Lent in a warmakiing empire by Art Laffin from the National Catholic Reporter on March 12,2010.
We live in a warmaking empire, where war is being waged indiscriminately in order to control and acquire resources -- namely oil in Iraq, and natural gas and oil in Afghanistan and the Caspian Sea. The U.S. continues to create mass violence in Afghanistan, bringing death to countless innocent Afghan civilians and nearly 1,000 U.S. soldiers.
The United States has also increased its military intervention in Pakistan and Yemen. According to the Pakistani newspaper, The News (Feb. 2, 2010), U.S. drone attacks killed 123 civilians in January 2010.
March 19 marks the eighth year of an immoral and illegal occupation of Iraq, which has claimed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, and over 4,600 U.S. soldiers.
The U.S. goes on providing military and economic support to Israel for its illegal occupation of Palestine. At the same time, Arab and Muslim men continue to languish at U.S. military prisons in Guantanamo, Bagram and in Iraq, where they have been grossly mistreated, tortured and denied due process.
As the world's leading nuclear superpower and arms dealer, with over 700 U.S. military bases worldwide, the United States provides a budget for its military that accounts for 48 percent, or almost half, of the world's total military spending. According to the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, U.S. military spending totals more than the next 46 highest spending countries in the world combined. For FY 2011, the Obama Administration is proposing to spend $708 billion on the military budget, including $7 billion to upgrade the nuclear arsenal.
Meanwhile, the poor continue to be neglected, and, in many cases, treated as expendable due to corporate greed, political expediency and rampant militarism. War, economic exploitation and global warming claim countless lives daily. The victims cry out for justice. The earth groans in travail.
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This is article #1 in a series on the Peacemaking Statement of Conscience.