VFP Gainesville Chapter 14

Veterans For Peace

How Much Is Peace Actually Worth?

HowMuchIsPeaceActuallyWorth?-PacificStandard:TheScienceofSociety.

In the last decade, researchers and economists from all over the world have made great gains in the nascent field of peace economics. They’re finding that violence and war are terrible for the economy, but also that we can use economics to prevent them.

The most recent study published by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) found that violence cost the world $9.46 trillion in 2012 alone. That’s 11 percent of gross world product. By comparison, the cost of the financial crisis was just 0.5 percent of the 2009 global economy.

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Air Force Says Drones Won’t Carry Nukes…For Now

In the coming 25 years, the Air Force hopes to have drones take over or assist with more of the types of missions that are currently being conducted by manned aircraft, including search and rescue, inflight refueling and humanitarian assistance. Military officials also believe that advances in technology will allow drones to use “kinetic” and “directed energy” weapons to destroy short-range battlefield missiles.

But, for the time being, the Air Force is reluctant to entrust drones with the mission that we hope never to see happen:

Certain missions, such as nuclear strike, may not be technically feasible unless safeguards are developed and even then may not be considered for UAS [unmanned aircraft systems] operations….Ethical discussions and policy decisions must take place in the near term to guide the development of future UAS capabilities, rather than allowing the development to take its own path apart from this critical guidance.

via Air Force Says Drones Won’t Carry Nukes…For Now.

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Rand Paul: Dick Cheney used 9/11 as excuse to invade Iraq for the benefit of Halliburton – Democratic Underground

Rand Paul speaking to student Republican at western Kentucky University in 2009

Video here

It’s Dick Cheney in 1995 being interviewed on why they didn’t go into Baghdad the first time under the first George Bush. And his arguments are exactly mirroring my dad’s arguments for why we shouldn’t have gone in this time. It would be chaos. There’d be a civil war. There’d be no exit strategy. And cost a blue bloody fortune in both lives and treasure. And this is Dick Cheney saying this. But, you know, a couple hundred million dollars later Dick Cheney earns from Halliburton, he comes back into government. Now Halliburton’s got a billion-dollar no-bid contract in Iraq. You know, you hate to be so cynical that you think some of these corporations are able to influence policy, but I think sometimes they are. Most of the people on these committees have a million dollars in their bank account all from different military industrial contractors. We don’t want our defense to be defined by people who make money off of the weapons.

via Rand Paul: Dick Cheney used 9/11 as excuse to invade Iraq for the benefit of Halliburton – Democratic Underground.

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Massive poster of child’s face in Pakistan field to shame drone operators | The Raw Story

Artists install massive poster of child’s face in Pakistan field to shame drone operatorsPakistan anti drone art

via Artists install massive poster of child’s face in Pakistan field to shame drone operators | The Raw Story.

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The Cost of Cutting America’s Defense Budget – YouTube

Thought provoking video on the military industrial complex and how we should beat our swords into plow shares. Or our tanks int rail cars or buses or rescue vehicles or other peaceful production.

via The Cost of Cutting America’s Defense Budget – YouTube.

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Is Diane Feinstein a Whistle blower or a Spy?

John Stewart commentary on the Transparency in governance in Congress points out that like everything else only the elites actually are entitled to these protections.

The Covert Report – The Daily Show – Video Clip | Comedy Central.

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Senate Passes Military Sexual Assault Bill Scrapping ‘Good Soldier Defense’

Senate Passes Military Sexual Assault Bill Scrapping ‘Good Soldier Defense’.

Sounds like a victory if the house passes it in the spring!

Vote was 97 – 0

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Way too true!

comic on soldier pay

LMAO!!!!!! – Democratic Underground.

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How Willful Blindness Keeps Everyone Living a Lie

How Willful Blindness Keeps Everyone Living a Lie – Democratic Underground.

A fascinating lesson in how to handle the great American divide.

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One can honor military personnel without honoring war

This is an interesting post and discussion of the Military honors Obama has bestowed on a service member. These seem to be mostly civilians in the discussion and I have had one comment made by a civilian member of the public about this conflict recently.  How would you reply?

 I have been opposed to all military operations in the Middle East for as long as I can remember. I believe, and have believed, that we have no business sending our military to that part of the world to deal with internal issues in the countries there. I was completely opposed to George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq and Afghanistan at the time, and oppose our continuation of military operations there. I do understand that immediate withdrawal isn’t the best way to leave, though. 


However, President Obama’s honoring of an enlisted man who had volunteered to serve 10 deployments was not honoring the war. It was honoring the service of one man as an example of all of those who serve in our military and are deployed to conflict areas. They did not start the conflict. They have nothing to do with the strategy of any military operations. They have, instead, joined the military for various reasons, and serve in the military as ordered by those who do plan the strategy. They are members of our military. 

Read the rest here

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