Posts Tagged ‘Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan’

Dr Barnsby’s letters to Gordon Brown and David Cameron

May 13, 2009

The Barnsby Blog, May 13, 2009

The following message has been emailed to  Gordon Brown today:

Dear Gordon,

When are you going to stop supporting the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere?

When are you going to oppose the daily slaughter of innocent civilians and our own troops?

When are you going to cease to be a party to Torture supported by and initiated by your own government?

And when are you going to understand that ending the wars will release such a flood of money that the Economic Slump we are currently suffering from would disappear overnight?

George Barnsby

_____________________________

A second message was sent today to David Cameron:

Dear David

When are you going to stop supporting the wars in Iraq and  Afghanistan and elsewhere and making yourself an accessory to the Torture sanctioned by the Brown government?

And when are you going to understand that ending these wars will release such a flood of money that the Economic Slump we are suffering from would disappear overnight?

And when are you going to end your hypocrisy of pretending to be a democrat when you do not reply to my correspondence?

A reply to this email is requested.

George Barnsby

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In the Name of Mothers Around the World

May 8, 2009

By Jodie Evans | The Women’s Media Center, May 8, 2009

The author, co-founder of the grass-roots peace and justice movement CODEPINK and board member of the Women’s Media Center, calls on us to honor Mother’s Day as it was originally intended—by the abolitionist, feminist and pacifist Julia Ward Howe.

Women know that war is SO over. We know it in our hearts, in our guts, in our wombs. We know that the madness in Iraq and Afghanistan has to end, that we cannot keep sending our children to kill the children of mothers across the globe. Last month at an appearance in Turkey, President Obama himself said “…sometimes I think that if you just put the mothers in charge for a while, that things would get resolved.”

Mother’s Day pledge by Noo Dal Molin

It is nearly 140 years since Julia Ward Howe wrote her Mother’s Day Proclamation, a pacifist reaction to the carnage of the American Civil War and the Franco–Prussian War. It flowed from her feminist belief that women had a responsibility to shape their societies at the political level.  Every year since CODEPINK began in 2002, we have worked to remind the public and media that Mother’s Day isn’t really about Hallmark and Teleflora, but was a call for women to gather in “the great and general interests of peace.” Howe knew then what we know now.  It will take women’s leadership to undermine what have become the USA’s greatest exports: Violence, Weapons and War.

This year we knew those who could attend our 24-hour weekend vigil outside the White House would be smaller than before, given the fiscal crunch we are all feeling.  We created a project so those who wanted could add to the activities.  In the past we have done an aerial image of thousands of bodies spelling Mother’s Say No To War photographed from the Washington Monument with the White House in the background.  But this year we put out a call for people to knit pink and green squares that we would sew together to read “We will not raise our children to kill another mother’s child” and place across the White House fence. Thousands of pink and green knitted squares have been filling the basement of the CODEPINK house in D.C.  They arrive with stories of how they were knitted with love, passion and conviction, with photos of the joys shared in knitting circles around the world.  The surprise has been that more women than ever want to participate, more women want to join together in community and engage in conversation.

They want answers. What they hear in the media makes no sense.  Why are we leaving more soldiers and private mercenaries in Iraq and not getting out on the date promised?  Why are we moving soldiers to Afghanistan when our military has told us there is no military solution?  How can we end the violence and protect the women? How can we turn our back on the women and children in Gaza?  Why is the military budget larger than under Bush (and that’s not counting another supplemental on Iraq and Afghanistan tacked on)? Why are we spending so much money on destruction, when Obama himself said in his inaugural address, “people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy”?

Women are fired up to gather together and expose the emptiness of the continued push for more weapons and more money for war.

We hope that our gathering on Mother’s Day will plant the seeds of new energy and new coalitions we will need to affect a world drunk on war.  It falls on us to bring peace to the table, to push our way to the table and not let up. Women know that instead of sending our young people overseas as soldiers, we need to send troops of doctors, teachers, business leaders, economists, farmers and peacekeepers who can build the economic structures for security to take root.

During our Mother’s Day weekend in DC, we will celebrate our sisterhood with song and poetry and fun, peace-building children’s activities, but we will also share our pain and grief by hearing the stories of women whose lives have been shattered by war—both women from war zones and mothers of American soldiers. When we bear witness to one another’s stories, we create a deeper, more compassionate foundation from which we can work together for peace.

Even if you can’t join us in D.C., you can send a rose to honor a mother whose life has been profoundly affected by war.  On Mother’s Day we will deliver the roses to the mothers and tie others to the fence outside the White House as a memorial to the dead and a moving call for peace.

However you spend your Mother’s Day, remember those women who have relentlessly stood for our rights in the past and know that we can bring peace. But first we MUST see it as possible and put our hoe in the ground.

Barack Obama uses Bush funding tactics to finance wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

April 10, 2009

President Barack Obama has requested another $83.4 billion (£57 billion) from Congress to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, using a controversial special troop funding provision that he voted against as a senator.

By Philip Sherwell in New York | Thelegraph.co.uk

Antiwar congressman and activists who played a key role in Mr Obama’s election campaign criticised him for deploying the same “off the books” funding tactic that were introduced by his predecessor George W Bush.

Mr Bush was accused of trying to mask the overall cost of the two conflicts – which now stands at virtually $1 trillion – by funding them via annual “emergency” supplements rather than through the usual budgetary process.

“This will be the last supplemental for Iraq and Afghanistan. The process by which this has been funded over the course of the past many years, the president has discussed and will change,” said Robert Gibbs, the president’s spokesman.

The request seems certain to be approved comfortably, with support from Republicans. But some liberal Democrats expressed their frustration with the increased funding and Mr Obama’s plans for the two conflict zones.

“This funding will do two things – it will prolong our occupation of Iraq through at least the end of 2011, and it will deepen and expand our military presence in Afghanistan indefinitely,” said anti-war Rep. Lynn Woolsey. “Instead of attempting to find military solutions to the problems we face in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Obama must fundamentally change the mission in both countries to focus on promoting reconciliation, economic development, humanitarian aid, and regional diplomatic efforts.”

The request would fund an average force level in Iraq of 140,000 US troops, finance Mr Obama’s initiative to boost troop levels in Afghanistan to more than 60,000 from the current 39,000 and provide $2.2 billion to accelerate the Pentagon’s plans to increase the overall size of the US military, the Associated Press reported.

Mr Obama also requested $350 million in new funding to upgrade security along the US-Mexico border and to combat narcoterrorists, along with another $400 million in counterinsurgency aid to Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the top US commander in Iraq has given warning that American combat troops may be required to remain in Iraq after Mr Obama’s June 20 withdrawal deadline to deal with al Qaeda terrorists in Mosul and Baqubah. Indeed, General Ray Odierno said that troops levels in the two troubled cities might actually rise rather than fall.

Pentagon war spending hits $685.7 billion – GAO

March 31, 2009

Reuters, March 30, 2009

WASHINGTON, March 30 (Reuters) – Pentagon spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and to fight terrorism elsewhere has reached $685.7 billion since 2001, a U.S. government watchdog agency said on Monday.

The Government Accountability Office, or GAO, said the Iraq war accounted for $533.5 billion in Defense Department spending obligations through last December, while spending on operations in Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa and the Philippines totaled $124.1 billion.

The remaining $28.1 billion was for operations to defend the U.S. mainland, the GAO said in a letter to Congress dated March 30.

The spending total equals about 85 percent of the $808 billion that Congress has appropriated for military operations in the global war on terrorism since the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington, the GAO said.

The $122.3 billion difference reflects multiyear contracts for procurement, military construction, research, development and other programs, the watchdog agency said.

GAO figures show the rise in Pentagon obligations slowing from 40 percent hikes between 2005 and 2007 to a 33 percent increase in 2008. Obligations for 2008 totaled $162.4 billion.

Congress has appropriated $65.9 billion for 2009 so far and the Obama administration is seeking another $75.5 billion, suggesting $141.4 billion in total appropriations for the year, down from 2008.

Pentagon spending in the first three months of fiscal year 2009 — from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2008 — equaled about $31 billion, of which $25 billion went to the war in Iraq and nearly $6 billion to operations in Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa and the Philippines.

The Army accounted for $21.5 billion of war on terrorism obligations during the same period, followed by the Air Force at $3.7 billion. (Reporting by David Morgan, editing by Patricia Zengerle)

Barnsby: ARREST WAR CRIMINAL GORDON BROWN NOW

November 18, 2008

Dr George Barnsby, Nov 17, 2008

Why are there so many fools and knaves who share Brown’s illusions that he is important. He is in only one respect. Now that George W Bush has been reduced from the most powerful tyrant in the world to a blithering idiot by the stunning victory of the new US president Obama, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair have now become the second and third most important war criminals in the world, because they support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan despite the views of most sensible people that these wars are illegal, racist and unwinnable. A further reason to arrest Brown NOW is that he is a Nuclear Maniac prepared to take the risk of seeing the world blown to smithereens in another Holocaust.

Now there is now yet another reason to put Brown under lock and key – Somali pirates have reappeared and captured a Saudi-owned Aramco tanker. Here there are two dangers one is that a ship loaded with nuclear arms will  be captured and sold to the highest bidder who will then hold the USA, Britain and other western powers to ransom, or if they fail to respond blow up targets that they, the Pirates have chosen.

All these dangers have been aired in this BLOG, but most members of the Commentariat, as Media Lens christened them because of their almost monopoly powers of providing ordinary people with news and when we complain are so contemptuous of public opinion that they do not reply to me.

Such people include the chief executive and chairman of the BBC, the head of ITV, the news commentators, Paxman, Marr, Wark, Kearney and Jon Snow of Channel Four. Also the head of the Learning and Skills Council, Sir Trevor Phillips the chair of the Commission of Equality and Human Rights because he will not let us know whether he is for or against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

When Obama won his great, but limited victory as US president. I took a breather. Some people have warned me that by writing a BLOG every night I was putting my health at risk and perhaps I should only BLOG on a five day week or perhaps only once a week.and catch up on my reading. It seemed appropriate since my last BLOG on Friday dealt with the English Revolution of the seventeenth century and the fact that Obama seemed to be following the same path as Oliver Cromwell who after executing Charles the First  reneged and eventually destroyed the Levellers who were the working class ‘root and branch’ of the revolution.

Continued >>

Gordon Brown and the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

September 24, 2008

George Barnsby, Sept 24, 2008

I’ve said it often enough, it is on the front of every one of my 580
BLOGS, the only way to revive the corpse of this New Labour monstrosity would be to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, bring our troops home and stop the slaughter of Iraqi and Afghan civilians. Yet Brown and all of his squabbling cabinet have responsibility for these wars, have financed them and refuse to see that Bush, Blair and Brown are the terrorists and if the wars were ended terrorism would virtually cease overnight.

Now Brown has made his speech to the Labour Party Conference and said nothing about the war in Iraq. Millions of words, cascades of promises to listen and learn, but not a single word on Iraq. And Labour MPs and media barons such as Paxman and Jon Snow seem joined in a conspiracy to deceive, each of them interviewing Brown and neither raising the issue of Iraq.

The conspiracy to avoid even the broadest of issues of Foreign Policy in the run up to this Labour Party Conference began for me on Thursday when David Dimblebury’s ‘Any Questions’ returned to the BBC and neither he, nor the speakers, nor the audience uttered a word on Iraq. Then today old has been’s like Mandelsohn, Blunkett, Prescott and others have been interviewed yet not a word has been said about the war. This is a complete denial of civil rights for the majority of the population who are opposed to the war and makes Britain a dictatorship, as bad as that of Mugabe and other dictatorships we claim to deplore. This cannot continue and when Brown is inevitably brought before the Court of Human Rights at The Hague for Crimes against Humanity all those who have been a party to these crimes will find themselves like the Nazi war criminals at the Nuremberg trials after World War II called to account.

STOP THE WAR COALITION.

Fortunately not all MPs and journalists and activists are ninnies who gave Brown a standing ovation today. The Stop the War Newsletter No. 1058 of 23 September 2008 reports on the anti-War demonstration at the Labour Party Conference. Thousands of activists marched through Manchester and delivered a letter to Brown demanding the withdrawal of all British troops from the catastrophic and unwinnable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The parallel Convention that will meet while the phoney New Labour set up sits and supports the carnage which these war criminals create. Activities are being planned for the autumn which assumes that Brown is not stopped by a Citizen’s Arrest, which it now seems that George Galloway and Ken Purchase will sit idly by and twiddle their thumbs. It looks therefore as if other anti-war MPs such as Jon Cruddas, Dianne Abbott and other MPs of the Socialist Campaign group will have to act to bring the wars to an end NOW.

Another event supported by Stop the War will be an international
anti-Nato demonstration in Strasbourg next April (for which funds are needed and also recruits) as well as anti-war campaigns at army bases.


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