"According to the Defense Department's annual "Base Structure Report" for fiscal year 2003, which itemizes foreign and domestic U.S. military real estate, the Pentagon currently owns or rents 702 overseas bases in about 130 countries and has another 6,000 bases in the United States and its territories."|
"The military high command deploys to our overseas bases some 253,288 uniformed personnel, plus an equal number of dependents and Department of Defense civilian officials, and employs an additional 44,446 locally hired foreigners. The Pentagon claims that these bases contain 44,870 barracks, hangars, hospitals, and other buildings, which it owns, and that it leases 4,844 more." Common Dreams
These are just examples of the War Economy of the United States. It reaches into the very heart of our country and exudes from every pore. In order to dominate the planet and insure our security, the U.S. allocates 59% of it's discretionary budget to the Military(Department of Defense, War, Veterans Affairs and Nuclear Weapons Programs.
Such expenditures constantly demand cuts in funding for education, health care and other social service programs, as evidenced, for example, by recent Republican attempted cuts to Planned Parenthood and National Public Radio.
Master of Ceremonies for the event was Mark Knudson, senior pastor at Augustana Lutheran Church in Portland. He gave a few brief introductory comments and introduced four speakers: Ray Harris, President of Oregon Iraq Vetrans Against the War; Will Seaman, member of various Portland groups and speaking for Community Meida in general and KBOO 90.7 Radio in particular; Barbara Dudley, former director of Greenpeace USA and currently active with the Working Family Party of Oregon; and Francisco Lopez, Oregon CAUSA.
Speakers at the event all descried this state of affairs, and the escalating political attempts to weaken unions and attack and incriminate all those who speak out to reduce the bloated and entrenched military budgets.
After about 1/2 hour of speeches, the crowd marched through downtown Portland with stops at the Oregonian, the Federal Building, the World Trade Center, and the Portland Saturday Market, before winding back up Broadway for a spirited return to Pioneer Square.
How Is The War Economy Working Out For You?