Friday, August 25, 2017

War Profiteers Winning In Afghanistan, School Kids Losing In USA

The announcement that more resources would pour into the ongoing occupation of Afghanistan confirms that, no matter who is in the White House, war profiteers are in the driver's seat of U.S. government. Photo:
It's no surprise that the swamp got the demagogue with bad hair to embrace imperial overreach and come out as a supporter of ramping up the 16 year war in Afghanistan.

War profiteers like Erik Prince of Blackwater -- which made a bundle on the U.S. war in Iraq -- are insiders in a regime that has incorporated ever more military personnel into supposedly civilian posts like Chief of Staff. War profiteers like Lockheed meanwhile pour millions of dollars a month into lobbying members of Congress who are alleged to represent the people.

How to fund these long, expensive, designed not to be winnable wars?

A recent action alert from my union, the National Education Association, gives a hint:
The FY 2018 education funding bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee recently is a frightening read in its disregard for the welfare of the millions of students who attend public schools, and the educators who teach in them. 
The House spending bill:
  • Cuts education spending by $2.4 billion.
  • Completely eliminates Title II (within ESSA), which funds class-size reduction, professional development, and more.
  • Slashes 21st Century Community Learning Centers that provide afterschool services to students most in need.
  • Fails to increase funding for Title I, despite record numbers of low-income students in need of the services it provides.

Third grade teacher Teresa Danks made international news this summer by literally begging for the $2,000 or so she spends annually in her classroom. She's been a teacher in for decades and her annual salary in Oklahoma is around $35,000. She says: “I want the proper tools to do my job well. I wouldn’t ask somebody to build my house with a spoon.”

I've objected to U.S. imperial wars on the basis that they're morally wrong, that they're racist, that they churn out tons of carbon pollution, that they harm or kill soldiers and their families, and that we can't afford to pay for them.

"Drug War? American Troops Are Protecting Afghan Opium. U.S. Occupation Leads to All-Time High Heroin Production"

I could also add that the occupation of Afghanistan specifically is fueling the U.S. heroin crisis by making the byproduct of opium poppies cheap and readily available (ka-ching goes the CIA cash register). 

All these pleas have fallen on deaf ears. There is no reason to believe that the militaristic cabal brought the demagogue with bad hair to heel will listen to the voice of the people.

My government no longer represents me. But it hasn't succeeded in silencing me yet, and so as another school year begins -- when hungry children who need sneakers and backpacks and a safe place out of the weather come trundling back to school -- I say:


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