by Joe Scarry
Since we’re being given a taste of what can happen when parts of the U.S. federal government are shut down, let’s talk about having a real party: how about shutting down all those military bases?
Just think how much money would be saved if the U.S. shut down its approximately 1,000 military bases around the world.
(It’s not just the direct costs of the bases themselves. Every base is an “enabler” of spending on personnel, weapons, etc. etc. etc.)
|US military bases on Okinawa|
Just think about how much less often the U.S. would be tempted to throw itself into another conflict if it didn’t have bases nearby just waiting to be used.
And just think how differently people in the rest of the world would view us if their first encounter with us didn’t involve troops and weapons and barbed wire.
What would happen if every member of Congress “adopted” a foreign military base and demonstrated what would happen if all the money spent there were brought home to local districts? Do you think the constituents would welcome THAT initiative?
When Afghan activist Malalai Joya spoke to a group in Chicago, she said it is not enough for the U.S. to pull out its remaining combat troops. The presence of U.S. bases assures that the violence and instability will continue. The bases are an especially important problem. Their presence virtually guarantees a whole chain of military activity.
Isn’t now a moment when, instead of falling back into our existing habits of trying to change America’s war-making ways, we should put our recent experience under a microscope? And ask what we can learn from this experience? Can we make 2014 the year that we sort the wheat from the chaff in Congress? And get the control over war and peace back into our own hands?
People in Illinois made it clear they didn’t want an attack on Syria. Based on what I was able to detect, some representatives in Congress were listening, and some weren’t: