In 2008, US taxpayers will be expected to pay $696 billion for the military, including $189 billion for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Military spending is out of control.
The US military spends more money than all the militaries of all the other countries combined. The Pentagon cannot account for over a trillion dollars it received in the past. The US not only spends money on its own military, it also spends billions of dollars on supporting military dictatorships throughout the world. It sold weapons to the Taliban, to Osama bin Laden, to Saddam Hussein, and presently is selling weapons to dictators in Georgia, Pakistan, Egypt, Kosovo, Ethiopia, and the Congo. It is in the process of selling 900 precision-guided missiles to Saudi Arabia for $123 million. Remember that 15 of the 19 people responsible for the 9/11 tragedy were from Saudi Arabia. The United Arab Emirates is buying a Patriot missile defense system worth $9.7 billion from the US. Kuwait is buying $1.6 billion worth of missiles and upgrades to its Patriot missile system.
Israel, which is in violation of 70 UN Security Council resolutions and still occupying Palestinan land, demolishing Palestinian homes and impoverishing the people more and more each day, this year received $30 billion worth of weapons and military support from the US. Israel receives $11 million a day from US taxpayers. This military aid is not included in the US military section of the budget. It is included in the foreign aid section!
The only Americans who profit from invasions and occupations of other countries are military corporations whose existence depends on these invasions and occupations, and the proliferation of weapons throughout the world. They are very happy these days!
We still have not learned that peace is not brought about with weapons and violence. Peace can only be obtained through love, compassion, forgiveness and the practice of justice shown to other countries. All spiritual leaders, including Jesus Christ, taught and lived this. Are we so arrogant to think that we know better than these holy people?
We celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day by doing just the opposite of what he taught and lived. He preached nonviolence, not war. His work for civil rights arose out of his belief in nonviolence. He taught helping the poor, not increasing the wealth of the rich. He spoke of love in action by saving those lacking the basics of life, not retaliation in killing and maiming others deemed by the government as our enemies. He taught loving our enemies as our means of salvation, not sending our children to kill and maim them with our bombs, guns and chemicals. He said, "A nation that continues to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."
Rev. Don Timmerman