FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Full-Spectrum Arrogance: US Bases Span the Globe

Late last year, a divided Congress approved a military spending bill of 700 billion dollars, more than either the President or the Pentagon had requested. Hundreds of billions will go to US military bases and troops on foreign soil. The US is the largest, most lethal military power in human history with seven geographic commands spanning the globe, but that didn’t stop the new Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases from holding its first conference at the University of Baltimore from Friday to Sunday, January 12 to 14.

Here are just a few voices from the conference.

Leah Bolger, retired US military commander, full-time peace activist, and past President of Veterans for Peace:

“This conference is the first action, the first event, of a relatively new coalition, which is a coalition against US foreign military bases that has come together with 13 charter organizations. We are joined to address the issue of US foreign bases, which are everywhere—somewhere between 800 and 1000. It’s ridiculous.”

David Swanson, co-founder of World Beyond War and author of the books “War Is a Lie” and “War Is Never Just”:

“Y’know, I watch a lot of basketball games because the University of Virginia is so darn good, and I’m just disgusted because at every single game, they thank the troops for watching from 175—sometimes they say more than 175 or 177—countries. They thank the “almost a million men and women serving our country.” They don’t explain what the service is, they don’t explain why they have to be in 177 countries. They don’t explain that there are only about 200 countries on earth, and that there are at least a dozen more countries they’re not telling us about. These are the ones they admit to.

“What are they doing there? What are they needed for? In some cases, it’s thousands; in some it’s tens of thousands. There are 50,000 troops still in Germany, still winning World War II three quarters of a century later. It’s insanity, and of course it costs hundreds of billions of dollars. People who think that we’re running low on money and we can’t afford things should understand that we could afford anything we wanted if we didn’t do things this stupid.”

Ajamu Baraka, Black Agenda Report Editor, Founder of the National Black Alliance for Peace, and 2016 Green Party vice presidential candidate:

“We have a task before us this weekend. We have to struggle among ourselves to build a base line for unity, because we know that all of us may not be there in terms of being prepared to take a clear class line, we may not be in full agreement about what national oppression and national liberation mean, we may not agree about the character of this state. But we can agree that anytime you have this state involved in direct intervention, anytime you have this nation attacking another nation, that is a crime that all of us can be united in opposing.”

The Real News Network, based there in Baltimore, livestreamed the event from gavel to gavel, and I produced a brief KPFA Radio-Berkeley News report while watching and downloading audio. However, I seemed to be the only other press to take any interest, beyond the websites of the conference participants themselves. So on Monday I nominated the conference and its video archive for a Project Censored Award. I recommend all eight sessions now on the YouTube:

Public Meeting/International Night; US Foreign Policy and the Strategic Role of Foreign Military Bases

History and Economic Costs of US Foreign Military        Bases

The Environmental and Health Impact of US Foreign Military Bases

South America and Guantanamo; Asia Pacific and the Pivot to Asia

The Middle East: US/NATO Plan

Europe and the Expansion of NATO

AFRICOM and the Invasion of Africa

Coalition’s Future Plan of Action

In the final session, reps from the 13 founding organizations met to hammer out their unity statement and plan the next conference. The location isn’t yet set, but it will take place on US-occupied foreign soil, so there’s a world of possibilities.

More articles by:

Ann Garrison is an independent journalist who also contributes to the San Francisco Bay View, Global Research, the Black Agenda Report and the Black Star News, and produces radio for KPFA-Berkeley and WBAI-New York City.  In 2014, she was awarded the Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Democracy and Peace Prize by the Womens International Network for Democracy and Peace.  She can be reached at ann@afrobeatradio.com.

Weekend Edition
August 07, 2020
Friday - Sunday
John Davis
The COVID Interregnum
Louis Yako
20 Postcard Notes From Iraq: With Love in the Age of COVID-19
Patrick Cockburn
War and Pandemic Journalism: the Truth Can Disappear Fast
Eve Ottenberg
Fixing the COVID Numbers
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Every Which Way to Lose
Paul Street
Trump is Not Conceding: This is Happening Here
Robert Hunziker
The World on Fire
Rob Urie
Neoliberal Centrists and the American Left
John Laforge
USAF Vet Could Face ‘20 Days for 20 Bombs’ for Protest Against US H-Bombs Stationed in Germany
Andrew Levine
Clyburn’s Complaint
Kavaljit Singh
Revisiting the Idea of Pigou Wealth Tax in the Time of Covid-19
Paul Ryder
Here Come the 1968 Mistakes Again
T.J. Coles
Fighting Over Kashmir Could Blow Up the Planet
David Macaray
Haven’t We All Known Guys Who Were Exactly like Donald Trump?
Conn Hallinan
What’s Driving the Simmering Conflict Between India and China
Joseph Natoli
American Failures: August, 2020
Ramzy Baroud
Apartheid or One State: Has Jordan Broken a Political Taboo?
Bruce Hobson
The US Left Needs Humility to Understand Mexican Politics
David Rosen
Easy Targets: Trump’s Attacks on Transgendered People
Ben Debney
The Neoliberal Virus
Evelyn Leopold
Is Netanyahu Serious About Annexing Jordan Valley?
Nicky Reid
When the Chickens Came Home to Roost In Portlandistan
Irma A. Velásquez Nimatuj
The Power of the White Man and His Symbols is Being De-Mystified
Kathy Kelly
Reversal: Boeing’s Flow of Blood
Brian Kelly
Ireland and Slavery: Framing Irish Complicity in the Slave Trade
Ariela Ruiz Caro
South American Nations Adopt Different COVID-19 Stategies, With Different Results
Ron Jacobs
Exorcism at Boston’s Old West Church, All Hallows Eve 1971
J.P. Linstroth
Bolsonaro’s Continuous Follies
Thomas Klikauer – Nadine Campbell
Right-Wing Populism and the End of Democracy
Dean Baker
Trump’s Real Record on Unemployment in Two Graphs
Michael Welton
Listening, Conflict and Citizenship
Nick Pemberton
Donald Trump Is The Only One Who Should Be Going To School This Fall
John Feffer
America’s Multiple Infections
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Thinking Outside the Social Media Echo Chamber
Andrea Mazzarino
The Military is Sick
John Kendall Hawkins
How the Middle Half Lives
Graham Peebles
The Plight of Refugees and Migrant Workers under Covid
Robert P. Alvarez
The Next Coronavirus Bill Must Protect the 2020 Election
Greg Macdougall
Ottawa Bluesfest at Zibi: Development at Sacred Site Poses Questions of Responsibility
CounterPunch News Service
Tensions Escalate as Logging Work Commences Near Active Treesits in a Redwood Rainforest
Louis Proyect
The Low Magic of Charles Bukowski
Gloria Oladipo
Rural America Deserves a Real COVID-19 Response
Binoy Kampmark
Crossing the Creepy Line: Google, Deception and the ACCC
Marc Norton
Giants and Warriors Give Their Workers the Boot
David Yearsley
Celebration of Change
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail