Deficit Debate Ignores War, Labor Leaders Speak Out

Rep. Barbara Lee

Rep. Barbara Lee

As longtime labor leader Bob Muehlenkamp points out, three columns in the Washington Post, totalling 2,853 words, completely ignore the trillions spent on the Long War in discussing the deficits.

It’s ridiculous to claim to be a deficit hawk and a war hawk at the same time. Here’s some good news, from Peace Action West: Oregon’s labor leadership has sent a letter to their Congressional delegation condemning spending for Afghanistan while budgets are cut and jobs lost at home.

tom haydenOn strategy, in order to end the Afghanistan War, which is funded and supported by Democrats, the peace movement has to build anti-war support from the base institutions of the Democratic Party, notably labor, but also civil rights, womens, and environmental groups. If Democrats begin to see their base constituencies in their districts are taking a stand against Afghanistan, then it becomes much easier for elected officials to vote and speak against the war, including the President.

This is slow and frustrating work. But it’s beginning to happen. The Democratic National Committee has adopted a resolution by Rep. Barbara Lee calling for a substantial and significant beginning of withdrawals starting this July, with the tax dollars transferred to job creation.

For further information, contact U.S. Labor Against the War.

Tom Hayden
Peace Exchange Bulletin


  1. says

    You don’t have to be an against-all-wars pacificist to note big problems with these apparently deliberately never-ending OBushma elective wars.

    First, they ARE the ignored elephant in the living room of the federal budget and its deficits – and the economic reality behind these financial statements, namely the gross misallocation of resources.

    Second, the misallocation includes taking the country away from creating full peacetime employment and toward instead enmeshing unemployable youth in the business of killing.

    Third, the wars have been – again apparently deliberately – targeted away from the nation’s prime real enemies overseas: the terror-and-fanatic-Islamism-sponsoring regime of Iran and its thug clients – Assad, Hezbollah and Hamas; the brutal nuke-makers in N Korea; and the most repressive and regressive of other tyrannies and regimes, e.g. in Burma and Zimbabwe.

    Fourth, in each case, rather than effective quick limited-time limited-cost focused-objective serious strategic strikes, the OBushma wars have – apparently deliberately – been mired in and dragged out into semi-farcical half-hearted pursuit of vague and arguably never-fully-satisfiable missions.

  2. keller says

    Wow, Democrats funded the war all by themselves? Slap me in the head and call me Rita. Revisionist history is so educational. Here I thought it was the taxpayers that funded the war and it was Tom and Dick and Sharon and Nancy and Babs. Please tell us more Mr. Hayden.

  3. says

    The reason for being of the federal government is public safety and national defense. We can fight them in Baghdad and Kabul or in New York and LA. I would prefer to bring the Navy and armies home to put them on the borders and seashores for six months to increase their appreciation of our keeping the sealanes open and guarding our shoreline, but that would not save a dime on military spending.

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