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MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX at 50 Conference, Sept. 16, 17, 18

September 11, 2011

Did you know that redirecting a fraction of our military spending to education, green energy, healthcare, and tax cuts would create a job for every unemployed or underemployed person in the country (including those losing war industry jobs during this conversion)?

Did you know we’re fighting drone wars that create enemies by killing innocents, in large part because the CIA created a bureaucracy for drone wars and wants to use it?

We’ve got a choice to make between the military industrial complex and our future.  Experts from around the country and within the military will help us make it at this conference.

Our current wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, and Somalia, and our smaller military operations in over 100 other countries are part of what President Eisenhower warned of 50 years ago in speaking of the Military Industrial Complex.  We spend over half our federal budget on the military.  We could cut it by 85% and still have the world’s largest.  No nation has tried anything like this before, and it’s not clear we can survive it.  We’re shortchanging everything else to fund wars and overseas bases that make us less safe.  There’s a crisis in our towns, but in the midst of a phony budget crisis in Washington, the House passed the largest military budget ever.  It’s time for us to rein in the military industrial complex after 50 years.

Over 20 speakers will lead the discussion, planning, and organizing.  Speakers will include former procurement executive and chief contracting officer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bunnatine (Bunny) H. Greenhouse, retired Army Colonel Ann Wright, author Bruce Levine, retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and former Pentagon desk officer Karen Kwiatkowski, author Robert Jensen, international affairs analyst Helena Cobban, retired CIA officer Ray McGovern, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in SpaceBruce Gagnon, executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee Shahid Buttar, author and West Point graduate Paul Chappell, and many more.

In Charlottesville, as around the country, increasingly the best place to look for a job is in the military-weapons-logistics-spying-reconstruction industry.  There were 161 military contractors in Charlottesville taking in $919,914,918 through 2,737 contracts from the federal government between 2000 to 2010.  And the trend is ever upward, the budget “crisis” notwithstanding.

This flood of money creates jobs less efficiently than investment in most other industries or even tax cuts.  We are putting over half of every dollar of federal income tax and borrowing into the military.  We could cut this by 85% and still be the top-spending nation in the world militarily.  Meanwhile we are failing to invest in infrastructure, green energy, education, housing, jobs, and care for our young, old, and ill.  The current trend will ruin us economically, as well as in terms of civil liberties, representative government, environmental destruction, social cohesion, hostile blowback, and weapons proliferation.  Reining in the MIC has become a matter of survival.

 

REGISTER AT MIC50.ORG.  IT’S VERY AFFORDABLE, AND EVEN IF YOU’RE BROKE YOU CAN COME, THANKS TO DONATIONS OF GENEROUS AND CONSCIENTIOUS FOLKS.

 

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