CodePink Joins Afghan Peace Volunteers On Our Journey to Smile to Say Enough! Abolish War for a Borderfree Green World!
Afghan Peace Volunteers and friends celebrate the International Day of Peace in Kabul, September 2017.
By Kathy Kelly
(This article first published in The Progressive magazine)
Here in Kabul, as the rising sun begins to warm our chilly rooms, I hear excited laughter from downstairs. Rosemary Morrow, a renowned Australian permaculture expert, has begun teaching thirty-five young students in a month-long course on low-resource farming. In war-torn Afghanistan, there’s a desperate need to rebuild agricultural infrastructure and help people grow their own food. People verging on despair feel encouraged by possibilities of replenishing and repairing their soil.
The night before, over dinner, one of the students discussed news from his hometown in Afghanistan’s Wardak province about U.S. aerial attacks. “The blasts have become so frequent,” he said, “that people can’t find spaces to bury their dead.” During breaks in the class, I tell some of the Afghan Peace Volunteer students about the school shootings in the United States, and the remarkable determination of teenagers from Florida to demand that lawmakers take action on gun control.
CODEPINK SF Bay Area invites everyone to join CODEPINK’s campaign to say no to Trump proposed $54 Billion increase in military spending. Our goal is to encourage people to tell their elected representatives to divest from a war economy and to invest in a peace economy. Thanks to the work of many of our local CODEPINK communities we had a tremendous victory at the U.S. Conference of Mayors! The Conference, representing 253 attending mayors from big cities like New York and Los Angeles to small rural townships, unanimously passed a resolution opposing Trump’s call for an additional $54 billion to the Pentagon budget. Instead of slashing anti-poverty and environmental programs to increase war spending, the mayors urged Congress and the President to move funding in the opposite direction, out of the military and into human and environmental needs.
The idea that the tax cut is going to bring high paying jobs and put big money in in middle class people’s pay checks is a big lie, look at any graph since Ron Reagan and trickle down economics; income distribution for the middle class has remained flat while the growth for the 1% is off the chart. This is more of same, it is only going to speed up the transfer of wealth. It was not the tax rate that moved jobs offshore, it was wages. Tax cut will not increase wages, save or bring jobs as evident by Carrier Corp. The tax break Carrier got will help pay for the transfer of those jobs to Mexico. $1.5 trillion is going to be borrowed and added to the debt, that our children and grandchildren will have to pay. The payments will be made by cuts to healthcare, education, infrastructure. This tax cut does help the middle class, it is only going to put us deeper in debt with little or no income gain as it transfer $trillions more to the 1% to move offshore or to speculate in the stock market and hope they don’t speculate us into another recession. It will be easy to test this premise next year if it is the big tax break for the middle class as well rising wages or is it the big lie, like health care, cheaper and better.