the only lousy jobs program my senator can come up with?

Senate Page Brigette DePape silently standing in the Canadian Senate chamber with a "Stop Harper" sign to protest budget cuts gutting higher education and other social services. Which she will now need more than ever,  because her courageous act of nonviolent resistance got her fired. Go Brigette, our shero!
POSTSCRIPT: For a good discussion of the policies of economic exploitation affecting us globally, see Mark Levine's op-ed on Al Jazeera, "Arab revolutions mask economic status quo."

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