Letter to the Editor

A letter to the editor submitted to the Corvallis Gazette-Times by Veterans for Peace’s Leah Bolger:

It is impossible to put a dollar figure on the value of a human being; therefore there is no way to express in monetary terms the value of the thousands of lives that have been lost in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.  There is no way to calculate the value of a limb or eyesight, or the emotional damage from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

In addition to the loss of life, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are costing this country dearly.  At 10:06 on Sunday, the bill will reach the $1 trillion mark.  For $1 trillion we could immediately give every one of the 15.4 million unemployed people in the United States a $50,000 job and still have $235 billion left over.  Corvallis residents have already contributed $100 million towards these wars.  It costs $1 million to keep one soldier in Afghanistan for a year.  Recently our City Council was forced to cut $2.4 million in city services.  I would much rather have my tax dollars spent keeping the library open and fully staffing our fire department than to fund 2.4 soldiers.

The price of war is too high.  Congress will be voting very soon on a $33 billion war funding supplemental, which is on top of $159 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and which is on top of the $549 billion for the Dept of Defense budget.  Call Sens Wyden and Merkley, and Reps DeFazio and Schrader, and ask them to vote NO on war spending.

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Title: Rally
Location: St Louis
Description: Action planned
Date: 2010-10-10

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Veterans’ banner tags abandoned Detroit building with question: “How’s the War Economy Working for You?”

Detroit — Members of Veterans For Peace (VFP), attending the U.S. Social Forum, a gathering of over 8,000 activists from across the U.S., created and erected the 10 x 15-foot sign that reads, “How’s the War Economy Working for You?” in this city with an unemployment rate of 15 percent and 10,000 abandoned homes on the mayor’s demolition list.

Taxpayers in Detroit have sent a total of nearly two billion dollars to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The city’s 2011 general fund budget of 1.3 billion dollars contains an estimated deficit of 300 million dollars, even after years of cutbacks in services once assumed to be part of urban life. The budget for Detroit schools has a deficit in the same range.

“Detroit, like so many of our cities, is most certainly in distress,” said Mike Ferner, National President of VFP. This crisis is no different than a five-alarm fire and we should respond the same way. Instead, we watch America’s cities literally crumble while we pour thousands of lives and trillions of dollars into wars abroad.”

John Amidon, President of VFP Chapter 10, added, “It’s absolutely criminal that the people who built the U.S. auto industry have to watch their city collapse around them while they send $2,000,000,000 to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is indeed the purest form of madness and it’s coming to a city near you.”

VFP, with over 100 chapters, is beginning a campaign to work with local government officials to place “war counters” on city halls stating the amount of money each community has sent to the war

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How is the war economy working for you?

“How Is The War Economy Working For You?” is a national campaign organized by Veterans For Peace. We are asking Americans to ask themselves how the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and the expanding war in Pakistan has affected the economy at home.

Our primary goals are to connect the cost of the ongoing US wars with the collapsing US economy, to present VFP membership and other peace organizations with a powerful and vital campaign to end the Middle East Wars by providing both the inspiration and the needed resources to run an effective grassroots campaign, and to recruit new membership and revitalize VFP as part of this campaign.

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