Tulsa Peace Fellowship

There never was a good war or a bad peace. ~Ben Franklin

Sen. Coburn (R-Oklahoma) proposes elimination of Air Wing and Air Carrier, and three Nuke Subs to boot | TPF counter-recruitment digest/update for Aug 2011

Truth in Recruiting - "Don't Believe the Hype!" --
The Tulsa Peace Fellowship's Counter-Recruitment Update/Digest, for Aug 2011
(seethe  attached PDF file for 30-page digest of the month's news, or follow the links for each individual story)

Lead Story from the past month's news:
Sen. Coburn (R-Oklahoma) Proposes Defense Cuts in Order to Save Trillions of Dollars
--Defense cuts are part of his deficit-reduction plan, “Back in Black,” including eliminating an Air Wing and an Air Carrier, and three Nuke Subs

facts & figures
Under current plans, the 50-year-old USS Enterprise, the first nuclear-powered carrier, will be decommissioned next year. This is an opportunity for a Reduction-in-Force (RIF).  Coburn also wants the Navy and Marine Corps to cancel their versions of the F-35, a fighter plane designed for the Cold War, now over for more than 20 years.  He also wants to eliminate three nuclear submarines, from today’s 14 to 11. Coburn also recommends reducing military personnel stationed in Europe and Asia by one-third, and simultaneously, reducing authorized force levels by the same number, therefore not requiring increased U.S. facilities to handle the returnees.

other related story:
The U.S. Military's Tricare among Coburn’s targets
--Senator’s debt reduction plan calls for some service members to pay higher fees for health care.

facts & figures
The socialized medicine program known as Tricare (second only to Medicare, in terms of expense to the federal government) is worth an estimated $3,500 per family in health insurance coverage.

related story:
Cost of Treating Veterans Will Rise for Decades Long Past Wars' End
--Ending the current wars will not lower the costs of treating veterans; indeed, they will rise ever more steeply for decades to come as the population of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan expands, ages and becomes more infirm, becoming more and more of a burden on the public fisc.

going deeper still:
Senator Coburn vs Vietnam Veterans: No More Agent Orange Claims
--a press release from Vietnam Veterans of America (an association of U.S. soldiers exposed to defoliants and herbicides used as a weapon by the U.S. military)

facts & figures:
Information on dioxin exposures to American personnel serving overseas, entirely unaware of the environmental hazard to which the military was subjecting them, during the Vietnam war, with information for the Agent Orange Education Campaign, a project of the VVA

page 1 stories:

House Narrowly Rejects Defunding of Libya War
--bipartisan amendment from Reps. Amash (R – MI) and Kucinich (D – OH) narrowly failed, with a vote of, 199-229

featured op/ed
Bring Our Troops Home: The Afghan War Is Over
by Jim Hightower
"At long last, America's overdue withdrawal from Afghanistan has begun."
facts & figures
1,650 U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan, more than 11,000 maimed (many horribly, their lives shattered), and almost half a trillion of our tax dollars siphoned from crucial needs here at home.

Mental problems of U.S. soldiers' kids tied to wars
--and when they return with PTSD it only gets worse for their kids

related story:
Reports multiply of family violence, abuse within military families
“The best data around shows that Army families have higher rates of spouse abuse, with negative repercussions for kids."
~Deborah Gibbs, deputy program director of the Women, Children and Families Program for Research at the research institute RTI International
file under: the militarization of everyday life
Why those yellow-ribbon campaigns are a scam
--part of a political beard worn by the Big War camp
"Why, if we the taxpayers have ponied up over a trillion dollars for our woebegone wars in Iraq and the Bananastans, should any of us pull another dollar out of our wallet to make sure our troops get a candy bar for Christmas?"
~Jeff Huber

related op/ed
Ballpark Liturgy: America’s New Civic Religion of Worshipping the Military
Cheap Grace at Fenway, Benefits Accrue to the Pentagon Sponsoring Such Public Rituals at "No Cost" to the American Taxpayer
By Andrew Bacevich
--The cringing story of how Navy veteran Bridget (annual salary approximately $22,000) throws the ceremonial first pitch to aging Red Sox veteran Tim Wakefield (annual salary $2,000,000).
related op/ed
The Military Industrial Complex: The Enemy from Within
"Those in uniform are being used as convenient fronts for a military industrial complex that is bilking taxpayers out of billions of dollars in questionable defense spending."
~Rev John Whitehead
file under: the militarization of civilian life
Why Do the Police Have Tanks? The Strange and Dangerous Militarization of the US Police Force
--Shockingly, paramilitary raids that mirror the tactics of US soldiers in combat are not uncommon in civilian America.
"The notion that militarization is a necessary reaction to a growth in violence against police officers is absurd, considering that violent crime is trending downward. The reality is that SWAT team raids actually escalate provocation, usually resulting in senseless violence in what would otherwise be a routine, nonviolent police procedure."

Soldiers are “trained to vaporize, not Mirandize."
~Lawrence Korb, a former official in the Reagan administration, commenting on the pervasive culture of militarism plaguing domestic law enforcement

"The state in all countries in the developed world is working its mischief as never before in world history. It taxes more, regulates more, manipulates more than ever. The state has never been more pompous, arrogant, and ambitious than it is today. The police state has visited the developed world in a manner none of us have seen in our lifetimes. The local police reflect that ethos. They disregard their heritage of wearing a civil mask and now bully people openly in a way contrary to freedom."
~Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., former editorial assistant to Ludwig von Mises and congressional chief of staff to Ron Paul, founder and chairman of the Mises Institute, executor for the estate of Murray N. Rothbard, and editor of LewRockwell.com.

file under: SNAFU
Anti-Freeze in Pilots' Blood Baffles Air Force
--F-22 pilots remain grounded indefinitely, due to apparent design flaw

Leaked Audit: Boeing Overcharged Army Up to 177,000% on Helicopter Spare Parts

page 2

file under:  attempted fragging
AWOL US Soldier Arrested Over Fort Hood 'Plot'
A U.S. serviceman is in custody after he allegedly admitted he was planning an attack on his fellow servicemen at the U.S. Army base at Fort Hood, Texas, the same base where 13 people were killed in a 2009 terror attack.

Reservists Allege Mistreatment by Army
--Nearly 200 Reservists in Iraq have signed a complaint accusing the Army of mistreatment and discrimination during the months training
The complaint says: "Service is voluntary, and if not shown the respect and courtesy accorded their active-duty brethren, reservists will no longer be willing to make the personal, family and civilian-life sacrifices required."
file under: so much for being models of behavior
U.S. Soldier Caught Boarding Flight with Explosive
--allegedly stole a small amount of C4 from a training course

file under: military-industrial-prison complex
Navy's newest prison set to open in Chesapeake, Virginia
--built to hold as many as 400 prisoners

file under: fragging
Army Major Is Arraigned under Military Law:  Faces Charges that could entail Capital Punishment
--One of the deadliest mass shootings ever to unfold at an American military base

follow up:  sexual assaults committed by U.S. soldiers
Rape is the shame of the US military
--A US female soldier in Iraq is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by an enemy.

file under: bringing the war home
Lawyer says Suspect in Soldier's Death Was Delusional: Murder Case in Little Rock, Arkansas
-- It's not clear whether the accused actually has links to terrorist groups or just says he does.
further developments:
Shooter in Ark. Soldier Killing : The Accused Now Convicted and Sentenced to Life in Prison
--A defense psychiatrist testified that the convicted killer was delusional.
Army Corps Agrees to Settle with Whistle-Blower in Procurement Fraud Case
--Ending a six-year legal battle, the Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to pay nearly $1 million to a former top contracting official who charged that she was demoted after she objected to a $7 billion no-bid contract granted to a Halliburton subsidiary to repair oil fields in Iraq.
facts & figures
In the end, KBR collected about $2.4 billion under the no-bid uncompetitive contract, according to a Congressional report.  It's not know by how much the U.S. governmetn overpaid KBR for services provided.  KBR, was a subsidiary of the same company for which Vice President Cheney served as CEO. The decision to grant the contract to KBR came from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, run by VP Cheney’s close friend, Donald Rumsfeld.

More coverage:
War Is a Racket
By Amy Goodman

“I can unequivocally state that the abuse related to contracts awarded to KBR represents the most blatant and improper contract abuse I have witnessed during the course of my professional career.”
~Bunnatine “Bunny” Greenhouse, chief procurement officer, speaking to a congressional committee
file under: military is a waste of good money
Two Navy Ships That Cost $300 Million Are Headed To The Scrapyard Without Having Seen A Day Of Service
--single-hulled ships commissioned and now decommissioned, to be scrapped for metal

file under: what the corporate media does not print
The Worst Polluter on the Globe: Seven Ways the U.S. Department of Defense Pollutes
--the Department of Defense (DoD) is the largest polluter in the world, producing more hazardous waste than the five largest US chemical companies combined


Taliban Denies Peace Talks With US
--Statement insists no talks until foreign troops leave

China says US spends too much money on military
--world's second largest military still dwarfed by U.S. overkill
facts & figures:
China spends $95 billion on its military per year, whereas the U.S. spends $690 billion on its military (not including related expenditures for 15 separate "intelligence" departments and other "homeland security" spending).  Ralph Nader, former presidential candidate, says the U.S. could easily reduce its military spending by 3/4ths without any compromise to national security.
file under: what?! we still have bases in Germany? 65 years after end of WWII?
German Peace Activist Sues Govt to Remove US Nuclear Warheads

--demands U.S. nuclear weapons be removed from a military base near her home

file under: demobilizing
British Army is to be cut in size by 17,000 soldiers in a radical o...
--In a separate development it is understood that RAF Leuchars, in Scotland, is to close

Royal Navy divers are tracking a live World War II mine which has been dredged up off the Essex coast

sidebar: life in the army
Official: Russian military beatings up sharply
--violent, sometimes-fatal hazings are common for conscripts

file under:  gang of 30
Ottawa names wanted war criminals suspected to be in Canada
--there is no statute of limitations for war crimes

file under: caught in the crossfire
War Increasingly Spills Over Into Classrooms
--The most pressing global challenge to children’s rights may be the increasing number of military attacks on schools in war zones.

related event:

Tulsa Peace Fellowship


monthly "first Saturday" anti-war demo in Tulsa
scheduled for
Saturday Aug 6th, 2011, 12noon to 2pm,
with the themes:
"Bring the Military $$ Home!"
"The Wars Are Making You Poor"
"War Destroys Our Wealth"

Details online: http://tulsapeacefellowship.ning.com/


epitaph for this edition of "Truth in Recruiting"

It should be understood
that an army is an instrument of murder,
that the recruiting and drilling of armies
which Kings, Emperors, and Presidents carry on
with so much self-assurance are preparations for murder.

~Leo Tolstoy, in The Kingdom of God Is Within You, 1893

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