American Friends Service Committee
Patrica Watson, Editor
Sara Burke, Assistant Editor
Pat Farren, Founding Editor
2161 Massachusetts Ave.
Peacework has been published monthly since 1972, intended to serve as a source of dependable information to those who strive for peace and justice and are committed to furthering the nonviolent social change necessary to achieve them. Rooted in Quaker values and informed by AFSC experience and initiatives, Peacework offers a forum for organizers, fostering coalition-building and teaching the methods and strategies that work in the global and local community. Peacework seeks to serve as an incubator for social transformation, introducing a younger generation to a deeper analysis of problems and issues, reminding and re-inspiring long-term activists, encouraging the generations to listen to each other, and creating space for the voices of the disenfranchised.
Views expressed are those of the authors, not necessarily of the AFSC.
Some Tough Questions for Americans
Flier available in bulk for organizers from AFSC Cambridge Office, 617/661-6130. AFSC intern Adam Miles produced this flier with input from AFSC Regional Office staff. Numbers and statistics were taken from the US Department of Defense, the Executive Office of Management and Budget, and the National Priories Project (www.nationalpriorities.org).
Is Saddam Hussein a tyrant?
Are there domestic concerns that
pose more of a security threat to us than Saddam does?
Do these problems need to be addressed
before we go to war?
Here are some facts to help you decide
In September 2002, White House economist Lawrence Lindsey predicted that the initial phase of war in Iraq could cost as much as $100,000,000,000. That's $100 BILLION! A four-year occupation of the country following the invasion would raise the price tag to as much as $250 billion! The last Gulf War in 1990-1991 was largely financed by US allies. This time, important financial contributors to the first Gulf War, including Saudi Arabia and Germany are strongly opposed to an invasion of Iraq. That means that the vast majority of the war's costs will come directly from the pockets of US tax-payers for many years to come. New Englanders alone will account for nearly $4 billion of the initial war cost.
What else could your tax dollars
More than 7 million children go home alone after school everyday to an unsupervised home. A federal investment of $250 billion (the amount our government could spend on invasion and occupation of Iraq over the next four years) could provide these children with quality after-school care, train and finance 100,000 new teachers to assist in their education, and pay for the entirety of their college tuition, room and board! Using our tax dollars this way, instead of for war, would make an enormous contribution to our collective security.
1.8 million families nationwide are in desperate need of affordable housing, unable to afford a livable apartment or home. At a recent US Conference of Mayors, civic leaders announced a growing need for federal housing assistance. Meanwhile, during a typical 30-day period in November/December 2002, the federal government awarded $257 million a day in military contracts (a total of $7.7 billion over 30 days). Were this money used for the construction of housing communities instead of armaments, the affordable housing crisis for each of these 1.8 million families would largely disappear in only 2.5 years.
How else would the war affect
War with Iraq will very likely destabilize overseas markets, including the oil industry. Some estimates predict the price of gasoline soaring to as much as $3 per gallon: an annual increase of nearly $700 in gasoline costs if you fill up your tank just 30 times a year!
Do you own stock?
Since the President and his staff began "selling" the war with Iraq in August 2002, stock prices have dropped 20% and will likely fall even further as the first missiles begin to explode over Baghdad.
Do you have children? or pay taxes?
The Bush Administration's already extraordinary increases in military spending have turned recent budget surpluses into an estimated $80 billion deficit for 2003. Despite the threat of war, President Bush remains committed to an economic program that will reward the nation's wealthiest 1% with record tax relief, leaving the rest of the country with a substantial war debt, an increasing national deficit, and few resources for economic revitalization and new jobs, and no promise of social security or federal pensions for today's children.
Can you survive another prolonged recession in the American economy?
The first Gulf War caused a recession that lasted for several years. Most economists predict a similar American recession following a new war with Iraq, a decrease in the Gross Domestic Product anywhere from 2-5%, or $200-500 billion leaking out of the American economy.
Bringing it home
--Michaelann Bewsee, Arise for
Social Justice, Springfield, MA
Bringing it home
--Martha Yager, Housing Project
Coordinator, AFSC NH
In September 2002, White House economist Lawrence Lindsey predicted that the initial phase of war in Iraq could cost as much as $100,000,000,000. That's $100 BILLION! A four-year occupation of the country following the invasion would raise the price tag to as much as $250 billion! The last Gulf War