Wednesday, June 28, 2017

U.S. Conference of Mayors Calls for Moving Money from Pentagon to Cities/Trump Is Quietly Expanding All of Obama's Wars

U.S. Conference of Mayors Calls for Moving Money from Pentagon to Cities

For Immediate Release
Monday, June 26, 2017 - 12:30pm
Organization Profile: CODEPINK
Contact: Medea Benjamin,, 415-235-6517

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Conference of Mayors on Monday unanimously passed three resolutions opposing the military-heavy Trump budget proposal, a proposal that calls for an additional $54 billion to the Pentagon by slashing anti-poverty and environmental programs. Instead, the mayors urge Congress and the President to move funding in the opposite direction, out of the military and into human and environmental needs.

The resolutions were passed by the 253 mayors—Democrats, Republicans and independents—attending the conference. CODEPINK will use this victory to continue passing similar resolutions in cities not represented at the conference.

"We are very excited that the entire US Conference of Mayors, from major metropoles such as New York City and Los Angeles to small rural townships, understand that the resources being sucked up by the Pentagon to wage endless wars overseas should be used to address our crumbling infrastructure, the climate crisis and poverty at home and abroad. Congress and the Trump administration should listen to these mayors, as they reflect the needs and hopes of their constituents, not the greed of corporate donors," said Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK, whose group helped pass the resolution from Ithaca, NY that was adopted by the conference.

"The Peace Council applauds the resolve of major city mayors to dramatically cut the U.S. military budget and to take the funds saved to provide money for jobs, education, housing, transportation, seniors, youth, rebuild our roads, bridges, public transportation much more," said Henry Lowendorf of the US Peace Council, a group that helped pass the resolution from New Haven that the conference also adopted. "The mayors understand how pouring the wealth of our great country into building war machines and waging wars around the globe does not make us more secure."

Jackie Cabasso of Cities for Peace promoted Resolution 79, submitted by 18 mayors, which calls on President Trump to lower nuclear tensions, prioritize diplomacy, and redirect nuclear weapons spending to meet human needs and address environmental challenges.

"These three resolutions should be read carefully by every member of Congress," said David Swanson, director of World Beyond War, a groups that helped pass similar resolutions around the country. "These are the considered statements of the mayors of this country, as prompted by the citizens of numerous cities that moved their city councils to pass similar resolutions and their mayors to support these."
The three resolutions, numbers 59, 60 and 79, can be found here and here.


CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities. CODEPINK rejects foreign policies based on domination and aggression, and instead calls for policies based on diplomacy, compassion and a commitment to international law. With an emphasis on joy and humor, CODEPINK women and men seek to activate, amplify and inspire a community of peacemakers through creative campaigns and a commitment to non-violence.

Soldiers in Basra. (photo: PA)
Soldiers in Basra. (photo: PA)

Trump Is Quietly Expanding All of Obama's Wars

By Abigail Tracy, Vanity Fair
17 June 17

The president has agreed to increase troops in Afghanistan.

   On the campaign trail, Donald Trump pitched Americans on an immiscible foreign-policy agenda, combining elements of staunch isolationism and a rejection of Bush-era interventionism with promises to “bomb the shit out of ISIS.” But in his four months as president, Trump, characteristically, has done something of a 180-degree turn. He turned over much of his military policy and decision-making to the same “embarrassing” generals he previously claimed to know more than; he authorized a missile strike and boots on the ground in Syria, a country he had repeatedly warned against getting involved with; and he increased troop levels in Iraq, doubling down on a tactic he had called “a horrible mistake.”

  Now, the Trump administration is considering sending more troops into the war in Afghanistan, which he previously called “a complete waste.” On Tuesday, the president gave Defense Secretary James Mattis the authority to determine the number of troops in Afghanistan, The New York Times reports, a rejection of the management levels adopted by the Obama administration.

   With the new latitude, the Pentagon is expected to send as many as 4,000 new troops to fight al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, according to an Associated Press report citing a Trump administration official. But as was the case with Trump’s decision to strike Syria, it is unclear whether the move is part of any broader military strategy. Bloomberg’s Eli Lake reports that while Trump signed off on the cap removal, he has yet to sign off on a plan. The president also has yet to present his strategy to destroy ISIS, which he gave Mattis 30 days to devise shortly after the inauguration. Mattis reportedly turned in his plan on February 27, but Trump has not publicly modified or approved it.

  This dynamic has left some lawmakers frustrated. During a meeting last week in which Mattis conceded to the Senate Armed Services Committee that the U.S. is “not winning in Afghanistan right now,” John McCain derided the delay of a broader strategy. “We are now six months into this administration; we still haven’t got a strategy for Afghanistan,” the Arizona senator said. “It makes it hard for us to support you when we don’t have a strategy. We know what the strategy was for the last eight years—don’t lose. That hasn’t worked.”

 Mattis responded, “We are putting it together now, and there are actions being taken to make certain that we don’t pay a price for the delay,” he said. “We recognize the need for urgency, and your criticism is fair, sir.”

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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

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