The U.S. spends $32 million per HOUR on war. That's the best calculation of the financial impact of our policy of projecting force since 2001, conducted by the brainy folks at Brown University's Costs of War project.
What else could $32 million per hour buy that politicians are fond of telling hand-to-mouth Americans we can't afford?
- Free public education K-16 and even through medical school, as other affluent nations provide.
- Free healthcare including dental care for all, regardless of their income, as other affluent nations provide.
- Public transportation that is affordable and widely available, as other affluent nations provide.
- Sustainable energy solutions that do not accelerate climate change, historic flooding and extreme temperatures, as other affluent nations provide.
Instead, U.S. taxpayers fund the stock buybacks of already mega wealthy weapons manufacturers like General Dynamics. Why? Because their lobbyists own your representatives in Congress.
We here in Maine have said "ENOUGH!" to this polluting, undemocratic scheme for years now. Specifically, we have called for the conversion of GD's Bath Iron Works shipyard to building sustainable energy solutions to address the biggest threat to everyone's security on the planet.
Our bought and paid for reps and senators will cry, "But what about the jobs!"
They know full well that building sophisticated weapon systems like Zumwalt destroyers is an inefficient jobs program, and that investing the same amount in anything from my list above would actually produce far more jobs. Even just giving ordinary taxpayers a rebate would generate more jobs.
But defense contractors are big contributors to their campaign funds.
Below are excerpt's from peaceworker Bruce Gagnon's report back on planning to oppose the "christening" of yet another war ship in Maine on April 27. This one is named after Lyndon B. Johnson, the president who presided over the escalation of the Vietnam war after JFK was assassinated. I'm old enough to remember college students at the time chanting, "LBJ, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?" in reference to large scale bombing of civilians. Naming a war ship after LBJ is an attempt to revise history and U.S. attitudes toward the Vietnam war.
Those interested in reading about past civil disobedience at General Dynamics/BIW in Bath can check out my archived blog posts here (Aegis 9) and here (Zumwalt 12).
Report from BIW 'LBJ christening' meeting
by Bruce Gagnon
Eleven people from around Maine met today in Brunswick to do more planning for the upcoming Bath Iron Works ‘LBJ christening’ of the 3rd Zumwalt destroyer at the shipyard on Saturday, April 27.
We discussed several scenarios for our legal non-violent protest on April 27 and decided to line up along the Washington St sidewalk just across from the post office on the north end of the shipyard at 8:30 am with signs, banners and literature. Gates for those ‘invited’ to the christening will open at 9:00 am.
Our new leaflet entitled ‘Why Bath Iron Works Must Convert: Climate Crisis Demands Conversion!’ has been printed and was handed out in bulk today for statewide distribution. If you’d like some to hand out before and/or after the April 27 BIW event please let Bruce Gagnon firstname.lastname@example.org know how many you want and he will mail them to you.
We also want to encourage everyone to write a Letter to the Editor in your local newspaper (daily and/or weekly) about your concerns regarding the LBJ.
We urge those bringing signs or banners on April 27th to please consider making the theme around the conversion of the shipyard to build commuter rail, wind turbines, tidal power systems and other sustainable technologies to help us deal with our real problem – climate change.
Thank you all. The meeting ended with a strong sense of community and commitment. The people must act non-violently and boldly in order to create the kind of ‘social tension’ needed to open the way for real change as MLK often said.