After-Holiday Blues and an Action to Chase Them Away, By Polly Mann with Mary Beaudoin

Another action to take:

Don’t Iraq Iran. Protests continue nationwide.

 Ironically, we have heard from the one of the greatest purveyors of propaganda, the Washington Post, that we are lied to about war. But with the release of the series “Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War” by Craig Whitlock, you would think that the powers that be would have a hard time claiming to the American people that the war on Afghanistan, which never should have been waged in the first place, is justified.

By Polly Mann and Mary Beaudoin  Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) Newsletter  Volume 37  Number 6  Winter 2019-2020

However, not long after the Post’s series was published, on December 17, 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, an 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 ten 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.

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 that Congress controls the “power of the purse”] and stop funding these endless wars and start funding domestic priorities?”

When indeed? 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. (Latest USDA statistics from 2018: tinyurl.com/rnzlqjg)

There isn’t enough money for social safety nets to protect the poor and vulnerable. In cold climates, people stand on highway off ramps in freezing weather begging. Blocks of tent cities have risen in Los Angeles, but even in the warm climate people are subject to perilous conditions; the Los Angeles Times reports 921 died last year and 1,000 are predicted to die this year. And throughout the U.S. today, working families who have adequate food and shelter may be hard pressed to pay for healthcare. Study after study shows that half of Americans are one paycheck away from financial hardship.

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ACTION: Tell Your Senators to Ban Nuclear Weapons!

Here’s an action to take in the face of all the bad news. There is one place that immediately comes to mind where Pentagon costs could be cut so that human needs can be addressed. Without a doubt there should be a stop to the manufacture and modernization of nuclear weapons (modernizing will cost more than one trillion dollars over the next three decades). In Minnesota, volunteers from the WAMM Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons have obtained at least one signature from every single municipality in the state which they are in the process of delivering to their U.S. and state senators. Call your senators Amy Klobuchar at (202) 224-3244 and Tina Smith (202) 224-5641 to tell them to listen to their constituents and have the U.S. sign and ratify the treaty! Minnesota state legislature: 651-296-0504.

Polly Mann is a co-founder of WAMM.

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