JOBS NOT WAR Petition – March 19th, 2011
To date, the total cost of the war that has been allocated by Congress is $1.26 trillion, with $815 billion to Iraq and $445.1 billion to Afghanistan (1). The U.S. war in Afghanistan is now the longest war in the history of the United States, and is costing U.S. taxpayers nearly $100 billion per year.
The cost in terms of innocent civilian lives, numbering in the millions, is incalculable. Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are not vital to U.S. security (2).
In fact, resistance to foreign occupation breeds hostility to the U.S. and undermines the capacity of the people to rebuild infrastructure and reconstruct their governments.
While faced with the possibility of reduced funding for education, health care, housing, home heating assistance, other social necessities, taxpayers in the United States will pay $172.4 billion for continuation of the wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan for FY2011(3). At the same time, greatly needed job-creating infrastructure projects such as bridges and levees, and development of clean, renewable, alternative energy sources are left underfunded. In contrast to any threats abroad, this lack of investment in the future of our country is a grave security risk.
It is the working people who are paying for these unjust, endless wars in terms of blood and treasure. These wars have made us less secure because they have damaged rather than “promote[d] the common welfare” (4) of the nation’s citizens.
The U.S. support to Israel is fundamental to the state’s ability to systematically obstruct the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination through flagrant violations of international law including ongoing constructions of settlements, expropriation of land, detention of political prisoners, occupation and colonization of Palestinian lands, construction of the separation wall, refusal to recognize the fundamental rights of the Palestinian-Arab citizens of Israel to full equality and realizing the rights of Palestinian refugees as stipulated in UN resolution 194. The Obama administration approved $3.075 billion in military aid to Israel for FY2012 and between FY2012-2018 $18.54 billion USD (5).
We sign this petition to urge President Obama and our congressional representatives to immediately bring all U.S. forces and private contractors home immediately. We support discontinuation of all military aid to the state of Israel. In addition, we oppose any form of U.S. military or economic intervention in Libya, Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia, and other countries where movements are rising in opposition to dictatorships and military rule.
1) Incremental costs only and does not include future medical costs of veterans or interest on the loans for these debt-financed wars. National Priorities Project http://costofwar.com/en/about/notes-and-sources/ , accessed March 7, 2011.
2) Ibid. http://costofwar.com/en/tradeoffs/state/US/program/11/tradeoff/2, accessd March 7, 2011.
3) A New Wary Forward: Rethinking U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan. Report of the Afghanistan Study Group. www.afghanistanstudygroup.com
4) Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America
5) Congressional Research Service, September 16, 2010. U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel. Jeremy M. Sharp. www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33222.pdf (retrieved 16 March 2011) To see a regional distribution of how much aid to israel your state provides and how much this funding would be equivalent to in terms of affordable housing grants, green jobs training, early reading education or primary health care in your state. See “How much military aid to you provide?” at : http://www.aidtoisrael.org/
ORGANIZERS OF THIS PETITION: