February 23, 2012
Occupy Sarasota Sending Anti-War Chalk Messages
I used to evaluate war primarily from an ethical perspective. Am I a pacifist? How can we justify killing civilians as collateral damage in military actions? Now I choose to look at war through an additional lens, that of the Occupy Movement. I have one friend who says the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are nothing more than money-laundering operations - a way of moving U.S. tax dollars into the pockets of management and investors in big war contractors, such as Blackwater and Boeing. There are strong arguments for such an extreme statement. On almost every measure, we have not made progress toward our stated goals. For example, we have not made the region any more peaceful; in fact, our continued presence in the region draws out more opposition fighters. We have not built up the infrastructure in any meaningful way; if we had, many Iraqis would be calling for us to stay rather than for us to leave. We have not created more jobs at home; in fact a recent report shows that funding domestic programs creates at least 50% more jobs than military spending. And the total number of weapons of mass destruction that we've found: zero. On the other hand, we have done two things on a grand scale. The first is to privatize significant portions of our military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The second is to spend a lot of taxpayer money. Humongous sums of taxpayer money were successfully moved from the federal government into the profits of large war contractors. Robert Greenwald speaks to this war profiteering hypothesis.Occupy Sarasota expressed their anti-war sentiments this weekend. At the weekly Saturday rally, folks drew sidewalk messages in chalk.