By Jacqueline Cabasso
[Calmers] Johnson in 2004 estimated that the Pentagon maintains more than 700 overseas bases in about 130 countries, with an additional 6,000 bases in the United States and its territories. He concludes:
"These numbers, although staggeringly large, do not begin to cover all the actual bases we occupy globally.... If there were an honest count, the actual size of our military empire would probably top 1,000 different bases in other people's countries, but no one — possibly not even the Pentagon — knows the exact number for sure, although it has been distinctly on the rise in recent years."
A 1993 Congressional Research Service (CRS) study of the U.S. Navy's Naval Historical Center records identified "234 instances in which the United States has used its armed forces abroad in situations of conflict or potential conflict or for other than normal peacetime purposes" between 1798 and 1993. As the author noted, "The list does not include covert actions or numerous instances in which U.S. forces have been stationed abroad since World War II in occupation forces or for participation in mutual security organizations, base agreements, or routine military assistance or training operations."
In a 2006 review of this study and two other surveys of U.S. military interventions, journalist Gar Smith found that "in our country's 230 years of existence, there have been only 31 years in which U.S. troops were not actively engaged in significant armed adventures on foreign shores." He concluded:
"The arithmetic is daunting. Over the long course of U.S. history, fewer than 14% of America's days have been marked by peace. The defining characteristic of our nation's foreign policy for 86% of our existence would appear to be a bellicose penchant for military intervention.
As of 2006, there were 192 member states in the United Nations. Incredibly enough, over the past two centuries, the United State has attacked, invaded, policed, overthrown or occupied 62 of them."
"Atomic Audit," a study by the Brookings Institution completed in 1998, found that, as a conservative estimate, the United States spent $5.5 trillion dollars on nuclear weapons alone, from 1940-1996 (in constant 1996 dollars.) The Brookings study found that nuclear weapons spending during the 56 year period it examined exceeded the combined total federal spending for education; training, employment, and social services; agriculture; natural resources and the environment; general science, space, and technology; community and regional development, including disaster relief; law enforcement; and energy production and regulation. On average, the study estimated, the United States spent $98 billion a year on nuclear weapons.
The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments estimates that the United States currently spends approximately $54 billion annually on all nuclear-related programs and activities including offensive and defensive capabilities, Department of Defense and Department of Energy activities, strategic and theater forces, as well as associated command, control and communications capabilities. That is more than the entire military budget of nearly every individual country in the world. In 2006, only China ($121.9 B), Russia ($70.B), the United Kingdom ($55.4B), and France ($54.B) spent $54 billion or more in total on their militaries.
What else could $54 billion a year be used for? According to the 1998 United Nations Development Program report, the additional cost of achieving and maintaining universal access to basic education for all, basic health care for all, reproductive health care for all women, adequate food for all, and clean water and safe sewers for all would amount to roughly $40 billion a year.
On February 4, the Bush administration released its budget request for Fiscal Year 2009, which begins Oct. 1, 2008. For FY 2009, the White House is seeking $711 Billion for the military - $541 for the Pentagon and the nuclear weapons-related activities of the DOE, and according to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, at least $170 Billion for ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Wow, what an important and comprehensive piece. Jacqueline Cabasso has done a service to humanity in doing all the work that was required in bringing forth this article. You should visit the link to afterdowningstreet.org at the beginning of this post so you may read the whole article. It has many interesting images, graphics, and charts as well.
Just look at the wasted money and what it could have done and could be doing. Then ask yourself if demons are in charge of this planet. The Bible says that Satan is the ruler of this world. That's correct. However, the prophecy is that Satan (the spirit of evil) will be overthrown and replaced by God's spirit that is righteousness. Whose side are you on?
Things are getting worse. I've been saying that they would and writing about it since 2002. It's going to keep getting worse until things become so stark that no one will have a choice but to choose either to be on the right side that is unselfish and harmless or the wrong side that is selfish and harmful. It's that simple yet that complex. It's complex, because people have such a difficult time firstly in understanding what is harmful and secondly in sticking with not engaging in it once they know.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)