Funds for Education, Not Occupation!
Things are chaotically busy so it’s hard to keep track of everything that’s going on, and going wrong, in our country and world. Here’s a recap on some of the major things that went down this week and what they mean.
Last Wednesday, five people (3 Army Reserve Officers and 2 civilians) were indicted on accusations of bribery, conspiracy and money-laundering of over $8 million in Iraqi reconstruction funds.
Speaking of misuse of funds, the President released his $2.9 Trillion budget request for 2008, which calls for more money for ‘defense’ and cuts funding to higher education aid and other social services. The $481.4 Billion for Defense fails to include funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, though for the first time they presented the projected 2008 Emergency Supplemental request (for $141.7 Billion) with the rest of the 2008 budget; but when your 4 years into a war and you can project how much it will cost next year, why isn’t it included as part of the actual budget?
At the same time, the President requested another $93 Billion Emergency Supplemental request to cover the costs of the wars for the rest of 2007, in addition to the $59 Billion already appropriated for it, putting the cost of war for 2007 to $142 Billion.
In the midst of this, Republicans blocked attempts at what would have been the first Senate debate on the Iraq war last week. This week the House will have a debate on the war.
While a discussion in Congress doesn’t seem that exciting or important, it is, since as we approach the 4th Anniversary of the war in Iraq, Congress has yet to have a debate on the floor about what is really happening there. Sometimes discourse can be a revolutionary act, in spaces where it has never happened or been allowed before, which is something to think about in your community. Public opinion is against the war, but by having discussions gives people space to realize their power and responsibility to act to end the war.
So what are you doing for the 4th Anniversary of the invasion of Iraq? Join our 4th Anniversary Action group and post your ideas and plans on the discussion board. If you don’t have plans yet, check out our call to action.
And as we continue to protest what is happening in Iraq, we need to keep an eye on the build up in hostilities and aggression toward Iran. Bush has had the country in his sights for a while, and much like Iraq, is pushing lies to get what he wants and escalating the situation. No sane person can possibly think that starting another war is a good idea, or that attacking Iran will distract us from the disaster that is Iraq (just like invading Iraq distracted us from Afghanistan).
The newest story is that Iran is directly involved in the unrest in Iraq, but the Bush Administration hasn’t been able to provide any evidence on this, though this doesn’t keep them from repeating it (much like they repeated Saddam, Iraq, Al-Queda and September 11th in the same breath enough times that people believed there was a connection).
It’s to the point where upper level former military officers are coming out to say how unreasonable it is and dangerous for our troops such a plan would be. The Ayatollah announced earlier this week that Iran would retaliate if attacked, (as most countries would) and unlike Iraq, Iran has a strong and active military.
There were actions around the country in support of Lt. Ehren Watada coinciding with the start of his court martial trial on Monday. On Wednesday the judge declared a mistrial. While the military intends to call another trial, this gives him more time, options and the opportunity to have his charges dismissed because a second trial would be putting him in double jeopardy. Check out the statement from his defense attorney.
Keep organizing! We need it now more than ever!
Student Peace Action Network
Entry filed under: Uncategorized.