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2011-2

2011-2

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Published by Kim Carlyle
The theme of this issue is "How's the War Economy Working for You?" with articles by Ray McGovern, Gareth Porter, Ralph Nader, Chris Hedges, Andrew Bacevich, and more. Also articles on a veteran coming home, rape in the military, and Bush--the stay-at-home ex-president. And cartoons, photos, and artwork.
The theme of this issue is "How's the War Economy Working for You?" with articles by Ray McGovern, Gareth Porter, Ralph Nader, Chris Hedges, Andrew Bacevich, and more. Also articles on a veteran coming home, rape in the military, and Bush--the stay-at-home ex-president. And cartoons, photos, and artwork.

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Published by: Kim Carlyle on Mar 10, 2011
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The War Crimes Times
WarCrimesTimes.org
“Exposing
the True Costs
of War”
 
TRILLIONS FOR IRAQ & AFGHANISTANDOMESTIC SPENDING FREEZE . . .
“Seeking justice for the victims of war and prosecution for the war criminals”
 
A publication of 
Vol. III No. 2 Spring 2011 Donations Welcome
Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate and former Chief Economist of the World Bank, and Linda Bilmes, an expert in U.S. budgetingand public finance, have estimated the cost of the wars in Iraq
and Afghanistan: “Our calculations are based on conservative
assumptions. They are conceptually simple, even if occasion-ally technically complicated. A $3 trillion figure for the total coststrikes us as judicious, and probably errs on the low side.Needless to say, this number represents the cost only to theUnited States. It does not reflect the enormous cost to the rest
of the world, or to Iraq.”
 President Barack Obama announcing his 2012 budget pro-
posal: ““I’ve called for a freeze on annual domestic spendingover the next five years.”How’s the War Economy Working for You?
 
Photo above by Ellen Davidson:Linda LeTendre brings message to the White House on December 16, 2010
Your tax dollars at work  
Power does not rest with the electorate. It does not reside with either of the two major po-litical parties. It is not represented by the press. It is not arbitrated by a judiciary that protectsus from predators. Power rests with corporations. And corporations gain very lucrative profitsfrom war, even wars we have no chance of winning. All polite appeals to the formal systemsof power will not end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We must physically obstruct the war machine or accept a role as its accomplice.The moratorium on anti-war protests in 2004 was designed to help elect the Democraticpresidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry. It was a foolish and humiliating concession. Kerrysnapped to salute like a windup doll when he was nominated. He talked endlessly about vic-tory in Iraq. He assured the country that he would not have withdrawn from Fallujah. And bythe time George W. Bush was elected for another term the anti-war movement had lost itsmomentum. The effort to return Congress to Democratic control in 2006 and end the war inIraq became another sad lesson in incredulity. The Democratic Party, once in the majority,funded and expanded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And Barack Obama in 2008 proved tobe yet another advertising gimmick for the corporate and military elite. All our efforts to work within the political process to stop these wars have been abject and miserable failures. And
(Continued on page 4)
Even Lost Wars Make Corporations Rich
by Chris Hedges
IRAQ
8 years of occupation
 
20 years of war
1991-2011: The Iraqi People Have Suffered Enough
by Michael T. McPhearson
Twenty years ago this month [January 2011] I sat in the vast wilderness of the ArabianDesert as a Captain in the 24th Mechanized Infantry Division waiting to invade Iraq. I remember won-dering how many of us would die, how many would return home scarred, broken. Would I ever see my wife and five year old son again? I never imagined U.S. troops would still be fightingthere eleven years into the next century. Today when most people think of Iraq they think of the 2003 invasion, justified as the appropriate response to the September 11 terrorist attacks.People think March 20 will mark eight years of U.S. war on Iraq; this is far from the reality.In December 2003, as part of a peace delegation of military families and veterans, I visitedBaghdad and sat with an Iraqi human rights activist who spoke the truth as many Iraqis see it.
The man, who appeared to be in his late fifties, told us through an interpreter that ―…all theIraqi suffering is because of the Americans.‖ He explained that Saddam Hussein‘s Baath party
cronies, who came to power via a 1968 coup after a failed 1963 attempt, boasted of havingU.S. help. He went on to remind us of the first invasion and the following decade of Iraqi suf-fering under U.S. led economic sanctions. He ended his comments citing the March 2003 inva-sion and ongoing occupation mounted by the U.S. to remove a dictator that the U.S. helped put
(See IRAQ on page 22)
Civil Resistance at the White House on the 8thanniversary of the invasion of Iraq
 
see pages 22 & 23.
INSIDE: War & Economy
 
pages 2-16, including articles byRalph Nader, Gareth Porter, Bill Quigley, David Swanson,Andrew Bacevich, and Leonard C. Goodman; Ray McGovern
on ―America's Stay
-at-Home Ex-
President‖  
page 17; Mili-tary rape
 
page 19; and much more...
 
 
2
Spring 2011
 
The War Crimes Times
• WarCrimesTimes.org
rank caused their pay to be higher thantheir County pay. It would take somehistorical research to see what we paid.Given the sensitivity of this issue and before we act, I believe it would beproper for the Board to direct staff toconduct such research and prepare areport by a majority vote in a pub-lic session.
 As you can see, the city and countydid not calculate or even address the costof providing pension continuity. I gotmore complete numbers from SantaMonica. On October 6, 2009, City Coun-cilmember Kevin McKeownwrote meback as follows:
I already (in 2007) had the City of Santa Monica Finance De-partment calculate the cost of the first four years of the war in Iraq, just to the City
 
and that came out to between$145 and $153.2 million. It included things other thandirect federalization of em-ployees, but clearly any juris-diction could perform thesame calculations.
 The next day, in responseto my further inquiries,McKeown wrote,
Not only can you sharemy earlier and more genericnumbers on the TOTAL cost to our community of the war,attached please find aspreadsheet that is very spe-cific about the payroll cost of the federalization of SantaMonica city employees in themost recently completed fis-cal year. Over half a milliondollars out of the payroll budget of just one small cityof about 90,000!
 I cannot see why the cityand county would not be ableto give real numbers such asSanta Monica has. Overtimeworked to cover for positionsheld vacant due to deploy-ments should be fairlystraightforward. Calculatingpension costs would be morecomplicated but not morecomplicated than other calcu-la ti o ns t ha t c it y fi-nance makes.One thing is perfectlyclear in all this: There is a lot
of money involved. I‘ve con-
sulted with a retired attorneywho has experience in federalcourts about suing to recover these costs. His initial ap-praisal was that the path of least resistance would be to
This is but one aspect of the costs to one California city of the occupation of Iraq  
How is the War Economy Working for Your Community?
Contact:
editor@WarCrimesTimes.org
WCT Volunteer staff: Kim Carlyle,Susan Carlyle, Mike Ferner, Clare Hanrahan,Tarak Kauff, Susan Oehler, Lyle Petersen,Mark Runge, and Nadya WilliamsFor subscriptions or bundle orders, contact:
orders@WarCrimesTimes.org
Donations help cover the costs of the manycopies given away at public events.Donate at WarCrimesTimes.org or send a check (memo "WCT") to:
WCT c/o VFP Chapter 099PO Box 356Mars Hill, NC 28754
When the federal government takesour employees, should they be respon-sible for the cost to our community?In 2009, when I ran for Santa Bar-bara City Council, I was present for budget discussions where Police Chief Cam Sanchez explained that one of thedifficulties of the previous years wasthe cost of un-funded federalmandates that ap-plied upon the acti-vation and deploy-ment of reservistsand National Guardwho are part of the
city‘s police force.
He had up to four cops out at a time!City Attorney SteveWiley outlined for me the mandates and associated costs:The city is required to hold the posi-tions open, causing overtime for theremaining officers. Also, the rules man-date pension continuity (so, no savingsthere). Additionally, the city pays asalary differential so that a private willnot lose the house he bought as a citypolice officer.The mandates and differential applyto all city, county, and agency employ-ees (Metropolitan Transit District, etc.),not just cops.When I tried to get real numbers fromthe city, I got the following from HumanResources Manager Barbara Barker:
This is in response to your email of October 24, 2010.
 
Between September 2001 and Novem-ber 2009, we had nine employees whoreceived our military pay differential for a total of $194,944 or an average of $21,660 per em-ployee on mili-tary leave.
 
As you know the CityCouncil approved apolicy whereby theCity would pay thedifference between
an employee’s City
pay and their militarypay in order to keeptheir salaries wholewhile on militaryleave. We have not had any employeesutilize this policy since November 2009.Information related to benefits, retire-ment, and overtime caused because acoworker is on military leave is not something that we track and as such isnot readily available.
 Note that this is only the salary dif-ferential, not the more expensive pensionobligation, overtime, etc. I asked thecounty for the same information. Again,the only information I could get wasabout the differential.This was the responsefr om the county,emailed by then-CEOMike Brown, which he
cc‘d to the supes and
other county staffers:
For those employeeswhose units are acti-vated or individual em-ployees who are acti-vated we do pay thedifference between their military pay and what they were making hereif their military pay isless and we do preservetheir retirement. For thefirst years of the IraqWar we sometimes had as many as 12 gone at one time but this eased down over time and I 
don’t know if there are
any gone now. Our pol-icy says we will cover up to 30 months. In the
big picture it wasn’t a
lot of money. Not all activated employeeswho went received it because their military
The War Crimes Times
 
is a project of 
Veterans For Peace
(www.VeteransForPeace.org)a nonprofit, national organization of veteransworking together for peace and justice throughnonviolence.
War Crimes Times
provides information onwar crimes and war criminals, the need to hold war criminals accountable, the many costs of war, andthe effects of our war culture on our nationalcharacter. Our contributors include journalists,legal experts, poets, artists, and veteransspeaking from experience. While their viewsmay not always be entirely consistent with themission of Veterans For Peace, their topicsaddress the concerns of 
War Crimes Times.
War Crimes Times
is published quarterly byVFP Chapter 099 (Western North Carolina).
 We welcome submissions of original articles, poetry,cartoons, news items, and letters to the editor.Please submit by the 10th of the month that the issueis printed: March, June, September, December.
Out of Pocket: Costs of War Passed Directly to City and County
by Rowland Lane Anderson
seek a court‘s ―declaration of the respon-
sibility of the federal government to re-imburse, rather than a suit for dollars of reimbursement or for a decree forbiddinguncompensated
deployment.‖
 Meanwhile, the Santa Barbara Public
Library‘s Central and Eastside branches
are closed Mondays, as of mid-2010, inorder to save $288,964 annually, includ-ing the cost of salaries, utilities, and sup-plies. And the Evening Lap Swim at LosBaños Pool is closed for the winter, tosave the city $10,800.
Rowland Lane Anderson is a member of Veterans For Peace Chapter 54, among 
other veterans’ organizations.
 
The City paid the difference
between an employee‘s City
pay and their military pay
 
an average of $21,660 per employee. This is only thesalary differential, not themore expensive pensionobligation, overtime, etc.
 
 
 
The War Crimes Times
• WarCrimesTimes.org
 
Spring 2011
3
How Is The War Economy Working For You?
 The beginning of a campaign
 
apocalyptic Detroit and the 2010 U.S. Social Forum
by John Amidon
 
Unnerving, surreal, and apocalypticare my impressions of Detroit after sleeping in a vacant lot across the streetfrom two grand old hotels, the Ed-dystone and Parkview, both now canni-balized by a city which is eating itself.Michael McPhearson had called for 
a veteran‘s
encampmentat the 2010U.S. SocialForum. Thatfell throughbut Elliot Ad-ams, SandyKelson, andMichael decided to spend the night inthis empty lot. Reluctantly I stayed too,although somewhat paranoid aboutsleeping in this strange and dyingwasteland of a once prosperous andthriving city.Ghosts and shadows stared down atus as the sun set and the homeless wan-dered along, some now living in theabandoned hotels. Night came and I fellasleep uneasily after scanning thebuilding for snipers only to awakenseveral times and stare at the forsakenskyline, at buildings with windows brokenor completely removed, and at a streetlight spilling shrouds of light unevenlyacross the deepening night.Apocalypse
―a place of total destruc-tion...a revelation of the future‖ 
andDetroit. My eyes had been shocked open.This was anAmerican cityand all acrossAmerica citieswere slowlydying largelydue to themisuse of our resources andthe incomprehensible and mind-numbingexpenditures of taxpayer money on our 
empire‘s wars and occupations.
 The next day, we gratefully accepted
Mike Ferner and Sue Carter‘s gracious
offer to host us at their home in Toledo,
about an hour‘s drive south. I slept well
that night, far more relaxed in this securesetting and mellowed by the humorousexchanges of our group and the commu-nal strawberry daiquiris skillfully and lov-ingly blended by Leah Bolger.The following morning I woke up andtold the group I had a good idea. Every-
one looked at me and asked, ―What is it?‖
 
―Let‘s hang a large banner on one of 
the gutted high rise buildings in Detroit. Itwill ask/say,
‗How is the War EconomyWorking for You?‘ and have the VFP logo.‖
And then the first of many mira-cles happened. This group of fineand dedicated dissidents unani-mously agreed this was a good idea;Elliot, Leah, Sandy, Mike, Michael, andI all agreed! Truly this was a miracu-lous and transcendent moment.Once back at the Social Forum,Elliot designed the initial banner,and materials were given to us bythe Backbone Campaign and theRuckus Society: vinyl, a projector to project the image for tracing,and paint. Elliot, Sandy, and Ibegan to work. Later we would bejoined by the others who werefacilitating workshops at the so-
cial forum. By the day‘s end, our 
first banner was finished.The following day we scoutedthe city and determined the Ed-dystone Hotel was a good loca-tion for the initial banner dropand press conference. MikeFerner artfully composed a pressrelease and we were underway.Elliot also recruited MatthisChiroux who became the fourthmember of our inside-the-building team. Leah conducted an articu-late press conference. Michael recordedan eloquent and succinct video which weposted on YouTube.Although this team was an impromptugathering, the action went off without ahitch thanks to each member contributingand executing an important and neededskill. But special thanks needs to go toElliot Adams for his skillful, hands-onleadership in directing and executing thebanner drop.VFP members who viewed the videostrongly resonated with our message. Itwas time to connect the war to the econ-omy
 
in fact, making this connection waslong overdue!
―How Is The War Economy WorkingFor You?‖ is now a national campaign
organized by Veterans For Peace. Weare asking Americans to ask themselveshow the occupations of Iraq and Af-ghanistan and the expanding war inPakistan have affected the economy athome. Our primary goals are:
▪ to connect the cost of the ongoing
U.S. wars with the collapsing U.S.economy,
▪ to present VFP membership and
other peace organizations with a pow-erful and vital campaign to end theMiddle East Wars by providing boththe inspiration and the needed re-sources to run an effective grassrootscampaign, and
▪ to recruit new membership and
revitalize VFP as part of this campaign.
 
What You Can Do
Wherever you live, begin asking the question:
“How Is The War Economy Work-ing For You?”
Connect it to local concerns such as layoffs of teachers, police, or state workers. Ask your local government to pass a resolution stating the need for fiscal resources to be spent on human needs at home
 
and not on endless wars andoccupation. Sometimes simply joining in a demonstration holding one of our VFPlawns signs is enough. Go to the National Priorities Project and learn how much your city, country, or state has spent on the wars.Show how taxpayer money spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would easily
cover your state‘s deficit. Encourage other organizations to ask this question too and
encourage them to do so. There are as many possibilities as your willingness to takeaction will allow.
See the Detroit video; get yard signs, buttons, and bumper stickers; and learn more at www.wareconomy.org.
Leah Bolger 
Sandy Kelson, Matthis Chiroux,John Amidon, Elliott AdamsDetroit's Eddystone Hotel, listed on the NationalRegister of Historic Sites, was designed by Louis
Kemper and built in 1924. It’s been abandoned
since the late 1990s.
America cities are slowly dying largelydue to the misuse of our resources and theincomprehensible and mind-numbingexpenditures of taxpayer money on our 
empire‘s wars and occupations.
 

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