In December 2019, the Washington Post released the series, “Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War” that showed we were lied to about the war and it should have never been waged in the first place.

    However, not long after the Post’s series, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was passed by Congress with bipartisan support (377-48 in the House, 86-8 in the Senate), giving the gift of $738 billion for military spending to Trump, and increase of $22 billion over last year. All of the amendments to stop or mitigate war were stripped out of the NDAA, so now it’s possible for the U.S. to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia, continue complicity in the war on Yemen, where 10 million people are on the verge of starvation, enable the president to wage an unprovoked and disastrous war on Iran, deploy low-yield nuclear warheads, and build an odious wall on the U.S. southern border. In addition, the NDAA mandates the creation of a new branch of the military, the Space Force.

    Since the Pentagon, with its worldwide operation is the No. 1 polluter on the planet, this reckless, needless military spending will only add to the real crisis of climate change.

    Congressman Ro Khanna of California, one of the minority in opposition to the NDAA, asked, “My question is, when are we going to listen to the American people? When are we going to do our Article One duty (which says Congress controls the ‘power of the purse) and start funding domestic priorities?

    When indeed? There is always money for weapons and war but there isn’t enough money for the needs of our people. A cruel example of this is in December, just in time for the holidays, Trump announced that approximately 700,000 people are set to be cut from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), advancing the plan to make more than three million people ineligible.

    And it’s proceeding even though the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest statistics show that nearly 14 percent of adults and children live in “food insecure” homes, which means that in those households families don’t have enough food for every member to lead a healthy life. Another 540,000 U.S. children live in even worse conditions, with low or very low food security.

    There isn’t a word in the English language to describe the shameful use of our money to commit atrocities around the globe in our name for no other reason than the big profits of corporate donors and the wealthy elite. The war machine must end.

    No occupations! No wars! Bring the troops home! Fund human needs! Respect our Earth!

Chuck Goyette
Red Lake Falls, Minnesota