Saturday, October 20, 2018


October 20- For immediate release

Media Contact: Cindy Sheehan:


Countdown to Women’s March on the Pentagon
We're Here


Women’s March on the Pentagon (WMOP) is excited to announce we are ready and rarin’ to go for our long anticipated march and rally at ground-zero for US imperialism.

This is our schedule of events for the weekend of October 20-21:

Saturday, October 20:

St. Stephen’s of the Incarnation Episcopal Church
1525 Newton NW
(Free, but donations to cover costs of space and refreshments will be accepted)


Workshops covering:

-Women’s Basic Self-defense
-Protest Music History and Current Practice
-Alternative Media and Citizen Journalism
-What’s Really Happening in Yemen
-The Doctrine and Practice of Civil Resistance

5:30 to 8pm
(St. Stephen’s)

Meet and Greet and Open Mic Night.
Hosted by CODEPINK

Sunday, October 21st


Begin gathering at Pentagon City Metro Station
(Click for DC Metro Info)

12 noon to 12:45pm

March on Pentagon

1pm to 4pm

Rally at Pentagon
(Click for Speaker/Performer Line-up)

4pm to 6pm
Clean Up
(Stay to help us, please!)

Monday, October 22

11:30am to 1:30pm

Non-violent Act of Civil Assistance
We will be feeding the homeless in a local park in an act of real civil assistance, not symbolic civil resistance (which is good too in its place)

(Place will be announced at Rally and on Website, and Facebook Event Page on October 21)

For more information or to schedule an interview with a speaker/performer or organizer, please contact

Cindy Sheehan at:
Emma Fiala at:
Bonnie Caracciolo at:





Women’s March on the Pentagon: How To Attend in D.C. & Around the Country

Anti-War Women to Washington

Peace Protesters Prepare to Storm the Pentagon

US Activist Urges Politicians To End Militaristic Paradigm, Redirect Funds To Social Needs


Disclaimer: This is NOT a pink-pussy-hatted event to only oppose Trump and Get Out the Vote for the treacherous and warmongering Democrats: This is a principled non-partisan march on the bi-partisan US war machine.

Saturday, October 13, 2018


Women’s March on the Pentagon

Press Advisory 
Cindy Sheehan: 707.317.8586

Bonnie Caracciolo: 470.328.2186

Emma Fiala: 612.913.6240

After months of planning, the Women’s (and others) March on the Pentagon is one week away!

Despite the fact that our children are getting third rate public schooling; homelessness is a national crisis and disgrace; U.S. infrastructure is failing at an alarming rate; and this nation is being dissolved foot by foot by global warming and unprecedented natural disasters: the Pentagon receives almost .60 of every tax dollar to continue the war machine’s program of global domination for resource control and profit.

We at WMOP reject the thinking that just because the U.S. has long been the world’s dominant hegemonic force, that it has to remain that way. Maintaining the U.S. war machine at its current levels is sucking the life our of our families, communities, nation and world.

Imperialism is the disease and Women organizing in a dedicated and militant (we won't stop until they stop) way for a peaceful and sustainable planet is the answer!

Lead organizer Cindy Sheehan had this to say from her home in California, “Without curing the disease of Imperialism, the symptoms of racism, sexism, and other endemic (to the U.S) violence will never stop.”

From the Boston area, co-lead organizer Bonnie Caracciolo added, "All power to the people."

Join Us!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Protest is a Fundamental Right and a Responsibility by Cindy Sheehan (WOMEN'S MARCH ON THE PENTAGON)

Protest is a Fundamental Right and a Responsibility
Cindy Sheehan

“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
― Henry David Thoreau

The first act of protest, or civil disobedience, most of us learn about in schools in the United States is the so-called Boston Tea Party.

Colonists were righteously angry that the British East India Company was getting a “bailout” from the British crown and putting the financial onus on the backs of the colonists to prevent the private company from going broke. (Sound familiar?)

There were many establishment figures of the day who thought that act of protest was a bad idea, including the “Father” of this country, George Washington. However, that action led to further oppression from Britain and finally to the war for independence that would break the fledgling country away from the British.

I can imagine there are few conservatives in the US right now that would disagree with that militant decision of rebellion that led to US independence, even though they may have screamed such nonsense as “over the top” or “EXTREME” (Trump tweet) at the time.

Here in the United States, protest usually does not become “militant” until the people have had enough of repressive treatment.

In 1955, when the legendary Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to white people on a Montgomery bus, a boycott of many other segregated bus lines was sparked and in reaction Southern racists blew up churches and the homes of leaders of the bus boycott, including the homes of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr and Rev. Ralph Abernathy.

Many conservatives label protests of oppressive conditions that they still support, “over the top,” or “EXTREME” but I think any sane person today would have to agree that bombing churches and homes for non-violent acts of civil resistance is EXTREME and few today would still agree or (publicly) admit that segregation in any form was a positive institution.

The above examples are just two of the many principled, courageous and sometimes militant acts that citizens of the United States have had to take against Republican, Democrat, Whig, or Tory governments throughout our history.

If one delves a few inches deeper into US history than the average public school education provides, we find that no gains have been made without principled, and sometimes, yes, militant protest.

Eight hour workdays; more equitable pay for workers and safer workplaces just didn’t happen because the ownership class finally found hearts! Rather, labor reform happened because of militant and dedicated struggle against that ownership class—-which often brought state violence against the workers, yet the workers would not back down!

Did women earn  the right to vote because the male chauvinists of their time finally realized that women were equal? Not quite! Male chauvinists still don’t think that we are equal, but many of our fore-sisters, Iron Jawed Angels like Alice Paul and Lucy Burns were beaten, imprisoned and force-fed when they went on hunger strike for the audacity to want to participate in the civic sacraments of their country.

In fact, women struggled for over a century for the right to vote here in the US, but the actions of those opposing them weren’t EXTREME? Would even the most hardened Republican in the Senate think that women should not vote, today? Maybe they think it, but I doubt if few would have the courage to express it, like the courage it took of our sisters to risk everything they have, even their lives to be able to vote against those who oppressed them for decades.

Socialist/labor activist, Eugene V. Debs was sentenced to prison for ten brutal years for speaking against the US entrance into World War One—a war that serves as the epitome of a “bad idea” and one based on lies and deception and the crushing of dissent by the Wilson administration—but sentencing an older man to do time for “peaceably” gathering to express his opposition was not the EXTREME reaction?

Many protesters of the incredibly barbaric US war against Vietnam were beaten and four students slaughtered at Kent State in Ohio, for protesting the further incursion into Cambodia by the U.S. Which side was EXTREME? The students or the state?

In my own experience of protest, I was literally wrenched from my Soccer Mom life into the forefront of antiwar protest when my son, Specialist Casey Austin Sheehan was killed in another EXTREMIST U.S. war of aggression led by the “Coalition of the Willing” cobbled together by then president George Bush.

When I saw Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testify before the Senate hearings to confirm another misogynist to the Supreme Court, I was slightly triggered. I remember my own experience of trembling nervously while testifying at a hearing in June of 2005 in the basement of the Capitol building. The “Downing Street Memo” hearing was convened by then ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, John Conyers (D-MI) (who has ironically been forced to resign hence do to accusations of sexual improprieties).

The condemnation of our hearing was swift, from conservatives like Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck to Dana Millbank of the the Washington Post who ridiculed our principled efforts to expose the fact that the Downing Street Memo confirmed that months before the invasion of Iraq high ranking officials in Great Britain and the US were already “fixing intelligence” to fit the already decided invasion.

Then in August of 2005 when I gathered a few intrepid antiwar people and reignited a dormant antiwar movement in Crawford Texas, I understood what it really costs to stand up for something one believes in here in the US, when it’s not a popular position with conservatives.

From the mean to the ridiculous: Glenn Beck called me an “attention whore,” and the questionable Ann Coulter made fun of my (horrors) “legs.” Rush Limbaugh said that my story was “manufactured.”

I was subjected to many death threats and disgusting attacks by the establishment politicians, media, and by their sycophants in the grassroots. Unfortunately, I know what Dr. Ford has been subjected to and it hurts to see it happen to another woman who was only doing what she thought was the right (left? best?) thing to do.

Now, I challenge any of my detractors to point out one error I have ever made in my assessment of the Iraq War.

My son was dead then, and he is still dead. It’s certainly an EXTREME position to continuously murder other people’s children for profit, in my opinion.

Protest, or no protest; support, or condemnation, nothing will change some material facts that finally caused an individual, or a group of individuals to come to their breaking points—but what I, and all the people before and after me have tried to do is to help others by sharing our pain and courageously standing up for what we believe in.

In a recent interview Trump had this to say: “I think it’s embarrassing for the country to allow protesters.”

Actually, it’s embarrassing and against the law for “the country” not to allow protesters. John F. Kennedy, who, no matter what one thinks of him, was no wild-eyed left-winger, said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

Even if no one listens at first, we all just want our voices to be heard.

No matter what the EXTREME establishment does to us, I have a feeling we are never going to back down.

Join us on the weekend of October 20-22 for many opportunities to protest the bi-partisan war machine!

Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Casey A. Sheehan who was killed in Iraq on April 04, 2004. Sheehan came to national and international prominence when she set up a protest camp outside of the vacation home of then president George W. Bush. Sheehan is still protesting US wars of aggression and is organizing the Women’s March on the Pentagon for this upcoming October 21st.


Thursday, October 11, 2018

Final Community Conference Call Prior to Women's March on the Pentagon: Sunday, October 14

Community Conference Call
Women's March on the Pentagon

You are invited to join lead organizers and our special guest, Mnar Muhawesh, for our final Community Conference Call before the 
Women's March on the Pentagon.

Nitty-gritty Time!

It's all over but the Revolution!



The Number is:
code: 248354

Mnar Muhawesh:

 Advisory Committee Member
Women's March on the Pentagon
Featured Speaker at Women's March on the Pentagon


Founder @MintPressNews, Journalism & Palestine adviser. Speaker. Entrepeneur


Special Guest:
Mnar Muhawesh



Tuesday, October 9, 2018

PRESS ADVISORY: Countdown to Women's March on Pentagon!

October 8, 2018- For immediate release

Media Contact: Cindy Sheehan:

Countdown to Women’s March on the Pentagon


Women’s March on the Pentagon (WMOP) is excited to announce we are ready and rarin’ to go for our long anticipated march and rally at ground-zero for US imperialism.

"We envisioned this principled non-partisan march on the bi-partisan war machine at the beginning of this year. Despite obstacles, we are excited that many people have been attracted to this long over-due antiwar march in Washington, DC," said one of the lead organizers, antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan, from her home in California.

This is our schedule of events for the weekend of October 20-21:

Saturday, October 20:

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church 

1525 Newton St NW
Washington, DC 20010

(Free, but donations to cover costs of space and refreshments will be accepted)

Noon to 4:30pm

Workshops covering:

Women’s Basic Self-defense
Protest Music History and Current Practice
Alternative Media and Citizen Journalism

Current Situation in Yemen
Civil Assistance (how to help those harmed by US Imperialism and the Pentagon budget)
(And More!)

4:30 to 6pm

Dinner on your own

6pm to 8pm
(St. Stephen’s)

Meet and Greet and Open Mic Night.
Hosted by CODEPINK

Sunday, October 21st


Begin gathering at Pentagon City Metro Station
(Click for DC Metro Info)

12 noon to 12:45pm

March on Pentagon
(Click for Website)

1pm to 4pm

Rally at Pentagon
(Click for Speaker/Performer Line-up)

4pm to 6pm
Clean Up
(Stay to help us, please!)

Monday, October 22

11:30am to 1:30pm

Non-violent Act of Civil Assistance
WMOP will be feeding people who are unconscionably homeless in the wealthiest nation on earth at a local DC park.

(Place will be announced at Rally and on Website, and Facebook Event Page on October 21)

For more information or to schedule an interview with a speaker/performer or organizer, please contact

Cindy Sheehan at:
Emma Fiala at:
Bonnie Caracciolo at:

Disclaimer: This is NOT a pink-pussy-hatted event to only oppose Trump and Get Out the Vote for the treacherous and warmongering Democrats (or Republicans): This is a principled non-partisan march on the bi-partisan US war machine.

Click here to volunteer!

JOIN HERE and/or DONATE to make our dream of a peaceful, sustainable, and PROsperous (for all) future possible.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Irene and Matt's Soapbox w/guest Stevie Ruiz (SOAPBOX PODCAST 10/4/18)

October 4, 2018

Irene and Matt's Soapbox

Matt Sedillo and Irene Monica Sanchez

Guest: Steve Ruiz

In this episode, we talked to Dr. Stevie Ruiz a professor at CSUN about the recent events surrounding Ethnic Studies, student protests to save it, and dismissiveness of administration as well as remarks made by the faculty senate president. 


Stevie Ruiz is an assistant professor in the Department of Chicana/o Studies.  His research and teaching interests center upon the intersections between race, space, and environmental justice.  He is committed to educational equity and democratizing university settings so that all marginalized communities have a voice.  He is currently completing his book manuscript entitled, Stewards of the Land: Race, Space, and Environmental Justice.
Stevie Ruiz


Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Civil Assistance at Women’s March on the Pentagon by Cindy Sheehan and TeamWMOP

Civil Assistance at Women’s March on the Pentagon 
Cindy Sheehan

We organizers of the Women’s March on the Pentagon had planned from the beginning for our action at the Pentagon on Oct. 21st to end with some act of civil resistance, or civil disobedience.

Going to the Pentagon and seeing where we will be, there really is no act of civil resistance there on that day that makes sense, and as someone who has been arrested more than 20 times, most of the time those arrests are “symbolic.”

Through our Steering Committee, we came up with the ideology of Civil ASSISTANCE: real acts of aid and support that would help people in our communities who suffer because of the bloated and indecent US war machine budget.

To that end, instead of planning a symbolic “risk arrest” action on Sunday, October 21st, we are organizing an act of Civil Assistance to feed the homeless in a park in Washington DC on Monday, October 22nd. (The March/Rally will still go on as planned, just the Civil Assistance act is moving to Monday the 22nd). 

If you have been to DC within the last 10 years, we are sure you have noticed the increase in the homeless population and tents popping up on sidewalks merely blocks from the White House. It is against the “law” in dozens of US cities to feed homeless people which is an abomination in and of itself, so our act of Civil Assistance is also a very principled act of Civil Resistance. Also, our act of Civil Assistance in DC could turn out to be a “risk arrest” action. Imperial goons are very adverse to helping people help other people.

We are not divulging our exact plans yet, because we found out that the Powers that Be certainly keep tabs of our social media and website and we don’t want them to have more information than necessary, but, as with The Women’s March on the Pentagon, we hope our program of Civil Assistance spreads and we begin to create the world that we want to see instead of waiting around for an insane and murderous government to do it for us!

If you are not going to be in the Washington DC area, please organize your own act of Civil Assistance that day (Oct 22). It doesn’t have to be feeding homeless people, perhaps your immediate community has a different need?

Let us know if you plan on joining us in DC for Civil Assistance, or if you are planning an act in your community.


Thursday, September 27, 2018

Recording for Community Conference Call (WMOP) September 26, 2018

Women's March on the Pentagon
Community Conference Call
September 26, 2018











Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Speaking Truth to Empire w/Dan Yaseen (September 2018 Edition)

September 2018

On Speaking Truth to Empire on KFCF 88.1 FM, Dan Yaseen interviews Joan Roelofs. She is Professor Emerita of Political Science, Keene State College, New Hampshire. She is the author of Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism and Greening Cities. A community education short course on the military industrial complex is on her website, and may be used for similar purposes. The topic of discussion will be the military industrial complex. Her website is



Sunday, September 23, 2018

Mark your Calendars! Community Conference Call for Women's March on Pentagon September 26

Women's March on the Pentagon

Community Conference Call
Weds, September 26, 2018




The Number is:
code: 248354

We will have a special guest on this call:

Nick BraƱa from the Movement for a People's Party
who will fill us in on the MPP and how MPP and WMOP can
work together in the future for our new anti-imperialist 
movement free from the bi-partisan War Machine

 (Nick at banner holding up the left)










America’s 2019 Defense Budget Supports 883 Overseas Bases and is Lethal to Humanity (PT 2/2) by Guest Blogger Lynn Petrovich

America’s 2019 Defense Budget Supports 883 Overseas Bases and is Lethal to Humanity

Part 2 of 2:  883 Military Bases Around the World and Growing.

(Click here for part 1)

(Military Bases outside US borders)

Pouring through various documents, publications, books, and research papers, I developed a list of countries with US military bases outside the US.  This list includes US territories (Guam, US Virgin Islands, Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico) and includes bases in 183 countries, on 7 continents and 7 bodies of water.  Exhibit A-1 identifies the list of countries, totaling 883 sites.  This number does not include US Embassies and may or may not include other sites such as lily pads (smaller, temporary, and/or not authorized sites) and special operations sites.

Some publicly available documents, from the US government, contradict one other.  For example, the Army’s most recent average cost per person is just under $100K ($94.3K).  However, other defense documents calculate average cost per person at $55K.  I could not find a single, comprehensive document which accounted for the total cost of overseas bases (additionally, many excluded the cost of bases on US Territories), so I took data available, from a number of resources to calculate the costs contained herein.  Where contradictions occur, I so note.

Buildings and Structures

I started with the Department of Defense Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Request which acknowledges $2.6 Trillion in assets on the balance sheet of the Department’s books (6-2).  Of these assets, another report – The Base Structure Report Fiscal Year 2017 states:

“The DoD manages a worldwide real property portfolio that spans all 50 states, eight US territories with outlying areas, and 41 foreign countries. The majority of the foreign sites are located in Germany (120 sites, Japan (121 sites) and South Korea (78 sites.)”  Base Structure Report page DoD-6

The Base Structure Report
identifies a total of 4,793 sites worldwide, at a value of $1.046 Trillion, covering 27.2 million acres of land.  Of the 883 sites in Exhibit A-1, The Base Structure Report verifies 110 sites located in US Territories and another 517 sites overseas, for a total of 627 sites outside the US with a 09/30/16 value of approximately $200 Billion.

This worldwide portfolio of 4,793 sites on over 27 million acres includes:

(1) Buildings:  “The DOD occupies a reported 275,504 buildings throughout the world, valued at over $705 billion and comprising over 2.2 billion square feet (DoD-8).”  The buildings include administrative, community facilities, family housing, hospitals and medical, maintenance, production, operation and training, research and development, testing, supply, troop housing, mess facilities and utility and ground improvements.
(2) Structures:  DoD structures throughout the world are valued at over $162 Billion.
(3) Linear Structures:  DoD manages over 112,931 linear structures throughout the world at a value over $178 Billion.  Linear structures are facilities whose functions require that it traverse land (examples include runways, roads, rail lines, pipelines, fences, pavement, and electrical distribution lines.)

The difference between Exhibit A-1 estimate of overseas bases of 883 and the 627 mentioned in the baseline report may be reconciled as follows:

(1) The DoD will be undergoing one of the largest consolidated DoD-wide financial statement audits in Fiscal Year 2018, which will involve both general funds and working capital funds.  A focus of the audit will be “the discovery of Real Property and General Equipment not being recorded in the proper system (6-3).”  (It is anticipated, based on prior audits, that not all overseas sites assets – i.e. buildings, roads, structures – are recorded on the books of the DoD.)
(2) Exhibit A-1 includes 95 sites which are smaller sites and may or may not be in the Base Structure Report.
(3) The Base Structure Report identifies 517 sites worldwide (exclusive of US Territories), but a count of the detail in the same report (pages DOD 70 thru DOD 85) resulted in a total of almost 600 sites.

 So How Much do These 883 Sites Cost Taxpayers Annually?

The Report identifies ten Combatant Command Exercise and Engagement programs and lists the following nine:

USCENTCOM (Kingdom of Jordan);
USCYBERCOM (virtual environment);
USEUCOM (Europe);
USNORTHCOM (Homeland defense);
USPACOM (Korea);
USSOUTHCOM (Latin America);
USSTRATCOM (nuclear deterrence);
USTRANSCOM (Full spectrum global mobility)

This report’s costs include:

(1) Fixed costs which are costs which do not change if a particular site is not occupied.  Examples include:  rent/mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, maintenance.
(2) Variable costs which do change based on occupancy.  Examples include utility consumption, repair and maintenance, cleanup, trash removal, increased costs due to surrounding neighborhood activity.

A Rand Corporation research report from 2013, acknowledged that overall costs are higher overseas even when taking host-nation support into account.  I took a conservative approach in the following calculations.

Of the roughly 2 million military personnel, including reserves and National Guard, approximately 12%, or 238,000 are deployed to overseas bases (outside of OCO.)  Personnel includes base pay, payroll taxes, bonuses (sign on and incentive), pension,  uniforms, transportation, basic training/boot camp, life insurance, education, weapon assignment, annual allowances for uniform and weapon upkeep.  In order to calculate this cost, I started with the daily basic pay for military personnel, and built upon that cost with the aforementioned burdens, and pro-rated amounts for overseas costs.

Annual Cost of Personnel                        $22.9 Billion


Transportation costs include Army, Air Force, Marine, Navy and National Guard and represent costs to move personnel to overseas locations and back.  According to the report, “Overseas Basing of US Military Forces, 2011”, average annual cost for overseas transportation per person was $5,200, and varied depending on place of deployment.

Annual Cost of Transportation                        $ 1.3 Billion

Maintenance of Facilities

The DoD occupies or maintains buildings, facilities, and linear structures worth over $1 Trillion worldwide.  The value of the overseas portfolio is about $200 Billion, covering about 50,000 structures.  Applying a standard no-less-than-one-percent-per-value of the asset, plus insurance, plus capital improvements, and contingency, I came up with annual cost of maintenance of overseas (including US Territories) bases.

Annual Cost of Maintenance of Facilities                    $ 7.5B

The 2019 DoD budget request includes an increase in the OCO budget of an additional $17 Billion for facilities construction overseas.

Previous and current year construction projects include:

The Kaiserslautern Military Community Center in Germany, an 8 story, 844,000 square foot Air Force facility which includes a 350-room visiting quarters, a four-plex movie theatre, Power Zone, Outdoor Living, Toyland/Four Seasons, food court, new car sales and other vendors in an American-Style mall layout, and a two-story climbing wall.  It is intended to house about 50,000 military members and their families.  Construction costs are difficult to ascertain (because the Air Force is not tracking the total cost of this facility, which has experienced multiple construction-related delays, deficiencies, and overruns.) Total cost is expected to exceed $215 million.

New construction of Landstuhl Military Hospital in Germany is expected to be slightly less than $1 Billion ($990 Million) and is expected to be completed in 2021.  This hospital is expected to replace the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center as the military’s main European medical facility.

New construction of medical material warehouse at Kadena Air Base in Japan.  Cost for this building is expected to be more than $20 million.

Total cost of construction for the 3 aforementioned facilities is over $1.2 Billion.

Taking into account the cost of overseas construction, the DoD 2019 budget request for overseas construction and applying a multiplier factor, I came up with a conservative estimate of the annual cost of construction (because not all money will be spent in one year’s time.)

Annual Cost of Construction                        $ 4.8 Billion

Health Care
The DoD 2019 budget request acknowledges health care costs runs about 9% of the DoD budget (excluding long-term care or disability-related or permanent injuries.)  Health care costs include use of VA facilities, Tricare, and combat casualty care for members and their families.

Annual Cost of Health Care                        $ 5.9 Billion

Estimated cost of training for overseas personnel takes into effect (a) direct equipment parts (b) fuel costs (c) post production software costs and (d) indirect support costs.  Calculating training costs for Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine, and others, and considering total historical costs per year for NORTHCOM, AFRICOM, and SOUTHCOM of $980 million in 2012 costs, I applied annual cost of inflation increases, and with contingency, came up with an annual cost for ongoing training exercises for military personnel.

Annual Cost of Training                            $ 1.0 Billion

Environmental Remediation
Environmental contamination is a by-product of weapons and ballistic testing and training for all divisions of the military.  Add to that burn pits, depleted uranium, destroyed species on both land and water, poisoned water supplies, and ongoing cleanup of nuclear testing fallout, to name a few.

As an example, Guam, at 210 square miles, is home to dozens of US military bases.  Its ecosystem suffered tremendously when brown snakes were introduced to the island, entering the island, over the decades, with US military equipment.  These 2 million brown snakes have shorted out electrical systems, devastated new tree growth, and knocked out entire species of birds.  

According to Science Alert, “10 of 12 bird species native to Guam had vanished, including a kingfisher that can’t be found anywhere else on Earth.”  The military has spent no less than $12 million alone trying to eradicate this problem.

Annual Cost of Environmental Remediation                $ 1.3 Billion

Allowances and Site Costs
Allowances and site costs for Army, Air Force, Marines, and Navy include base allowance for housing, overseas housing allowances, cost of living allowances, and family separation allowances.  Average annual cost for per person is $25,900.

Annual Cost of Allowances and Site Costs                $ 3.3 Billion

Military Family Support
The 2019 DoD budget request for military family support totals $8.1 Billion and includes (1) child care and youth programs (2) morale, welfare, and recreation (3) warfighter and family services (4) commissary (5) Department of Defense overseas schools and (6) Military spouse employment.

Annual Cost of Military Family Support                    $ 2.4 Billion

Total Annual Cost of Military Overseas Bases $50.4 Billion

The above cost estimate does not include:

-Extended medical and long-term care of partially and permanently disabled veterans;
-Legal costs of criminal activity committed by military personnel at permanent base sites;
-Payments to communities for reimbursement of base-related neighborhood costs;
-Negotiation, legal, and otherwise for land protection, remediation, and extraction of resources.


Cost of Personnel                        $ 22.9 Billion
Transportation                            $   1.3 Billion
Maintenance of Facilities                    $   7.5 Billion
Construction                            $   4.8 Billion
Health Care                            $   5.9 Billion
Training                            $   1.0 Billion
Environmental Remediation                    $   1.3 Billion
Allowances & Site Costs                        $   3.3 Billion
Military Family Support                        $   2.4 Billion

Total Estimated Annual Cost of Overseas Bases            $ 50.4 Billion

Add Overseas Contingency Operations (funding the wars)    $ 89.0 Billion    included in The Report

Total Estimated Annual Cost of overseas operations        $139.4 Billion

War is not normal activity.

The DoD 2019 budget clearly articulates the ramp up of military forces, the expansion of military “solutions” worldwide. 

Conversation is desperately needed about America’s lethal role in the destruction of our planet.

Plato famously said “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”

I hope that’s not what it will take.




America’s 2019 Defense Budget is Lethal to Humanity (Part 1/2) by Guest Blogger Lynn Marie Petrovich

America’s 2019 Defense Budget Supports 883 Overseas Bases and is Lethal to Humanity
Lynn Marie Petrovich

Part 1 of 2:  America’s Toxic 2019 “Defense” Budget

My grandfathers were both veterans of World War One.

Vincent Coen, my maternal grandfather, was a sailor aboard The SS Leviathan which transported over 119,000 US troops across the Atlantic to France.

William J. Reddan, my paternal grandfather, was Captain of Company B, 114th infantry, and was one of 14 survivors of the Battle of Bois de Ormont in France on 10/12/1918, during the Meuse Argonne offensive.  His outrage over orders to take his men into this battle, which annihilated over 200 of his Company, resulted in his war memoir “Other Men’s Lives, (Experiences of a Doughboy 1917 – 1919.)”

Although grandpa Reddan died 12 years before my birth, it was during my high school years – while the Vietnam War was raging endlessly on – that I discovered his book, “Other Men’s Lives.”  I picked up the copy he had given to his youngest son, my dad, and read the following inscription inside:

Oct 23rd 1936

To the ‘ boss’ of the house – my son – Joseph Leslie Reddan
May you be spared from ever participating in the horrors of war, is the prayer of your loving, soldier, ‘Dad’:
May God bless you and give you a long and happy life.
Wm J. Reddan
Captain, Commanding
Company B
114th Infantry
29th Division

I devoured his first-person narrative of that war, with its gruesome details of life in the trenches, surrounded by death and destruction, and I was determined to learn more. 

I became obsessed with why men slaughter each other.

So I spent the next few decades devoting myself to learning all that I could, predominantly, on America’s involvement in wars. 

World War One’s statistics were grim.  Among involved countries, casualties for men between the ages of 19 and 32 were staggering; British casualties in battles like the Somme (1916) numbered in the tens of thousands – and that was just the first day of battle. Virtually overnight, entire landscapes were reduced to ghoulish death zones.  Though total numbers are difficult to confirm, it was commonly agreed by historians that – at the war’s end – there were over 38 million casualties, including more than 21 million wounded, many left to a life of suffering from amputations, disfigurement, diseases, survivor’s guilt, and shell shock (after the war tens of thousands of American veterans languished in psychiatric facilities suffering from what is now called post-traumatic stress disorder.)

At the war’s end, almost everybody regretted the incomprehensible devastation.  In America, it brought forth a new era of prohibition, curtailment of civil liberties, a crackdown on pacifists and labor organizers, imprisonment, rebellion among veterans over unemployment, deportations, a permanent military, and taxes to pay for it.

World War One was promoted as the war “to end all wars.”  And despite the lice and rat-infested trenches - cobbled together with barbed wire, concrete, plank, and mud - where gruesome battle gains were measured in feet, after the war, American political might became ignited by an insatiable appetite to expand the arms and propaganda industry beyond comprehension.

One hundred years later, we are engaged in endless wars, expensive, costly endless wars.

Aside from the human toll, how much does endless war - and a growing number of US bases around the world - cost each year?

This is an attempt to do a reasonable calculation of the cost to taxpayers of our hundreds of bases stationed around the world (those which are mostly outside the theatre of war), commencing with the end of The Great War.  I undertook this exercise using my decades-long background in accounting, available public reports, articles, research papers, books (to connect the dots), interviews with current and former military personnel, and common sense.  Well, as much common sense as possible given the US military budget is the largest of any country in the world, as much as the next 10 country’s military budgets combined.

Among the many resources used in this analysis was the 116 page “Defense Budget Overview, US Department of Defense [DoD], Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Request” (The Report), in which the 2019 request was $686.1 Billion, an increase of 13% or $74 billion, over 2018. 

The Report is less a “defense” budget; rather it’s more a document oozing threats to worldwide lethal annihilation:
“The strategic goals for Fiscal Years 2018-FY 2023 reflect the Secretary’s priorities:
(1) Increase the lethality of the Joint Force;
(2) Strengthen US alliances and build new partnerships;
(3) Reform the Department to reinvest resources in warfighter priorities”
(The Report, page 9-3)

If the planet is our community, America is the bully in the neighborhood.  Reference to the word “lethal” is sprinkled no less than 3 dozen times throughout The Report (“more lethal force” p. 2-6, “technology innovation for increased lethality” p.1-1, “increasing the lethality of new and existing weapons systems” p. 3-2).

Among the DoD’s goals is the Orwellian “preserving peace through strength” and “protecting the American way of life” (a way of life in which every minute four people are served with eviction judgements, 30 million have no access to health care, $1.5 Trillion is owed in suffocating student loan debt, and 63% of the population cannot afford a $500 emergency repair.)

Were it not for The Report’s dire (yet, fully funded) predictions for world domination, one would think this budget request was satire by The Onion.  From page 2-4, the foreign affairs Strategic Approach for the upcoming year states: “to succeed in the emerging security environment, the Department and Joint Force will have to out-think, out-maneuver, out-partner, and out-innovate revisionist powers, rogue regimes, terrorists, and other threat actors.” 

And again, the number one goal is to “Build a more lethal force.”

In a world where money is no object, The Report specifically details the following purchasing priorities for 2019:

-Increasing the strength of the Army, Navy, and Air Force by almost 26,000;
-Buying ten combat ships ($18.4 Billion);Increasing production of the F-35 aircraft and F/A-18 aircraft ($12.7 Billion);
-Enhancing deterrence by modernizing the nuclear triad;
And the ever-lovin’:
 -Increasing the emphasis on technology innovation for increased lethality.

Additionally, The Report states “The DoD has expended more munitions than planned over the last few years, primarily to defeat Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), leading to higher demand to replenish munition inventories” (3-6).  Addressing these needs, the 2019 budget request increases by over 28,300 the amount of production for the following munitions: 
-Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems;
-Advanced Precision Kill Weapon Systems;
-Joint Direct Attack Munition;
-Small Diameter Bomb 1 (includes spares);
-Hellfire rockets;
-Army Tactical Missile Systems

TOTAL increased cost in the 2019 budget for these munitions is $8.1 Billion (p.3-7)

In a surprise (yet not really) admission, The Report states that “major power competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U.S. national security” (page 2-1).

But let’s back up a minute.  More historical perspective is relative at this point, if only to grasp the enormity of US spending over the last 18 years on endless wars around the globe (and also because I like numbers.)

War Funding

One hundred years ago, World War One cost the US $22.6 Billion dollars, which today is $328 billion, adjusted for inflation.   The 2019 DoD budget request is $686.1 Billion, or twice what it cost the US during WW1 in today’s dollars.

Included in the DoD 2019 Budget request of $686.1 Billion, is $89 Billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), which predominantly funds the wars (operations, in-theatre support, classified programs, coalition forces, counter-ISIS training, security, etc.)  Specifically stated areas include Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and “other mobilization” sites. 

According to The Report, OCO funding alone for the 18 year period beginning in 2001 through 2018 totaled $1.8 Trillion (page 1-3), or almost $101 Billion per year – an amount which approximates the annual combined budgets of the US Department of Education ($60 Billion) Department of Health & Human Services ($18 Billion), the Department of Transportation ($15.6 Billion), and Department of Labor ($9.4 Billion.)

The funding of America’s endless war budget entrenches us in a violent, addictive, fearmongering, poverty-creating, racist, sexist world, with an insatiable appetite for expansion and domination. 

Lynn Petrovich
Copyright 2018

Part 2 of 2:  883 Military Bases Around the World and Growing. 




Saturday, September 22, 2018

Maestra: "Each one, teach one" (Soapbox Podcast September 23, 2018)

September 23, 2018




Maestra is the tale of women who left their homes and families during the Cuban revolution to help bring Fidel's dream of 100% literacy a reality.

Catherine Murphy