The U.S. war machine is in constant motion, from troops on the ground in Syria, to aircraft carriers on maneuvers in the South China Sea. The U.S. military maintains nuclear weapons poised and ready to unleash “fire and fury”, as Trump said in a threat to North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un. At the back of all of our minds is the question – will the wars around the world, or the belligerent attitude of the Trump administration, lead to a bigger conflict that is guaranteed to end the world as we know it? We can’t wait to find out the answer to that question. We need to put a stop to the U.S. war machine.
The catastrophic cost in lives of the U.S. wars is all too clear. Since 2001 the U.S. has been at war against the people of Afghanistan. The war cost hundreds of thousands of lives of Afghan civilians caught in the violence. It didn’t end there. Water, power, roads, and access to life’s necessities are hard to come by. Since toppling the Taliban government, the U.S.-imposed regime has been unstable and faced with constant attacks from rival factions, and the population lives in fear of bombings and armed attacks as a daily occurrence.
The U.S. has been at war against the people of Iraq since 1991, and especially after 2003 when the U.S. military invaded and overthrew the Iraqi government. What happened to that society? The British medical journal, The Lancet, estimates that more than two million people have been killed as a result of violence, disease, and starvation. This invasion opened up a power vacuum out of which the Islamic State was constructed. Where did their weapons come from? From U.S. allied states like Saudi Arabia and Qatar who fund and arm Islamist militias with weapons sold to them…by the U.S.!
In fact, the U.S. is the biggest arms dealer on the planet, on a scale that would even make the N.R.A. blush. U.S. weapons companies sold $79 billion dollars of weapons to over 70 countries around the world last year. The profits from these sales are actually much higher because the data only tracks the raw cost of producing the weapons, not what they were sold for. It isn’t surprising that around the world, people are killing and dying with American machine guns, mortars, and sniper rifles in their hands, on every side of the conflicts.
The danger of war is not only from the constant hell produced by the U.S. military in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq. We can also see the lines of conflict developing between the major military powers in the world. Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, long ago decided to use Russia’s substantial military to increase the power and reach of Russia just as the U.S. does with its military. This puts Russia in conflict with the U.S., a conflict that has played out across Central Asia and Eastern Europe in the last years. And North Korea, under Kim Jong-Un, seeks a nuclear weapon for protection. The belligerent words traded with Russia and North Korea, conducted partly on Twitter by Trump, threaten to become a real conflict that could destroy the world if nuclear weapons are used.
We and the people of the world cannot afford to tolerate these warmongers, and the U.S. is the biggest one of all. We live in the heart of the empire, and it is our responsibility, on behalf of ourselves and life itself, to oppose the U.S. war machine. The wars are the logical consequence of this system of violence and exploitation. The poor and working class of the world have no interest in maintaining that system, and every reason to fight for a new one based on solidarity, peace, and above all the value of life.
Join us for a March and Rally to Say:
Sunday, April 15 at 11am
Lake Merritt Amphitheater
(12th St. & 4th Ave, Oakland, CA)
Look for the Speak Out Now table and booth, and join us in the march!